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Batch rendering render passes: Project one

From: Maya Rendering for After Effects Composites

Video: Batch rendering render passes: Project one

At this point we have set up five render passes through mental ray's contribution map system for project 1. We have the five passes listed here inside the Render Settings window and those are associated with passContributionMap2. And that contribution map appears in the Render layer Editor under the master layer. We're now ready to try Batch Render. There are a couple of other things we need to check to make sure that the render goes as expected. One is, we want to make sure that we set the project so that renders go where we expect. So File > Set Project, in my case, I want to select the exercise files folder.

Batch rendering render passes: Project one

At this point we have set up five render passes through mental ray's contribution map system for project 1. We have the five passes listed here inside the Render Settings window and those are associated with passContributionMap2. And that contribution map appears in the Render layer Editor under the master layer. We're now ready to try Batch Render. There are a couple of other things we need to check to make sure that the render goes as expected. One is, we want to make sure that we set the project so that renders go where we expect. So File > Set Project, in my case, I want to select the exercise files folder.

And what will happen during the render is the rendered images will be placed in the Images folder underneath this folder. So now I'll click the Set button, and everything I want to check is a Common tab in the Render Settings window to make sure I set all of the common render attributes, including the name. I'm going to call mine Shot1Monocular. Then the Image format. Now what's interesting is, if you set it to PSD Layered, mental ray will take all those render passes and place each one on a separate layer of a Photoshop file.

So you'll have one Photoshop file per frame, in that single file we have all the different render passes arranged as layers. This is really convenient for bringing the render into After Effects. Next I want to check my Frame/Animation extension. In this case, we are going to start by testing a single frame. So this is good, name.ext. Then I want to check my render resolution, and we have been working in HD 1080, so this is good. And it couldn't hurt to double-check also, the Quality tab, to make sure Anti-Aliasing settings are good. Now we set this to 0, 2, earlier on, and that's good because that's high-quality.

So we have our Common tab set, and then we know where we're going to render. So we're good to try Batch Render. I am going to close this window. Go to the Rendering main menu and then go to Render > Batch Render. If you want to see the progress you can open up the Script Editor. There is a button down here at the bottom-right for that. This will show you the progress. It's rendering the single frame now, and that will show you the percentage. Right there it is 100%. So I can get out of Maya now, go to my folder, go into the Images folder where I put the images. The way it works as a layered PSD is you will have each layer rendered separately, and placed in a separate folder, and these folders will be named after the layer, such as matte.

Those are initially Maya IFF files, which is Maya's native image format. Once it finishes all of the layers for that particular frame, it combines all those layers, places them into the layered PSD file, which is right here, then the original IFFs are destroyed. So you have empty folders, like right here. But everything's stuffed within this PSD file. So I can open that. So now we have all the layers in this PSD file, and they appear on a layer Editor at the right here. So I can turn these various layers off and take a look at them one at a time.

Now the first thing you get is a background. The background is a solid color of empty space in Maya, that's given to you for free. You don't actually have to use it, but it's always on the lowest layer. Now in our case next layer is Matte. This is a matte pass white on black. Next one is diffuseMaterialColor, which is the color of the render, but there's no actual shading, or shadows, just the color. The next pass is the shadowRaw pass. This is what you get when you pick Raw Shadow. It's a white shadow against black. Now there's a way to make this work in After Effects, which we'll talk about later.

The next is a reflection component, next is a specular, which specular component without the reflection, and the last one that mental ray gives you is MasterBeauty. This is actually a beauty render, which you would normally get if you did not render passes. It gives you that for free also. You don't have to use it. It's just there for reference. So we have rendered one frame successfully through the Batch Render. Now we can go back to Maya, and I can show you how to batch render the entire sequence, because we do need all of the frames so we can go into After Effects for the entire sequence. So going back to the Render Settings window instead of rendering a single frame I need to switch to name.#.ext.

This is very important in terms of having the files be read in the correct order by After Effects. You always want to use name.#.ext. There are other options down below that, this is the one you want to use. Another important thing is often skipped is the Frame Padding, which is right below that. Frame Padding determines the number of numeric places between the dots. So you can see it up here where it says .1.psd, .10.psd. If Frame Padding is on 1 you don't get any extra numeric places. What we want is to have consistent number of numeric places though, so the After Effects tell them how to read them in the correct order.

You'll get confuse with this numbering system. So what I can do is let's go up to a higher number, for instance 3, and therefore it goes .001 and then .010. So in Frame Padding, the 3 actually works from frame 1 up to 999. So if you set to 3 you're safe there. It's an important step otherwise the files might come in the incorrect order inside After Effects. So once you set the Frame/Animation extension to name.#.ext, set the Frame Padding to non-one number, you are ready to batch render the entire sequence.

What will happen is it'll render the entire range set by the Frame Range section. So in our case, we want to set this to 16, that's a duration of this premade animation. So at this point you are ready to batch render the entire thing. You'll launch it the same way, you'll go to Render > Batch Render, and go to the Script Editor, and it will show you the progress, and when all 60 frames are finished you'll have 60 layered PSDs.

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This video is part of

Image for Maya Rendering for After Effects Composites
Maya Rendering for After Effects Composites

34 video lessons · 5539 viewers

Lee Lanier
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 0s
    1. Welcome
      47s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 13s
  2. 29m 49s
    1. Working with image sequences
      7m 24s
    2. Importing reference video as an image plane
      5m 13s
    3. Matching the 3D camera to the video footage
      4m 23s
    4. Lighting the model
      5m 35s
    5. Creating mattes and shadows in preparation for rendering
      7m 14s
  3. 15m 38s
    1. Using the Render Layer Editor
      4m 21s
    2. Splitting a scene into multiple render passes
      6m 6s
    3. Adding flexibility by assigning material and render overrides
      5m 11s
  4. 15m 2s
    1. Creating render passes using mental ray
      3m 50s
    2. Batch rendering render passes: Project one
      5m 24s
    3. Batch rendering render passes: Project two
      5m 48s
  5. 19m 4s
    1. Importing render passes into After Effects
      6m 25s
    2. Recombining render passes in a composition
      6m 31s
    3. Transforming multiple render passes as a single unit
      6m 8s
  6. 48m 7s
    1. Setting up a motion tracker
      5m 17s
    2. Using a tracker to analyze motion in footage
      3m 56s
    3. Adjusting tracker options for better results
      7m 2s
    4. Matching layer motion by applying tracker data
      6m 26s
    5. Refining a layer's transparency with rotoscoping
      6m 45s
    6. Improving layer movement with the Smoother tool
      5m 7s
    7. Improving the CG by adding blur and effects
      8m 7s
    8. Adding shadow to make the composite believable
      5m 27s
  7. 32m 36s
    1. Recombining render passes for project two
      5m 17s
    2. Removing unwanted elements with a garbage mask
      4m 57s
    3. Applying motion tracking data to a null layer
      6m 38s
    4. Adjusting shadows and matte edges
      8m 12s
    5. Using color correction to improve layer integration
      7m 32s
  8. 25m 46s
    1. Stabilizing shaky video with the Tracker
      8m 2s
    2. Tracking rectangular elements with the Perspective corner pin option
      5m 31s
    3. Adjusting corner pin points and paths
      6m 56s
    4. Applying corner pin data to multiple layers
      5m 17s
  9. 1m 16s
    1. Next steps
      1m 16s

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