Maya API: How to format extern mesh data to be rendered in maya?

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  04 April 2009
Maya API: How to format extern mesh data to be rendered in maya?


I want to incorporate an extern particle simulation into maya (with scene interaction, instancing and rendering) - so the data organisation and simulation is completly unbound to the maya api. So far I know how to render the particles to the viewport and how to interact with the objects in the scene, my question is:

How can I put the extern particles into maya, so they are not only shown/renderd in the viewport, but also accesible for all kind of renderers (software, mentalray, finalrender) for rendering?

Do I have to make nodes of it (like instances of the geometry I want to bind on the particles)? Or is there some possibility to make a vertex array and handle it to the renderer?

The problem I encounter when I use nodes with the instancing feature of maya is an extreme slowdown if I use, say, > 10000 particles. My guess is, that the slowdown comes from the amount of transformnodes and not from displaying of the geometry.

So my idea was, to put all instances into one big combined mesh with only one transform node. But then the speedup effect of instances is gone... plus managing the combined instance-mesh is very complicated (e.g. for animated instances).

I don't expect a soultion ;-) but maybe anybody has some idea/conecpt/buzzword for me which helps me with the vertexdata-to-renderer problem.

Many thanks in advance.

  04 April 2009
Hi Alex,

to be rendered in Maya, by any renderer, you have to make sure that your objects are converted to anything Maya already knows (Maya Particles, Mesh, ...) or create a custom shape node in Maya.

Cannot think of any other solutions.


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  04 April 2009
thank you ticket01, I somehow expect that answer :-) I hoped for a direct vertexarray-to-mayarenderer interface .. so I can feed the data directly to the renderer, oh well.

as a follow up: is this a feasible workaround? :

render the particles thorugh external opengl calls in the maya viewport (so the user can work with them), create mesh nodes in maya (for rendering) but hide this meshes, so they are not visible in the viewport, but are rendered by any renderer nonetheless.

Or would the hidden maya mesh nodes slow down maya anyway - visible or not?


  04 April 2009
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