View Full Version : general question to shading and rendering

03 March 2004, 12:03 AM
im about 8 years in that business, so im feeling kind of stupid to ask. every time im doing a job, im setting up all shader from ground and if a project hasnt got a big timerange it lowers the quality of my renderings. so i ask my self is there a cool way to reuse shading networks with a small amount of tweaking in different light setups ???

an idea but never tried - to keep the level of illumination eqaul over various light rigs ????

any koooool advise or tips - how do you deal with that?

03 March 2004, 12:48 PM
l i g h t g i r l v4.2 On highend ( lets you adjust multiple lights at the same time.

03 March 2004, 03:57 PM

I just Export Selected on certain nodes that I'll require on numerous scenes.

So.. Shading Networks, Light Rigs, and I even have dummy objects for quick testing of the lighting.

Save all these into individual scene files through the File menu (Main and Hypershade). Make a custom tab on the Hypershade or Visor ('Disk' type pointed towards your saving folder).

And make some graphical preview icons for them by Rendering something with them, and going to View - Grab Swatch.... , drag a selection, MMB drag it onto the Hypershade/Visor node, and that scene file will be easier to identify when importing.

And for the different lighting situations, if you render to layers, you have a bit of control adding a bit more/less light/colour in post.. sometimes works just as well as getting it perfect in the 3D application.

03 March 2004, 06:53 PM
Yes Uschi, that is a very basic question but also a problem that I am sure a lot of people are neglecting, so I'm glad you created this thread. I believe that you can speed up your work by reusing existing shading networks and lights. For example to make a basic lighing setting you need a main light, back light, fill light. So if your procedure for creating those lights is similar in a lot of cases I suggest that you save a file with just those lights (export selected). Make a new scene, import the file with those lights and then save the import mel command that you see in the script editor on the shelf. Now that you have a new shelf icon, you can click it any time and have your default lighting imported. This way you can import as many light setting as you want. Of course every scene requires it's own lighting approach, but the first few steps are similar in a lot of cases (creating new lights, positioning them, setting shadows, dmap resolution, dmap filter size, color...). Perhaps it only saves you a few minutes , but if
you multiply it by "I don't know how many times you build your lighting from scratch" I'm sure you will come up with hours of saved time. So building a library of lighting setups can be quite useful.
For shaders I sugguest you first make a new folder on your disk, where you plan to store your shaders. Then you make a new tab in Hypershade, set the tab type to disk and point to that folder. Now you export every shader that you think you will need sometime in the future in that folder. Every time you start Maya your stored shaders will be available under the newly created tab.

...and don't forget... MEL is your friend... just learn the basics and't you'll see it's potential very quickly...It can be sucha big time saver, especially if you're dealing with repetitive tasks...


03 March 2004, 10:42 AM
thanx guys for your ideas :) - ill try to put them into my working pipeline!

but are you reusing shading networks ??? i always need to redo things like metal or glass (highlight mostly) but i think every material 'should have' a setup that defines this special material (without textures forsure) and should behave almost equal in the most scenes !?.... but is it possible or what is the smartest way to come close to it ???

03 March 2004, 10:00 PM
Or just write a MEL script and keep it up on your shelf for one click access. I have about 50 different shelf items for shading networks and common light rigs that I use in my scenes. Of course 9/10 they get changed around in one way or another, but it's easier than having to go through and recreate stuff I've already done.

03 March 2004, 09:41 AM

If you're trying to save only the shader settings without textures it's even easier... While you have your shader opened in Attrubute editor click on Presets > save presets and now you can load this shader preset any time you want. And remember - you can save those presets for allmost everything in maya - lights, paint effects, particles, emitters... It actually saves all attribute values under a certain tab in Attr Editor...


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