question

Adam Brown avatar image
Adam Brown asked ·

Do you need Nuke or After effects to be able to use the Z-depth AOV?

Is there any other way to just simply get a z-depth from arnold? Im not sure why its so convoluted.. in any other render engine you can easily just render a z pass. I dont have Nuke or After effects and I wouldnt know how to use those software anyways.... So what am i supposed to do!?

aovaovsz-depthnukeafter effects
10 |600 characters needed characters left characters exceeded

Up to 5 attachments (including images) can be used with a maximum of 2.0 MiB each and 9.8 MiB total.

Brian Foley avatar image
Brian Foley answered ·

@Adam Brown It's not really that the z-depth process is convoluted. It is more of an issue that photoshop has never really supported 32 bit images and multi-layer compositing. Here is how I used to do it.

Open your multilayer exr in photoshop. Must be done in 32 bit as converting to 8 will lose all the depth info. You will see your Z as white. Use image adjust exposure and keep dialing down the exposure until you get something that looks like a regular z-depth pass. (You can enter values lower than the slider goes) or you can use your white point and black point sample tools.

Now, normally at this point you can add the z into a new channel and use it with lens blur, but lens blur does not work in 32 bit mode even in 2018.

So to compensate for this you have to go to image mode > 8 bit. When requested, do not merge layers.

Now copy and paste the z-depth layer into a new channel and then you can use lens blur selecting the channel you just created.

or. . . you can bring it into Nuke (or Natron which is free) and get much more accurate 32 bit results in about a minute. You can also try Affinity Pro which is an alternative to photoshop with more 32 bit options and sells for about $50 but I don't know what it's capabilities are with this particular area. Hope this helps.


Share
10 |600 characters needed characters left characters exceeded

Up to 5 attachments (including images) can be used with a maximum of 2.0 MiB each and 9.8 MiB total.

Adam Brown avatar image
Adam Brown answered ·

@Brian FoleyThanks a ton!!!! That solves my problem and thanks for the natron recommendation I’ve never heard of it and Photoshops lack of 32bit support has been a huge annoyance so I will definitely be getting that!

Share
10 |600 characters needed characters left characters exceeded

Up to 5 attachments (including images) can be used with a maximum of 2.0 MiB each and 9.8 MiB total.

Stephen Blair avatar image
Stephen Blair answered ·

How do you use any other depth pass in Photoshop? I don't have Photoshop, and I've never used it...but I'd say you use the Z aov the same way, except you have an extra step: converting the non-normalized Z values to normalized values eg in the range 0 to 1.

For example, divide by the far clipping plane. Or do something like adjust the exposure. See this thread on the Autodesk maya rendering forum

Share
10 |600 characters needed characters left characters exceeded

Up to 5 attachments (including images) can be used with a maximum of 2.0 MiB each and 9.8 MiB total.

Adam Brown avatar image
Adam Brown answered ·

@Stephen BlairYea I realize that it’s built in but do you need nuke or after effects to utilize it? How can I just simply use the z pass in photoshop?

Share
10 |600 characters needed characters left characters exceeded

Up to 5 attachments (including images) can be used with a maximum of 2.0 MiB each and 9.8 MiB total.

Stephen Blair avatar image
Stephen Blair answered ·

The Z AOV is built in, so it's not hard to render it out.

The values are non-normalized, so that are not values between 0 and 1

To use the Z, you just need to normalize the values.

Why do you need to Z depth, what are you going to do with and in what software?

Share
10 |600 characters needed characters left characters exceeded

Up to 5 attachments (including images) can be used with a maximum of 2.0 MiB each and 9.8 MiB total.

Write an Answer

Hint: Notify or tag a user in this post by typing @username.

Up to 5 attachments (including images) can be used with a maximum of 2.0 MiB each and 9.8 MiB total.

Welcome to the Arnold Answers community.

This is the place for Arnold renderer users everywhere to ask and answer rendering questions, and share knowledge about using Arnold, Arnold plugins, workflows and developing tools with Arnold.

If you are a new user to Arnold Answers, please first check out our FAQ and User Guide for more information.

When posting questions, please be sure to select the appropriate Space for your Arnold plugin and include the plugin version you are using.

Please include images, scene and log files whenever possible as this helps the community answer your questions.

Instructions for generating full verbosity log files are available for MtoA, MaxtoA, C4DtoA, HtoA, KtoA, and Kick.

If you are looking for Arnold Documentation and Support please visit the Arnold Support site.

To try Arnold please visit the Arnold Trial page.

Bottom No panel present for this section.