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In movies and commercials, we often need to composite the CG objects over a live action plate. To convince the audience that the CG objects are real and belong to the scene, we need to use a holdout object to collect the CG objects' shadow and reflection that match very closely to the shadow and reflection in the live action plate.

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Holdouts are an integrator feature implemented at the integrator level. Available integrator that support holdouts are: PxrPathTracer, PxrVCM, and PxrUPBP.

// The same holdout render featuring caustics and thin shadows

Because holdouts are considered an intrinsic geometric property when calculating illumination, LPE workflow remain unchanged for holdout geometry.

// A render of a beauty, diffuse, specular AOV

Lights

By default, light sources do not illuminate holdout objects directly. This prevents double contribution between 3d lights used to illuminate non-holdout geometry and the illumination already captured on the plate image.

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Compositing can be previewed in RenderMan by using PxrImagePlaneFilter SampleFilter plug-in. This will composite the beauty render over the specified image plane, using the alpha channel and holdout shadow AOV to mask the plate.

Additional Considerations

Because holdouts workflow involves multiple AOVs, rendering with adapt all enabled can reduce noise.