Z Combine in Photoshop ?

Hi I recently rendered an interior scene where I split the scene into many overlapping layers. I understand that these layers can be properly recombined using the Z combine node in the compositor. I was wondering, is there a way to do the same thing in Photoshop ? or do I have to depend on the z combine node to get the desired result.
thanks !

In theory you can, but it will be a lot more tedious. If you get your z passes into photoshop, you have to create masks based on them, then use these masks for different layers. To create a mask, subtract one z channel from another and clamp all values below 0. This gives you area where one z channel has values that are bigger than in the other z channel. Modify this so that everything above 0.0 gets a value of 1.0 and use this as mask for the layer which the z channel is related to. Invert the mask if necessary.

PS. you have to work in a 32bpc project to get access to keep z channels etc from clamping. 8 and 16bpc projects will not handle your input elements correctly.

I would strongly suggest that you render to MultiLayer OpenEXR, then use Z-combine (etc.) to produce a composite output, in the same file-format. Once you have perfected it there, you can then process that file into something that PhotoShop will recognize.

(Please note that I am recommending two steps here. First, do the “comp” to a file-format that will capture the exact digital data. Then, process the “comp” to prepare the deliverable-file containing an image​ for use by Photoshop or what-have-you. Be sure to keep all of the originals.)