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Render Layers Tutorial


Michael Lackner shows you how render layers work in this 21 minute tutorial. Render layers are an immensely useful tool for rendering and compositing that allow you to separate elements in the render into separate layers you can work with individually in the node editor. Be sure to check out his youtube channel below as well, he's got a lot of other great videos and tutorials.

Michael writes:

Two years ago, when I started with Blender, renderlayers were something mystical for me. Now I use them quite often and they are just like adding a cube. But I'm sure, that isn't the case for everyone, especially for the beginners, so I decided to make tutorial for you guys out there.
I hope you like it!

About the Author

Chris Plush

Chris runs the Blender training platform CG Masters. Chris has been using Blender for over 20 years. Chris refers to himself in the 3rd person in biographies. I love Blender and I love teaching people how to use it.


    • yes it can
      the only issue you have is that the z will not be a perfect white. I am using this technique at present to get the mist working so stuff isnt see through.

      Or are you looking to combine the z of different objects? alpha over node should suffice. specify what you're doing and i might be able to help

      • I wasn't thinking of anything specific, I was just curious if both approaches worked the same, or if there was a reason the mask layer was more appropriate for something like this.

        Thanks for the reply.

        • if you have an object that is in front on the z, its in front already. your only issue would be how you are linking up your layers. The object alpha will do the job. once again, be fearful of using mist. it effects the alpha improperly. should only change colour but its a throwback from before layering.
          essentially an alpha IS a mask. Just like in photoshop/gimp. the order of your layering matters. background first, foreground last.

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