Output a sequence of images to a disk.
- [Instructor] Rendering an animation image sequence is a little bit different in Arnold than it is in other renderers; primarily due to the licensing arrangement with Solid Angle. Let's set up our parameters for the rendering, as usual. In a previous movie, we modify the render output path for compatibility with Arnold AOVs; we're not generating AOVs this time, so let's check in on that setting in the file menu under project window.
And the images, or render output folder, is currently set to images/AOV. Let's just restore that to the default images folder by deleting the /AOV and click accept, then save the preferences, go to file, save preferences. Next, let's define our image output parameters in the render settings. Click on render settings, and in the comment tab we need to first put in a file name and I'm also going to put a file directory so that my sequence will be stored in its own folder and the frames won't get mixed up with anything else.
I'll enter a directory name here in the file name prefix and I'll call it 05_07_seq and that will be the directory, or folder name, and then a / and then the file name which will also be 05_07_ , and this time I'll spell out the word sequence, and press enter. Below that we have the image format, if we wanted to color grade this in post we would want the exr format; for convenience and compatibility with standard operating systems, we can render directly to an eight bit format such as png.
So let's choose image format, png; just make sure that the color space has, use view transform down here so that the file is correctly encoded as an srgb gamma. Then the frame and animation format, from that pull down list choose name.#.ext. Then we've got our start and end range here; let's set the start range to frame one and the end frame to frame 15.
Down here in renderable camera, we'll see that camera two is already loaded there, and that's for the batch render command. As we'll see in a moment, if we use the render sequence command, we need to choose the renderable camera there and this setting is not relevant. And I've got a standard definition rendering, if we scroll down a little bit, and even though it's a pretty low-resolution render, it may take quite a long time because in our Arnold renderer tab, we previously set the number of camera samples to six and diffuse and specular samples to three.
So those are the render settings and we can close the render settings dialogue and in the rendering menu set, over here, in the render menu, we have the standard batch render command. If you've rented a standalone Arnold license from Solid Angle, or if you don't mind a watermark in a test rendering, you can choose batch render and the batch render command will launch another process to render in the background so that you can still work in Maya.
However, if you haven't rented a separate license of Arnold for your computer, then this Maya command will result in images with the watermark burned in. If you want to batch render, command line render, or network render in Arnold, you have to rent a license from Solid Angle. You can still render an image sequence in the base package of Maya and that's what this render sequence command is all about. However, this command will not allow you to interact with Maya while the render is running.
So once you execute this command, this Maya instance is going to be locked up for however long the render sequence takes, or until you cancel it with the escape key on the keyboard. Let's go into the render sequence options box. And in here we need to always check in on the current camera. We want to set that to camera two, in this case. We can close the render sequence options. Next, let's open up the render view; click on the clapboard with an eye, but don't execute a rendering just yet.
And from within here, we can run the render sequence command. But you might want to size the window and position it where you need it to be, because once you start rendering, you won't be able to move the windows. Then, when you're ready, execute the render sequence command. Either from the render view tool bar or from the render menu, we've got render sequence. At this point, I cannot work in Maya. And if I need to get back to Maya, I'll hold down the escape key.
Now, while this is running, even if I launched another instance of Maya, there might be limitations in the hyper shade, or the Arnold rental view. This render sequence command gets the job done and it's okay for students or no budget productions; but, if you need to do any serious Arnold rendering, you'll need to look into renting an Arnold license from Solid Angle. Another way to go would be to look into a cloud rendering service in which you upload your scene file and the rendering service has the appropriate Arnold licensing.
And that may be cheaper than renting an Arnold license for your workstation depending upon how much you need to render. Here's a full screen version of the rendering and that I actually did upload to a cloud rendering service in order to save time and to avoid having to rent an Arnold license for my workstation. And that's how to use the render sequence command to render an animation in Arnold. That concludes the chapter on rendering and it wraps up the course and the core features of Arnold 5 in Maya.
- Arnold rendering concepts
- Lighting with Maya and Arnold lights
- Controlling exposure
- Filtering light with Gobo
- Light attenuation with Decay
- Image-based lighting with Skydome
- Exterior daylight with Physical Sky
- Arnold Standard Surface material attributes
- Mapping material attributes
- Rendering refractions
- Mesh subdivision and displacement at render time
- Shading effects such as ambient occlusion and vertex color
- Camera effects such as fisheye and depth of field
- Animation image sequence rendering