So, I'll try to make it as clear as possible but I just started working with OpenEXR MultiLayer Output and I might miss some important info. Important to know I render with Cycles.

I'm working with an interior scene that has Depth, AO, and Noisy Image passes. I started rendering with a render farm (GarageFarm) to avoid long rendering times. They told me that to keep the passes, I should set the Output as OpenEXR MultiLayer render output settings.

I did as they told me to and got a .exr file that has all the different passes as I wanted to. I open this file using F11 to open rendered image, I go to image, open, and double click on the .exr file. After doing this I can choose between the different passes and they all look as they should. The problem is that when I want to save one image (clicking image, save as) the program simply does nothing. I can't save the different passes as .png as I would want to.

I don't use the compositor because I find it really confusing, I prefer getting all my passes as png and simply post-process them with Photoshop, so if I could avoid using the compositor for this I would be happy as a cow!

Important info: I don't open the .exr file directly on Photoshop because I like to do the color management in Blender first.

I hope I made myself clear, but if I'm missing something or you need more info/screenshots/whatever, please let me know!

Have a great weekend!

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    $\begingroup$ You cannot composite passes saved as 8 or 16 bit PNG files in Photoshop because that format will be missing part of the data. Passes need to be composited while in 32 bits format and without any color transforms. So even if solving the problem described in your question was possible specifically avoiding using the tool designed for it, this would not help you at all. You need to do compositing in 32 bits and before color management. Photoshop is not a very good tool for this purpose. I suggest learning to use the Compositor in Blender. $\endgroup$ Jun 12, 2021 at 11:00
  • $\begingroup$ The capacitor isn’t as scary as it looks. Trust me. I used to be terrified of the shader editor back at 2.78 and hid in Blender Internal, but nodes are actually very intuitive once you know how they work. Just one thing piping into the next. It’s like hooking machines together with hoses. You just need to make sure you’re piping compatible types. Color will automatically convert to a grayscale value if you pipe a Color output into a Value socket. $\endgroup$
    – TheLabCat
    Jun 12, 2021 at 12:24
  • $\begingroup$ Why do you say Photoshop is not a good tool for this? $\endgroup$ Jun 12, 2021 at 12:24
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    $\begingroup$ @ZargulTheWizard Thanks for your answer. I know that it's time for me to learn how to use the compositor... I've been putting it off since I already know how to do most of the things I need directly in Photoshop using layers... $\endgroup$
    – mresala
    Jun 12, 2021 at 14:57
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    $\begingroup$ Photoshop is designed to work with 8bit @AlexandreMarcati They are still in the 90's. $\endgroup$
    – brockmann
    Jun 12, 2021 at 17:59

1 Answer 1


Ok, so I found a way to save the passes as I wanted. I opened the .exr image in the compositor by adding an Image node, then with node viewer active I opened the Image Editor with F11 and searched for "node viewer" image. I only had to switch between the passes in the compositor instead of doing it directly in the Image Editor. I'm not sure is the correct way to do it but worked fine for me! Thanks again to everyone for your help!

  • $\begingroup$ This is a really bad idea. If you save passes in 16 or 8 bit formats with color transforms applied the compositing will be wrong. If you want to do compositing in Photoshop, use EXR IO plugin(free - exr-io.com) and do it the way it is done - use the multilayer EXR image in Photoshop. $\endgroup$ Jun 12, 2021 at 19:38
  • $\begingroup$ @MartynasŽiemys Thanks again for your help. I really don't know much about 16 or 32bit images, but for what I need it works perfectly fine. In the end, I get to edit the image in photoshop as I need and I'm pretty happy with the result. I'll do, however, some research regarding the 16-32bit thing to understand better. Thanks again! $\endgroup$
    – mresala
    Jun 14, 2021 at 10:47

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