Getting Started with Cinema 4D, Part 20: Introduction to Multipass Rendering

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In this video, you will get a brief overview of what multipass rendering is and why it is important for maximum flexibility when editing in post production software.

In this video, you will get a brief overview of what multipass rendering is, how to set it up for your specific scene, and why it is important for maximum flexibility when editing in post production software.

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The main goal with rendering in Cinema 4D is setting up your render with the maximum amount of flexibility so you only need to render once. In this video, I'm going to show you how you can use the Cinema 4D Multipass system that allows you to render out things like reflection passes, shadow passes, ambient occlusion, as separate passes for full compositing flexibility in apps like Photoshop or After Effects. So the main goal here is to render out each individual pass that makes up our rendered image to be able to adjust them, say like the opacity or the amount of reflection of that reflection pass in either Photoshop or After Effects. Let's go ahead and setup our Multipass render. So here is that Multipass setting that I skipped over in the last video. If we check this on, it will then be utilizing the Multipass workflow. But we first needed to find the passes that we want to render out separately in addition to our main rendered image. And here is where we go to the Multipass button and choose which passes we want to render out. So what I'd like to do is just choose Add Image Layers. And what this will do is add all of the most common Multipass layers that you typically render out. Now, for the current render in scene I'm using, we have a few items here that we're actually not using in our scene. So things like Post Effects, Atmosphere, Caustics, and Global Illumination are all settings we do not need, so I'll just select them and delete. But things like Ambient Occlusion, I do have on my scene, refraction and reflection, remember because we have our glass bowl, so we have both refraction and reflection. We have lights in our scene casting shadows. We actually don't have any specular so we can delete that. Defuse is basically your color channels of your materials. And ambient is any ambient lighting in your scene. So the one thing to note about ambient occlusion is that you need to uncheck this Apply to Project for it to render out as a separate pass and not be baked in to your main image render, okay? So one important setting there. Another thing to note is that if you have items like depth of field or movement, and you want to render out a motion vector pass to add motion blur in After Effects, you'll want to enable the Depth, as well as the Motion Vector. So those are the most important passes. And let's just quickly set up our depth in our camera settings. So I'll just go and choose depth of field front blur and back blur, and just adjust these little handle bars here. And now let's test out and see what this render looks like. So I have my multipass settings setup. Let me just copy and paste that file render path from my regular image, which is my main beauty pass and my Multipass images. And we'll just save them to desktop. Again, we can change what format we want. I'll just change this to PNG as well. And let's go in Render to Picture Viewer. I'll just save over this other file. And what you're going to notice is that we have our main Beauty pass here showing up in our picture viewer. And let me just make this fairly large. And you currently can't see any of these render passes. Now, to see the render passes, we need to go into this layer tab and choose Single-Pass. And then what I can do then is click on each of these individual passes to see what they look like. So here's our ambient occlusion pass. You can see we have the little bit of ambient occlusion shading right down here. Here, we have the reflection pass, so nice reflections. And this is great to have all of these individual passes. There's our shadow pass, our diffuse, there's our motion. Since we don't have a lot of motion, there's not going to be any kind of motion vectors in here. And here's our depth, it's represented as a black and white gradient. But the great part about having all of these items in separate passes is that we can control the level of, say, reflection on our objects in After Effects or Photoshop. So for an example, I can go into my Multipass setting here and choose my reflection, and just bring down the overall strength of my reflection level. And again, this is where that full flexibility comes in where, say a client's like, "You know what? I love this mage. But let's just pull back on the reflection just a little bit." Say we're in Photoshop and we have this as a layer, we can just bring down the opacity of that reflection layer to a certain amount without having to re-render out of Cinema 4D. And that's the main point is you want to check twice, render once, because the Multipass system allows for that flexibility to be able to render out one side of Cinema 4D and have full control of the amounts of effects as layers inside of a compositing app like Photoshop or After Effects.
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