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I'm using particles to create letters (on Cycles), but there's a little problem: I have 15 separate letters, that are geometry, every single one have two particle system, so with those I have 30 layers already (I didn't have created every single one for now) plus the light layers and another important objects..

The thing is Blender is only able to keep 20 layers but I'll need at least 40 layers, so I can properly put everything on its place. Maybe I can just open two files and it'll be the solution but still there's the problem that I need to render 15 renders (because after that I'll change the duration of each one in After Effects) and 15 more because I need the render with different textures...

So, it's a big problem now, I may be able to solve it with two separate files, but how do I render more than just one item? I mean, can I make a render queue attached to a layer in Blender? If not, I'll just have to manually modify the 15 particles with different speeds and timing...

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  • $\begingroup$ You don't need two files, just create a new scene within the same file. Click on the Plus sign on the top of the screen to create a new one (i.stack.imgur.com/xuhW3.png). Each scene will have 20 layers. $\endgroup$ – cegaton Dec 30 '14 at 18:48
  • $\begingroup$ related: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/2836/… $\endgroup$ – cegaton Dec 30 '14 at 19:23
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    $\begingroup$ Can you post a blend with 2 letters to see what you're trying to accomplish? It seems to be me there must be a better way to do this than with so many layers. $\endgroup$ – Todd McIntosh Dec 31 '14 at 1:47
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You can put each particle effect in it's own scene, things like lights and materials can be used in every scene to share the same settings. You can either use the VSE or the compositor to bring everything together for the final result.

In the VSE, have the background with each part overlaid (blend set to Alpha Over) You can overlap the timing so that a letter starts before the previous one is finished.

enter image description here

You can use the same output with the compositor, notice the lower image input, it has a frame offset of 10 so the first image sequence is showing frame 11 while the second is on frame 2

enter image description here

For the VSE you can setup each scene and add each scene as a VSE strip, for the compositor you will need to render each scene to file then composite together as we don't have frame offsets when adding scene render layers. While you could have each scene with the same frame ranges I expect a slow down if every scene has to render many blank frames.

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Can you not assign different materials to the different particle systems (Mat 1 and Mat 2) each with a Pass ID, and then assign an Object ID (Letter A, Letter B, etc) to each geometry mesh, and then do one render and separate everything in Compositing? You could then pipe each combination into a File Output node OR you could render to MultiLayer EXR frame files and handle the layer separations in After Effects.

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  • $\begingroup$ If that doesn't work, can you post some more descriptive images of your desired solution? $\endgroup$ – Todd McIntosh Dec 30 '14 at 18:17
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm, to be honest, i don't know how to do that, i have never used Compositing yet :/ so i think there'll be a trouble...but i'll have to learn. $\endgroup$ – beavoru Dec 30 '14 at 18:41
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    $\begingroup$ Well, it shouldn't be that difficult. You can create a mask in the compositor based on the material Pass ID. you can also create a mask based on the Object Index ID. You should be able to combine the material mask and the object mask to get the separation you want into a new mask. Then you can mask out the beaty render with that new mask and output to a file node in the compositor. This would give you framesets for each object and with 2 versions for each material (particle system). If I get a chance I could set up an example blend file later. $\endgroup$ – Todd McIntosh Dec 30 '14 at 21:17

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