Ideas for Using The ResolveFX Relight Plugin With The Fusion Page

July 17, 2023

Learn to accelerate the Relight ResolveFX by feeding normals maps from CG renders, making it a powerhouse effect for VFX and CGI workflows.


Part 2: Feeding external normal maps into the Relight ResolveFX

The big headline with the new Relight ResolveFX was obviously its machine learning capability. Like magic, Relight can extrapolate rough geometry from an image and use that geometry to drive relighting tools.

In Part One – you learned how the Relight effect works, and how to optimize its use by separating the machine learning-based surface map generator from the relight matte generation. This allows you to get more real-time interactions while using this plugin.

In this Insight – we take that separation a step further and input the Relight effect using existing geometry. You can do this if you:

  • Have CGI renders
  • Are creating 3D within Fusion
  • Have rendered animations

The above workflows can provide a normals pass. Normals give Relight the surface information it needs to work — bypassing the GPU-heavy machine learning analysis — and it will always have perfect accuracy compared to Relight’s surface estimations.

Key takeaways from this Insight

By the end of this Insight, you should understand how to:

  • Generate Normals passes in Fusion from a 3D scene
  • Understand how Fusion routes multiple render passes in a single “pipe”
  • Convert normals to RGB for color page use
  • Use Relight on the color page to grade fusion-made 3D scenes
  • Bring in a multipass EXR from a CGI render
  • Expose and route the normals, and alpha to the color page
  • Adjust the normals in Relight to suit its expected input
  • Relight a rendered CGI scene

External Links

  • Differences between Displacement, Bump, and Normal Maps ( – “Bump maps create the illusion of depth and texture on the surface of a 3D model using computer graphics. Learn more about bump, displacement, and normal maps.”
  • Download the Robot used in this Insight ( – Mixing Light Contributor Bernd Klimm provided the robot assets for this Insight. Bernd initially pulled these assets from Blendswap through a Creative Commons license.
  • Course: Compositing with DaVinci Resolve & Fusion – Bernd adapted the robot to create the scene used in this Insight. In Chapter 9 of his Course, Bernd demonstrates “how to combine 3D elements with 2D projections and show how different render passes from the 3D application can be used to enhance the image in Fusion.” He also shows relighting using Fusion’s shader tool.

Related Mixing Light Insights

  • Ideas For Using The Resolve 18.5 Relight Effect – In Part 1 of this series, Joey D’Anna shows how to integrate the Relight ResolveFX plugin into fixed node trees to maximize its usefulness, capability, and performance.
  • Insight Series: Color Grading An Animated Film – Patrick Inhofer has more ideas for working with rendered animations for color grading by feeding multiple passes from Fusion into the Color page.

Questions or Comments? Leave a comment!

Is this Insight useful to you? Let us know! Mixing Light is all about community discussions, and we’re curious if you found this helpful, if you have something to add, or if you have more questions you need answered.

– Joey

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