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Quick, easy G.I. question

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SSGGMM
Quick, easy G.I. question
on Jun 14, 2007 at 6:04:37 pm

When working with glob. illum. in mental ray, they say it's much easier to gauge your progress without any textures applied - just a flat, 50% grey. My (limited) experience supports this.

But now that my one billion models are fully shaded, is there any way to disconnect them from their shading networks with a simple click? I'm talking on a global level here, not model-by-model. On/Off sorta thing, leaving only a smooth, mid-grey surface for the IPR.


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Steve Sayer
Re: Quick, easy G.I. question
on Jun 14, 2007 at 6:51:04 pm

The simplest way is to select everything in your scene, and assign a flat gray lambert to it all at once. Voila! The only downside is that there's no easy way to go back.

You could probably set this up (and set it to be reversible) using render layers. You could override the settings for everything on one layer which you only render when you want to test the GI, and save the other layer for final output.

If that's a huge and repetitive task, a MEL script might be the way to go.

-Steve


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SSGGMM
Re: Quick, easy G.I. question
on Jun 14, 2007 at 7:10:08 pm

When will I learn: There's no such thing as "the magic click".

Here's another possibility, taking for granted that all my textures and maps are in the same folder. Duplicate the folder, give it the original folder's name, while renaming the original folder to "something else". In this copied folder, batch process out of photoshop all your maps, turning them grey. When you're done, switch back the folder names.

This involves a few problems though. First, MR still has to hunt down maps, slowing it down. Two, you're still stuck with all your procedural stuff.

I like your way better Steve. Layers it is.

S.


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Steve Sayer
Re: Quick, easy G.I. question
on Jun 14, 2007 at 10:12:19 pm

It should be pretty painless. What you want to do (after creating a new render layer) is create an override on each Shading Group node. Override the 'Surface Material' attribute and have every Shading Group on that layer plugged into the same grey Lambert. Once you've got that done, it really does become a one-click solution; toggle between the regular layer and this overridden one, and everything in your scene should update with no muss or fuss.

The only hiccup I can foresee is having to do this for hundreds of different SG nodes... that's where a simple MEL loop might come in handy. The beauty of the override method, though, is that you don't have to worry about storing or preserving the original connections, since the original connections aren't actually ever broken.

-Steve


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Sean Fennell
Re: Quick, easy G.I. question
on Jun 15, 2007 at 11:33:48 pm

Actually you don't need to override every single shader node. You can create a layer override on the layer itself which will apply to everything in the layer and then set a layer material. Everything in the layer will use the material applied to the layer. This is pretty common practice (ambient occlusion passes) so the feature is there.


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Steve Sayer
Re: Quick, easy G.I. question
on Jun 16, 2007 at 8:09:29 pm

Whoops--thanks for the correction, Sean.

Sorry, I guess I've gotten a bit rusty. :

-Steve


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