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I am new to the Blender community. Recently, I'm working on a school animation project which I created some animations and applied volumetric scatter in the scene to create depth. Unfortunately, due to the limitation of the renderfarm, I had to separate the scene into foreground, mid-ground, and background to reduce the workload of it so it matches the requirement of max 15 minutes per each frame.

The problem is that when I composited 3 layers in AE, layers overlapping each other. It made the mid-ground and background extremely dark because of the first layer of volumetric.

Here is the example scene without any layering:

Orignal from Blender

Here is the layers that I used:

Front Front

Middle Middle

Back Back

Here is the combined image:

Problem

I know this way of layering is wrong so is there any way to do it or maybe in passes?

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    $\begingroup$ Is this your actual scene? If you're working with 15min time limit I'd look into faking the effect using semi-transparent-emissive halo plane per spotlight always facing camera and distance fog effect which would yield you 99.9% of these results in a fraction of time. Probably internal would be even faster and get there as well. If you optimized this you could probably just render it on your machine. $\endgroup$ – kheetor Apr 10 '18 at 15:32
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for the reply Kheetor, It is just a simple example scene that I created for the demonstration. As my original scene has a lot of metal reflections and light bouncing so I just created this quick scene to point out my question. One of the reasons for using volumetric in my scene is that I want to have the soft light effect and "god raised light" effect. $\endgroup$ – Hubert Choi Apr 10 '18 at 16:34
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    $\begingroup$ Well it depends on your actual scene. If you need "physically accurate" you can't really cheat your way out of it with passes. I suggest not using abstract terms like "soft light" or "god this and that" and instead try to understand what is actually being rendered and how you could make it cheaper. With volumetric fog it means light is hitting near-invisible particles in the air. This could be achieved very cheaply with distance fog when it comes to combining the passes. $\endgroup$ – kheetor Apr 10 '18 at 16:46
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your advice Kheetor. I have looked into distance fog and mist pass. It seems like combining mist and lower the density of volumetric reduces the render time for quite a lot. Also, it turned out looking great. Thx again. $\endgroup$ – Hubert Choi Apr 11 '18 at 14:16

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