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Author George Maestri explores the significant and robust feature set in Maya 2011 that add functionality for its 3D workflows in Maya 2011 New Features. This course covers the addition of Bezier curves for NURBS modelers, the Connect Component and Spin Edge tools in the polygonal modeling mode, and rigging tools for character animation. Enhancements to rendering and special effects are also reviewed. Exercise files accompany the course.
Another nice new rendering feature is actually a viewport rendering feature and that's called Viewport 2.0. Now this is a new way of rendering viewports within Maya. Now I have the same file opened. Let's take a look at the renderer for the viewports. By default, you'll have Default Quality Rendering. If we choose High Quality Rendering, you get a little bit better quality. And then we also now have Viewport 2.0, which will give you even better quality.
Now you'll see the quality probably the best on things such as shadows, transparency, and the things that are kind of difficult for a renderer to use. I'm going to go back to Default Quality Rendering. And let's take a look at this scene a little bit more in depth. I'm going to zoom out here. And in this scene if you go over here you're going to find a light. And I want to make sure I have my Attribute Editor open for that light. And I'm going to actually go ahead. And once I've got that lighte selected, I'm going to go back into my Camera viewport here, my Perspective viewport.
So I'm going to go down to the Spotlight Attributes. And I'm just going to turn on some shadows. So we can see what shadows looks like. So I'm going to go ahead and turn on Shadow Color. Make sure I have Depth Map Shadows turned on. I want to make sure that that's going. And then under Lighting I want to turn on Shadows. Now when you turn on Shadows, notice what happen. You get kind of this blocky? You can't really see the shadow. And that's really kind of what happens with Default Quality Rendering. This is really just optimized for speed.
You use this mostly in modeling, that sort of thing. Now if we go to High Quality Rendering, you'll see that the shadow looks better. You know you can actually kind of see the shadow, but we still have a lot of blockiness on this shadow. Here is where Viewport 2.0 comes in very handy. Let's take a look at this one. So I click on Viewport 2.0. And notice how the shadow is no longer blocky. It also gives you a much more accurate representation of what the shadow is.
So now that because I have the light selected, I can play with some of the shadow parameters. So for one thing is let's say I can turn up the resolution of the shadow map. And notice how that really changes. If I turn it way down, you can see the banding that you would get in rendering that or if I keep it fairly low, around 500-600, you can see that I have kind of a blurry shadow. We can also blur or unblur the shadow by using this Filter Size. If you want a very specific shadow or if you want a much more soft shadow, you can up the Filter Size.
And you can see exactly how that works in viewport. So let's take a look at some of the options for Viewport 2.0. Under Renderer, I'm going to select Viewport 2. 0 and go over to the option box. Click that. And let's see what these display options are. And let me just run you through these very quickly. The first one is Consolidate World. Now what that does is it basically tries to group like textured objects together. The bottom line for any of these is speed.
So if you click all of these on, you're going to get a much better speed. Now Light Limit tells you how many lights Viewport 2.0 can use maximum. Of course more lights will slow it down. But a faster graphics card will speed things up. So you kind of have to balance those two. And then of course we have Textures. Again, bigger numbers are going to run it a little bit slower. I just tend to go with the defaults, because they work pretty well. Now another thing you have to be aware of with Viewport 2.0 is that not everything works.
Things like Manipulators Component mode won't work. So if I select the cowl of this airplane and I right-click over it and then go into Control Vertex mode, you're not going to be able to see the control vertices. But if I go into Default Quality Rendering mode, you will see them. So that's a big difference. You're not going to use Viewport 2.0 for things like modeling. And there are number of other things that are not supported in Viewport 2.0. So be sure you read the manual for the list or if it doesn't work, that means it's probably not supported yet.
Now this is a new feature, so I'm sure as Maya progresses more and more these features will be added into Viewport 2.0. So Viewport 2.0 is a much more accurate way to render viewports, but you have to do it at the expense of a number of features. So right now I really suggest that you just use it as kind of a rough out for your rendering before you actually go into doing render tests. That's probably the best way to use this new feature.
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