Maya (distributed) Rendering & Networking



Setup a location on our main file server (called lib) that has the following directories in it: plug-ins, scripts and icons. Put all of the items you want globally in these directories. Then distribute a single ascii file called Library to each machine into the /AW/Modules/maya/3.0 directory. The contents of this file are:
+ Library 3.0 /prod/lib/maya
prod being the mount point of the file server. For the NT machines the same applies, but the file reads:
+ Library 3.0 Z:\lib\maya
Z: being the mount point.

Answer from Maya-Listserv on (Adam Martinez, Thu, 4 Jan 2001 16:35:24)

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... use a reference in the animation stage, then use the reference editor to replace a reference...

Answer from Maya-Listserv on (Warren Grubb, Fri, 9 Mar 2001 11:08:42)

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Referencing workflow


One of the great things about referencing in a production environment is that someone can't accidentally change something in the master file. Even if something does manage to get screwed up in a file that's being animated or whatever, especially something with the bind getting screwy, the animation can always just be saved out and reapplied to a fresh reference.
Imagine the nightmares that would happen if everything people did was applied to the original. Then you'd have to resort to any backups of the master file in order to get a clean, working file to re-apply animation to.

In the lighting phase quite often you want to go through and adjust some of the shaders without affecting the master itself, that would muck up all the work the other lighters have done on their scenes.

Not only that, but making this stuff propagate backwards to the master file sounds quite complicated to work into maya... especially when you start talking about wanting only SOME of the changes you've made to the file propagate backwards.

In the case you're talking about specifically to recreate the pose, it seems like the best thing to do would be to have a script that records all the attributes of selected objects and stores them... then reapply those attribute settings to the original, sorta like saving out animation and applying it to the original, but a little easier.... there's a script that Mark Therrell was doing before going to pixar called block n key that would be perfect for this type of thing, I think it's in the highend scripts section. There's a really nice, newer version of it too I hear, but I don't think he's released it on highend. If this one doesn't work i know there's others out there that could do it, and just creating this type script from scratch wouldn't be too difficult either. Would be much faster than trying to get the character into the pose you want by hand.

But if you still wanted to get this to work, you COULD use mel to do it for you, but it definitely wouldn't be easy. 2 ways: you could have mel open up another copy maya with a commandPort, open up the master in the second copy of maya, pop open a little UI that has a "record" button, and report any changes you do in the referenced scene to the master scene, then save and close the second copy of maya when you close the recorder UI. That is VERY complicated. But the only other way I can think to do it is to have mel edit the ASCII file of the master while you work on the referenced version.
That means you have to write something a little more intuitive than thelimited commands mel has for editing text files. Again, very difficult.

Answer from Maya-Listserv on (Kevin Noone, Tue, 4 Dec 2001 02:35:39)

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I don't like render in the render preview window,but I have the benefit of rendering throughout a network and I find that if I "rsh" with another machine and just update the file with fcheck using the command that follows...
(this is from memory so please correct any mistakes) I save the file that I am working on then input into a shell "rsh" <machine name> -n Render <options> <filename> & then I use the command fcheck <image> and use "u" to update the image then you are given a job number and you can kill that at your leisure using kill -9 <job number (the job number is shown when you start the render)> if you forget the job number you can type something like "jobs" or "job" that will kill the process immediately you can use the same command on the same computer if you have the processor power and you just enter the Render command... the benefit of that is you can keep working on the file and have the render process separate from the Maya workspace...
because I also hate to restart Maya (and I don't have the time to wait for a
render to quit) this also works if you want to render your final on more then on machine...
just create a text file with :
rsh <machine1> -n Render -s 1 -e 100 -b 5 <> &
rsh <machine2> -n Render -s 2 -e 100 -b 5 <> &
rsh <machine3> -n Render -s 3 -e 100 -b 5 <> &
rsh <machine4> -n Render -s 4 -e 100 -b 5 <> &
rsh <machine5> -n Render -s 5 -e 100 -b 5 <> &

then I drop the commands into a shell and render away, and if for some reason that I have to kill one I can just list the jobs and kill the one that needs to be killed.
I hope that this is helpful to some one... because this technique has saved my butt more times then once.

Answer from Maya-Listserv on (Kevin Noone, Tue, 4 Dec 2001 02:35:39)

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Reflection Pass


You can create one by using the UseBackground Shader and setting the reflection to maximum.

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Z-Depth Fake


Try faking your z-depth with a ramp, and rendering it as RGB tif (or tga or whatever).
To do this, select all the objects you want in your z-pass, and assign them to one Lambert shader. Create a ramp with the "as projection" option on. Set the ramp so it's white at one end and black at the other. Connect this ramp to the Lambert's incandescence attribute. Position the ramps projection manipulator so it points down the Y axis over your entire scene, with the white end of the ramp at the camera position, and the black end away in the distance. Parent the projection manip to your camera.
Do an IPR render and it should look just like a Z render. You can now tweak your ramp (ie add extra colour entries) until the Z looks the way you want it to. Now render in your prefered file format.
This method gives you much more control over your Z pass, is IPR-able and renders in a flash.

Answer from Maya-Listserv on (Chas Jarrett, Mon, 25 Jun 2001)

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