This page gives information about the Alpha Render Element.
The Alpha Render Element shows the transparency of objects in the scene as grayscale colors. Solid geometry is represented by solid white, while those areas not blocked by geometry within the scene are black. Pixels at antialiased edges have varying shades of gray, as do semi-transparent surfaces.
UI Path: ||Shading viewport|| > Shader Tree > Add Layer button > Render Outputs > Basic > Alpha
The Alpha Render Element has no controllable parameters.
The Alpha Render Element is primarily used as a mask to enable other elements to be placed behind the Beauty composite, such as the Background Render Element. The Alpha Render Element shown below takes into account the transparency of the glass in the windows, including the frosted glass made semi-transparent by a texture mask in the glass material.
Beauty composite with no background
Alpha Render Element
New Beauty composite with the Background Render Element behind the original Beauty composite
When using transparent materials such as glass, make sure that the material is set up to treat the material as transparent with regard to the Alpha channel. For example, when using V-Ray Material as the material, set the Affect channels parameter for both Reflection and Refraction to Color+alpha or All channels. Otherwise, the transparent surface will not be treated as transparent in the Alpha Render Element.