I don't even know how to ask this question and I a noob to blender.

I wanted to create a plasma canon

I created 3 render layers and Added them on top of each other...

For now this looks pretty good

Gun Front Front

Compositing tree tree

But then I tried to look at the gun from the back.... the bullet gets put in top of the gun. Is there any (easy) way to have the layers retain Z order?

Gun view back (bad) back

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Great question! Compositing is an oft-overlooked feature, especially using Cycles. $\endgroup$ – Matt Oct 2 '15 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ When I discovered it. a whole new world opened... (It took me 3 days to find out this feature even existed) I only joined after cycles got implemented, I am still feel like a noob. Maybe you know of a way to get this effect without compositing? I tried but with nodes and materials alone I could not do it. $\endgroup$ – user2888973 Oct 3 '15 at 22:29

Yeah no problem,

On the flame render layers layer settings, under the Layer: blocks, there's a Mask Layer: set of blocks. Just select the corresponding layer for the cannon (so you're applying the cannon as a mask to the flame)

layer setup

Below is an example using a cube and a sphere, the sphere occluding and masking the cube.

mask setup

The Cubes' render layer output

cube masked

  • $\begingroup$ I thank you so much... it works great... I am still in the progress of making the gun and can't post new pictures right now (Read: I screwed it up a bit) I will post them in the next week so, so everyone can see. $\endgroup$ – user2888973 Oct 3 '15 at 22:58
  • $\begingroup$ hey great, I'm glad it worked out. Good luck with the project, look forward to seeing the finished product. $\endgroup$ – Tim Bahrij Oct 4 '15 at 3:16

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