Deep OpenEXR files allow to store a variable number of samples per pixel at different depth locations to aid advanced depth compositing workflows.
To render a Deep OpenEXR file with mental ray, open the Render Settings dialog and make sure that the image output format is set to “exr” in the Common tab:
In the Scene tab, enable the “Use Deep Image format” checkbox:
The Deep OpenEXR file is written in multi-part, which means that files can contain a number of separate but related images. Each render pass gets its own part (i. e. direct_diffuse, indirect_diffuse).
In order to save memory during rendering, mental ray creates tiled Deep OpenEXR files. These files need to be converted to scanline for use in compositing applications like Nuke. This conversion can be performed using imf_copy, a command line tool that is part of your mental ray for Maya installation. It can be found in the bin directory. Call
imf_copy -s tiled-exr-file.exr scanline-exr-file.exr
to perform the conversion. Click on the image below to see a screenshot of the tool executed on a Windows system:
Please note that currently only z front is supported. This means that rendering deep volumes is not possible yet. Deep and flat data cannot be mixed in the same OpenEXR file.