Maya Day 4 – practice rendering in Arnold

Today I delved more into rendering in Arnold with this great tutorial, and then had fun making the image below.

I learned:

I learned to make a new project (that has all the proper folders) one goes to File -> Project Window -> then select where to create it! Quite simple. Then make sure to save the new scene within this project so the autosave can start doing its thing.

In terms of rendering, in render settings one can set it to render at half precision to save image size. You can also set the render image size to be HD here, then in render view set the view resolution to be half (so you don’t have to change any actual settings when making the final render). While I am familiar with rendering and sampling in Blender, the tutorial also gave me the good reminder to turn off samples for values that aren’t used (in my case transmission and SS).

In render view, to make Maya faster one can change the number of CPU threads being used with Set Render -> Save UI Threads. This only works if you have multiple threads though (which I do not hah). Apparently it’s also useful to ‘update full scene’ (AKA control U) which can force reset the rendered scene when there are issues. I ran into an issue where it was only rendering the perspective view, and eventually discovered the fix being to go to IPR -> IPR Render -> choose camera. That tripped me up for a solid 15 minutes.

For higher quality renders it’s really important to increase the light samples on each individual light (this is different than Blender!) which helps get better quality shadows and less noise.

In terms of shading, I learned that IQR for most objects is 1.5 (for some metals its much higher though), the specular weight switches on and off specular values, and also that Arnold generally shades rougher than most other render engines.

For some random tips I learned that to delete a vertex press Control Delete (instead of just Delete), and if you hold backslash and right click drag you can zoom in without actually zooming in the camera, and once you do so pressing backslash will toggle between the zoom and normal view.

Fun stuff!

I am still confused on:

The Render View seemed different this time I used it. I’m not sure how exactly though. Also the render stopped with there still being a square (bottom right) showing. And the image saved like that too! What’s up with that?

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