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I’ve been using this great set of shaders and procedural nodes for Mari and thought I’d share the link. The Maya mia_material_x style procedural shader with Fresnel falloff and IBL controls are a huge step up from the Mari 2.5 Cook-Torrance shader:
And anything that can add more non-destructive procedurals to Mari’s excellent layer nodes is a boon. A boon, I say. A boon.
Someone on CGSociety asked how to go from ZBrush Polygroups to unique coloured meshes in Maya so I thought I’d post a quick video:
Here’s the script to do the colour part:
Put it in any Maya script folder and run “uniqueColourMe”.
Save the commandLinerMR.mel script to one of your Maya scripts folder (~/Library/Preferences/Autodesk/maya/scripts being the best one since it works with all Maya versions) and enter “commandLinerMR;” without the quotes to use it once you’ve relaunched Maya.
here’s a post on how you install scripts in Maya:
Put the Facer MEL script in any of the Maya script folders, relaunch Maya and enter “facer;” into the MEL command line
I’ve been working on a completely redone Mari Me script for Maya that is written in Python (the original Mari Me was done in MEL) and adding new features to the Python version. The major features for the Pro version include:
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If you want to make your own IBL rendering of your scene for whatever reason, you might think that you need to find some special camera that has a weird fish-eye view or something but the way to do it is actually dead simple: make a sphere, make the sphere 100% reflective with no diffuse contribution (black) and bake your sphere’s texture to a 32-bit format like EXR:
A Maya polygonal sphere has the same UV setup as an IBL node so you don’t have any other work to do.
Recent painting: The Troubled Pole Herder
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In my review of the 2013 Mac Pro, one of the biggest issue I had with the machine was the OpenGL performance and the showstopper was a set of videos that shows how bad the D700 GPUs perform with very large Maya scenes. Well, it turns out that this is due to a Maya bug – you’re surprised, I know – and there is a simple fix for Maya 2014. Just put this line in your Maya.env plain text file ( ~/Library/Preferences/Autodesk/maya/2014-x64/Maya.env):
That’s for the D700’s 6GB of VRAM. Obviously for your particular GPU, set it to whatever your GPU’s RAM is, or slightly lower if you want to be extra safe. Relaunch Maya and witness the result – a giant performance boost and near-parity with Windows performance:
Glad this was sorted out and this fix will be rolled into Maya 2015. Off to update the review…
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As you probably saw here or on Twitter, I recently got a new 8-core Mac Pro. Occasionally, I occasionally test scripts in Maya for Windows and do model conversions in Autodesk Max and sometimes use a Windows virtual machine to do it, even though I have a gaming rig that could be used instead. If you read my review of both VMware Fusion 6 and Parallels Desktop 6 on Ars Technica, you might have been able to tell that I prefer Parallels’ speedier and robust 3D support but envied Fusion 6’s support for 16 virtual CPU cores.
So Parallels gave me a testout of their Parallels Desktop 6 Enterprise edition that has 16-core support for this machine. So I quickly put it to the test with Cinebench to compare it to VMware and the host Mac’s score. Results (score, higher is better):
Native 8-core Mac Pro in OS X 10.9.1: 13.74
8-core Mac Pro with VMware Fusion 6 Windows 7: 12.99
8-core Mac Pro with Parallels Desktop 9 Enterprise: 13.05
Not bad and it confirm that this is still my all-around favourite virtual machine program for demanding 3D client applications and rendering. Max runs well:
If you are testing Maya scripts in Windows, the viewport 1 performance is okay too:
And the best thing? You’re literally running two OSes and two demanding 3D applications but multitasking is still better than when rendering on native Windows hardware:
Multitasking with no priority drop for the rendering. Dare to dream.
Sorry Windows users, but I had to. After the spate of questions about why I’d run 3D apps in OS X when the OpenGL performance is better in Windows, that should be answer enough.
Anyway, Parallels Desktop 9 Enterprise a $100/year and, while that is a reasonable price for the software, I hope they add it to the base non-Enterprise version because VMware’s Fusion is cheaper and doesn’t require a timed-out subscription to offer similar virtual 16-core support. But, if you need a 3D machine in a VM now for OS X, this is the best option.
So my very long review of the new Mac Pro is up on Ars Technica after extended testing with a ton of pro apps. Great machine but Apple’s job is not yet finished since the lack of dual CPU configurations and lacklustre OpenGL drivers make it tricky to recommend as a one-stop shop for all things 3D. The OpenCL scores are bananas though – you’d have a hard time finding a more capable machine for OpenCL-accelerated 4K editing in programs like Resolve or Final Cut Pro X.
And man, this thing is quiet and tiny: