View Full Version : psd export from lw-dfx

11 November 2003, 05:21 AM
i am tring to figure out the proper order and blending modes for the psd file from lw into dfx. i thought i would post it here because lw'ers should know the fix for this, as they have to deal with it all the time.
i followed lee stranahan's tutorial on the psd export and know that when you import psd files into dfx, you must change raw rgb to the forground,merging with diffuse shade in the multiply mode....
now i wanted to try exporting more buffers including depth and specular. when i used the psd import in dfx it put depth between raw color and diffuse shade...and specular above both(see attached).what is the right layer order and blending modes for this extra information.

11 November 2003, 02:10 PM
PSD Exporting Explained (

from the god newtek herself:p explains the known shortcomings of the psd exporting from lw. as well as how to remedy these in photoshop and dfx. about halfway down the page, it sez "multipass rendering with psd export"

11 November 2003, 05:00 PM
thanks moosedog, but in my post you'll see I already watched that tutorial (done by lee stranahan) my problem is i'm an idiot and i'm not sure what to do about the depth tool being in between raw color and diffuse, since in the tutorial lee indicated that these two should be merged together in multiply mode, and on top of that should they be 'upstream' in the flow ahead of specular. :) see attachment for a shot of my flow

11 November 2003, 05:09 PM
:hmm: oh.....sorry.....reading is fundamental, particularly if one is mental:) good luck!

paul k.
11 November 2003, 07:52 PM
Yes I am having trouble with a similar thing. My problem is I saved out more buffers than Lee did and the technique does not work for me. I have tried everything. It seems as though after I add more channels in any concievable order DFX does not read it properly. Everything gets all blown out? Help!

11 November 2003, 09:19 PM
Try setting it like the attached pic - you probably don't want to render the 'specular' buffer, you most likely want the 'specular shade' buffer... the specular buffer just shows which surfaces are or aren't specular, it doesn't actually show the spec highlights, which the spec shade buffer does.

As for the depth buffer, the psd renders the furthest point white, the nearest point black, but the depth toolsin DFX+ like it around the other way, so you might need to invert it - I've just used an invert tool from the free section of the awesome Krokodove set of DF plugs - you can get them here (

Then add a Channel Boolean tool, and on the 'aux channels' tab, set the FG Luminance to Z Buffer. (Set the main color channels to 'do nothing' or R/G/B BG.) Once that's all done, you'll be able to use the z buffer for the cool 3d tools like fog, blur...

Hope that helps


11 November 2003, 09:24 PM
Sorry, here's the pic

11 November 2003, 02:46 AM
thanks geoff:)
what buffers do you need to assemble the complete picture?raw rgb, specular, shading, reflection color....i'm obviously rendering more buffers then i need(18 mb per frame!) but i'm not sure which you need to form the complete render...obviously things like depth ect are extras.

11 November 2003, 03:04 AM
For a scene with no reflective surfaces, and no specular surfaces (unlikely) you can get by with just the raw color and diffuse shading buffers. Obviously, you'll need the reflective color buffer if you have any reflective surfaces and the specular shading buffer for any specular surfaces.

Be aware though that the composite in general won't look exactly like the lightwave render. But pretty close, and if you like to futz around with your renders afterward, you can save an enormous amount of time rather than re-render. :)

11 November 2003, 03:09 AM
so really only 4 buffers, but i'm guessing you need luminous buffer for luminous surfaces as well.
one more newbie question for you, why would you use a psd format over say an rpf rla format?

11 November 2003, 03:37 AM
Quite right about the luminosity buffer. :) As far as why one over the other, I guess it just depends on what options you want/need to edit in post. PSD export has a list of buffers much longer than the rpf format, but the rpf export is much smaller in file size (obviously). One probably wouldn't often need to edit buffers like the diffuse shading one, so in that respect it's kind of reduntant, but having the flexibility to be able to is always nice, I suppose.

11 November 2003, 03:42 AM
thanks geoff:)

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