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Lighting and Rendering with mental ray in Maya with Eric Keller shows how to master practical mental ray techniques for rendering models created in Maya. This course walks through the most efficient and innovative mental ray techniques, including direct versus indirect lighting methods, creating different types of shadows, using the new ShadowMap camera, and reusing shadow and final gathering maps. A chapter on optimizing render times and enhancing render quality is also included. Exercise files are included with the course.
If you have access to the exercise files for this course, you can put them on your desktop as I have, or anywhere else you want. It is important that when you have placed the files on your computer that when you open up Maya and start to work on the project files, make sure you set your project correctly. This is important to avoid problems of breaking textures and things like that. To do this, just go to the File menu and under Project, choose Set. Navigate to find the Exercise File project. And choose the Set option.
Once this has been set, when you open the scenes in Maya, you'll choose File > Open Scene. And in the scenes directory there are two folders: exercise_start and exercise_end. The exercise_start folders are the exercises at the beginning of each lesson, and in the exercise_end folder, you'll find the end result, the files that match the end of each lesson. If you're working in Maya and you find that for instance, you're using one of the toy movies, the model in this movie has textures applied to it within the shader.
If these textures aren't showing up, you want to make sure that you go to the Shader tab in the Attribute Editor - it's known as monsterShader - and make sure that the textures are linked correctly. Another way to do this is to go to Windows > Rendering Editors > Hypershade. Click on the Textures tab, and click on one of the file tabs. And what you should see is you should see sourceimages\ and then the name of the texture, in this case, characterTexture.tif, and for file2: sourceimages\characterNormal.tif.
If you're seeing other characters here, and it's not finding the texture, you can fix this easily by clicking on the folder icon here, navigate to the sourceimages directory within the Exercise Files project, and then select the corresponding texture, characterTexture or characterNormal, depending on which one you need to connect. And that should solve any problems you're having with texture visibility. If you don't have access to these files, you can follow along with your own files as we proceed with the course.
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