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In Maya 2011 Essential Training, George Maestri demonstrates the tools and feature set in Maya, as well as the skills necessary to model, texture, animate, and render projects with this deep and robust piece of 3D animation software from Autodesk. This course takes an in-depth tour of Maya's interface, including navigating and manipulating objects in 3D and customizing the workspace. The course also covers object creation and modeling basics, shading and texturing, surface mapping techniques, character rigging, and lastly, rendering and final output. Exercise files accompany the course.
When you start doing your final renders of your scenes, you're going to be doing a lot of back and forth. You're going to render. You're going to change a parameter. You're going to tweak stuff, then you're going to do another render, and this can really take time because rendering is actually a slow process. So everytime you render you might have to wait. So, Maya has addressed this problem by creating what's called the Interactive Photorealistic Renderer, or IPR. What this does is it allows you to take your most common render parameters and render them in real-time as you change the parameters of your scene.
This works both in the Maya Software and the mental ray renderer. So we're going to take a look at it in mental ray using this particular scene. So in order to start it, we can do one of two things. Under Rendering, we can go Render > IPR Render, and there is also a very handy button right here. So I'm just going to go ahead and click that button and what it does is it brings up kind of a wireframed version of our scene. We are like, well, that's not a render. Well, in order to actually make this work, you have to select a region to begin tuning. In fact it says right here Select the region to begin tuning.
So, I'm going to go ahead and just draw a box around my scooter. When I do, it renders it. Now what I can do is I can actually take this. I'm going to go ahead and scale this down a little bit here, but what I can do is I can actually change parameters in the scene and it will be reflected in the render. So, for example, if I click on my character's body and go into my Attribute Editor, I can go over here and find my Shirt material, and let's say I wanted to change the color of his shirt.
Well, all I have to do is just change the color. So if I brighten up the shirt, it re-renders with a brighter shirt. If I make my shirt darker, it will darken the shirt. I can even change the color to basically whatever I want. Great! I can also do stuff like change lighting. So, let me go ahead and jump out to a four-view here, and I'm going to select this light here, which is called pointLight1, and if I want I could again change the color.
So, let's say I wanted to make this a purple light, and you can see how changing this to a purple light affects the way that the scene renders, or I could change it to a green light. Again, you can change these parameters very easily, or I can change it back to white, and I can just adjust the Intensity. So let's say I go very high in the Intensity. You can see how it blows out the image or if I go much lower, you can see how it gives a different effect. If I wanted to, I could actually keep this window open and just highlight a different area of this scene and then start re-lighting that portion of this scene.
So as I adjust it's actually only going to re-render the part that I have highlighted. So if I wanted to see both of those, I'd have to draw much bigger box around all of that. Then I can affect my lighting any way I want. IPR works on the major rendering parameters such as lighting, color, texture, that sort of thing. There are limitations. There are certain render effects that don't work with IPR. You kind of have to just check with what Maya currently supports and what renderer you're using as to what will work and what won't.
But for the majority of your rendering issues you can use IPR to really fine-tune before your lighting and your colors before you actually go to final render.
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