Hmmm, it looks like you're doing everything correctly. Vray seems to think that pass will have some information in it, but in the file it appears to be black.
Can you post the EXR file or email it to me?
Brendan (EXR plug-in author)
BTW, another thing you might try is checking the box in Max telling the renderer to save to a file, rather than rendering to the virtual frame buffer and then clicking the button to Save As.
I think I remember losing the channels when doing it that way, which seems odd because Max is showing you the channels right there.
You also might test with the Max Scanline renderer to see if you get the channels in the EXR.
fnordware, thanks i've put the files on megaupload, the links are below. i tried doing an auto save as you suggested but to no avail, as i say it will work if i tell max to save as a vray raw image and just change the extension but not as a simple 'save as'.
I've simplified these files, they should only have an rgb, an alpha and a zdepth. Anything you can give me will be much appreciated.
Raw image with ext change (works)
'save as' (does not work)
By the way i don't have the proexr plugin if that makes any difference but i think that's just to be able to see and select the channels like photoshop layers.
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Thanks for the files. You don't need to download ProEXR to use these kinds of files in After Effects—the AE plug-ins in ProEXR come pre-installed with CS4 and CS5.
In the first file you provided, I see a "Z" channel that has good information in it. In the second, I see "VRayZDepth" channels, but they're simply black. I checked this with other readers, so it's not that After Effects is reading the file wrong, it's just that the channels are black. It's a problem with how Max/Vray is being set up (or a bug - I've had many bugs rendering these channels with Max before).
When using Vray, do you output the file differently than you would using Scanline or Mental Ray?
Good idea, i tried it with scanline and Mental ray just doing a standard, automatic "save as" with a zdepth and it works which would point the finger at vray for misbehaving.
However when i go to the scanline/mental ray render window and try to save it manually as an exr i get the same issue, channels all showing up in AE but a black screen. The file size is lower on the manual save than on the automatic one though which suggests the info simply isn't there.
however, as max is performing the automatic 'save as' with other render engine but not vray it at least narrows things down.