I'm trying to render out an OpenEXR sequence from C4D to bring into After Effects. The problem is that C4D always wants to name the Depth channel "Depth.[Y]", but unless it's called "Depth.[Z]", AE refuses to "see" it. C4D has the option of "User Defined Layer Name", the names of which are supposedly determined by what you call the layers under Multi-Pass (by double-clicking and renaming them). But it doesn't work - at all. No matter what ridiculous names I give those things under Multi-Pass, the depth map is ALWAYS named "Depth.[Y]".....
STOP PRESS!!! UPDATE!!! I've found a solution!!
So....instead of being a question, this post is actually A SOLUTION!
In the instruction PDF that came with the ProEXR plugins that I installed from here: http://www.fnordware.com/ProEXR/, it talked about a text file (OpenEXR_channel_map.txt) that you put in AE's Plugins folder and you use it to adjust the way AE sees the channels. It contains the line "depth.Z DPTH FLT4", so I added the line "depth.Y DPTH FLT4" thinking that might help - but no. Then I tried capitalising the "d" of depth, and I also added the line "Depth.[Y] DPTH FLT4" for good measure, and now IT WORKS! I'm not sure if it's the capital D or the Depth.[Y] line that helped, but I'm not touching anything!
So, if anyone wants to know how to make your C4D renders work in AE with depth effects (other than using Cineware), there's your answer. Or maybe everyone else already knew that!?!
Indeed I can use Extractor - but some effects in AE do not have an input for depth map.
For example, I can use Extractor to turn a layer into a greyscale depth map, then on another layer, I can apply Compound Blur or Camera Lens blur and specify my depth map layer to control the blur. But some effects like Depth Matte do not allow you to specify a different, greyscale depth map layer, but use the depth channel embedded in the RLA or EXR layer. But, it seems, AE is very fussy about what that layer is called - hence it not working initially, despite me politely asking C4D to name the channel correctly (a request that C4D completely ignored - presumably this is a C4D bug).
It'd be great, for effects such as Depth Matte, to be able to specify which channel you want to use as the embedded depth map (I think I already did a feature request for this).
But isn't an extracted depth channel done with extractor already a depth matte? Yes you have to use it as a track matte with another layer but....
With a 16bit comp or higher the slider in the depth matte isn't any different than crushing the levels of the extractor output. You are just changing the black point and white point of the depth channel to determine where the cut off is. And I think that's all the depth matte slider does.