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Mauritius
06-28-2006, 10:34 AM
LiquidMaya is an Open Source Maya to RenderMan interface; it has been used successfully in production on a number of films including: Superman Returns, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Troy and Fellowship of the Ring.

The new versions of the plugin are available for Maya 7.0, and feature a high level of integration between your RenderMan renderer and Maya. Amongst the new features are:



Shader management is integrated with the HyperShade
Vastly improved shadow generation and -management
Render Layers are directly supported
Rendering may be previewed in Maya's RenderView panel
The number of supported renderers has increased
But this list doesn't really do justice to the raft of improvements and new features.


LiquidMaya has been extensively tested with PRMan (https://renderman.pixar.com/products/tools/rps.html) (12.5, 13.0), has been somewhat tested with Pixie (http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/%7Eokan/Pixie/pixie.htm) and 3Delight (http://www.3delight.com/) and should support Aqsis (http://www.aqsis.org/) and Air (http://www.sitexgraphics.com/html/air.html) also, though these have not been rigorously tested. There are builds available on sourceforge for Pixie and 3Delight (http://sourceforge.net/projects/liquidmaya), and the source, available via CVS will build for PRMan out of the box.


The LiquidMaya team needs your help! If you use LiquidMaya, please pop over to sourceforge and take a look. Please report any bugs you find so we can move the new releases project to 'full release' status. Documentation is available at the new Liquid wiki (http://liquidmaya.sourceforge.net/liquidwiki/).


The liquidMaya team.


Note: For various reasons, your old liquidmaya scenes will probably not work directly with the new plugin. You should delete liquidGlobals ("delete liquidGlobals" in the script editor), and reassign your shaders.

Sharky0815
06-28-2006, 02:37 PM
This is simply great!

I don't have much time right now but I played around for about 50 Minutes. The installation was absolutely simple, no problems there. 15 minutes after downloading I was rendering out the first pictures... I don't yet quite grasp how shaders are handled, some native maya shading models are supported and I can load .sdl's. Also there is an option to convert maya networks to renderman, don't know how that would turn out....

What is the best method of creating and assigning shaders? For me this is the number one thing holding me back. But I think that is also because the RM shading system is really different from maya's.

I will have to look into this over the weekend, I'm really excited. The new wiki is amazing, with this amount of information I really feel I should be able to sort things out...

Als
06-28-2006, 03:25 PM
GREAT NEWS! :applause:

Thanks


Als

Bonedaddy
06-28-2006, 04:16 PM
You guys own. :)

enygma
06-28-2006, 04:29 PM
Awesome stuff. I guess I'll have to take a good look at this one.

smaragden
06-29-2006, 10:13 PM
Really good.
I think this can be really good for all those opensource renderman renderers out there.

/Smaragden

kemijo
06-30-2006, 04:00 AM
What is the best method of creating and assigning shaders? For me this is the number one thing holding me back. But I think that is also because the RM shading system is really different from maya's.
We used this on Superman Returns. I don't have it here with me but assuming it's the same, it doesn't so much understand Maya's shading networks (other than simple materials) as it allows you to use Maya's native tools for using and assigning shaders. Still the best way to create a Renderman shader is to write and compile it yourself, but regardless of where you get a compiled shader from (your Renderman renderer should come with a few sample compiled shaders, or you can download an .sl and compile it yourself), you go into the hypergraph (or multilister) and create a "Liquid Surface Shader." View it's params in the Attribute Editor, and there should be a button for you to browse and select the compiled shader. Once selected, the values in the parameter section of your shader will show up in the Attribute editor, and you can preview your shader with the swatch at the top of the AE.

Congrats for the release, now everyone can enjoy all the hard work (especially ze blood and sweat of ze frenchman :) )

Apoclypse
06-30-2006, 06:50 AM
For some reason I can't get maya to load it. It just gives me an error operation successful but doesn't leave the check box checked. Anyone else have this problem? I am using version 7 of maya.

Sharky0815
06-30-2006, 07:14 AM
Thanks for the explanation Kemijo,

I couldn't resist to experiment some more and I really like it. I got raytrace shadows, motionblur, DOF, texture maps and so forth working. Next I want to look into occlusion and sub-surface-scattering but these seem to be more complex to set up... Any pointers would be appreciated, I am using 3delight btw.

So, am I right in assuming, for an example, that a certain kind of noise that is modifying a certain aspect of the shader is kind of hard-coded into the shader? And if I decided that another noise algorithm would work better I would have to change and recompile the shader. Or I would program the shader to be able to do an assortment of different noise functions and expose them to the user via a variable?

Doesn't that make it kind of hard to tune the look of a scene? How is this handled in production where shaders are kind of complex I imagine... maybe to the point that the guy that is applying them can't even change them?

I found some visual shader building tools, namely shrimp and shaderman.. But shrimp seems not to be as "visual" as would be necessary for me.. Shaderman I got running with wine no problem but as expected the communication to 3delight suffers and the previews don't work... Maybe it is really best to learn how to hand-code the shaders, if only to modify existing ones...

Thanks for your time! And thanks to all of the open-source developers that make it possible for me to play around with the big toys :scream:

rendermaniac
06-30-2006, 10:57 AM
Just wondering why the RIB box node is a utility node - can you have more than one and still guarentee they will be executed in the correct order? Surely it would be better as a DAG node?

Also if you want to add your own RIB generating node do you have to compile it into the rest of the code, or is there an API to inherit from a Liquid specific class?

When it comes to shader networks I actually prefer visual shader networks. It lets you play around with stuff really quickly. From what I can see it seems that I'm in the minority with this thinking.

However I think this is just because creating shader networks in RenderMan is hard - if it was part of the language - like Mental Ray - then it would be much less of an issue. Aqsis has started down this route.

The best shader network tools, prety much in order are Houdini VOPs, Slim and ShaderMan. Houdini is very expensive unless you are using the full package, ShaderMan doesn't have a great deal of suppport (although to be fair it's not commercial software so doesn't have the money to pay for this). Most people stick to Slim as it comes with RAT and has pretty good support. Of couse it's not free.

I think Animal Logic's MayaMan supports hypershade networks as shaders too, however it uses a crazy system of macros to do it - good luck debugging it!

Simon

tyler d
06-30-2006, 11:03 AM
Congrats for the release, now everyone can enjoy all the hard work (especially ze blood and sweat of ze frenchman :) )

Thank you Monsieur Ken. :)
I was indeed a very interesting experiment. It turns out that more shows at Framestore-CFC are going to use Liquid...

I am really curious to see what people think of the new version.
We have quite an agressive development schedule, and I hope we will be able to carry on.

The next big thing will be to automatically convert shading networks to renderman shaders, but I don't think we will ever do things like automated 2-passes sub-surface scattering / GI, simply because we see liquid as a powerful brick in a pipeline - not an all-in-one commercial solution like Pixar's excellent Renderman for Maya.

I think that Pixar's approach makes a lot of sense for small shops and newcomers, but we are dedicated to "power users" who may want to go beyond what commercial packages offer. So we will try to make it more flexible and easier tu use within those limits.

If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask either here or on the sourceforge public forum. Your feedback, comments and bug reports are very important for us.

This year's RenderMan Siggraph Course is appropriately named "RenderMan for Everyone", and we hope a community will develop around liquidmaya. If you use it, please add yourself to our map on frappr : http://www.frappr.com/liquidmaya

philippe

tyler d
06-30-2006, 11:27 AM
Just wondering why the RIB box node is a utility node - can you have more than one and still guarentee they will be executed in the correct order? Surely it would be better as a DAG node?

Hi Simon,

I chose to make it a utility node to be consistant with Maya conventions. Actually, what matters is the liqRibBox attribute on the object's tranform. The node is here to allow you to connect one box to many objects, as in slim.
Rib Boxes can contain mel code and their content is parsed to substitute defined keywords and environment variables.
It should be flexible enough.
The equivalent of mtor's frame, world, etc rib boxes is actually located on the liquidGlobals node, which I think makes more sense.

Also if you want to add your own RIB generating node do you have to compile it into the rest of the code, or is there an API to inherit from a Liquid specific class?

yes, any node inheriting from liqCustomNode will be queried at RIB export time. You will need to implement 2 member functions to output your stuff : compare() and write(). This way, it is very easy to retrofit existing maya nodes with RIB generation.

Regarding shading networks, I am happy to use slim to prototype things but in the end
nothing replaces a well-written/optimized production shader. In thenext version will use functions instead of macros, because macros make things very difficult to maintain when used on a large scale. There might be a speed hit though...
We will also provide a rsl shading node to allow people to add bits to the hypershade.

philippe

Als
08-13-2006, 02:43 PM
Hi!
I hope this is not off topic, but is it possible to bake displacement to geometry with 3Delight?

Thanks


Als

kfc
08-14-2006, 02:59 AM
I hope there will be an osx build.
i've checked the website, don't seem to have one there at the moment.

Antartica
08-27-2006, 01:47 PM
Does it works with Maya 8, because when im instaling it the instaler tell that maya.env could not be found

can someone explainme how to install it

Als
08-28-2006, 08:51 PM
No,
every maya plugin works only for the version which is compiled against.
So when good people release plugin for maya, they usually make subdirectory for example 7.0 which contains plugin for that version of maya. Plugins for windows versions of maya have extension mll. Mel scripts might work for more then one version, but they are not always backward compatible since every new version of maya adds news commands.


Als

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