Hi Mark,

Thanks for the files. Working with files is always so much nicer, as I can give you answers that will work.

I used it in my fourth-decade Mac. I mention it because you wrote it might be Mac-based. Let me show you that you have all you need to work.

These large values needed do not work in 8bpc. Never have, never will.

Screenshot 2024-03-06 at 11.35.22 PM.jpg

This is the first step to making it work:
The Ae project was set to 8bit/channel. Option Click on the eight until you see 32bit/channel (bpc). Some people suggest 16 bits per channel for EXR, which might be nice and sufficient for many projects. I do not share that point of view. This is the container of all our work; why would I try to save a little bit of time or a few Dollars for storage? I also use exclusively loss-less. At one point, close to a deadline, it might pay off. Anyway, it is an artist's decision.

The second step needed to understand is also straightforward with your setup:
You have saved Cinema 4D the Open EXR file as Multilayer; that is an option and a workflow decision.
I'm on the fence here. After a while, minor changes may require replacing single-layer information, but the initial file keeps holding the information that was replaced. If you don't stick with Multilayer and always replace everything, it might become very storage intensive. Also, here, everything is fine as long as it supports your workflow.
The problem you were running into, even with a single layer in the Multilayer file, was that you needed the EXtractoR Plug-in, which has been part of Ae for a while. (Thanks to "Fnordware.com")

Screenshot 2024-03-06 at 11.32.33 PM.jpg

If you open the Layer with the EXtratoR plug-in, the Z channel has adjustments to pinpoint the Z space (see image). With this, no Levels are needed anymore.

In other words, your material was excellent and contained all the information needed. Nothing was wrong, except you didn't gain access to it in Ae. The step above will allow for that.

Here is the Ae file; reconnect your Open EXR file, and it should show you a depth map.

Enjoy your project.