Cinema 4D Quick Tip 05: Using The Matte Object When Forgetting to Render an Object Buffer

Matte Object

In this Cinema 4D quick tip, I’ll be going over the Matte Object.  This feature is crucial for when you realize you accidentally forgot to set an Object Buffer in your scene after you rendered everything.  We’ve all been there, right?  I’ll show you why using the Matte Object beats the other mainstream way of “faking” an object buffer with creating materials with black and white luminance channels and, of course, why it’s not smart at all resorting to re-rendering the entire animation just because you forgot to set an Object Buffer.

Tutorial:

UPDATE:

My buddy AJ Haines just released a nice plug-in that lets you do exactly what I go over in this tutorial with a single click of a button. Check it out along with his other Cinema 4D resources on his website!

Download AJ’s C4D Plug-in “Quick Matte”

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14 thoughts on “Cinema 4D Quick Tip 05: Using The Matte Object When Forgetting to Render an Object Buffer

  1. Is it really necessary to copy the compositing tag to the children? Normally it should should work for the complete hierarchy below the tagged object.

    1. Hi Simon,
      I thought the same but it is neccessary, if you have other comp tags already applied to objects in the hierarchy, the matte object setting doesn’t apply to those objects, I’ve found.

  2. Then you could right-click on the compositing tag on top of the hierarchy > select identical child tags. then it’s possible to set the matte settings for all of the existing tags below without changing the other settings of the existing tags.

    1. Ah, yes that would work great! Didn’t think about that option. Either way you’re doing this in a copy of your main project, so going crazy with comp tags and adding them everywhere isn’t a big deal since you’re not going to save those changes to your main comp but that’s a good alternative! Thanks for sharing that!

  3. I’m not sure I see what the advantage is? If I need another object buffer, I turn off all the materials with a single click of the xsTextureSwitch plugin, turn off all effects and render the scene again with the object buffer applied. Throw away the new RGB pass that was generated.

    Hope Maxon makes it so we can render a object pass only in the future. That would save a lot of unnecessary steps.

    1. Oh nice, I didn’t know about the xsTextureSwitch plug-in, but that sounds pretty handy!

      But I think even going that route you have to turn off a lot of things, you forgot to mention that you’d also need to turn off all the lights in the scene because although there are no shadows, there is still illumination and that takes render time.
      At the end of the day, adding the matte objects is going to be, hands down, the quickest way to render out a matte for your project because you’re just rendering out the flat black and white color mattes, no need to calculate anything else like illumination, diffusion, etc. But, if you’re not in a huge time crunch and can do that in your original scene, go for it! But I’ve found that, especially for more complex and long scenes, this is the fastest way to go.

      1. I guess it’s a matter of preference. I would rather apply one tag to my object of interest instead of applying a tag to everything in the scene. I assume that you have to turn off all lights and effects using the matte object as well? I would be interested to see your thoughts after giving the xsTextureSwitch a try. I just open a copy of my scene. Turn off all textures with the plugin, turn off the lights (many times I parent all my lights in a null, that way I can turn them all off at the same time with the built in switches), uncheck any effects like GI and AO, apply a compositing tag to my object of interest, and render. Just a few minutes.

        I do appreciate you taking the time to show how the matte object works. I have never really figured out how to use it for my workflow. It’s always nice to have more options to accomplish something. Thanks again.

      2. I guess it’s a matter of preference. I would rather apply one tag to my object of interest instead of applying a tag to everything in the scene. I assume that you have to turn off all lights and effects using the matte object as well? I would be interested to see your thoughts after giving the xsTextureSwitch a try. I just open a copy of my scene. Turn off all textures with the plugin, turn off the lights (many times I parent all my lights in a null, that way I can turn them all off at the same time with the built in switches), un-check any effects like GI and AO, apply a compositing tag to my object of interest, and render. Just a few minutes.

        I do appreciate you taking the time to show how the matte object works. I have never really figured out how to use it for my workflow. It’s always nice to have more options to accomplish something. Thanks again.

        1. Definitely will have to check out that plug-in you mentioned! So thanks for making me aware of that!
          To answer your question about having to turn off lights and effects when using Matte Object workflow, you’d dont have to mess with any of those things. It’s just a different way to skin the cat! 🙂
          Thanks for watching!

  4. I do that all the time, You’d think I’d learn. Why not just rerender the object buffer pass and only that pass. Which is what I do. It’s really fast if it doesn’t have to render any other layers.

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