Monday, April 5, 2010

k_progressiveRendering in MmmmTools

Joe Crawford the creator MmmmTools have included my script k_progressiveRendering as downloadable package in the MmmmTools.

The tools automate the download and the installation of the k_progressiveRendering script, but it does not include the Render Window icon implementation.

MmmmTools is a really nice package of extremely usefull scripts to help speed up your work in Maya. I suggest taking a look at it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mia_material texture hardware display problem

In Maya any duplicated a mia_material, mia_material_x or mia_material_x_passes, do not display the textures in the hardware display properly. You end up with a bunch of black objects.

You can run this script to fix the problem.

Download the script and copy the mel file in any script folder, call the command fixMiaHardwareShading() in the script editor to execute the script.

Enjoy textures in your 3d view once more!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Architectural material default value in Softimage

Following Zap's post on the default AO values of the architectural (mia_material) material in Softimage.
I have created corrected spdl for Softimage 2010.

Download the corrected spdl here

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Linear Workflow dedicated website

Master Zap have launched a site on linear workflow There is nothing much on there at the moment but it will surely gets filled with a good amount of great information in the near futur.

I thought it was worth talking about that site, you should check it out regularly...I know I will.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Physical Sun And Sky addon Update

I have updated the Physical Sun and Sky plugin for Softimage. This update fix the bug where if you pick a light source instead of creating a new one the script would crash.

You can grab the version 1.1 here

Thanks to Robert for finding this bug.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Softimage 2010 demo

The Softimage 2010 version is finally out. You can download the demo on the Autodesk web site.

I was happy to see that it comes with Mental Ray version 3.7.55 ... Maya uses version 3.7.53.
It is nice that both software are finally using the same version. Softimage was always one Mental Ray version behind.

But at first glance there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of 3.7.5 features implemented in Softimage 2010. I will investigate more.  The nicest feature I can think that would be usefull is the map data which can be used to save particle information.  This could prove useful to pass particles system from Maya to Softimage. I will definitely look into that.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Linear Workflow in Softimage

Softimage have great options to work in a Linear Workflow (LWF), in this post I will explain how to setup Softimage Preferences to work with the Physical Sun and Sky setup

By default Softimage is setup to render in a non-physical way, when using a Physical setup you need to change these option to make sure that all you color swatches and textures are linearized.

Here is the scene setup.
The diffuse value of the green sphere.

The texture connected in the diffuse slot of the sphere to the right.

In the preferences, the Color profile for the texture is set to Linear and the Color Management is not active. Rendering the scene with a gamma of 2.2 in the Photographic Exposure shader give you this.
Everything is washed out!  The typical non linear render. 
Notice how the green of the sphere doesn't match the color swatch of the shader and how the texture is washed out.

We can fix this quite easily.

In the Preferences, in the Rendering section, under the Image tab, set the Color Profile to Automatic.
The automatic Mode will linearize sRGB image and keep high dynamic range image linear. You can also change this in the each image clip.

You will also need to enable the Color Management in the Display section of the Preferences

In the Photographic Exposure shader you will need to set the gamma to 1.0. Since Softimage is now in charge of the gamma, you can remove the gamma from the exposure shader.

Now when you render you will get a a better result in the UI.

You might have noticed that the green color swatch in the shader now match the render result. This is exactly what we want, now the color you set in your swatch match the render... how wonderful!

But if you render the current pass to disk in a 8 bit format, when you look at the renders everything is darker...

This is because Softimage Color Management is only applied in the UI, when you render to disk the gamma is not applied to the output. This is quite useful when doing compositing because you are not dealing with baked-in gamma.  All you need to do is apply a 2.2 gamma at the end to get the proper result.

In a comment of my previous post, Edin pointed out that it is possible to apply the gamma when rendering out to disk. In the pass option, locate the Pass Gamma Correction section and enable the Apply Display Gamma Correction

You end up with this result.

For some reason the gamma not applied to the environment ... this is not a big deal because you will rarely use the physical sky as your background. But it is something to keep in mind when using this pass option.

I hope this little tutorial was helpful. Feel free to point out any errors or omission in this post ... or even suggest alternative methods.

Finally, here are 2 links that you might find useful. They discuss LWF in Softimage and in Vray