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In this video we're going to talk about the MentalRay approximation editor. Now this is a very cool function in MentalRay, that allows you to render with a smooth results, without actually having to change the polygon complex of your physical model in model space. So the first thing we need to do, is go up to Windows, Settings and Preferences, Plug in manager. And right at the very bottom, make sure the Maya MentalRay option is selected on. Next, we're going to go up to render settings, switch to mental ray.
And under the common tab, I want to change my image format, to TIFF, and also I'm going to change, my presets down to a smaller value of 640. Under quality, for 2014 they've made it very simple now, and we're just going to leave the value at .25. So with those settings, let do a quick render, and you'll notice that it comes up with a hard edge. This is exactly what I would expect, because we haven't smoothed this model in anyway at this moment. So let's x out of that, one more thing I want to do is go to View, Camera settings, Resolution gate, so that we can frame our model more appropriately within that gate like that.
Select the model, and let's change this to a nice blend, color red, just like we did the software rendering. So let's select the model press number three to smooth, and let's re-render. So you'll notice the first difference is, that MentalRay honors the smoothing executed by the number three on the keyboard where software rendering didn't. Let's go back select one, and now I want to go to Windows Rendering editors, MentalRay approximation editor.
Now this command was originally designed for displacement mapping. But it works equally well with just straight forward rendering. There's three options here, if you're working with displacement desolation, you'll choose this option here. For subdivs and polygons, which is what we're using, you would use this one. And then if you were using Nurbs, you'd have the option down here for Nurbs data. Our model is selected, we're working with polygons, so what we're going to do is just say create that. If you look on the right-hand side, under the attribute editor We have a new node appear, for mental ray sub div of crux one.
We have a value of two that appears, that we can change just like we did in the software rendering condition. Let's change that back to two, and let's render this model. You'll notice that we have a smooth result, even though the model in model space hasn't been sub divided at all. The smoothing happens behind the scenes with MentalRay if it has an approximation editor applied to it. So that's one of the big advantages with using the MentalRay Approximation Editor.
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