Renderman Maya tools help


Hey, I’m considering using renderman for the scenes that I have to do with my current WIP. The problem is, I don’t get my hands on renderman/the tools for a month.

I’ve been looking for this info, but have had some bad luck finding it.

Basically, what I need to know is:

  1. To use the MotR tools to render a subdivision surface, do I have to convert the actual geometry? I’ve heard terms like “Renderman subdivision surface” tossed around, but haven’t heard anything about the conversion process or if it’s necessary.

  2. If I do need to convert, is there a way to make my old subd surface a proxy for it? I’m wondering this because I may start on doing blend shapes before I have the ability to do the conversion.

  3. I know that I have to use specialized shaders with the renderman artist’s tools, and I know that I can’t expect to hit a “convert button”, but will it maintain the “texture space” of an unfolded model? If I go through all the trouble to paint a texture mape for my dude, will I have to re-paint it later?


  1. No. The conversion happens at rendertime. To all intents and purposes you just work with a poly model

  2. Your textures will be fine


With a poly model you say? I assumed that I’d be working with a maya subdivision model if I wanted it to render a subdivision surface.


Nope, renderman’s subdivision surfaces are different from maya’s. You basically tag a poly object as being a subdivision surface, then when you render it, it will magically be smooth and lovely.


Keep this in mind please when using Maya SubD’s.

“MTOR honors the polygonal UVs, associated with polygon proxy mode. The subdiv UVs contain hierarchical subdiv information that MTOR does not interpret.”

This basically means you have to do your UV’s before you subD your mesh.

There is a nice tutorial on this in the rman docs.


Hmm… conflicting info, one says I use polys… one says I use subd and it uses the poly base from them… Does anyone know if both of these are true? CAN I use maya subds? It’d be way easier to make the morphs if I could see the smoothed version.


yes you can use maya subd’s the only difference is that it will use the UV texture map from the proxy version.

as stated earlier look at the renderman docs under tutorials/Maya 3d Paint


Thanks, but I don’t have access to those at the moment, unless they’re freely avaialbe on the web I hope? I haven’t been able to find them. That’s a relief though, cause I want to have my morphs built before I get renderman in a month and I’d hate to have to comit to one way or another right now.



As athomas says, your base subD in Maya can convert across OK. Just make sure you don’t use any hierarchal stuff or it will go wierd.

However if you just use a Maya polygon the Mesh as Subdiv command adds a few attributes to it to tell MTOR to output as a subD. Doing it this way you get a lot more control as you have 20 levels of creases and corners rather than Maya’s full, half or none.

You get more control going the poly route which is why more people use it this way.



Thanks! That’s exactly what I needed to know. Hmm… I need to figure out my work flow, or find a way to get a copy of the software early… cause if I do all my morphs with subdivs and then want to go to polygons, I’ll have to redo them… Mur


This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.