View Full Version : z-depth iff files

03 March 2004, 08:13 AM
hi everyone,
is there a way to quickly convert the separate iff z-depth files the batch render outputs into another format? (i.e. the files have been rendered as TGA with the IFF z-depths separate)

after effects doesn't seem to like the z-depth IFFs
photoshop doesn't open them with the IFF plugin...
Fcheck won't open the sequence as an animation...


03 March 2004, 08:40 PM
last time I used RLE's.. you can store Z channels in them and AE recocnizes them.. (well sometimes at least)

I actually ended up making a separate scene and using a depth shader (from to render out a ZDepth image (with antialiasing :bounce:)

03 March 2004, 11:54 AM
shake can



03 March 2004, 12:02 AM
what i just did recently was render out the sequence as .iff files and then opened the sequence in fcheck. push z which will display the z-depth. While displaying that you can save out the z-depth animation to whatever format you like. the only bug was when i opened it in photoshop it looked very oddly colored, but the z-depth color was represented i believe in the green and blue channel, not the red. so i just used the single channel as my z-depth out in digital fusion. im sure you can use one channel from footage in after fx too. good luck

04 April 2004, 01:21 AM
Maya's native depth maps are a bit problematic due to the fact that they invert the distance, resulting in a range of 0 (far away) to negative infinity (close). This is not much of an issue with a program such as Shake, and shouldn't really be with any other compositing system either, as long as you're capable of defining the proper range. If you do enounter difficulties, I'm afraid it won't be as easy to fix the problem as wizard06 would like to think. Saving the depth file using Fcheck in such a manner will generate an 8-bit rgb image rather than the 32-bit single channel image you'd want, resulting in unacceptable data-loss.

Andreas Karlsson
Ego Studios

04 April 2004, 05:29 PM
How would you suggest the z-depth image be made and saved.

04 April 2004, 06:36 PM
I usually work with the iff format, and tend to render its z-channel in the same pass as the rgba, keeping it all in a single file. If a compositing system other than Shake will make use of the depth information, I'll use Shake to normalize the range of that channel. I'm not sure that this is really necessary though, It's just a request from the people on the other systems (I tend to keep to Shake myself). All I can say is that if your compositing software lets you define a range of , for example, -1.72 (near) and 0 (far), everything should be fine (it might still display the z-channel in an odd manner when viewed as a gray-scale image though, but the result should be correct). If you cannot define your near and far values in this way, then some form of normalization will have to be done. Exactly how to do this I don't know (unless you're working with Shake), but I'm sure that someone out there can help. It would hardly be a new problem.

Andreas Karlsson
Ego Studios

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