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How to fix an issue where luminance depth layer is rendering out white through stereo camera rig
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Dan LeFebvre

Guest Tutor

Dan LeFebvre
Hi. My name is Dan and I'm one of the DT evangelists here at Digital Tutors. In this video, we're going to look at a question from one of our users, [INAUDIBLE] Training, on an issue where a luminous depth render layer is rendering out all white through a stereo camera rig. So here, I have a simple scene set up, and I actually have a stereo camera, so this is what it looks like from my left side, and this is what it looks like from the right side of the stereo camera. So let's go ahead and add in a luminous depth render layer. So I'm just going to come to my Render Layers here, right click, and copy the layer. Make sure that everything's on there. I'll call this my depth render layer. And with this render layer selected, we can go to Layers, Attributes, and then in the Presets button, let's just add the Luminance Depth preset. So let's open up our Render View again and let's try rendering out with this new luminous depth preset that we've applied to this render layer. So I'll go to Render, Render, and let's render, say, from the left side. As we can see, it's coming out completely white. If we render from the right side, we can see we're getting the same result where it's rendering out completely white. Well, let's try rendering this from our perspective camera so that way, we can test to see if it's really something to do with our stereo camera rig or if it has something to do with the luminous depth preset. So we can come into Render and just render from our perspective camera, and as we can see, we're getting the same completely white result. So it's not really an issue with the stereo rig as much as it is an issue with the luminous depth render layer that's generating an all white render. So let's take a look at the shading network that gets set up with this preset. So I'll hop over to my Hypershade here, and let's refresh our Hypershade so we can see the surface shader. Go ahead and open up the input and output connections for that. Now basically, the way this is set up is it's going to use this sampler info node. If we open up the Attribute Editor, it's going to have this near and far clip plane value that's going to be fed into the set range in order to determine the depth pass itself. So what we can do is actually come into the old min and old max values here. If we right click, we can see this is where they're being fed into. We can actually break these connections and then input values manually. Now, it's important to keep in mind when we're adjusting these values that, as with the near and far clipping planes for your camera, the values that you enter are going to be highly dependent on your scene size, so you may need to play around with the proper values for your scene. But in this particular case, I have a relatively small scene. If I check my perspective camera, we can see our near and far clip plane here, so let's go ahead and enter in something similar to that, maybe something like 0.1 and 100. And we can see with our perspective camera, we're getting a much better result, so we're seeing our nice depth information in this render. So let's try rendering this out from our stereo cameras in order to just make sure that it's going to work in there. So come to Render, Stereo Camera Rig, and render from the left. We can see that's what it will look like. And if we render from the right hand side, we can see that that's the result we're going to get. So now when we come into our Render Settings and render out our stereo pair, we're going to get our master layer, which is the beauty, as well as the depth render layer that we just created for both our left and right cameras that we can then composite back together. Now, if you want to learn some techniques for compositing stereo images, I'd recommend checking out the Compositing Stereoscopic Images in Toxik course.
Each video in this course is a self-contained lesson focused on answering questions that Digital-Tutors customers have had as they learn rendering in Maya.