Render layer location

Started by andy.engelkemier, January 14, 2019, 11:48:06 AM

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Someone else sent an animation off and didn't realize that a completely transparent object, I guess, doesn't get included in a clown pass? Interesting.
Well, so I thought the fastest way to queue that to render would be render layers. I rarely use these because, well, they aren't very friendly. Where are they? There's no menu. It seems once you create them, your'e stuck with them, and it's render all or nothing.

Which is one thing that I'm curious about. Can you render JUST the render layers? I don't want the full render at all. But since I'm just after a mask, and my object is just plain white as an emissive material white at a level of 1, I just had it render 4 samples each. Not sure how anti aliasing works if you go Too low. In previous years, clown masks do Not look good if quality is too low. Not sure what the passes use for quality.

So that brings me to location. If you actually Can't avoid rendering the full render, can I change the location of the passes and layers? Keyshot likes to dump them all in one folder. But that makes it Very difficult to split out.  Like, I'll delete the full renders since they'd just be wasting hard drive space. It's garbage. I have the full render, and that one is fine. I just need  a mask of one object.

Ideally, I'd just manually make a mask, but that involves creating a flat black material and applying it to everything. Then applying a flat white emissive to my object. Then make sure the lighting isn't contributing anything, GI is off, etc.
And then I still have some work in post to actually create the mask. I mean, that's Simple as all get out, but it takes up some processing power. So if I can just save a transparent image of what I need, it saves me more time in the long run.

So that's the entirety of my situation. Any thoughts?
I never use Render Layers because I'm usually setting up animations WHILE finishing up the model. So it gets updated a few times. That basically throws model sets, render layers, etc out the window because they aren't accessible to updates.

I wish render layers had a file tree of some sort so you could see the layer, see what's on it, and copy/move things around. Then say exactly which ones render also, avoiding the full render. I should only have to render what I want.