What the heck are AOVs?


Can someone please explain to me in the simplest terms possible, what an AOV is how/if AOV differs from render passes/exr layers?

Sorry if this is a stupid question.


From my understanding they are exactly the same thing.

Sometimes people refer to AOVs when they are actually talking about utility passes though (Like normal pass, UV pass, etc.)


this might help…

renderman does split AOVS and LPES

also in arnold the called AOVs

vray does call them renderelements

in redshift they are calles AOVs or render channels
http://docs.redshift3d.com/Default.html#I/AOVs aka Render Channels.html

iray light path expressions…


They get referred to as AOVs (Arbitrary Output Variable) or Secondaries rather than layers or passes quite often - but it depends where you work. You’d use Primary to describe the main RGB output of the render.

Layers/Passes are used to break the different objects in your scene into different renders.

For myself, utility passes as a type of pass which only contains “data” AOVs (normals, positions, deeps, etc) and doesn’t contain any lighting or shading info.

Beauty pass would be used to describe a pass which has lighting and shading info in it.


Very solid response.