What is the fastest way to export the files of multiple passes into a folder for the appropriate pass in Cycles?

Is there any way to automate this process?

For example, if you wanted to render: Diffuse color, AO, Shadow, and Z Then place them into a folder, let's call it 'Renders', with a subfolder with the pass (Renders would contain 'AO' folder (AO pass within it), etc.)


1 Answer 1


The File Output Node is exactly what you are looking for.
Unfortunately the documentation does not mention how to get it to output to different subfolders, but thanks to sambler you can have each file go into its own folder.

The settings for the File output node are in the properties region, press N to open it. Such things as file format, compression, the input's name and adding inputs are all only accessible there.
To add outputs to the file output node click on the large "Add Input" button.

Now you will have to add a slash (forward or back slash, does not matter on windows) at the end of the name of the input, like in the image below. For example, to have all your AO passes go in am AO folder you would name the input "AO\", or "AO/" (I use the backslash for consistency in windows file paths).
File Output Node settings

Or you could use a separate file output node for each folder you want to create. I have not noticed any difference in performance.

During the compositing stage blender will automatically save all the files specified in the file output nodes.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Actually if you add a / in the subpath name you can get subfolders for each input socket in one file node. $\endgroup$
    – sambler
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 10:59
  • $\begingroup$ @sambler thank you very much. I tried different combinations with slashes but could not get it to work. (I knew there had to be a way to do that.) Will edit. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 16:39
  • $\begingroup$ Instead of folders with different files for different passes, you can store all of them as separate layers on an OpenEXR multilayer file. All of your information will be kept linear and there will be no distortion on the Z channel information. $\endgroup$
    – user1853
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 18:00

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