Compositing Cycles Render Passes in Blender

Learn how to composite Cycles render passes in Blender for utmost control of your scene.

In this tutorial we will look at how to use the individual render passes for Cycles to manually composite our render together. The render passes represent each of the components that make up the final image, including diffuse color, diffuse bounce lighting, glossy reflection, etc. By using the render passes to composite the render together we gain utmost control over each aspect of our image, allowing us to modify or fix areas in composting that otherwise would require a new render.

Using a product render as an example, you will learn how to properly composite each of the render passes together from Cycles to get the final image. You will learn how to reduce noise on the individual passes that cause the noise, how to use the UV pass to replace textures in compositing, and you will learn how to remove fireflies from the render.

Compositing in Blender

To learn more about compositing and how you can use it to gain absolute control of your renders, check out Bartek’s Blender training series.

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84 Responses to “Compositing Cycles Render Passes in Blender”
  1. Posts: 12
    Andreu Cabre says:

    This is simply one of the most useful Blender tutorials out there. I tried your technique for switching textures during compositing, but it’s giving me a blurry version of the alternate texture after going through the steps in your tut. Any idea what could be causing this? Thanks!!!

  2. Posts: 15

    Very powerfull tutorial
    i will use it for daily job but i still have to learn lots of things :
    i have made some tests to manage multiple rgba textures on cosmetic tube and a box, to have some liberty to change the different print process :

  3. Posts: 1

    Wow, amazing amount of information here. Just when I think I’m getting my mind around blender, someone comes and blows it again.

  4. Posts: 11
    Kevin Fraser says:

    Bartek you open up the hood of Blender compositing (not to mention a supercharged application for OpenEXR workflow) and give a master class. This tutorial shows the most powerful workflow I have ever seen on Blender: because it saves TIME and METRIC TONNES of it–and nobody will ever know you didn’t re-render from scratch! You are an amazing engineer and a brilliant diagnostician and instructor.


    • Posts: 10
      timothyj says:

      Couldn’t agree more! Top training. Really looking forward to checking out the extended training series by Bartek.

      • Posts: 4176

        It’s really worth it! Bartek has an immense amount of knowledge that really helps push your compositing ability and understanding further.

  5. Posts: 8

    These tutorials are amazing!

    It really gives a very full understanding of the node editor (and also a bit of understanding about rendering engines in general).

    Thank you very much!

  6. Posts: 50
    Eugen Fetsch says:

    That’s the best Compositor tutorial I’ve ever seen. Watched through it without blinking :) Thank you!!!

  7. Posts: 7
    terrorsmurfy says:

    Truly a great Tutorial. But i´m a newbie and this kind of compositing is brain-shredding…

  8. Posts: 4
    Ed Baker says:

    Really Fantastic Bartek!!

    I tried watching this one a few months ago, and while my mind was blown, I had not yet learned enough to fully understand what was going on. I’ve since started doing product viz and this is going to be SO Helpful with revisions.

    Render once with infinite revisions!!! (Don’t tell my clients) :)

  9. Posts: 1
    anilu221 says:

    How can I export what I got on my viewer node to a video file? or an image sequence?

    • Posts: 2022

      Add a “composite” node and plug in the same input from the viewer node into the composite. Now when you set your render output settings in the properties panel, Blender will render the result of the composite node. In the output settings is where you set it as image sequence or movie file.

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