Rendering Substance in MentalRay Maya 2014?

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Old 04 April 2013   #1
Rendering Substance in MentalRay Maya 2014?

Just exploring Substance plugin for the first time, seems pretty cool for generating procedural textures, I'd like to be able to render in MR without baking though (as I'd like to be able to animate substance parameters). I see this was possible in Maya 2012 http://www.allegorithmic.com/commun...tools-maya-2012

I can't find any info pertaining to Maya 2013 or 2014 though regarding this.. is it something they abandoned support for or has anyone figured it out?

Cheers,
Brian
 
Old 05 May 2013   #2
I actually did a little experiment using the substance bonus tools by allegorithmic:
http://youtu.be/BSWu0FTGlLA
(Ignore the low quality, the comp was actually much higher quality)
There's a couple other videos there, including a very rough tutorial on how I did it if you're curious, though thats not totally related at the moment. Anyway, I did that in 2013, they worked fine. However I was unable to get the mental ray conversions to work, and to render that video I baked out 400 or so frames of the texture. Less than optimal for obvious reasons.

Anyway, I should say that the bonus tools do indeed work with 2013. I haven't tested them with 2014, but I'd be surprised if they didn't work.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #3
Thanks for the info, and nice test. I'm curious what you used bonus tools for if you didn't convert to Mental Ray? As I understand it you can export substance to textures without needing any external stuff as the export option is built in? I guess I'll watch your tutorial and find out

Sounds less that ideal to have to bake every frame indeed, but I guess that could likely be scripted pretty easily.

The issue I ran into when trying to install those bonus tools is that the folders they mentioned for the Mental Ray files don't seem to be the same in 2014, I guess because of changes with MR. I tried installing the 'SubstanceShader.mi' and 'SubstanceShader.dll' files where I thought they should go in 2014 but when I used the shelf button to try to convert the shading network it didn't work, I didn't get those mental ray conversion nodes added to the network, I assume because those shader files didn't load correctly.

Anyway, I'll check out your tutorial and see if that sheds more light on this, I could live with baking to textures for every frame but it seems a pity that things can't be left procedural and still rendered inside Mental Ray.

Thanks again,
Cheers,
Brian
 
Old 05 May 2013   #4
I don't think my tutorial will be all that helpful with regards to what you're trying to do tbh. And I did end up using mental ray for the video I posted, but like I said, I baked the texture at each frame.

And similarly, when I press the shelf buttons to get the MR texture conversions, nothing happens or I get an error, this may be a compatibility issue with substance and MR in 2013/14, though the regular substance renders just fine in software.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #5
Thanks, good to know it's not just me! I'll check out your tutorial anyway, I'm sure I'll learn something from it.

Cheers.
Brian
 
Old 05 May 2013   #6
i've been able to get it working in 2014... just make sure you followed the installation instructions properly.. i don't recall having to add any DLL or MI files.. just the prefs, scripts and AETemplates. I did not copy any of the Python updates in though.

haven't tried any animated effects like Troy did though yet...
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Last edited by tswalk : 05 May 2013 at 08:50 AM.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #7
Originally Posted by tswalk: i've been able to get it working in 2014... just make sure you followed the installation instructions properly.. i don't recall having to add any DLL or MI files.. just the prefs, scripts and AETemplates. I did not copy any of the Python updates in though.

haven't tried any animated effects like Troy did though yet...


Sorry, can you clarify what you mean about AETemplates? In the Bonus_Substances I downloaded I only see icons, scripts, shelves and the mental ray folder with the .mi /.dll files in it.

Are you able to render substances in Mental ray without converting them to regular bitmaps?

Can't get it to work here, this is the error I get if I select a substance in the Hypershade and press the Create mentalRay ready Substance network button on the shelf.


// Warning: file: C:/Program Files/Autodesk/mentalrayForMaya2014/scripts/mentalrayCustomNodeUI.mel line 319: Unrecognized node type 'SubstanceShader'; preserving node information during this session. // 
// Error: file: C:/Users/Brian/Documents/maya/2014-x64/prefs/scripts/SBScreateMr1.mel line 86: The destination attribute 'Diffuse_substance1_mr.SubstanceNodePtr' cannot be found. // 


So I guess this means something that needs to load is not being loaded if that node doesn't exist.

Cheers,
Brian

Last edited by Horganovski : 05 May 2013 at 06:45 PM.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #8
Just as a test, I tried installing the substance bonus tools in Maya 2012, and it did work when I hit the convert button. I can now render in Mental Ray.

... but! The objects in the view with substance materials on them are now just black and I have no way to see what effect the substance settings are having on them... sheesh! what kind of workflow is this for goodness sake!

{Edit - I seem to have managed to get the shaders loaded in the Mental Ray 2014 install now and am no longer getting the error when I use the shelf button, but I get nothing when I render in Mental Ray. Works fine in 2012 though apart from that viewport issue.

Cheers,
Brian

Last edited by Horganovski : 05 May 2013 at 07:08 PM.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #9
you still have to convert the substance to a MR shader network.. no way around that one. so, it basically creates a cached version of the substance in whatever image format you've specified (default is JPG).

It will update the cached file with changes made to the originating substance and when you're ready to produce a final texture, then you can run the export images to disk.

in maya 2014:




mental ray:



bad example, but you get the point.

not so sure yet how to do this in DX11 shader AND get it working with MR.. may require have two different shaders i suppose:

http://youtu.be/TbpFpJP2zfY


anyway, just make sure that after adding the substance, selecting needed properties (diffuse, specular, bump..etc.) to apply the shader it generated to the object (which I believe is a phong by default)... 'then' select the substance and convert it to MR shader network. then you have to select the object, and apply the MR shader to it... and render. that's all i did in the example above.

hope that helps.
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Old 05 May 2013   #10
Thanks, that does make sense and helps indeed. Appreciate you elaborating and posting the images.

Cheers,
Brian
 
Old 05 May 2013   #11
Well, this isn't even a render, just a playblast, but I do like how fast Substance made setting up the materials (ground, brick wall and wire fence) for this little animation test. I think I'll be using this more in future, thanks again for the info guys.

https://vimeo.com/65273902

Cheers,
Brian
 
Old 05 May 2013   #12
You are actually trying to use the Substance Bonus Tools for Maya 2012.
If you just want to render Substance textures with mr, please follow these few steps (There is a section called "To render using mental ray for Maya, IPR or other 3rd party renderers"):
http://download.autodesk.com/global...mber=d30e543703

If you want to batch a conversion for multiple materials, you can download SBT for Maya 2013 (which are compatible with 2014) here:
http://www.allegorithmic.com/content/substance-maya
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Last edited by Wolvawab : 05 May 2013 at 11:27 AM.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #13
Viewport 2.0

They should show up in Viewport 2.0
 
Old 05 May 2013   #14
Can a substance shader emulate fur? (I uninstalled 2014 :-/ )
 
Old 05 May 2013   #15
Pretty much everything actually. But funny you've mentioned fur as Maya 2014 comes with a new filter called "MakeItFury":

Worth a try.
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