QUESTIONS- Pulling hair out learning view layers, general passes questions

I’m originally a a Modo user. Switched over for 2.8.

Anyone reading this. Please forgive my ignorance, I’m. Still SUPER new to blender.

  1. I have many View layers in my scene. When I render each layer using the single render option, it keeps adding all my saved.exr layer to every saved animation file.

I hope that makes sense. If I render my layers passes, save the open exr layer. Restart blender, I can render my second charters layer passes, save a new open exr layer and it won’t include the first characters passes in the exr file. So what I’m trying to say is. When I render, I want each layer to be it’s own exr layer file. Instead the more I render passes, it keeps saving all the passes into larger and larger files…I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.

  1. How do I adjust AO settings in my passes? In Modo I could render region and view any pass. In blender, I just know of ticking on the AO check box.

  2. Can I use the render region in the viewport to view AO, shadow, reflection etc etc passes? Modo does this, I’m assuming there is a way to view my passes.

  3. Can I assign a material to view layer? Say I want a fresnel pass on everything in the scene.

  4. Are our only ‘passes’ options, what we can check on and off? I only know about the diffuse, reflection, trans, ao, shadow options. What if I wanted a gradient pass, or something I create as a material? Sorry, coming from Modo, I could create a pass and assign it to pretty much any type of pass easily. I hope I’m just missing something about blender.

  5. If I create collections, assign them to view layers, set it all up, then decide later I need more collections, I have to go back to my previous view layers and update them because of my new collections. Is there anyway to avoid this?. I feel like I’m doing something wrong by not seeing into the future and what I might need in my passes.

I really appreciate anyone who reads this and could share information to someone new and learning blender still…

Instead of trying to put the layers “into separate OpenEXR files,” the MultiLayer OpenEXR file format will put all of the info into one file. You can select what information you want to capture, and all of it will be there.