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When we install V-Ray as a Maya plug-in, we are adding an awful lot of extra tools, and pieces of functionality, into what is already a complex and deep piece of software. It would, then, be very easy for us, in this mix, to miss some of the V-Ray tools that have been installed, and are there waiting for us to use. For this reason, we thought it would be a good idea to just spend a few minutes very quickly running through the different areas of the Maya UI where we gain access to V-Ray tools. The first area we are going to draw your attention to is easily the largest collection of V-Ray features and controls that can be found in a single area of the Maya UI.
These are accessed through the Render Settings window. So if we go up to the main toolbar, click on the icon, you can see we pull that dialog up, and you see we have a number of tabs, all housing V-Ray tools and controls. Now, of course, some of these tabs contain global settings, so we will only use them every once in a while. Others, we will find ourselves in and out of on a very regular basis throughout the duration of our projects. Now, materials and maps are another way to access lots of V-Ray functionality.
So let's go to the Window menu, down to Rendering Editors; we want to pull up the Hypershade for ourselves. And here we can see we have quite a number of V-Ray tools and controls available to us. In fact, if we just come up to the Filter area, and just type V-Ray in there, you can see, we get all of the available V-Ray nodes showing up. If we want to filter down to just materials and maps in this Maya section, we can just select the Surface option; you see we get all of our V-Ray materials.
If we come into the 2D Textures section, you can see we get a number of map types that we can work with: Environment Textures, Other Textures, housing, also, V-Ray tools and controls. Now, of course, whenever we select a node -- a V-Ray node inside of the Maya application, so let's go back to the Surface option, and create a V-Ray material for ourselves -- we're going to need to gain access to the controls and the parameters of this particular tool. To do that, we're going to need to make certain that our Attribute Editor is available.
So if we come up to the main toolbar again, and we just click on the Show Attribute Editor option, this brings the Attribute Editor up, and now we gain access to all of this V-Ray materials, controls, and parameters. And of course, if it was another V-Ray tool that we had selected, we would get its controls available in there as well. Coming up to the top of the Maya User Interface, here we have our menu system, and of course, up here, we also gain access to a number of V-Ray tools. For instance, in the Create menu, if we drop down all the way to this bottom section, you can see we have got an array of V-Ray tools that become available tools in there.
If we come to our Selection dropdown, and just select the Rendering set, you can see we have this Lighting/Shading menu that becomes available. Then left-mouse click, and you see down at the bottom, we have quite a number of V-Ray bake options that become available to us also. Just going back to the Render Settings window -- if we just come back, and click on that icon for a moment -- we just want to come into the V-Ray Common tab, you see right down at the bottom of the rollouts, we have this Use V-Ray Frame Buffer option.
We also have this Show V-Ray Virtual Frame Buffer button. If we just left-mouse click on it, this brings up the V-Ray Frame Buffer for us, and as you can see, this itself houses quite a number of tools and controls that will affect how our renders are working. So all in all, as you can see, the Maya UI houses quite a large number of V-Ray tools, controls, and features. This means it's going to be worth our while taking just a little bit of time to get familiar with their locations, so as to be able to make the best use of them.
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