Google is always your friend when it comes to troubleshooting technical problems. Someone out there will have the answer - if you can just ask the right question.
Below is a technical cheat sheet that should help you to create beautiful, final rendered images - and a movie file - without too many tears.
The purpose of this technical brief is to show you how to create a batch render of the textured, lit images in your Maya scene.
That is to say, you need to generate a series of rendered images which can be turned into a movie file, such as a QT or AVI.
There are two parts to this: Part one is to create a “batch” of rendered images. Part two is to turn these images into a movie file.
What is Rendering? Rendering is "where everything starts to go wrong". There are two kinds of renderer:
- Scanline renderers: (eg Maya). They are cheap and fast.
- Raytracers: These are higher quality but expensive and slow.
|Mental Ray - free with Maya|
Part 1 - Making a Batch Render
1. Check your plugins to make sure you have Mental Ray installed. Go to Window/settings/prefs/plug in manager. Scroll down and make sure maya2mr.mll is loaded.
2. Click on render preferences and check the settings. A window titled render settings should open up.
3. Under render settings, check the path (ie where the images will go) to make sure you have set your project correctly. Your rendered images should go into the images folder of the current project.
4. At the top of the common render settings tab, specify file name – eg Bouncing Ball
5. Under Frame/Animation.ext:, select name.#.ext
6. Under image format: select tiff
7. Check your start & end frames. These should be the exact frames you want to render.
8. Set Frame Padding to 4
9. Make sure you render from the correct camera. Under renderable camera: go to Shot_Cam.
10. Set your Image size to a 16:9 aspect ratio. We suggest HD: 1280x720 pixels
11. Render using Mental Ray
|Editing software: Premiere|
13. Now...instead of the Animation menu (top left) switch to Render menu
14. Go to render/batch render/options. Use all available processors, hit batch render and close.
15. Maya will start rendering your frames. Monitor the results at the bottom of the screen. It will take a few minutes to render.
Part 2 – create a movie file.
1. Now open up your editing software, using either Final Cut (for Mac) or Premiere (for a PC). There is a video here which shows you how: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLu483ylI2E&index=24&list=UUDDLjVzktmuBtZZo8w_B0RQ
2. You can also use Quick Time Pro (very simple software, costs just $30)
3. If you have Quick Time Pro, go to file/import to import the frames. In Final Cut, create a project, name it, and drop your rendered images into a bin,
4. In Premiere, create a project, name it, and go to file/import. Select the first rendered image and tick the box which says “image sequence”. Premiere will import your images. Drag the images into your timeline.
5. Check that the images are OK, and play sequentially with no errors.
6. File/export your images as a QT or AVI file.
To find out more about Animation Apprentice, click here for a link to Frequently Asked Questions. To sign up for our next classroom at Animation Apprentice, follow this link. For more information on finding work and surviving in the animation and visual effects business, read our post on how to find a job in the animation industry, and check out our post about what not to do at a job interview. Also see our post on starting your own small animation business, learn how to create an invoice, and see how we are helping our students find work through our film co-operative Nano Films. Download the free Escape Studios Careers in VFX Handbook. Take a look at how awn.com can help you find a job, and read our piece about how to survive as a freelance animator. Also, find out what Cinesite look for in a student's demo reel, and read our post on setting up your own animation business. Also see our post about freelancers and taxes.