View Full Version : Z Depth in AE Exasperation

11 November 2008, 10:39 PM
For the sake of Pete, is there, or could someone please point me in the right direction to render out a z depth pass out of Maya, and bring it into After Effects? I'm checking the box, rendering out an RLA, bringing it into AE, using the DOF filter, but it is absolutely not reading any depth. I've searched the internet and these forums and have tried 100 things all to no avail. Is it something with the camera settings i'm missing? I don't know, a straight shot answer would be much appreciated at this point. Thank you for reading my rant.

11 November 2008, 11:11 PM
I think the issue (presuming your .rla came out correcly) is to "seek" the depth in AE filters between the 0-1 range, rather than the 0-100 range which AE 'expects', so DOF mid = .5, rather than 50.

11 November 2008, 11:17 PM
You my friend were correct, thank you for the response. That and setting the clipping plane seemed to get the correct range seemed to do it. I always seem to have a fit, make a post and then figure it out, it seems to be my process. Once again thanks.

11 November 2008, 04:26 PM
If you open the image with fcheck and press the icon inside fcheck for displaying the Z channel (The small "Z") you can read in the console from fcheck the values of the near and far (eg.Z range: [-0.9875 , -0.123])
However if you will transfer the values to AFX you may swap the values and insert them without "-". So for AFX you insert 0.123 and 0.9875

Clipping Planes: Jep, you adjust in Maya the planes. Outside Far clipping will be pure black and outside near will be pure white. Don't forget to uncheck "auto render clip plane" above the clipping plane values.

Next: Selct your render camera and go to Display -> Rendering -> Camera/Light Manipulator -> Clipping Planes
Now you see in the view port your clipping planes and can easily adjust them (you can also select and move the planes in the view port)


11 November 2008, 09:26 PM
Thanks mickna, that was the exact explanation I was looking for, I don't know why I have such trouble finding straight answers for this stuff like that, as I stated, can be exasperating.

11 November 2008, 09:32 PM
U are welcome ohknats!
Well, sometimes you have to wait a little bit if someone read your questions and knows a solution. You started yesterday and today you know the answer. I think this is really ok for a big forum, isn't it :)


11 November 2008, 02:42 PM
I have been looking at tutorials for how to get a zdepth pass into After Effects all week. This has been the only explanation that has made sense and worked. Thanks a lot mickna.

11 November 2008, 04:08 PM
It was a pleasure ;)

11 November 2008, 05:28 PM
I forgot:

I recognized that if I render with MR and set image format to "rla" Mental Ray write a separate image "imagename_depth.rla". It seams that MR will not include the depth channel into the image and separate it.

HOWEVER, I have waste a lot of time to figure out what's wrong with this depth image, because I didn't get any depth information at all.
To make it short: This isn't a rla-file - it's an iff-file! rename it to "imagename_depth.iff" and you can access the depth channel.

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11 November 2008, 05:28 PM
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