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Old 24-10-2008, 08:01 AM   #1
farbtopf
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Default render out zDepth

hello, I just spent hours figuring out how to render out a proper zPass from maya -and I nearly went insane!!! Using the Depth channel button in render globals seems to have no effect when running on a mac, on a pc I had some luck sometimes...

HERE'S AN INSTRUCTION ON HOW TO RENDER A zPASS FROM MAYA

Create a render layer, right click on it go presets>luminance depth and that's it you can even preview it in your render window before batching, don't know if that's the "prefessional" way to do it but it's easy and it works.
Maya creates a surface shader and ataches it to all objects on your layer, it doesn't seem to do that for particles though, you'll have to do that manually.

maybe this was already a well known fact, I thought I'd share it anyway

cheers
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Old 24-10-2008, 11:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: render out zDepth

Originally posted by farbtopf
hello, I just spent hours figuring out how to render out a proper zPass from maya -and I nearly went insane!!! ...
Ha! That was me a couple days ago with the SAME problem, and I refused to give up and then I solved it. Thanks for sharing, because this is probably going to be an issue for someone else.
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Old 25-10-2008, 02:36 AM   #3
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Damn!

there is an easier way without worry about the render layers Luminance pass.

Tick the zdepth pass in the Globals settings and if Im correct it has to be an .iff file, check your project settings, then do a batch render, your file will come with a color, alpha and Zdepth channel

done!

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Old 25-10-2008, 09:15 AM   #4
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I did that, the file formats were a bit trial and error for me though.
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Old 26-10-2008, 12:24 AM   #5
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@ Jay,

I did that as well, but it never worked properly for me, sometimes it doesn't include the zpass at all when looking in fcheck sometimes it tells me files are corrupt etc.
with this method you can have a .jpg . png .tga or whatever you want and you can preview in the render view. I think that makes up for the little hassle of creating a render layer.
I never understood why ticking the zpass in render globals didn't work for me, maybe there's something wrong with my setup..
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Old 26-10-2008, 01:07 AM   #6
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Hey farbtopf

yeah thats weird mate, well at least you have the other option which is better in the long run for the comping of images

cheers
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Old 26-10-2008, 02:31 AM   #7
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z depth with globals is ickly. Mayas zdepth will render out to iff if you dont have a 32 bit format chosen.
Main issues are that mayas z depth doesnt render out to a visible range so you have to multiply it into the visible range somtimes.

Also its not anti=aliased, when maya renders z depth it just finds distance as an absolute. So to get around that you have to render z depth at double res and than scale it down with a filter, which is really not fun. Shader ftw.
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Old 26-10-2008, 02:41 AM   #8
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hi, I never needed zdepth to be that acurate, but I suppose if you work on really high res stuff it'll make sense. I really don't understand why autodesk didn't put in a better way to get your zpass I though maybe in maya 2009 but nope...

anyway for now I'm happy with how it works via render layers
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Old 23-03-2009, 10:11 PM   #9
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I love the fexibility of a z-depth map...and the luminance depth works amazingly well on geometry but for some reason my particles don't register....they completely disappear on the z-depth map, they don't render at all....why is this...and how can I fix it?

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Old 23-03-2009, 11:25 PM   #10
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Perhaps you could project a ramp from the camera and use that as a zdepth, this is the way I do my zdepth as it gives you more control over everything.
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Old 24-03-2009, 12:42 AM   #11
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Originally posted by hammer.horror
Perhaps you could project a ramp from the camera and use that as a zdepth, this is the way I do my zdepth as it gives you more control over everything.
to be clear, do you mean like a 3d projection map of a white to black ramp with the projection node parented to the camera? I might have to try that.

Ok, tried to figure it out myself...and failed. How exactly do I get it to project from the camera?

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Old 24-03-2009, 09:18 AM   #12
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Hey,

i've tried that before, works well but again not for particles. I think it works if you have our particles as a blobby surface and as spheres, but not for the rest.
I ended up rendering them as blobby surfaces and as normal perticles and using the image I got from the normal particles as a matte in comp on the blobby ones.
However that's a really messy sollution, if anyone knows how to get particle z depth to work please share.

not exactly sure how to project from the camera but you could connect a ramp to a surface shader. You should get the control plane for the 2d projection in your scene now, flip it so it faces your geometry and adjust it's size to fit your scene. Now parent it to your camera. Might work but agian it's probably a bit messy
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Old 29-05-2010, 05:06 PM   #13
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Default Re: render out zDepth

Originally posted by farbtopf
hello, I just spent hours figuring out how to render out a proper zPass from maya -and I nearly went insane!!! Using the Depth channel button in render globals seems to have no effect when running on a mac, on a pc I had some luck sometimes...

HERE'S AN INSTRUCTION ON HOW TO RENDER A zPASS FROM MAYA

Create a render layer, right click on it go presets>luminance depth and that's it you can even preview it in your render window before batching, don't know if that's the "prefessional" way to do it but it's easy and it works.
Maya creates a surface shader and ataches it to all objects on your layer, it doesn't seem to do that for particles though, you'll have to do that manually.

maybe this was already a well known fact, I thought I'd share it anyway

cheers

you are the man farbtopf. thank you for sharing this and saving my monitor from being smashed on the wall

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Old 07-09-2011, 10:29 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by LauriePriest View Post
z depth with globals is ickly. Mayas zdepth will render out to iff if you dont have a 32 bit format chosen.
Main issues are that mayas z depth doesnt render out to a visible range so you have to multiply it into the visible range somtimes.

Also its not anti=aliased, when maya renders z depth it just finds distance as an absolute. So to get around that you have to render z depth at double res and than scale it down with a filter, which is really not fun. Shader ftw.

Hi Laurie,

Can you tell me more about multiplying the z depth to a visible range please?
I have my luminance depth all set up and it renders perfectly in a standard single frame render, but when I batch render or send it to backburner, the image comes out completely black!

Thanks,

Bill
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Old 07-09-2011, 10:50 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by LauriePriest View Post
z depth with globals is ickly. Mayas zdepth will render out to iff if you dont have a 32 bit format chosen.
Main issues are that mayas z depth doesnt render out to a visible range so you have to multiply it into the visible range somtimes.

Also its not anti=aliased, when maya renders z depth it just finds distance as an absolute. So to get around that you have to render z depth at double res and than scale it down with a filter, which is really not fun. Shader ftw.




Ha ha! Solved it!
I went with this approach....
http://studiof504.blogspot.com/2010/...th-preset.html
Where you disconntect the old min and old max attributes and then changes those values. Using that method the batch redners were the same as the single image renders.
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