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OPTIMIZE YOUR 3D PROJECTS Author: Choudry Arif Saeed

This tutorial intended for Intermediate users of Autodesk Maya, on how to cut down rendering and working time on projects as well as to avoid irritation due to lengthy or time consuming techniques.

1. Lower Quality Settings While you are in test rendering phase, I would highly recommend that you turn to low settings to save valuable time and to save yourself from irritation and to avoid loosing interest in the project you are doing. Following things can be turned down for saving render time. Resolution For test render you don’t need to render at gigantic resolutions, scale down to the lowest resolution you are comfortable with. I usually test render at 640 x 480. Final Gather Turn off or reduce Final Gather Accuracy to lower settings eg. 10. This will make final gather result smoky but will cut short render time. Anti Aliasing


Reduce Raytrace max sample level to 0 (-1 or more will cut more render time but are very jaggy). This will give some jaggy edges but will cut short render time dramatically. Raytrace Shadows Lights with raytrace shadows can be very time consuming while rendering, So use the shadow settings very carefully. When not using caustics / refractions / glass or other transparent / translucent material, keep the: Light Radius to 0 (no soft shadow) Shadow Rays to 5 (less rays to calculate for shadows) Ray Depth Limit to 1 (only one time to calculate shadow) Use IPR Just imagine, you changed light intensity by one figure, then you took a render of 1 minute, you thought result is over bright, you took another render with lower light setting, still not what you thought and so you again‌. Sounds quite tiresome and irritating, right? Use IPR option present in Autodesk Maya. Through that we will be able to see live changes in light and camera settings, thus saving a lot of time. If you wish to read more about IPR you can see detailed article on IPR here: LINK

2. Studio setup


Setup the studio setup at the start of project. This way you will be able to take out quick renders and get excited during the project, which will help keep you motivated and will give an insight on the end result. This includes setting up :

Render Camera: select an angle and set other camera settings and name it something like RENDER CAM, so you don't have to set angle in perspective again and again. ( yup people do this :P ). Now you have your Perspective Camera to roam around and work and when you think of taking a quick render, just switch to Render Cam and good to go.

Base Plane: The ground / base on which the object is placed, make a plane and texture it appropriate to you scene this way you won’t render your model in black empty space. You can us this kind of Reusable light Rig

3. Getting Things Done! Sometimes you have an idea but not sure how to do it technically. For that you can thank the internet, which made our lives easier and provided all the information we need at finger tips (or in Google Cache :P ) For references and help 1. Search Google 2. Search Youtube (tutorial videos makes it more easy to learn) 3. Search Tutorial Sites 4. Seek help in Communities

4. Tricks Sometimes you have to improvise, due to any reason. So how to come up with ideas and tricks to handle them?. You know the answer‌. Read and learn the foundations of 3d world


When you know how things are done and what the science behind it is, you can develop your own tricks and use them in new and efficient ways according to your situation. This is a very small thing but yet a lot of people tend to ignore it. Don't try to absorb all knowledge in one day, move according to your speed. For example, if you are wondering '�How can i make Fog light� and you read a tutorial, don't just follow it but also try to read what different settings play what role.

5. Summary

Production Rendering Preset. Time: 00:02:59


Draft Rendering Preset. Time: 00:00:31

You can see major time difference in this scene with different rendering settings. Suppose you take 10 renders during the Work in Progress (WIP) Production Settings: 179 seconds X 10 = 1790 secs / 60 = 29.83 Minutes Draft Settings: 31 Seconds X 10 = 310 secs / 60 = 5.16 Minutes

It’s obvious we can’t get proper glass material in Draft, but we are strictly talking about Work in progress where you will need to get quick view on you progress. Even in final production if you light rays or shadows are extra they might not be felt in Final result but will sure increase you rendering time dramatically, thus costing a lot of rendering time and cost.

About Author: My name is Arif Saeed. I am in the field of graphic design and inclined more towards concept / Visual Image Development. I make graphical dishes while adding creativity and individuality, when no one is looking. I believe in working with fun and passion. I try to convey my ideas in simple and understandable way, and I am believer of adding touch of individuality in art work. Visit my Design | Portfolio Website: www.arifsaeed.com

Other Articles you might find helpful: Approaches to better 3d and Things to add avoid in 3d projects


Optimize 3d projects  

This tutorial intended for Intermediate users of Autodesk Maya, on how to cut down rendering and working time on projects as well as to avoi...

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