How to write Multi-Plane EXR?


I’m still trying to wrap my head around how Layers/Planes work in Natron, but I’m having a particularly hard time trying to find out how - or whether if it’s even possible - to write multiplane EXRs with existing Layers/Planes within the project. Every output I make just creates an RGBA EXR with just those components.

Any guidance would be appreciated.



Fantastic! Now, I can export multiplane EXRs.

Now, there’s still the problem of how I create and populate those planes. Right now, it’s very confusing, to me, when I look at a Merge node, let’s say. There’s the A layer and B layer and the Output Layer. I’ve tried all these different combinations and they clearly do something, but I’ve found no pattern to the behaviour - none which I could really follow. So, maybe some sort of explanation would be great here.

Also, if I simply want to render foreground and background elements to separate planes of an EXR, how do I accomplish that? Right now, I’m finding it very confusing and convoluted. Likely because I don’t know the workflow. Coming from Blender, this is very, very different (at least on the interface side). Any help would be appreciated.



In any node, in the Output Plane selector you can create a new plane where the image will be output.
You can use the Shuffle to copy images between planes.
The Merge node always passes planes from the B input (A are blocked).


I’m trying to get my head around this with mixed results. So, I’ll ask for a specific example at a time:

If I’ve got 3 images and want to place each image on a separate EXR plane, what is one way of doing that?

Also, if I’ve got a FG over a BG in a Merge(over), how can I output FG and BG on their own plane?

I’m sorry for being a pain, but I really am quite confused and taking lots of shots in the dark. Apologies.


Hi hpetrus :slight_smile:

For your first question, here is the way you could do it:

  1. Go to the project settings ( shortcut ‘s’ )
  2. Go to the ‘Layers’ tab.
  3. Click the ‘Add…’ button.
  4. Enter the layer name ( for exemple ‘NewPlane1’ , click on the ‘Set RGBA’ button and then OK
  5. After the first image, add a ‘Shuffle’ node and connect the A input to your image.
  6. In the Shuffle ‘Output Plane’, choose yout new created Layer.
  7. Repeat the procedure for the 2 other images.


That’s excellent! I feel like an idiot. doesn’t the Write node need to be connected to anything in order to work? In other words, how do I connect things up to the Write node? This is a great start. Thanks, fabiof17!

Also, thanks to MrKepzie and all the developers of this awesome tool. Can never be mentioned enough. Merci, merci, merci!!!


You have to connect the ‘Write’ node in order to render your image.
Of course, before doing that, one should connect everything in order for the ‘Write’ node to process an EXR with all the planes in it.
Unfortunately, i didn’t find the way to do it :confused: