I am trying to get a depth map of my imported model for which I found out this tutorial. So far here is the picture of my work. As you guys can see there is no preview in the backdrop or the nodes of the node editor, I read in a couple of places to render my model to make these preview appear but that didn't work for me too. enter image description here


The updated image to find the depth map using mist. Mist is checked in the camera and render layer settings also.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ There is a preview, apparently the color input into the viewer is completely black. Also, you must have the same input for both viewer and composite nodes or it will render completely different from expected.. $\endgroup$
    – J Sargent
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 11:01
  • $\begingroup$ Try removing the Map Value node, and see what that does. Or connect the z pass directly. Your z pass could be blank, there might not be a large enough scene of objects. $\endgroup$
    – J Sargent
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 11:03
  • $\begingroup$ Hey, thanks for the reply guys, I connected the Rendered layer image to the composite and viewer and it's now showing me my rendered image in the backdrop. But it's not in the greyscale mode. Can you point me in the right direction on how to retrieve the depth map of the image ? $\endgroup$
    – Mj1992
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 11:45
  • $\begingroup$ I think the Z Pass is blank, meaning depth values are not present and it is solid black. Would the Mist pass work for you? $\endgroup$
    – J Sargent
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 11:46
  • $\begingroup$ How to do that , I am a beginner at this, can you point me out to some good tutorial which i can use to make it work ? $\endgroup$
    – Mj1992
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 12:00

1 Answer 1


The Z pass outputs a value, measured in Blender units, from each pixel to the camera: if your object is far more than 1 BlenderUnit, the viewer of this output will be totally white, treating every value bigger than 1.0 as 1.0. I think the best way to use the Z output is inserting a "normalize" node, wich will assign 0.0 to the minimum value and 1.0 to the maximum, scaling all others values accordingly. You can follow the normalize node with a color ramp, to fine tune the new Z signal. In my image the color ramp node is used only as "inverter", so 0.0 value becomes "white" and means minimum distance from the camera, and 1.0 values gets black (maximum distance from the camera). Note that the upper angle of the cube is black.

For a quick udersranding of nodes, use the combination ctrl+shift click on a node to instantly show his output on the viewer.

useful Z output nodes setup


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