Need help to Minimize GPu memory needed by using render layers

HI I’m currently trying to do some test renders of animation and have maxed out the 2G ram on my GTX 770. My PC is an I7-3770k OC’ed to 4.5 Ghz with 16 G ram.

The current scene has 1.26 million verts. I only have one particle system currently for a characters hair. I have 3 buildings in the scene that are very simple but are using glossy shader for the glass. I’m also using an image texture for the environment in the render as well.

Anyway when I render a test run on cpu each frame is just over 2G.

I found a tutorial about using render layers and I think that I can move several of the object to different Scene layers and then put it back together in the compositor or the VSE But, I’m still not sure how to get it all to turn out correctly with reflections, shadows, reflection etc from the objects that are in different layers.

Does anyone have a resource that goes into this in depth?

Thanks in advance!

Using render layers will automatically add in all of the correct shadows and reflections, you just need to make sure to mask the layers that have objects over the objects on the current layer.

Thanks Tardis Maker, I understand that. my problem is trying to minimize the memory required to render.

Currently if I have my basic landscape and low poly buildings on layer one. a car on layer 2 and the character on layer 3.

I set the visible layers to 1,2 and 3 and the render layers to layer 1 and render. This does not save any memory as it requires all the mesh, material and particle information.

By experimenting I have found that if I disable the hair particle systems on my character it will decrease the memory requirement for the render.

I am still working on the scene and there is a lot more that needs to be added. More characters (without particle hair) in the distance and more simple mesh cars and trucks etc in the background.

So I am a long ways from solving my problem completely.

The only thing I can come up with is to make low poly versions of everything that is not in the background scene to cast shadow and bounce light etc

I guess I need a better understanding of the various render options and how to composite them back. I will look further into that to see if any better ideas come up.