Join Aaron F. Ross for an in-depth discussion in this video Unified sampling in mental ray, part of Maya 2014 New Features.
In Maya 2014 there are new options for the Mental Ray Renderer. And this could save some time because there's now a single slider to control the overall render quality. Let's open up the Render Settings window and in the Mental Ray Quality tab, you'll see that there's a new sampling mode, Unified Sampling and that's the default. The most important attributes are Quality, Min Samples and Max samples. Quality is basically a Contrast threshold. With a Low Quality setting, then there will need to be a great deal of contrast between adjacent pixels in order to force additional samples or to get better anti-aliasing.
If the Quality setting is up really high, then we won't need as great of contrast between neighboring pixels in order to force additional samples. The Min and Max Samples are here. And currently with the default values, we will get at least one sample per pixel and at most, 100 samples per pixel. But because the Quality slider is down pretty low, we'll really never reach this Maximum Samples level. Let's go ahead and render that and see what it looks like. Go up to Render view and here's what it looks like with Default Quality settings.
I'll go ahead and store that image so we can compare it to other images and let's play around with the Quality setting. I'll bring that down to its minimum value of 0.1 and go ahead and do another rendering in my Render view. And in order for us to see that more clearly, I want to zoom in on my desktop just so we can see that better. So this is a quality setting of 0.1 and that's a quality setting of 0.25. So you can see that there is a difference there. We're getting better anti-aliasing with the higher quality setting of 0.25 per year.
Zooming back out again, go ahead and store that other image. If you want to do Draft Quality renderings and get them done quickly, then you can reduce the Min Samples below 1. If Min Samples has a fractional value, let's say, a 0.5. Then we will not necessarily get one sample per pixel, we might get one sample every 4 pixels in this case. I'll go ahead and render that. And it's starting to look a bit dirtier. I'll go ahead and store it. And once again, Zoom in and you can see that more clearly.
So that's with a Min Sample of 0.5 and that's with a Min Samples of 1. So you can see the difference there. Zoom back out again. You can reduce them in Samples all the way down to 0.1. Go ahead and do another render at that and you could see it's looking very blocky here. Because, in fact, we're getting one sample every 20 pixels here so that's not very good obviously. So you probably wouldn't want to ever take it down that low. I would recommend for Draft Quality renderings, this is probably the sweet spot.
There's another feature here I just want to mention, which is Progressive mode for IPR. And, of course, IPR stands for Interactive Production Rendering. And what Progressive mode does is it basically renders in passes. It'll render kind of a low quality and then refine it progressively so it'll get better and better quality as you watch it render. However, if the Min Samples is down below 1, then in fact it will break IPR and IPR won't work at all. So just to show you. If I click on IPR now and drag a rectangle, now I get a black screen.
And I only found out about this by trial and error. The Min Samples needs to be a value of at least 1 in order for IPR to work in Progressive mode. So I'll go ahead and set that Min Samples to 1, click IPR, and drag a rectangle once again. And you can see the progressive refinement now. And if I make changes to my scene, of course, that'll update the IPR. I'd also like to mention that Progressive mode may not work on all systems. Those are the new options for the Mental Ray Renderer, Unified Sampling and Progressive mode.
- What's new in Maya 2014
- Using the Node Editor
- Understanding binary compatibility
- Using Increment & Save
- Creating a camera from a view
- Drawing in the viewport with Grease Pencil
- Making selections in multicomponent mode
- Enabling symmetry
- Choosing transform options
- Refining with Multi-Cut
- Transforming edges with Edit Edge Flow
- Creating Paint Effects
- Sculpting with Occupation Volume