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Alpha matte in C4D?
Hmmm... Good idea! I'll do that. I think the best way to accomplish that is to just enable the luminance on the material and make it pure white/black, rather than using the color setting. I think that is somewhat the equivalent to a constant material from other 3D packages.
Unless your water is transparent, you should be able to use an object buffer. An object buffer only gives you a matte for what's visible to the camera. But I've done things similar to what
suggested to get clean mattes or quicker renders for certain passes.
In your render settings under Save for multipass, uncheck Multi-Layer File. That will save each pass out to a separate file. Also, I tend to use TIFF or PNG sequences instead of PSD. Seems to save a bit of space. You can also look at saving to an RPF file, but those can get quite big and the channels aren't anti-aliased.
Ah - that makes sense! Guess I should have realized that myself - I think having it called "Multi-Layer" threw me off, as some of these end up as channels. Yeah, TIFFs and PNGs can be smaller - good point. I haven't used RPF files before, but the lack of anti-aliasing doesn't sound very useful...
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