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Recombining render passes for project two

From: Maya Rendering for After Effects Composites

Video: Recombining render passes for project two

We're now ready to move project 2 into After Effects, so the first thing we'll do is bring in the spaceship render from Maya. Now before I do that I want to check a few things and make sure the footage is interpreted correctly. First thing I'll do is go to Edit > Preferences > Imports and make sure the Sequence Footage is set 24 frames per second that the speed that the original live-action was shot at, so we want to match that. I also want to check the Project Settings and make sure I'm set to frames, it's a easier way to work with image sequences. All right! Let's bring the footage in, File > Import > File and have a spaceship render saved out in the Renders folder under Shot2Ship.

Recombining render passes for project two

We're now ready to move project 2 into After Effects, so the first thing we'll do is bring in the spaceship render from Maya. Now before I do that I want to check a few things and make sure the footage is interpreted correctly. First thing I'll do is go to Edit > Preferences > Imports and make sure the Sequence Footage is set 24 frames per second that the speed that the original live-action was shot at, so we want to match that. I also want to check the Project Settings and make sure I'm set to frames, it's a easier way to work with image sequences. All right! Let's bring the footage in, File > Import > File and have a spaceship render saved out in the Renders folder under Shot2Ship.

I want to just pick the first frame of the image sequence, make sure that Photoshop Sequence is checked--which it is--and Open that. Now just like project 1, because a render passes are stuffed into layered PSDs, what I can do is choose individual layers and bring them in one at a time, so I'm going to click Choose layer and here are all of the different layers in that file. Now I don't need the background, I don't need the MasterBeauty, but I do need all of the other passes. So I am going to start with the bottom one and working the way out, and so matte first, now I am going to go back and repeat the process.

So here are all our render passes from Maya. Now I also want to get the original live-action footage too. So File > Import > File, and this is saved under the Footage folder under Shot2. So first frame, make sure it's clicked to Sequence, and Open. Now because we checked our preferences, we know that these are all interpreted 24 frames per second, which is correct. So now that we have the footage imported, we can assemble a spaceship into its own composition, so there is no competition yet, in fact, it says None right here.

What I can do is pull down the first render pass and have the program automatically create a composition that has the correct resolution, duration, and frame rate. So let's start with the Diffuse layer, diffuseNoShadow, we'll pull that down, drop it in, and there it is. So let's assemble it, let's pull some more render passes down. Next thing I'll grab is shadowRaw, pull that down put it on top. Now again the shadowRaw pass creates a white shadow over a black field, and because there's no proper Alpha, it includes what's below it.

So what we have to do is invert this first, so I'm going to apply Effect > Channel > Inverts, so now we have black over white, then I need to change the blending mode. In this case for a shadow, it's great to use Multiply. Here's the blending mode menu. Now if you don't see it, you can always click Toggle Switches. There, it goes away, and here it is again, so I'm going to change the shadow layer to Multiply, and that multiplies the shadow over the spaceship, diffuse in this case and darkens a little bit, particularly around the fin.

Next thing I will do is grab the reflection, so I'm going to back to my list of footage here, we can use this little scroll bar to find it, there is the Project tab, grab the reflection, pull that down. And reflection needs a blending mode like screen, again, not proper Alpha, you want to just keep the bright areas. So I'm going to go back to the blending mode, change that to Screen, and then I want to grab the specular, same situation, pull that, put it on top, that needs a Screen also, I just want to save the bright areas. And last, incandescence, hold that down, put that on top, and these are just bright logos over a black field, so Screen works great for that also.

So there's a reassembled ship. There is one more render pass, we're going to use that later, which is the matte pass. Now all the passes are stacked together in their own composition, we can nest the composition later to move that as a single unit, but since I have all these render passes in separate layers, I can adjust them individually. For example, I can increase the intensity of the reflection in the specular highlight, so I can go to the reflection layer and apply an effect to adjust that. In this case the curves effect is great for adjusting the contrast and brightness. So I am going to go up to Effect > Color Correction > Curves, and if we want to brighten that reflection I can click to put a point here and pull this up, and there it becomes brighter.

I can do the same with the specular pass, Effect > Color Correction > Curves. You can also click to add single point there, pull that up, to brighten the specular component. You can see along the edge of the wing there. So you can adjust these layers if they're too dim or too bright. And another thing you can do is go to incandescence layer, which is just a logo. Now I could brighten that or darken it. In another option for any of these layers is to adjust the color. Let's say I want a totally different color for the logo. I have the opportunity to that because this is rendered separately.

So, for example, I can pick the incandescent layer, go up to Effect, go to Color Correction and go to Color Balance, and because these are all bright colors, I can go to the Highlights sliders Red, Green, and Blue, and change the values to shift the color. For example, if I put in -75 for Red, 100 for Green, and -75 for Blue, I have shifted the colors to a neon green. Of course, you can pick any color you want just by moving the sliders around.

I'll shift the balance of colors, so there's a reddish logo, let me go back to green one though. So it gives you a lot power in terms of adjusting your render. So now we have reassembled the spaceship through all the render passes, and we adjust a few of those layers to effects, so now we're ready to add the spaceship to the live-action footage.

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This video is part of

Image for Maya Rendering for After Effects Composites
Maya Rendering for After Effects Composites

34 video lessons · 5233 viewers

Lee Lanier
Author

 
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  1. 2m 0s
    1. Welcome
      47s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 13s
  2. 29m 49s
    1. Working with image sequences
      7m 24s
    2. Importing reference video as an image plane
      5m 13s
    3. Matching the 3D camera to the video footage
      4m 23s
    4. Lighting the model
      5m 35s
    5. Creating mattes and shadows in preparation for rendering
      7m 14s
  3. 15m 38s
    1. Using the Render Layer Editor
      4m 21s
    2. Splitting a scene into multiple render passes
      6m 6s
    3. Adding flexibility by assigning material and render overrides
      5m 11s
  4. 15m 2s
    1. Creating render passes using mental ray
      3m 50s
    2. Batch rendering render passes: Project one
      5m 24s
    3. Batch rendering render passes: Project two
      5m 48s
  5. 19m 4s
    1. Importing render passes into After Effects
      6m 25s
    2. Recombining render passes in a composition
      6m 31s
    3. Transforming multiple render passes as a single unit
      6m 8s
  6. 48m 7s
    1. Setting up a motion tracker
      5m 17s
    2. Using a tracker to analyze motion in footage
      3m 56s
    3. Adjusting tracker options for better results
      7m 2s
    4. Matching layer motion by applying tracker data
      6m 26s
    5. Refining a layer's transparency with rotoscoping
      6m 45s
    6. Improving layer movement with the Smoother tool
      5m 7s
    7. Improving the CG by adding blur and effects
      8m 7s
    8. Adding shadow to make the composite believable
      5m 27s
  7. 32m 36s
    1. Recombining render passes for project two
      5m 17s
    2. Removing unwanted elements with a garbage mask
      4m 57s
    3. Applying motion tracking data to a null layer
      6m 38s
    4. Adjusting shadows and matte edges
      8m 12s
    5. Using color correction to improve layer integration
      7m 32s
  8. 25m 46s
    1. Stabilizing shaky video with the Tracker
      8m 2s
    2. Tracking rectangular elements with the Perspective corner pin option
      5m 31s
    3. Adjusting corner pin points and paths
      6m 56s
    4. Applying corner pin data to multiple layers
      5m 17s
  9. 1m 16s
    1. Next steps
      1m 16s

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