During rendering, Maya software can generate an image file that contains color channels (RGB), a mask channel (RGBA), a depth channel (RGBZ) or a combination of the three (RGBAZ). For more information on color channels, see .
Some image formats cannot include embedded mask or depth channels; in these cases, Maya can generate a separate mask or depth file.
By default, Maya generates an image file with three color channels and a mask channel. Mask channels and depth channels are mainly used for compositing. You can control the types of channels Maya includes in rendered image files. For instance, if you don’t plan on compositing rendered images, you don’t have to generate mask or depth channels during rendering.
To turn channels on or off, see .
When you render in layers the compositing application must be able to tell which part of which object goes behind or in front of another one. Alpha channels do not contain this information, so you can use the Black Hole mode of the Matte Opacity feature in Maya to produce cutout regions that composite correctly. See .