Composite Node Z Input

Maybe i’m getting this wrong.

But what is the Z input for if it doesn’t change the output of the Z Pass at all?

No matter what i do with it…

It’s data for defocus and vector blur nodes. Normalized version is used in other compositing softwares and can also be used as a mask to compose atmospheric elements, very similar to a Mist Pass. Yet you will get better results using camera depth of field at cost of higher render time.

Obs: There are more advanced compositing techniques using z-depth.

Defocus node:

Nuke defocus node:

Camera depth of field:

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thank you for that in depth(!) explanation, but i was actually just wondering about the Z input of the composite node which does not change the output of the z pass even if you connect a black RGB node or something else…