Render Output Items
Rendering is the act of converting the scene information into a bitmap image by evaluating all the geometry and lighting information in a given file. Generally, the resulting rendered image is a fully raytraced and shaded image with full shadows, reflection and the like, much like a photograph depicting an entire scene when taking a picture with a camera. In Modo, these images are the result of what are called render outputs, the visible representations of the full scene evaluations. Each render output is a separate layer in the Shader Tree and produces its own image layer as part of the render calculations. Every time one of the Render Commands is invoked, all of the render output layers are simultaneously calculated and represented in the Render Display viewport. The different layers can be viewed by choosing one of the specific Output options within the display window.
Occasionally, you only need a subset of the full evaluations, such as the diffuse color layers without any shadows. Modo offers many different Render Output types useful in a variety of situations ranging from purely diagnostic, to specific compositing utility in an external application. A default scene automatically includes a Final Color and Alpha output which is fine for most situations. Additional layers can be added from within the Shader Tree, by clicking the Add Layer option of the full viewport window and selecting Special > Render Output from the pop-up menu. This adds an additional layer to the top of the tree. You can then right-click in the Effect column of the render output for a pop-up context menu that allows you to select from the alternate output types. For information on the editable attributes of the individual outputs, see the primary Render Outputs topic.