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Maya® Studio Projects Texturing and Lighting by Lee Lanier

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The Render Layer Editor

When a shot is animated in a 3D program on a professional production, it is rarely rendered out as is. Instead, the shot is divided into layers and/or render passes. Dividing a shot into layers enables key elements—including characters, backgrounds, shadows, effects, and props—to be rendered separately. By dividing the shot into layers, you gain efficiency. Not only do the separate layers generally render faster than the complete shot, but revising the shot becomes easier because a specific layer can be re-rendered without affecting the other layers.

Render passes take the shot division further by breaking down each object into specific shading components, light contributions, or compositing encoders. Color, diffuse, ambient, ...

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