Small Maintenance Update to V-Ray Tuner for Maya 2014
V-Ray Tuner 3.4.1 posted for download. There’s not too much new here but there’s an important fix for the Optimize button script for Maya 2014. Maya 2014 has a bug that returns the wrong number for RAM amount for “memory -phy” so, if you’re running 2014, the script asks you to enter your memory amount in GB. Otherwise, the only other new addition is that I’ve added Point Light support to per-light render script.
V-Ray Tuner 3.4 Update Releasededed
This is not a huge update to V-Ray Tuner but it brings a few fixes and features that affect various things. Here’s 3.4 changelog:
- Composite pre-bake diffuse colour with V-Ray Dirt RE:
- Changed DaveBake420 10% value to be 512x512, instead of 409.6x409.6 (10% of 4096).
- Attach Cam button now prompts you to add and enable physical cam attributes if you don’t have them already on the selected camera. If you select no, it will still hook up the overscan setting.
- materialDropper and materialCopyDropper now work on face-level selections as well as with objects.
- Optimize button now sets memory setting (sys_rayc_dynMemLimit) to 80% of total memory in your system.
- Fixed material worker layer script. I had started to implement a new feature but forgot to finish it so it was broken for a couple versions.
- Per-light render script now does solo light re-renders. If you have a light selected and run per-light render, it will only render that selected light:
- Small fix to per light exposure light tweak - it could fail to properly detect your light selection before.
- Revert To Saved Document script added to Utils menu.
V-Ray Tuner 3.3 Gets the Hot Feature Injection
I am pretty happy with the latest V-Ray Tuner 3.3 update. It adds a number of features that I now use constantly and I think they’ll be pretty popular. Here’s a break down of what’s new in 3.3:
- Optimize setting now prompts you for core count when distributed rendering is on. Use the max threads of any of your machines that are active in the render. If you have a local machine that’s eight cores (or four hyperthreaded) and a slave machine that has 16-cores hyperthreaded (32-threads), enter 32. Disable DR and click Optimize again and it will properly set the thread count for the local machine only:
- Added a disable texture filtering script to Materials menu so you can turn off filtering for File nodes all at once.
- DaveBake420 script has got a big uprade in 3.3. Now has an option to comp your Dirt V-Ray pass with the diffuse channel after baking. Good for adding grittiness to diffuse textures with little work:
- Fix Light Size button replaced with create Sun & Sky script. V-Ray no longer has issues with manually-scaled lights so the script is no longer necessary.
- Sprite Maker script now works with currently selected camera, not just main persp camera.
- New Material Swapper script that should replace the “Maya and mental ray Mat to VRay” script for conversion of Maya materials to V-Ray mats and back. Paul Dreisen graciously provided the original script but I tend to convert more between Maya’s materials and V-Ray than mental ray mats and I wanted to beef up the accuracy of conversion that’s done by the script to save time. This script does a really good job of converting things like Phong materials from Mudbox FBX files to V-Ray, with all channel-mapped texture intact. If you want to go back to Mudbox but you’ve set up a V-Ray Material, it will swap the V-Ray Mat for a similarly set-up Phong, Lambert or Blinn mat. It’s also great for mass-converting Paint Effects polygon materials. Here it is in action:
It’s not shown in that video but the release script now has a palette with an option to keep the original swapped-out mats after conversion.
As always, let me know if there’s anything you want added or tweaked in V-Ray Tuner.
V-Ray Tuner 3.2 – Small Maintenance Update for Linear Workflow Tools
I’ve updated V-Ray Tuner with some more robust changes to the handling of materials and textures when using the Gamma Correct Me script. It now works with any type of texture and it no longer gamma corrects a node if it’s parented to a gamma correct already. It’s more foolproof overall and, as always you can do the degamma on textures or the parent V-Ray materials:
- Edit all selected images script to open all selected file nodes in image editor
- Shellac me now enables shadows for both base and coat materials. I always use this, so if you don’t want this on, remove these two lines from the script: setAttr ($currentSurfaceShader + “.bumpShadows”) 1; and this: setAttr ($fresnelCoater + “.bumpShadows”) 1;
V-Ray Tuner 3.1 Adds Basic File Texture Manager and Other Features
Updated V-Ray Tuner with some things I think many people will find helpful:
- Select objects with selected materials script selects objects, not just faces, for selected material:
- Added feature to Material Copy Dropper: if only one object is selected, it will duplicate the material and upstream nodes and apply it to the selected object
- Gamma Correct Me now gamma corrects connected subtextures as well as swatches for V-Ray Materials:
- Gamma Correct Me dialog automatically selects the menu item for the item type you selected: file or V-Ray Mat
- Added Gamma Correct Me support for VRayFastSSS2 mat. Works for both swatches and attached file nodes
- Added per-light exposure tweak support for V-Ray Light Materials, V-Ray Materials (self-illum slot is adjusted by exposure), Sun and Environment (Sky).
- Added script to select and copy files that are outside project sourceimages folder to sourceimages and relink them:
Download link. Enjoy.
It’s Your Maya Script Birthday! V-Ray Tuner 3.0 and Facer 2.8
So, after finishing up some jobs and adding some features to these while working on those contracts, I have rolled in some new things to both V-Ray Tuner and Facer. There’s quite a bit that’s added in each and I’ve included some features of one script in the other just because it made sense for things like UVs, which affect both modelling and rendering.
V-Ray Tuner 3.0 new features:
- Material Copy Dropper in Materials menu. This is similar to the Material Dropper script that lets you apply materials from the first selected object to all the subsequently selected objects but this applies the copied shader from a “Duplicate Network” operation so you can use the source material as a starting point for your next object’s material:
- Stored Texture Reloader. I got tired of having to dig down to a file node when doing external tweaks on a texture file, so I added this. It lets you store the working texture file and refreshes it when you select the menu item again. Select a new File node and it will replace the stored texture as the one you want to refresh:
- Gamma Correct Me now has an interface to select the type of thing you want to degamma for a linear workflow: colour swatches of your selected material(s) or selected texture(s). This way, you can just avoid gamma correct nodes, set your swatch colours and just do all the gamma correction in one step with this.
- Gamma Correct Me script for textures now uses V-Ray attribute for File node to avoid black textures in viewport. It uses a Gamma Correct node for everything else and works with ramps, blendColors, etc. Here’s a demo of those last few features in action:
As you can see from the way I start a linear workflow scene from scratch, this lets you click the LWFMe button to initialize all the right parameters for a linear workflow but then you disable the LWF toggle to work with manually linearized swatches. The Gamma Correct me script for swatches currently only works on V-Ray Materials (not FastSSS2, Light Mats, etc). I’ll add support for those later.
- Added Brute Force/Brute Force and Light Cache/Light Cache presets to GI modes dropdown.
- Added Transfer UVs script to Utils menu. Select source first and all targets after that and run script to transfer UVs.
- DaveBake420 script now automatically enables texture baking render settings and then disables them on completion
- Select Missing Textures script added to Materials menu. Checks if any of the links to file nodes are missing links and selects them if they are.
- Added 200% upres option to the R% render preview size. I’ve found I wanted this occasionally. This doubles the actual resolution, not just the preview resolution so it will ask for confirmation. See these last two demoed:
Facer 2.8 new features
- Better UV Checker tool in Materials menu. See below.
- Better UV checker tool. I made a custom colour UV grid and the script will prompt you to download it automatically if it can’t find it in your home script path. Because Windows lacks a command line download tool like curl, I had to use Python and it might need a couple tries to grab the file. See it in action:
- UV Snapshot tool to launch a temp snapshot file. I find I never want to keep this file, I just want to open it in Photoshop to put on another texture, so this saves the snapshot to your OS tmp folder and opens it in whatever app is set to open PNG files.
- Cull Toggle, toggle normals, toggle face centres and toggle BBox now disables or enables normals for all selected objects instead of simply flipping the individual object’s normal state (leaving you with a mix of normals on/off):
- Added options dialog to Replace All With Last Selected script. Lets you use instances instead of copies and select scale of copies to keep source or target scale.
Often when you work, you’re lazy about using instances to save memory so this lets you just do it all in one step for big memory savings at render time. When you render a bunch of those heads with copies, it takes over 6GB of memory (click for high res):
Use the script to replace those copies with instances and your render memory usage drops to 1.6GB (click for high res):
So, I hope you enjoy these updated scripts – the download links are in the new feature headers for both. If you get a lot of use out of them, maybe consider picking up a copy of the ePUB, Kindle, iPad iBook or PDF version of 101 Autodesk Maya Tips, which is still only $2.99. In the words of Yakov Smirnoff – IS BARGAIN!
V-Ray Tuner 2.7.1 Posted For Download
Version 2.7.1 of V-Ray Tuner is up and has a few new features and a bug fix that might be affecting certain Windows users:
- Fixed sleep command for Linux - needs to run with sudo on RHEL distros. You’ll need to enable your user to run pm-suspend without a sudo prompt: http://polygonspixelsandpaint.tumblr.com/post/29222395621
- Added a Add Round Edge script to utilities menu for giving round edges to multiple selected objects
- Added the ability to use a copy of the selected object as the object for Material Worker Layer. Select your mesh, enable “Use selected” and hit Material Worker Layer button.
- Changed parts of script that used “RedoPreviousIPR” to “RedoPreviousIPRRender” because it wasn’t working in some Windows configs.
- Added ability to render a single selected light for per-light rendering. This gives you the ability to update one light pass render without having to re-render all lights. Select your light and run PerLightRender from button or menu.
V-Ray Tuner’s reached 4000+ downloads and counting and it’s got 4.5 stars as a rating on Creative Crash. Glad people people are enjoying it and find it useful.
Tip for Linux V-Ray Tuner users: Use the Sleep After Render Features
V-Ray Tuner has a “sleep at end of render” script that works on all three platforms but I realized recently that most Linux distros require that you run pm-suspend as root, nullifying the script. This can be addressed by letting users run pm-suspend without sudo. Just use visudo to add these lines to your user’s sudo permissions to prevent a prompt for password when using sudo:
username ALL=NOPASSWD: /usr/sbin/pm-suspend
Until I post an update, Linux V-Ray Tuner users will have to find and replace “pm-suspend” with “sudo pm-suspend” in the V-Ray Tuner MEL script.
V-Ray Tuner Gets Some Big Updates in Version 2.7
If you have been following V-Ray Tuner for a while, you’ll know I use the per-light render feature quite a bit to make flexible composites that can be rendered once and adjusted in post. While working on my last job for Reader’s Digest, I added per-light render support for the self-illumination values of V-Ray Materials. The self-illumination value in the V-Ray Material can be an uncorrected colour swatch, a gamma correct with anything plugged into it or it can be a file texture. I made sure that this script works fine with a mix of meshes with V-Ray Light Materials and meshes with V-Ray Materials with self-illumination:
It took some work to set that up but it’s bulletproof from what I can tell – it’s only noisy because of the quick render settings I used. I’d like to eventually add the exposure tweaking feature to material-based lights but that will have to wait. The workflow is straightforward: select your meshes that have either type of material, run PerLightRender and you’ve got a very flexible set of images for compositing and your scene is left untouched. Keep in mind that you should be working in a linear workflow for those to add correctly in Nuke or Photoshop.
The other updated feature of V-Ray Tuner 2.7 is to the RT Multi-frame Render script, that lets you use V-Ray RT as an animation renderer for quickly previewing animation renders. I’ve added an option to use the Max Paths Per Pixel option to determine the max render time. This will give you more consistent quality across frames vs. using the RT Max Time Parameter:
There is now an “RT max paths per pixel” slider in the V-Ray RT Settings foldout of V-Ray Tuner so this is easily tweaked and you can change that at any time during the animation render.
Other small changes:
- Changed Optimize button to make smaller buckets if distributed rendering is enabled
- Removed GI Contrast slider. Just not commonly used enough to warrant the space
Here’s the V-Ray Tuner download link.
V-Ray Tuner 2.6.2 Posted for Download
I think a lot of people will like the new render utility preview added in V-Ray Tuner 2.6.2:
When you build complex shaders, it becomes increasingly difficult to tell what a stage looks like by looking at the end result, so that’s why I made the render utility preview. I recommend using the non-OpenCL RT for this feature since RT GPU has very limited support for shader network types. The facing ratio used above is one that doesn’t work in OpenCL mode.
The render utility preview works with pretty much anything you throw at it (utility or procedural texture) if V-Ray RT supports it. It just maps the utility to a surface shader, which has no shading properties so it shows you just what the utility looks like, unshaded. As usual, all temporary surface shaders, render layers and objects are removed on hitting the Cleanup Material Elements button. This won’t make garbage in your scene that you have to manually remove.
Other changes in 2.6.2:
- Material Worker Layer no longer makes a folder in your temp images when you hit IPR Render button (use the palette IPR button). If you use the render view’s IPR button, folders will still be made
- When you remove the Material Worker Layer, it puts the camera position back to where it was before you started tweaking the material
- Added Car Paint material support to Material Worker Layer
- Added Distributed Render Settings to Utilities menu for quick toggling of DR slaves