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We have seen how to colour surfaces, light scenes and render frames. Because frame output is the reason that we use a piece of animation software like Maya and not just to display rendered pictures on the monitor, being able to render these frames before the deadline will be an important aspect when considering a timeline for a project. At all points during the project, set off test renders so that you can keep an eye on total render time, and sit and do the calculations for the entire project. What can create a faster turnaround from rendering the scene to delivering the final output is the “divide and conquer” method of rendering. Sometimes a compositing solution will be required to integrate different rendered layers and other elements. If you take this to be a given, then you can swiftly look at your scene and start splitting up your rendering requirements into layers. Maya provides a user-friendly way of achieving this with the Render Layers technique, so all you have to do is to sort your scene into groups of reciprocal objects and render these layers for compositing into the background images. You can optimize the renderer further by tuning the surface attributes for each object so that they are only as complex as you need them to be for the amount of space that they take up on the screen. This is also true of textures; use bump maps for distant objects (if you can see this effect) and only use displacement maps when silhouettes and shadows get closer to the camera.
KeywordsGround Plane Directional Light Motion Blur NURBS Surface Point Light
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