Problem with rendering scene in layers

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Old 09 September 2012   #1
Problem with rendering scene in layers

I was wondering if there was a way to render a scene in layers in Maya, without having to separate the different passes without rendering out the scene in different Maya files. I have a city scene where I would like to render out the background HDRI image, the buildings, the street, the tank, and the light pole that's in front of the tank, closest to the camera.

I thought this would be as simple as using the render layers option, but whenever I click on the make new layer button, the Master layer dissapears, and turns into Layer1. Then when I go to make another layer, that layer turns into layer 2. Each layer erases itself. is it a plug in thats not loaded or something? I cant figute out the reason that this wont work. I would like to render out the scene, similar to this

I am using Vray.

Last edited by Bigwil357 : 09 September 2012 at 07:05 AM.
Old 09 September 2012   #2
hmm that is strange.

have you tried a simple scene with some spheres and choosing each sphere and selecting create new Render layer with selected object?
VIMEO / reel
Old 10 October 2012   #3
Thanks for your reply. The odd thing is, that it works on other computers, but it dosent work with that particular scene, on that particular machine. Im not sure what going on.

But anywho...I guess my main question is, if your rendering specific objects, in a cetian layer, and that object has objects behind it, and some in front of it...Do you just render that object out by itself with the lighting, and thats it?

If that object cast shadows, on another piece of geometry, that you DONT want in that layer, how do you get the shadows? I guess the same question goes for receiving shadows too.

Is there a certain material, that you place on the objects, that you dont want rendered?
Old 10 October 2012   #4
there are a few ways of doing this.

You may select those objects, and create 3 layers.

the objects you want to hide, they can have a surface shader with a black color.

Try that

like I said there are other ways of doing it, this in my opinion is the simplest.
(alpha is probably going to be an issue ^.^)
VIMEO / reel
Old 10 October 2012   #5
thanks again for your reply. I think a picture will help me explain what I want to do better.
Lets say that I want to render the red sphere separately, because it has a small animation on it. I know that the sphere, and the dome light will be in that render layer. The question I have is

How do I get the shadows to cast on the cround, and the other objects in the scene?

Since the bluish cylinder, and the purple roof, are casting shadows on the sphere, how do I get the shadows on the sphere?

since the sphere is in front of the green block, and the ground plane, how do I make those pieces of geometry transparent?

How would I do all of this, if everything but the red sphere, had already been rendered out, and I want to add the sphere in later? do I just render out the scene, in layers. Background, green block, red sphere, bluish cylinder, etc.....

*I know that this is basic stuff, but Ive had no luck finding anything on ONLY how to render in layers.
Old 10 October 2012   #6
I guess an easier question to ask would be, what shader do i put on the geometry i dont want to render, but I want the shadow information, from the object, that I do want to render?
Old 10 October 2012   #7
Use the Use Background Shader for the ones you want shadows but not visible on the render layer
VIMEO / reel
Old 10 October 2012   #8
If you are using mental ray, then i suggest you use mip_matteshadow as it offers multiple options. however its not too accurate on low glossy objects.
Old 10 October 2012   #9
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