I am working on this tutorial but I am stuck on creating mask to the sphere or something. I have the main sphere (planet) in layer 1 and have created an atmosphere in the layer 3. Now this tutorial says :

Now to give the Atmosphere in the separate layer a mask you duplicate the 1st Sphere (Surface Sphere) again and move it to the same layer as the atmosphere, now give the mask a Diffuse Shader and set the color to Black.

Even if I decide to skip this part, I am unable to start compositing. I have rendered planet on slot 1 and the atmosphere in slot 2. I can't get these two renders on the same node setup. They always duplicate each other. This is my blender window: This is how I am stuck

Also can you please try looking at the node setup from the tutorial page. and explain a few things. Image 2

This image is on photobucket so I cant see a high res image. You all must be experienced to guess a few things. Both of my render layers nodes are of same size but here, the first layer(planet) seems to have more options on its nodes. There are even 2 outputs from that layer.

1) How to get such node?

2) Can you guess the 2 look alike nodes next to the blur nodes?

3) And what is the second last node?


1 Answer 1


I guess you are confusing some concepts here. You CANNOT combine the results you "save" in different render slots in the composite. (Unless you save them to a file and import them later on. But that's not what you want to do here.) These Slots are mostly for comparing versions/settings of your render.

What you want to do, however, is add another render layer. (look at the right in your screenshot.) Use the [+]-Button to add a new render layer. You need separate layers for the planet and the atmosphere.

You should have something like this:



In this example, the first layer contains the Planet and the second contains the Atmosphere.

If you render this, that's what you'll see in the compositor:


THEN you can combine the results in Compositing.

HERE you can read more on render layers in Blender.

Hope this helps!

EDIT (answering the additional part of your question)


To get more outputs from the first node, you need to select more render Passes for the render Layer, like so:


Here I selected all of them, just to show you. However, to get the node, as seen in the Screenshot, just select "Emission".

The rest seems to be unnecessary. But I selected them as well, just to show you. (Note: Z = Depth in the current version of Blender)



Those are Glare Nodes, set to "Fog Glow":

Glare Node

2a) The Add Nodes are NOT math nodes! - These are Color Mix nodes. Get them here:

Color Mix

You can click on the top right icon of the node to toggle the preview.

3) This node is a Lens Distortion

Find it here:

Lens Distortion

  • $\begingroup$ For you, this would be layers 1 and 3, of course. $\endgroup$
    – michaelh
    Dec 26, 2017 at 14:56
  • $\begingroup$ The confusion seems to exist because when I hover mouse over those multiple 'layers' at the bottom of the 3d view, these are called layers. But when I click to change them, the 'scenes' get changed in the right side panel of the screen. But that panel is again called render-'layers'. $\endgroup$
    – Bits168
    Dec 28, 2017 at 17:03
  • $\begingroup$ I understand the confusion. However, those LAYERS (not scenes) under Layer -> Scene are exactly the same as those buttons below your 3D View. Keep ALL of those activated, that have elements you want to render, regardless of what you want to render for a specific RENDER-Layer (In the List). Anyways, did my answer help to solve your problem? $\endgroup$
    – michaelh
    Dec 28, 2017 at 17:41
  • $\begingroup$ yes it did help to a really great extent. Thank you for your efforts. Sorry to bother you but, I just edited the question. Can you tell me the second last node on the new image i added. And my final composite node shows a black and white (grey-scale actually) image. And why my math-> add node doesn't preview result as in the tutorial image and doesn't have fac? And also his node inputs images while mine inputs values. $\endgroup$
    – Bits168
    Dec 28, 2017 at 17:50
  • $\begingroup$ Great! See the changes to my answer for your remaining questions! $\endgroup$
    – michaelh
    Dec 28, 2017 at 18:21

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