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  1. #1

    Rendering HDRI background and image seperately

    For a simple test scene, I am using an HDRI image both as background as well as lighting.

    I want to be able to change my 3-D objects independently from the background in the compositor.

    The usual way to do that would be to render out the objects on a transparent background and alpha-over them to the background image.

    My problem now is: I can set "transparent" only for the whole render... not for different render layers. So if I render my objects on "transparent", my HDRI will never be rendered.

    Right now, I circumvented the problem by rendering out the background seperately, save it as an image-file and use this as the compositor background. But that isn't an optimal solution.

    Is there a way to solve this problem Did I - again - miss something obvious?

  2. #2
    What you're looking for is in the 'Passes' section of the render layers tab. You want to check the Environment pass:

    Name:  EnvironmentPass.PNG
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    This will add an Environment element to your rendered image that you can use in the compositor to add back in your background. A bit more info on what it does is contained in the blender docs section on passes.

  3. #3
    And again I learned something new! Thank you very much!

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