How to Render with a Transparent Background in Maya Arnold Using Green Screens – Tutorial

This is a bit of a sillier, more convoluted tutorial but it’s a workaround I used for rendering images with transparent backgrounds in Maya Arnold for a long time, so maybe someone will find it useful!

There’s a way to render with transparent backgrounds by using Alpha channels, but I’ve found that this is a good way to have a transparent background and still use a skydome

(You can also render transparent backgrounds in Maya Arnold simply by rendering as TIFFs, but this method I’m about to explain lets you render as any format)

Featuring a sunflower I modeled really quickly (pardon the intersecting petals!):

1.) Create a plane

2.) Go to the polyPlane1 tab under the Attribute Editor (hoykey CTRL+A) and reduce the Subdivisions Width and Height to 1

3.) Apply an aistandardsurface to the plane

4.) Under the aiStandardSurface1 tab in the Attribute Editor, change the Base Color to a bright green. Then reduce the Specular Weight to 0.

5.) Next, click on the pPlaneShape1 tab in the Attribute Editor and scroll down to the Render Stats section. Uncheck everything except for Primary Visibility. Then, scroll down to the Arnold section and do the same under the Visibility section: uncheck everything except for Primary Visibility

Unchecking all of the boxes in Step 5 keeps the green screen from casting shadows and reflecting green onto your mesh

6.) Finally, position the green screen behind what you’re trying to render and that’s it! Then just key the screen out in post 🙂

Final render, unedited
Sunflower with green screen keyed out and stock image placed in

So that’s a super quick example of what you can do with this (although I’d recommend spending more time editing and composing than I did!)

Leave a comment down below or on the YouTube video if you have any questions, I hope this helps someone!

(Here’s the test render I initially created without the green screen)
AO render of sunflower

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