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How to add motion blur to composited render passes?

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Chris Jordan
How to add motion blur to composited render passes?
on May 26, 2019 at 8:02:30 am

I've got a Photoshop sequence with passes (beauty, shadow, colored shadow, and reflections) that I've rendered out of C4D and Octane. They are added CGI elements to a life action shot. The shot or "background layer" is a tiff sequence. I haven't rendered out a vector motion pass and no motion blur was baked into the render.

I'm trying to composite them in after effects and can't for the life of me figure out how to solve the problem of adding motion blur (like pixel motion blur) to the 4 passes. 2 of them have different blending modes and adding the motion blur to each one doesn't work because of how it calculates the vectors, leaving each layer to sometimes overlap or underlap each other.

Pre-composing doesn't work with blending modes and an adjustment layer would also affect the background layer.

I've been googling for hours and can't find a solution.


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Tomas Bumbulevičius
Re: How to add motion blur to composited render passes?
on May 26, 2019 at 8:08:04 am

Hey Chris, needless to say most likely you also tried 'CC Force Motion Blur' as well?

Usually it does the job, yet I haven't used it extensively with 3D passes - but if it doesn't, seeing your layers stack might give a sense of possible workaround.

Find out more:
After Effects Tutorials: motion design, expressions, scripting.
Boxer - Dynamic Text Boxes Template with a Live Preview


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Chris Jordan
Re: How to add motion blur to composited render passes?
on May 26, 2019 at 8:29:41 am

Yes, my workflow might just be wrong I'm not sure.

Here's a screenshot of my layers. The adjustment layer doesn't have anything useful on it: https://imgur.com/a/djYVyQr

I guess my problem is how to group or stack the 4 passes into 1 to be able to add the motion blur effect to.


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Tomas Bumbulevičius
Re: How to add motion blur to composited render passes?
on May 26, 2019 at 7:36:40 pm

Chris, thanks for sharing it. I can't say you much about this, ideally, project file would help to troubleshoot further either for me or the others.

On the other hand, see if checking mark the squared black boxes between the Blending Mode column & TrkMat
column could make any differences how motion is showcased (Preserve Underlying Transparency)

Find out more:
After Effects Tutorials: motion design, expressions, scripting.
Boxer - Dynamic Text Boxes Template with a Live Preview


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Chris Jordan
Re: How to add motion blur to composited render passes?
on May 27, 2019 at 5:32:46 am

Thanks for taking the time to help me out.

I tried the preserve transparency boxes in an array of different combinations but the problem persists. I'm not sure the project file would really help much, basically what I need to do is have a couple layers which include different blending modes render out as a single entity but with alpha. I know that's not how blending modes work but I don't know what else to do.

I can kinda solve the problem if I just precomp both the beauty and shadow passes and then add the motion blur to that precomp. But the remaining 2 layers/passes have the different blending modes on them and would have to just exist without motion blur. This would be the closest to a workaround.


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