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Maya 2011 has a new feature within the mental ray plug-in that allows you to set color management for specific color profiles. And this can be applied to images that you're bringing into Maya to use as textures, as well as the rendered images that come out of Maya. If you want to use this feature, the first thing you need to do is go to the Render Settings window and under the Common tab, enable Color Management. That has to be done first. If I take a look at this file texture, this file picture right here, I am going to double-click on this. I am in the Hypershade window under the textures tab. I am going to double-click this file texture to open up the Attribute Editor, and you will notice that here in the top of the attributes there is a menu for setting specific color profiles.
Now, what's important to understand about this menu is none of these choices will have any effect until you enable Color Management, and make sure you do that first. This is basically, you can set the Default Input Profile to a specific color profile, so this is for images that you are bringing into Maya, and this is the default output profile for images coming out of Maya, images rendered using mental ray. So, if I set this to a specific color profile and then take a look at a texture, the color profile is set to Default Input Profile, and I can also choose another one here for this specific texture if I need to.
There is a special color profile node that is available, as a matter of convenience. For example, if you had something like 20 or 30 file textures that you are bringing in here, this color profile can actually save you the trouble of having to go into each texture and setting one of these. To create this node, go under the Hypershade, and under Maya, click on utilities, and here it is, Color Profile. So, if I create this just by clicking on it, I am going to switch to the Utilities tab, and here it is, Color Profile.
And a very simple node, it just has a Color Profile Type; again, same choices for the other ones. What makes this convenient is let's say I set this to sRGB, and I am going to go back to the Textures tab, double- click on my file texture to the open the Attribute Editor, and now I have an additional choice is this colorProfile1 node. So, now this we'll use. If I set my textures that I need to use this node to the colorProfile1 node, then if I make any changes to the codeProfile node, if I change the Color Profile type, then I can be confident that all my textures will be updated automatically.
So, the purpose of the colorProfile node is really just there to help you save a few button clicks, as you are working with a scene that uses a lot of textures. So, that's the basics of using color profiles, and this is only available for when you're rendering with mental ray.
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