I'm rendering with Cycles in the viewport (not with F12) and would like to get that viewport output as an input node into the Compositor.

How can this be done?

  • $\begingroup$ I think the best you can do is take a screenshot and load that in. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Sep 5 '13 at 20:20
  • $\begingroup$ This is not the expected workflow. Why are you not using the standard method of rendering? $\endgroup$ – Aldrik Sep 9 '13 at 19:19

Well there is a way but it really is a cart before the horse thing. If you really need the image you can only get it by a screenshot, which will be limited to an 8 bit depth and the size of your viewport, obviously.

When it is saved you can then use a file node to import it into the node editor. As I said this is a nuts way to do it but it can be done.

Don't do it though use F12.


As far as I know you can't, the viewport rendering is just used as a preview as you develop shaders and lighting.

The way you get the output is from a full (F12) render, then in the compositor:

  1. Shift+A
  2. Input > Render Layers
  • $\begingroup$ That's bad luck, but thank you very much for the quick answers. I guess I'll have to stick with the screenshot advice, for it being much quicker. $\endgroup$ – michael-kiss Sep 6 '13 at 13:50
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    $\begingroup$ @michael-kiss Don't really see how a screenshot could be quicker than a render as long as you render the same number of samples and at lower quality... $\endgroup$ – Ray Mairlot Sep 6 '13 at 14:55

You can't, because the viewport render is only a preview. In fact, you shouldn't rely on the viewport for determining the final output, actually, because it doesn't represent an accurate view of what the final render will be and wasn't meant for that purpose.

  • $\begingroup$ At the moment it is no problem for me to do the compositing with a rough preview. For final production I surely will use F12 Render $\endgroup$ – michael-kiss Sep 6 '13 at 14:04
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    $\begingroup$ @michael-kiss You can render "rough previews" with F12 just as well as with the viewport render. see this question and [this thread on BA](blenderartists.org/forum/archive/index.php/t-256523.html) (it seems BA is currently down, so here is a cached version) $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Sep 9 '13 at 19:08

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