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Having installed our V-Ray software, and having made certain that we have launched the V-Ray license server before starting the Maya application, we're now ready to jump in, and set up V-Ray as our default production render engine. First, though, let's just set up our exercise files, so that they work correctly, and we're going to be using Maya's project structure to do this. So let's come up to the File menu, left mouse click, drop down the options to this Set project option. We want to select that. This will bring up our Set project window, which really allows us to set the base folder -- the root folder -- for our project structure.
We want to make certain that we come to the location of our exercise files, in our case, this is the Desktop. We just simply left mouse click once, click to set that option, and we're done. We have now set up our exercise files to work correctly. In fact, if we come up to the File > Open Scene option, you can see, we're taken straight into our Exercise_Files structure, into the project structure, into the scenes folder; now all we've to do is select the appropriate chapter, and we can load the appropriate scene file.
Okay, well let's now set up V-Ray to be our default production rendering engine inside of Maya. Now generally speaking, we would just come up to the Render Settings window, pull that up, and then dropping down this Render Using list, we would select the production render that we want to work with. Only, you can see that V-Ray is not currently an option available to us. This is because there is a step that we need to perform; we need to come to our Window menu, down to Settings and Preferences, we want to come down to the Plug-In Manager, and if we just scroll down this window, you can see there's a vray/plug-ins option; we need to make certain that we set V-Ray to be loaded as a render.
Of course, if we want V-Ray to be loaded each and every time we start the Maya application, we want to put a check in the Auto Load option as well. Now, if we close that, and come back to our Render Using list, you can see that V-Ray is an available option for us. Of course, at this point, all we've to do is set up V-Ray to be a temporary assignment as the production renderer. If we close Maya, and restart it, then we would be back to our Maya Software option. If we want to automate the process, so that V-Ray is always set as our production renderer of choice, again, come back up to the Window menu > Settings/Preferences; this time, choose the Preferences option, and over on the left hand side, we'll see that there is a Rendering option we can select.
Now we just need to set our preferred renderer, and if we drop down to V-Ray, I would recommend that you use 32-bit floating-point. This is an option that'll give you a lot of flexibility if you come to work in post-production situations with your final render. So I'm just going to select that as well. We can say OK to the fact that we know that this will take effect next time Maya is started, and with a save, we're done. We have now set up V-Ray to be the default production renderer each and every time we start the Maya application. Well now would seem like a good time to actually go and locate where inside of the Maya UI we can find, enable, and control the large array of tools that have been set up as a part of our V-Ray 2.0 install.
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