Three Layer Rendering

by Olivier Crespo Barrio in Addons

Three Layer Rendering - Blender Add-on

Automatically splits geometry into three different view layers (Background, Foreground and Focus), giving the ability to do professional renderings in just a few seconds by pressing 2 buttons. It works by measuring distance between the camera and the selected focus object, so it doesn't matter if the focus object has animation. And it works with timeline camera markers.

Press a button to split objects or collections, and press another button to create the View Layers. Once you have all your objects and collections processed, you will find an interface to setup each view layer with its passes and collections settings directly, without the need to switch between them (which, sometimes, is a waste of time and resources).

TLR splits meshes, surfaces, meta-balls and texts. For objects with Geometry Nodes, there is Smart Geo Nodes option, which will try to find the "first" Instances On Points node, and connect a group to its Selection input socket. I've not found a way to know which Instance On Points node is the correct if it is not in the root of GN modifier, so if that node is anywhere else (a group inside the node tree) this method will not work. It is better for performance to not create some instances, instead of deleting them later.


Support for Blender 4 +

  • Splits geometry into 3 different layers (Background, Foreground and Focus).
  • Creates View Layers for each one automatically.
  • Custom camera, or active camera (with timeline markers).
  • Option Smart Geo Nodes, for objects with geometry nodes and Instances On Points nodes in root of the node tree (It will save a lot of resources and improve performance, if that's the case).
  • Option to change the mask domain (Point, Edge, Face, Spline and Instance) for objects with GN and without Instances On Points in the root.
  • Option to change Foreground width.
  • Option to change Focus object location, rotation and scale. (Use this settings, do not try to move TLR Focus object manually!)
  • Option to change Masks Z location (which depending on the total height of your scene can be useful).
  • Option to create a new View Layer for selected objects or active collection with just one click (recursive collections included).
  • Interface to switch between View Layers options directly, without actually change the active View Layer (which is time and resource saving, depending on the project).
  • Option to exclude View Layers directly.
  • Option to set Active View Layer.
  • Option to remove View Layers.
  • Option to change View Layer passes directly.
  • Change Exclude, Hide In Viewport, Holdout and Only Indirect of any collection directly.
  • Option to show only TLR View Layers.
  • Option to show only TLR collections.

  • Camera Culling option (Initial state).
  • Culling Start and End Area Width options.
  • Culling Area Location options.
  • Culling Area Scale options.
  • Culling Mask Z Location (in case of glitches just set this to a higher value).

  • Option to change View Layers order. While changing them, every other settings will be hided.

Why I created TLR?

It had been a long time since I asked myself: How the hell professional studios render the scenes? Of course it's all about layers. The more splited the objects, the more control you will have. Even knowing how to render different objects in layers with Blender, It was very hard to do it and get a decent composition. What I learned is that to make it work properly, we must render almost each object on the scene in different layers.

Well, it is not true. We can tweak some stuff, to get something similar to that professional renders, so I decided to create TLR.


Video tutorial: 




  • Initial release.


  • Fixed: Blender crashes randomly when opening Blend files that have TLR enabled.
  • Minor fixes.
  • Added "recursive collections" to View Layer from Collection option. Now all collections inside selected one will be created too.
  • Added option to remove selected View Layer in list.
  • Added Expand/Collapse properties to Collections list.


  • Added Camera Culling option (Initial state).
  • Added Culling Start and End Area Width options.
  • Added Culling Area Location options.
  • Added Culling Area Scale options.
  • Added Culling Mask Z Location (in case of glitches just set this to a higher value).


  • Fixed Camera Culling first state. Camera Culling is now disabled by default.


  • Fixed minor bugs.
  • Added Change View Layers order option. While changing them, every other settings will be hided.
  • Added icon to Collections List.
  • Added automation to Smart Geometry Nodes option. Now it will be disabled if it detects any object without Instances On Points node in the root. 


  • Fixed Culling Mask object repeated for each selected object.
  • Fixed new collection sometimes excluded when creating "New View Layer from Collection".


  • Fixed Camera Culling mask location.
  • Camera Culling now affects meshes.
  • Added option to enable/disable Culling in Meshes.
  • Added option to enable/disable Culling in Geometry Nodes.
  • Added option to Clean Unused Data.
  • Split Options Panel enhanced.


    • Added Cryptomatte passes.
    • Added Shader AOVs passes.
    • Added Light Groups passes.
    • Added Debug and Alpha Threshold to passes.
    • Added Filter options to passes.
    • Added Override options to passes.
    • Added "Expand All Collections" and "Collapse All Collections" to Collections List.
    • Added Debug Mode to add-on preferences (in case of bug, enable Debug Mode and start Blender from Console).
    • Changed some Interface elements.
    • Fixed minor bugs.

    Sales 10+
    Customer Ratings 1
    Average Rating
    Dev Fund Contributor
    Published 3 months ago
    Blender Version 4.0
    License GPL
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