Random Render: You Better Buy

We've all seen them, the pre-built computers standing together on the store shelf, depressed and ashamed after being fondled then ignored day after day. These machines tend to have one good (sometimes not that good) component that is used to beat the consumer about the neck and face and the rest of it is just mystery meat. I know not everyone is inclined to learn about the components of their computer. It doesn't matter as long as it does what its supposed to do, right? That's fair enough, but it sure doesn't hurt to be an informed consumer!

I kept thinking of all the PCs I see people purchase, the various builds, how much they've overpaid and this image was born. And I apologize to anyone who bought an Aurora R4 :P.

Scene info:

Mental Ray physical sky and some mia materials.  The glass for the store front is using a gradient in it's transparency since I wanted to show just a little of the interior so it doesn't look totally empty but it's a quick scene so I didn't want to model all that.

genProxyPlop version1_0

New Script!****

The genProxyPlop (don't you dare make fun of the name lol ).  It's a script that automates the creation of mip_binarproxy nodes, low poly stand in objects that envelope the high res model and creates the necessary connections for them to work. It just relieves the tedium of working with mip_binaryproxies in Maya.

The script creates a poly cube as the low poly object and if the high resolution model has more than six shaders assigned, the low res object will be split to create more faces to accommodate the shader assignments.  All shaders will be assigned to the low res object in the exact order they're assigned to the high res object (your leaf shader won't appear on your tree trunk!). Of course this option can be disabled.

The write feature auto renders a frame at a temporary low resolution (it'll warn you in case you want to decrease quality settings) and writes out the .mi files to the specified directory. This can also be disabled just in case you want to handle that manually.

Copy the mel file to your user scripts folder and the warning icon to your user icons folder (details are in the 'read me' text file if needed) .  Source it in your userSetup mel file for convenience. If you're on Windows and you've made a userSetup file but it's not working, check this out.

Use this code to call the script:


Then simply browse for the folder where you'd like the .mi files to be written out.
Whatever you have selected will populate the list you call the script, you can refresh the list with a new selection by hitting the "load" button.
Unless you want to manually assign shader to the low res objects, it's recommended that "assign shaders" is checked.
Make sure "write" is checked and  hit "generate proxies"!

Greek column model is from the freebie section of Turbo Squid.