Sunday, September 21, 2008

Render Layers for Viewport Preview

Here's a quick tip for Maya users:

You may have had trouble with maya viewports when using MentalRay shaders. They don't always display properly in your viewports... in particuclarly when using "combined texture" previews. I despise when I see a flat black shape, unable to generate a preview. Often renderLayers compound display problems, as shaders swtich from one type to another. Honestly I haven't yet figured out all the possible combinations of issues that break proper viewport display. Often I just need to place a hilite or some other utility light, and I just cannot get a proper preview of diffuse and specular.

So, I've taken to creating a "lightingPreview" renderLayer. This one I switch to, just to see overall light levels and specular positions/intensity. I usually give it a material override, unless individual colors are important. You can obviously apply any material/s you like to get the preview you like. RenderLayers can help you clear up your viewports and see what you need to, interactively. I've been finding this more and more useful as scenes get more complicated.

2 comments:

matt said...

if your materials are pure mentalray (mia_architecture or fast_sss for example), cheat by connecting up a regular maya material to the same shading group, disconnect, reconnect. The viewport will now shade with the maya node. If you then click 'supress maya shaders' on the SG, mentalray will only see the mentalray material.

you can then wire up whatever textures your using to the maya material for extra viewport joy.

El Loco Gato said...

Emm Why not just go to the UVtexture editor and Then set the Texture to the uvs so it will then display the correct representation of ur assigned texture in the viewports. I hope this is what ur talking about Because I found that whenever I use an sss shader the model goes red so I found that if I do this it show's what the models texture is supposed to look like in the viewport.