Maya Day 3 – my first render!

Today I created my first scene from scratch (a very simple one with some primitives and slight modeling), textured the objects, and then rendered it! Very satisfying to do it all. I had considered downloading some cool models online to practice rendering, but then thought it’d be more fulfilling to do it all (even if it’s very simple).

I learned:

In hypershade, to load a previous material in the node graph select the material and hit the lil box with the two arrows on either side on the top panel of the node graph. I’m not sure if there’s a more efficient way to go about this but that’s what I learned from the documentation. To be honest I’m still getting a handle on the texturing workspace in Maya (haven’t yet realized why one needs to clear the workspace or what’s the benefit of having this ‘workspace’ function, but that’s a problem for another day).

To easily maneuver and view through cameras, one can click the lil domino looking icon on the left side of the screen which splits the screen (and once you set which type of split screen you want, pressing space bar will toggle it on and off!). Then take one of your viewports and change the ‘view’ to be from the camera. Now if you adjust this view it will move the camera, and if you click the ‘film gate’ button at the top it will show the aspect ratio of the shot.

To add depth of field, make sure you’re adjusting the settings in the Arnold tab of the camera (and not in the other regular DOP tag). This one tripped me up for a solid 10 minutes hah. Also Arnold calls ‘f-stop’ ‘aperture size’ for some reason. That also took me 10 minutes to realize.

I am still confused on:

While I was able to render and save my image this time, I’m still not sure why my last scene was rendering a white image. It might’ve had something to do with the atmosphere, as I had no problems with this new scene.

Additionally, I couldn’t find the ‘save project’ button to create the whole array of folders that the Maya project lives in. I ended up just saving the Maya file in my previous project’s folder. I guess I’ll figure out real file management as I go along.

Looking ahead:

Tomorrow I want to do another full render test, which will hopefully set me up to dive into render layers on Monday and Tuesday. Although if I have the time tomorrow I might also do some render layers research as I’ll have classes on Tuesday. We shall see.

Man this is exciting. I’m happy to get a real image out of Maya. I know the real power of Maya comes with its animation tools, although that’s not until much further down the line… hopefully not too much further though 🙂

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