Damn it, Maya. Just… Damn it.

Mental Ray Hates Me

Maya and mental ray Hate Me: The Linear Workflow

Today, we’re going to dive into the murky waters of the linear rendering workflow in Maya and mental ray.  Hold on to your hats, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.  Much, much more below the fold.

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ATEC Hates Me: I don't have the right Maya version

PROBLEM: I Don’t Have the Right Version of Maya

At some point, the smart folks at Autodesk decided it would be a good idea not to make any of their software backwards compatible. However, if you’re willing to accept the risk of some data corruption, you can work around this limitation.

Solution 1:

Make sure to delete all history on your scene in the newer version, then open the older Maya. In the File menu, click on the check box next to “open”. Then, check “ignore version”. This will allow you to open many older files without too much data loss.
If this doesn’t work, try importing the scene using File – Import.

Solution 2:

If you’re working on only a few models, you can export them as OBJs by loading the “obj exporter” plugin. To do this, go to Window – Settings and Preferences – plugin manager. Now, when you go to file – export you will have the option to save as an obj file. You can also combine all the geometry in your scene, then export it all as one obj. This technique has gotten me out of some very tricky situations.
Then, you can export your shaders from the Hypershade and import them later. This is a tedious workaround, but it works most of the time.

Solution 3:

If you save your file out as an MA instead of an MB, it will create an editable text document defining your scene. This also includes metadata that contains the version of Maya it was created in. Just hit Ctrl-F and search for 2009, 2008, 8.5, or whatever, and change the number to the version you want. Maya WILL try to load the file if you do this properly, but if it can’t handle the data, it will crash.


Mental Ray Hates Me: The Blank Render Panel

Sometimes, if you move between computers or between versions of Maya, you might get this when you go to your render options:

Seriously.  WTF.

Seriously. WTF.

Absolutely nothing.  This is caused by the new panel layout for Mental Ray in 2009.  Whenever you move to another version, Maya freaks out because it can’t find the panels.

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Maya Hates Me: Mental Ray Runs out of Memory

I am by no means an expert, but I hope this helps.  If anyone DOES happen to be an expert, please let me know where I’m wrong, and please offer whatever advice you have.

If you’ve been using Mental Ray for any length of time, you’ll probably be familiar with this message: “Got 8 satellite CPUs… Rendering with Mental Ray… Mental Ray is out of memory… Mental Ray is out of memory… Cannot allocate 223000 bytes… Go eat bleach and die, because Mental Ray hates you”

Well, maybe not the bit about bleach.  But the Mental Ray Memory Grinder is a true annoyance.  The problem is flushing.  No, really, that’s the term that programmers use, and the analogy is pretty apt.  The way that Mental Ray is set up by default is like having a toilet that doesn’t flush.  The poo (in this case your scene and textures (no offense)) just keeps piling up until the smell can kill household pets.  Then Mental Ray commits seppuku and you’re left with a cryptic message and an excuse for Todd Fechter that just won’t fly.  Keep reading to find out how to make the damned thing work.

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