LuxMaya Getting started - LuxRender Wiki
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LuxMaya Getting started

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Following a successful installation and loading of the plugin into Maya, LuxMaya will provide the following additions into Maya:

Contents

A new Lux menu in the "Rendering" menu set

  • Show GUI
  • Export
  • ----
  • Create
    • PLY Object Locator
    • Environment light
    • Lux Sunsky

New nodes

  • luxshader (shader/surface)
  • luxObjectLocator (locator)
  • luxEnvironmentLight (light)
  • luxSunsky (light)
  • lux_bilerp (texture/2d)
  • lux_checkerboard2d (texture/2d)
  • lux_dots (texture/2d)
  • lux_checkerboard3d (texture/3d)
  • lux_fbm (texture/3d)
  • lux_marble (texture/3d)
  • lux_mix (texture/3d)
  • lux_windy (texture/3d)
  • lux_wrinkled (texture/3d)
  • blender_clouds (texture/3d)
  • blender_marble (texture/3d)
  • blender_musgrave (texture/3d)
  • blender_wood (texture/3d)

These custom nodes provide a way to use lux-specific settings in your scene. You will find that when rendering with Maya Software or Mental Ray renderers that these nods produce either no, or flat coloured output, this is normal, however when exported to Lux everything should appear as intended.

Luxshader

Probably the most important node is the luxshader surface shader node which you will use to assign Lux materials to your objects. The luxshader contains parameters for the following Lux materials (all materials available as of 06/2008):

  • Car paint
  • Glass
  • Rough glass
  • Matte
  • Matte Translucent
  • Metal
  • Shiny Metal
  • Mirror
  • Mix
  • Null
  • Plastic
  • Substrate

And finally, although not technically a material:

  • Area Light

LuxObjectLocator

This locator is used to locate an external PLY format mesh into your scene without importing the geometry into Maya. Once placed in the scene, you can choose the PLY file to load in the Attribute Editor. All transformations applied to the locator will be applied to the PLY mesh when rendered in Lux. There is currently no support for assigning materials to external PLY meshes.

LuxEnvironmentLight

This light type is used to specify an "infinite" light type in a Lux scene. Optionally, you can choose an HDRI image (in EXR format) to illuminate the scene. All transformations applied to the locator will be applied to the infinite light in Lux, allowing for example the rotation of EXR maps.

LuxSunsky

This light type creates a physically-modelled sunsky lighting model in the Lux Scene. The light can be rotated manually to set the sun sngle, or for convenience (or curiosity) there is a geographic sun position calculator in the luxSunsky node's Attribute Editor. NB: you will have to move the time slider to update the sun position after altering any parameters in the Geographic Sun Position Calculator.

New procedural textures

The remaining nodes are procedural textures that you can apply to colour or float attributes (some types will connect to float attributes only). when conbimued with the lux_mix texture type and the Mix material type in luxshader, this allows for very complex procedurally modulated colours and patters to be constructed in the hypershade editor. In addition to the custom nodes LuxMaya will also recognise:

  • standard File textures on color and float attributes
  • bump nodes on the bumpmap attribute of luxshader. Note that only File textures may currently be attached to the bump node's bumpValue attribute.

The GUI

The GUI provides access to all of the remaining parameters required to set Lux up for rendering. The settings you specify here will be saved with your scene. To get you started there is a set of Rendering presets in the GUI's Settings menu. These presets are known to work well for the stated situations and should help you to get started with understanding the various options available.

The GUI is split into 5 tabs:

Scene

Here you will find the paths that the exporter will use to save the scene.

  • Path to Lux

This is the path to the Lux executables. This is automatically set-up from the LUX_SEARCHPATH environment variable, which was set during the exporter installation.

  • Scene export path

This is the folder where the output will be saved. By default it is set to [current project path]/lux/ The trailing slash is currently necessary.

  • Scene name

This is the name that will be used for the Lux scene files. By default this is set to myScene, which will yield the following files:

[scene export path]/[frame#]/myScene.[frame#].lxs (main scene file)
[scene export path]/[frame#]/myScene.[frame#].lxm (materials)
[scene export path]/[frame#]/myScene.[frame#].meshes.lxo (mesh object data)
[scene export path]/[frame#]/myScene.[frame#].nurbs.lxo (nurbs object data)
[scene export path]/[frame#]/myScene.[frame#].volumes.lxo (fluid volume object data)
[scene export path]/myScene_render.bat (or .sh on linux)

The above three settings can be reset to their defaults for the scene using the "Restore default paths" option in the GUI's Settings menu.

  • Export

These switches control which elements of the Maya scene to export. These directly correspond to the filenames given above. The main scene file with the renderer settings, camera and lights will always be exported.

  • Collect files

If any of these options are checked, then any image files used by the scene will be copied to the scene export path into the following folders:

[scene export path]/textures/
[scene export path]/bumpmaps/
[scene export path]/environments/

This should ensure that everything used in the Lux scene is contained in the Scene export path folder for portability or network sharing.

  • Export animation

This option will export all frames within the current playback range, and generate a render .bat/.sh file to render all frames.

Note that you will need an appropriate renderer setup to allow the rendering of each frame to finish.
Most settings will render the first frame indefinitely and Lux will never move on to the next!

The output images from the Lux render will be saved as

[scene export path]/renders/myScene.[frame#].[exr|tga|igi]
  • Export scene

This button starts the export process

Process

  • Render after export

This option will attempt to start the generated .bat/.sh file upon successful export.

  • Render interface

Select whether the full Lux GUI is launched, or just run within the console. Console mode is most useful for animations, or low memory systems.

  • Render threads

The number of threads to use in the rendering process. You will typically set this to the number of cores in your machine.

  • Render priority

This will attempt to alter the process priority of the Lux renderer when it is launched. The given options are the Windows priority levels, on linux these levels are translated into appropriate "nice" levels. It is not recommended to set the priority above Normal, as the Operating system will be starved of CPU time by the renderer process.

Film

There is currently only one film type in Lux: Fleximage. Its options can be set here.

  • Reinhard Prescale/postscale/burn

These setting are for the built-in Reinhard tonemapper and are used to convert the HDR output of Lux into a normal LDR image.

  • Gamma

The gamma conversion to apply to the output

  • Pre-multiply alpha

See lux documentation

  • Write

These options control which output formats will be saved by the renderer.

  • Write interval

The interval in seconds between saving output images

  • Display interval

(Lux GUI Only) The interval in seconds to refresh the displayed image

  • Reject warmup

See Lux documentation

Camera

  • Perspective camera type

This controls which type os Lux camera the Maya perspecive camera will be exported as. There are currently two choices:

    • Perspective - will export a normal perspective camera
    • Environment - will export a Lux environment camera for rendering a full 360° environment map
  • F Stop

This is a convenience function which will set the fStop attribute of all cameras in the Maya scene.

  • Exposure time

This controls Lux's shutter_close parameter in the camera. shutter_open is always set to 0.

Renderer

This is the place to adjust the paramters of the Lux render engine. The following sections are available:

Sampler

Filter

Accelerator

Surface Integrator

Volume Integrator

Please refer to the Lux documentation for explanation of these settings, as they are not Maya/LuxMaya specific.