It’s done! After many new things being added and a serious upgrade of both my knowledge of V-Ray and my MEL skills, it’s a big improvement over the last version and includes many things specifically for V-Ray for Maya 2.0, which just went into public beta testing for people who pre-ordered it. Grab it here. The major changes are:
- Added per-light pass rendering script. More on this below.
- Made a material converter for V-Ray for Maya to V-Ray for Max (see end of this post).
- Added sync light size and target rect lights buttons.
- Added a bunch of little feedback things like GI readout on load/refresh and resolution settings. Lots of hot help added so look at the Help line and Script Editor feedback for new stuff.
- Option to load V-Ray plug-in if it’s not loaded.
- Quick LWFMe button to set up a linear workflow in one click.
- Launch IMap Viewer from Utilities menu.
- Added padding to right so scroll bar doesn’t crop in by default
- Made menus with lots of stuff to save space.
- Added another row of checkbox controls to some common features for animators. To keep it less confusing, I organized these logically in vertical rows according to areas they affect (DMC, Linear Workflow, etc).
- Added LightMaps menu to give quick access to disk cache modes for Irradiance Map and Light Cache for animators. You need to set up the cache file paths first and then these work as expected. Feedback about which is active is given if you hit Refresh or change one of the menu settings.
- Various V-Ray RT specific items added.
- Added Maya2VRay material converter. All code for this written and supported by Paul Dreisen firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again, Paul.
- Increased Max AA DMC samples slider for those using high values with Nederhorst settings or very high DMC adaptation.
- Option to load Console.app from Utilities for render feedback for Mac OS X. In Windows, this is the Output Window (it was created because there is no stdout for Windows). Unfortunately, since there are so many different distros for Linux, there’s no way to pick one file that I can launch on Linux, so this is OS X only.
- Updated Attach Cam procedure for V-Ray 2. It probably won’t work with 1.5 now.
This was created as an imitation of Maxwell Render’s Multilight, since I also use Maxwell and love that feature. The script goes through your scene and renders out a file for each of your visible V-Ray lights (don’t use Maya lights with V-Ray if you’re new to V-Ray) and saves them according to the light name (Dome, VraySun, environments included). The naming part is the reason for the Render Globals window opening (leave that open until it’s done). If you have meshes with V-Ray Light Materials in your scene, you simply have to select those before running the PerLightRender script and it will work with those as well:
For those unfamiliar with Maxwell’s Multilight or you’re having a hard time picturing this in a workflow, here’s a quick demo of how you would use it for still images as a “render once and tweak lights without re-rendering” scenario. I often use this when I don’t care to finalize the actual scene lights to perfection just to get a nicely lit image with a lot of lights (In the beginning of the movie, I’m just changing a bunch of stuff quickly to get rendering working faster and fixing my scaled lights):
It’s also a handy way to check light contribution since it can often be unclear what light is doing what within your scene. This method also works with global illumination, unlike the V-Ray 2 Light Select Render Element. You have to render to a 32-bit format for it to store light in floating point, so keep that in mind. The script also turns render elements off before rendering the lights, so you don’t get an absolute ton of images you don’t need (it restores your current render element on/off setting when it’s done). Photoshop and After Effects users, use Linear Dodge (Add) for compositing the layers.
The only limitation to this Per Light Rendering script is that the new V-Ray Material Self Illumination parameter is not checked and it also doesn’t check if you have a V-Ray Light Material in a Blend Material so if you are using those, it will render each frame with those in it, compounding improperly when you comp them. Nothing is changed in your scene, so don’t be scared to use this or the DaveBake420 script.
Target Light and Sync Light Size
Here’s a quick video showing these two button features:
This was added to 1.7.3 but I thought I’d quickly show it here for people who don’t know what it does:
I’ve used this script a lot already for making ambient occlusion textures for scene objects. It was used for my building, ground and planes in this illustration. Also, works well with my GoP script since that sends objects to Photoshop with the name as well.
The MaxScript V-Ray material converter is not ready for Windows/Linux. A Python port is being worked on so I hope to have that integrated in an update soon.
If this is the first time you’re using V-Ray Tuner and you’re wondering why it doesn’t connect attributes when scenes load, hit the Refresh button. This also acts as a way to read out your current scene’s V-Ray info that is also new:
V-Ray Info: Primary Engine is Irradiance Map, Secondary Engine is Light Cache. Lightmaps: IMap: Single Frame / Light Cache: Single Frame
Also, I want to change the menus to use checkboxes but these trip the script if your scene isn’t loaded and it tries to read non-existent nodes that V-Ray hasn’t created yet. Anyway, enjoy and, if you want to thank me for this script, find the nearest pug and pat him or her on the head. Mine’s waiting to be walked while I type this.
Update: the MaxScript converter now uses MEL so all you have to do is select the material, run the converter from the Materials dropdown and the MaxScript code is output to the Script Editor for copying and pasting into Max.