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I am creating a processing tool where I temporarily load layers in TOC and a layout template and then export the map into an image. Even though I want to have 2 layers on the map, I only want to have one of them in my legend.

How can I exclude the layer(s) in the legend? Do I need to configure this in .qpt or exclude it while reading my layout template?

Here is the part of my code how I add the data and read layout template.

canv = iface.mapCanvas()
project = QgsProject.instance()
root = QgsProject.instance().layerTreeRoot()

# Get checked layer tree objects and stores them in a list
checked_groups = [layer.name() for layer in QgsProject().instance().layerTreeRoot().children() if layer.isVisible()]

# Uncheck  all layers
for group in checked_groups:
    root.findGroup(group).setItemVisibilityChecked(False)

# Add required layers for the map
root.insertLayer(0, vlyr_ezgStats)
vlyr_ezgStats.loadNamedStyle(ezg_qml)
vlyr_ezgStats.triggerRepaint()
root.insertLayer(1, vlyr_geol)

# Load layout tmp
vlyr_geol.loadNamedStyle(geo_qml)
vlyr_geol.triggerRepaint()

# Read the layout temp
templateFile = open(geologische_karte_qpt, 'r')
templateContent = templateFile.read()
templateFile.close()

doc = QDomDocument()
doc.setContent(templateContent)

layout = QgsLayout(project)
layout.initializeDefaults()

# Get bbox of layer for adjusting the map frame
bbox = [feat.geometry().boundingBox() for feat in vlyr_ezgStats.getFeatures()]

items, ok = layout.loadFromTemplate(doc, QgsReadWriteContext(), False)

# Adjust frame
mapFrame = layout.itemById("Map1")
mapFrame.zoomToExtent(bbox[0])
mapFrame.setScale(75591)

# Creates a QgsLayoutExporter object
exporter = QgsLayoutExporter(layout)
image_export_settings = QgsLayoutExporter.ImageExportSettings()
image_export_settings.dpi = 200
image_export_settings.cropToContents = True
image_export_settings.imageSize = QSize(2000, 2000)

# Exports an image of the layout object
exporter.exportToImage(imgDir + '\geologische_karte.png', image_export_settings)

And this is the layout template file

<Layout units="mm" worldFileMap="" printResolution="300" name="wlk_kennzahlen_GeolKarte2">
 <Snapper tolerance="5" snapToItems="1" snapToGuides="1" snapToGrid="0"/>
 <Grid offsetY="0" resolution="15" offsetX="0" offsetUnits="mm" resUnits="mm"/>
 <PageCollection>
  <symbol alpha="1" clip_to_extent="1" name="" type="fill" force_rhr="0">
   <layer class="SimpleFill" locked="0" pass="0" enabled="1">
    <prop k="border_width_map_unit_scale" v="3x:0,0,0,0,0,0"/>
    <prop k="color" v="255,255,255,255"/>
    <prop k="joinstyle" v="miter"/>
    <prop k="offset" v="0,0"/>
    <prop k="offset_map_unit_scale" v="3x:0,0,0,0,0,0"/>
    <prop k="offset_unit" v="MM"/>
    <prop k="outline_color" v="35,35,35,255"/>
    <prop k="outline_style" v="no"/>
    <prop k="outline_width" v="0.26"/>
    <prop k="outline_width_unit" v="MM"/>
    <prop k="style" v="solid"/>
    <data_defined_properties>
     <Option type="Map">
      <Option value="" name="name" type="QString"/>
      <Option name="properties"/>
      <Option value="collection" name="type" type="QString"/>
     </Option>
    </data_defined_properties>
   </layer>
  </symbol>
  <GuideCollection visible="1"/>
 </PageCollection>
 <LayoutItem visibility="1" mapUuid="{30a0683e-6223-435c-977b-ec802a2f3c15}" northMode="0" type="65640" anchorPoint="0" background="false" referencePoint="0" excludeFromExports="0" positionOnPage="196.876,196.7,mm" position="196.876,196.7,mm" templateUuid="{a65c459e-df78-4b63-acfc-72296787d555}" zValue="6" svgFillColor="255,255,255,255" frame="false" file=":/images/north_arrows/layout_default_north_arrow.svg" pictureRotation="0" id="North Arrow" itemRotation="0" outlineWidthM="0.3,mm" opacity="1" size="13.1095,11.5914,mm" svgBorderColor="0,0,0,255" svgBorderWidth="0.2" pictureWidth="9.1828" pictureHeight="11.5914" frameJoinStyle="miter" positionLock="false" blendMode="0" uuid="{a65c459e-df78-4b63-acfc-72296787d555}" resizeMode="0" northOffset="0" groupUuid="">
  <FrameColor alpha="255" red="0" blue="0" green="0"/>
  <BackgroundColor alpha="255" red="255" blue="255" green="255"/>
  <LayoutObject>
   <dataDefinedProperties>
    <Option type="Map">
     <Option value="" name="name" type="QString"/>
     <Option name="properties"/>
     <Option value="collection" name="type" type="QString"/>
    </Option>
   </dataDefinedProperties>
   <customproperties/>
  </LayoutObject>
 </LayoutItem>
 <LayoutItem numSegmentsLeft="0" outlineWidth="0.3" numMapUnitsPerScaleBarUnit="1" height="3" id="" positionLock="false" lineJoinStyle="miter" itemRotation="0" background="false" templateUuid="{5a702fa8-13c3-45a1-aa75-3642d2bec618}" labelVerticalPlacement="0" visibility="1" frameJoinStyle="miter" mapUuid="{30a0683e-6223-435c-977b-ec802a2f3c15}" positionOnPage="1.49516,210.969,mm" numUnitsPerSegment="1" excludeFromExports="0" lineCapStyle="square" boxContentSpace="1" maxBarWidth="150" numSegments="2" uuid="{5a702fa8-13c3-45a1-aa75-3642d2bec618}" frame="false" blendMode="0" referencePoint="6" labelHorizontalPlacement="0" alignment="0" outlineWidthM="0.3,mm" segmentMillimeters="13.2248" segmentSizeMode="0" type="65646" position="1.49516,210.969,mm" labelBarSpace="3" style="Single Box" size="38.2497,12.9476,mm" groupUuid="" unitType="km" opacity="1" zValue="6" unitLabel="km" minBarWidth="50">
  <FrameColor alpha="255" red="0" blue="0" green="0"/>
  <BackgroundColor alpha="255" red="255" blue="255" green="255"/>
  <LayoutObject>
   <dataDefinedProperties>
    <Option type="Map">
     <Option value="" name="name" type="QString"/>
     <Option name="properties"/>
     <Option value="collection" name="type" type="QString"/>
    </Option>
   </dataDefinedProperties>
   <customproperties/>
  </LayoutObject>
  <text-style fontStrikeout="0" fontSizeUnit="Point" textOrientation="horizontal" previewBkgrdColor="255,255,255,255" fontFamily="MS Shell Dlg 2" fontSize="12" fontCapitals="0" fontLetterSpacing="0" multilineHeight="1" textColor="0,0,0,255" fontKerning="1" fontItalic="0" fontWordSpacing="0" fontUnderline="0" blendMode="0" fontSizeMapUnitScale="3x:0,0,0,0,0,0" fontWeight="50" textOpacity="1" namedStyle="">
   <text-buffer bufferSizeMapUnitScale="3x:0,0,0,0,0,0" bufferJoinStyle="128" bufferColor="255,255,255,255" bufferSizeUnits="MM" bufferSize="1" bufferDraw="0" bufferNoFill="1" bufferOpacity="1" bufferBlendMode="0"/>
   <background shapeType="0" shapeSizeType="0" shapeBorderWidth="0" shapeRadiiUnit="MM" shapeFillColor="255,255,255,255" shapeRadiiMapUnitScale="3x:0,0,0,0,0,0" shapeOffsetY="0" shapeOffsetUnit="MM" shapeOffsetMapUnitScale="3x:0,0,0,0,0,0" shapeOpacity="1" shapeBorderWidthMapUnitScale="3x:0,0,0,0,0,0" shapeDraw="0" shapeRotation="0" shapeBlendMode="0" shapeSizeX="0" shapeRadiiX="0" shapeSizeY="0" shapeRotationType="0" shapeRadiiY="0" shapeBorderColor="128,128,128,255" shapeSizeUnit="MM" shapeSizeMapUnitScale="3x:0,0,0,0,0,0" shapeJoinStyle="64" shapeBorderWidthUnit="MM" shapeOffsetX="0" shapeSVGFile=""/>
   <shadow shadowOffsetUnit="MM" shadowOffsetGlobal="1" shadowRadiusMapUnitScale="3x:0,0,0,0,0,0" shadowColor="0,0,0,255" shadowDraw="0" shadowBlendMode="6" shadowOffsetMapUnitScale="3x:0,0,0,0,0,0" shadowRadius="1.5" shadowScale="100" shadowOpacity="0.7" shadowRadiusUnit="MM" shadowOffsetAngle="135" shadowOffsetDist="1" shadowRadiusAlphaOnly="0" shadowUnder="0"/>
   <dd_properties>
    <Option type="Map">
     <Option value="" name="name" type="QString"/>
     <Option name="properties"/>
     <Option value="collection" name="type" type="QString"/>
    </Option>
   </dd_properties>
  </text-style>
  <fillColor alpha="255" red="0" blue="0" green="0"/>
  <fillColor2 alpha="255" red="255" blue="255" green="255"/>
  <strokeColor alpha="255" red="0" blue="0" green="0"/>
 </LayoutItem>
 <LayoutItem wmsLegendHeight="25" id="Legend1" positionLock="false" columnSpace="2" itemRotation="0" map_uuid="{30a0683e-6223-435c-977b-ec802a2f3c15}" background="true" templateUuid="{604c38d7-8bcf-4b16-9134-6e16485654c7}" visibility="1" frameJoinStyle="miter" wmsLegendWidth="50" legendFilterByAtlas="1" positionOnPage="6.25216,4.32842,mm" excludeFromExports="0" uuid="{604c38d7-8bcf-4b16-9134-6e16485654c7}" rasterBorder="1" frame="false" wrapChar="" resizeToContents="1" symbolHeight="4" columnCount="1" rasterBorderWidth="0" fontColor="#000000" symbolAlignment="1" blendMode="0" referencePoint="0" rasterBorderColor="0,0,0,255" boxSpace="2" outlineWidthM="0.3,mm" splitLayer="0" title="" titleAlignment="1" type="65642" symbolWidth="7" position="6.25216,4.32842,mm" equalColumnWidth="0" lineSpacing="1" size="183.6,50.5,mm" groupUuid="" legendFilterByMap="1" opacity="1" zValue="4">
  <FrameColor alpha="255" red="0" blue="0" green="0"/>
  <BackgroundColor alpha="255" red="255" blue="255" green="255"/>
  <LayoutObject>
   <dataDefinedProperties>
    <Option type="Map">
     <Option value="" name="name" type="QString"/>
     <Option name="properties"/>
     <Option value="collection" name="type" type="QString"/>
    </Option>
   </dataDefinedProperties>
   <customproperties/>
  </LayoutObject>
  <styles>
   <style marginBottom="3.5" name="title" alignment="1">
    <styleFont description="MS Shell Dlg 2,16,-1,5,50,0,0,0,0,0" style=""/>
   </style>
   <style name="group" marginTop="3" alignment="1">
    <styleFont description="MS Shell Dlg 2,10,-1,5,50,0,0,0,0,0,Regular" style="Regular"/>
   </style>
   <style name="subgroup" marginTop="3" alignment="1">
    <styleFont description="MS Shell Dlg 2,10,-1,5,50,0,0,0,0,0,Regular" style="Regular"/>
   </style>
   <style name="symbol" marginTop="2.5" alignment="1">
    <styleFont description="MS Shell Dlg 2,8.25,-1,5,50,0,0,0,0,0" style=""/>
   </style>
   <style marginLeft="2" name="symbolLabel" marginTop="2" alignment="1">
    <styleFont description="MS Shell Dlg 2,10,-1,5,50,0,0,0,0,0,Regular" style="Regular"/>
   </style>
  </styles>
 </LayoutItem>
 <LayoutItem visibility="1" type="65639" mapRotation="0" followPreset="false" background="true" referencePoint="4" excludeFromExports="0" positionOnPage="106.133,106.133,mm" position="106.133,106.133,mm" templateUuid="{30a0683e-6223-435c-977b-ec802a2f3c15}" zValue="1" frame="true" followPresetName="" id="Map1" itemRotation="0" outlineWidthM="0.6,mm" opacity="1" size="2500,2500,px" labelMargin="0,mm" mapFlags="0" drawCanvasItems="true" keepLayerSet="false" frameJoinStyle="round" positionLock="false" blendMode="0" uuid="{30a0683e-6223-435c-977b-ec802a2f3c15}" groupUuid="">
  <FrameColor alpha="255" red="32" blue="32" green="32"/>
  <BackgroundColor alpha="255" red="255" blue="255" green="255"/>
  <LayoutObject>
   <dataDefinedProperties>
    <Option type="Map">
     <Option value="" name="name" type="QString"/>
     <Option name="properties"/>
     <Option value="collection" name="type" type="QString"/>
    </Option>
   </dataDefinedProperties>
   <customproperties/>
  </LayoutObject>
  <Extent ymin="366908.09658961050445214" ymax="382908.09658961050445214" xmax="494460.53115462587447837" xmin="478460.53115462587447837"/>
  <crs>
   <spatialrefsys>
    <wkt>PROJCRS["MGI / Austria Lambert",BASEGEOGCRS["MGI",DATUM["Militar-Geographische Institut",ELLIPSOID["Bessel 1841",6377397.155,299.1528128,LENGTHUNIT["metre",1]]],PRIMEM["Greenwich",0,ANGLEUNIT["degree",0.0174532925199433]],ID["EPSG",4312]],CONVERSION["Austria Lambert",METHOD["Lambert Conic Conformal (2SP)",ID["EPSG",9802]],PARAMETER["Latitude of false origin",47.5,ANGLEUNIT["degree",0.0174532925199433],ID["EPSG",8821]],PARAMETER["Longitude of false origin",13.3333333333333,ANGLEUNIT["degree",0.0174532925199433],ID["EPSG",8822]],PARAMETER["Latitude of 1st standard parallel",49,ANGLEUNIT["degree",0.0174532925199433],ID["EPSG",8823]],PARAMETER["Latitude of 2nd standard parallel",46,ANGLEUNIT["degree",0.0174532925199433],ID["EPSG",8824]],PARAMETER["Easting at false origin",400000,LENGTHUNIT["metre",1],ID["EPSG",8826]],PARAMETER["Northing at false origin",400000,LENGTHUNIT["metre",1],ID["EPSG",8827]]],CS[Cartesian,2],AXIS["northing (X)",north,ORDER[1],LENGTHUNIT["metre",1]],AXIS["easting (Y)",east,ORDER[2],LENGTHUNIT["metre",1]],USAGE[SCOPE["unknown"],AREA["Austria"],BBOX[46.4,9.53,49.02,17.17]],ID["EPSG",31287]]</wkt>
    <proj4>+proj=lcc +lat_0=47.5 +lon_0=13.3333333333333 +lat_1=49 +lat_2=46 +x_0=400000 +y_0=400000 +ellps=bessel +towgs84=577.326,90.129,463.919,5.137,1.474,5.297,2.4232 +units=m +no_defs</proj4>
    <srsid>2628</srsid>
    <srid>31287</srid>
    <authid>EPSG:31287</authid>
    <description>MGI / Austria Lambert</description>
    <projectionacronym>lcc</projectionacronym>
    <ellipsoidacronym>EPSG:7004</ellipsoidacronym>
    <geographicflag>false</geographicflag>
   </spatialrefsys>
  </crs>
  <LayerSet/>
  <AtlasMap atlasDriven="0" margin="0.10000000000000001" scalingMode="2"/>
  <labelBlockingItems/>
 </LayoutItem>
 <customproperties>
  <property value="png" key="atlasRasterFormat"/>
  <property key="variableNames"/>
  <property key="variableValues"/>
 </customproperties>
 <Atlas hideCoverage="0" sortFeatures="0" filterFeatures="0" enabled="0" coverageLayer="" pageNameExpression="" filenamePattern="'output_'||@atlas_featurenumber"/>
</Layout>
2

Here is short snippet of code to directly remove a layer node from a layout legend by getting a reference to the QgsMapLayer object by name:

# You already have a reference to the project and layout objects
map_layer_to_remove = project.mapLayersByName('Name_of_layer_to_exclude_from_layout_legend')[0]
legend = [i for i in layout.items() if isinstance(i, QgsLayoutItemLegend)][0]
legend.setAutoUpdateModel(False)
legend.model().rootGroup().removeLayer(map_layer_to_remove)
legend.adjustBoxSize()
layout.refresh()
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