This checklist is part of the Post Production in Octane for C4D guide series. Part 1 focuses on the setup and mechanics of the AOV system. Part 2 is a deep dive into the AOVs/Render passes.
A Google Docs version can be found here so you can make a copy of and adjust it for your own projects and workflow.
Note about versions
This guide is written for the 2021 release of Octane. The entire render pass system has been revamped, and the AOV system has been fully implemented in this version. The information about the passes themselves is still valid for older versions of Octane, but anything having to do with AOVs is really only relevant to the 2021 release and newer.
The following settings assume you’re using Linear Workflow. If you’re using an ACES/OCIO workflow or some other color management system, modify this part to suit your needs.
- C4D Render Settings (Ctl-B/Cmd-B) > Set Renderer at top to Octane Renderer
- C4D Render Settings > Octane Renderer options on the left > Main tab, choose Linear sRGB for the Color Space
- Octane Render Settings (Gear icon in Live Viewer) > Camera Imager tab > Imager subtab > Check Natural Response
If you are using the Octane Camera Tag on your cameras and have Enable Camera Imager checked, for each camera:
- Camera Imager tab > Check Neutral Response.
- If you are using the denoiser, make sure it is enabled here too in the spectral AI denoiser section of the Camera Imager tag.
Objects & lights
If you are using Render Layer, or Cryptomatte with Layer ID (rather than breaking it out by material name), make sure every object you want singled out has an Octane Object tag on it. Remember that Layer ID = 1 means it gets lumped in with all other unassigned objects.
- Octane Object Tag > Object Layer > Set Layer ID for each object.
- If you are using Cryptomatte with Material Name (vs. Layer ID), make sure all your materials have unique names.
If you are setting up a stack of lighting passes, make sure to assign different light pass IDs to your various physical lights (not environmental lights or emitters). Any light on Layer ID = 1 is lumped in with Emitters and unassigned lights.
- Octane Light tag > Light settings > Set Light pass ID for each light.
C4D Render Settings (Ctl-B/Cmd-B)
- Uncheck “Save” on the far left unless you want a reference PNG also. Multi pass file management is set up in the Render AOV group tab.
C4D Render Settings > Octane Renderer Options (on the left) > Render AOV Groups Tab
- Check the Enable checkbox at the top
- Put your filename/path for the final saved images in the Render pass file field
- Set Format to EXR/Octane
- Set Depth to either 16 or 32 bit. If unsure, set to 16, render one frame, check to see if any post processing you want to do is clean enough (especially highlight recovery and edges of alpha channels). If not, move to 32 bit.
- Set compression to PIZ - If quality due to compression is too low, set to RLE (much larger file size). If drive space is tight, try DWAA/DWAB (smaller file size, more noticeable compression)
- Save Beauty = on if you want a reference image for the final composite.
- Multilayer file (workflow choice) - Off is more versatile, little less manageable. On is the opposite. If it’s off, choose whether you want each pass in its own folder.
AOVs / Passes
Typically you’ll either want to build a beauty pass stack (break out the scene by material properties) or a lighting pass stack (break out the scene by the various lights). The following are basic checklists for each method. Feel free to mix and match if you are using a hybrid set and need some lights and some material passes.
Information on each pass is here to help decide what you need. Either add passes via the Add render pass button, or if you have several passes, use the Render AOV manager.
Typical Beauty Pass Stack
Only add passes that reference channels used in your materials (i.e. if you have no materials in your scene with Emission, don’t add an emitters pass).
If you are using the denoiser, decide whether you need both the denoised and raw versions of each pass, or just the denoised version.
- Diffuse (either just Diffuse AOV OR Diffuse direct & Diffuse indirect)
- Reflection (either just Reflection AOV OR Reflection direct & Reflection indirect)
- Refraction AOV
- Transmission AOV
- Emitters AOV
- Subsurface Scattering AOV
- Post Processing AOV (if you have bloom/glare)
- Environment AOV (if your HDRI visible in the final render)
- Volume AOVs (if you have volumes in your scene)
- Cryptomatte AOV if you’re using it
- Any other utility passes (filters, z-depth, etc) needed
Typical Lighting Pass Stack
Be sure to make sure you set all your Light IDs properly for your lights (see Objects & Lights section above)
Add one Light AOV, or set of Light direct/Light indirect AOVs for each light you want to break out.
- Set ID for one pass (or dir./indir. set) to Environment for HDRI light contribution if you have an Octane Sky.
- Set ID for one pass (or dir./indir. set) to Sun for Sunlight/Planetary rig contribution if you have an Octane Daylight/Planetary rig.
- Set ID to a numerical value for one pass (or dir./indir. set) for each unique Light ID you assigned to your physical lights (area lights, etc). If you’ve assigned Light ID 2, 3, and 4 to various lights, you’ll need one Light pass (or dir./indir. set) for each of these IDs
- Cryptomatte AOV if you’re using it
- Post Processing AOV if you have bloom/glare
- Any other utility passes needed
- Decide whether you want to break your cryptomatte up by Layer ID or Material (you can actually do both, but it requires two cryptomatte AOVs, one for each).
- For the Object Node/Layer ID system, put an Octane Object Tag on each object you want broken out and set the Layer IDs accordingly.
- For the Material node name system, make sure all your materials have unique names.
- In the Cryptomatte AOV itself, pick a crypto type. Use Object Node (not object node name) if you’re using the LayerID system, or Material node name (not material node) if you’re breaking out objects by material.
- In Octane Settings>Kernels, turn on Alpha Channel
- Decide which Layer ID will be your active Render Layer.
- Add an Octane Object Tag to each object you want to break out and assign them the appropriate Layer IDs
- In the C4D Render Settings, in the Render AOV Group tab, in the Render Layer section, click the Enable checkbox and choose your active Render Layer.
- Set the mode (for more info on this, see the Render Pass Deep Dive Guide.)
- Add Render Layer AOVs if desired for shadows and reflections
Post production app reassembly
- Make sure you have the correct plugin for your post production app (i.e. exr-io.com for Photoshop)
- Make sure the post processing app is set up in the correct bit depth and color space (16-bit/Linear in the example above)
- Nearly all passes need the Linear Dodge (Add) blend mode
- Shadow and AO passes use the Multiply blend mode
- Put a solid black layer at the very bottom of the stack if all the passes are set to Linear Dodge (Add) or Multiply