Rendering Massive Agents with Maya & MayaMan


This page describes how to render Massive agents as part of a Maya scene using Animal Logic’s MayaMan plugin for Maya.


Massive creates two RIB files when it exports a scene for rendering with AIR:  a main RIB file containing the terrain, lights, and global scene options, and a second RIB file that defines the agents.  The agents file can be rendered as part of a Maya scene with the aid of MayaMan.

Step 1:  Modify the procedural search path.

Massive uses a procedural primitive named run_program.exe to generate agents at render time for AIR.  We need to add the location of that program to the procedural search path so that AIR will be able to find it:

  • From the MayaMan menu select MayaMan Globals.
  • In the MayaMan Global Options dialog select RenderMan Search Paths.
  • Select the Procedural tab.
  • Type the path to the bin directory of your Massive installation (which contains the Massive run program).
  • Click Add.

Step 2:  Define options for the Massive procedural primitive.

The main RIB file generated by Massive contains a special command that initializes the procedural primitive with various options for the agents.  This line must be duplicated for MayaMan.  Look in the main rib file for a frame and find the line that begins Procedural.  Copy that entire line.  This line will be the same for every frame.

  • In the MayaMan Globals dialog select the Advanced Options page.
  • Scroll down to the section titled User Defined RIB Statements: World and expand it.
  • Paste the Procedural declaration you copied above into the text box.  Make sure the entire command line was pasted.
  • Click Save User RIB at the bottom of the section.
  • Close the MayaMan Globals dialog.

Step 3:  Add agents.

  • First, create a new simple primitive such as a box or sphere to act as a standin for the agents.
  • With the new object selected, add a MayaMan Model Attributes node.
  • Select the MayaManAttributes node and expand the section labeled ReadArchive.
  • Check Substitute RIB and use the file dialog to choose an agent file generated by Massive.  For an animated sequence, MayaMan will replace a #4f pattern in the archive name with the frame number.
  • Make sure the DelayedReadArchive option is NOT checked.

Step 4:  Enable motion blur (if applicable).

  • In the MayaMan Globals dialog select the Motion Blur options page.
  • Check Enable Motion Blur.
  • Check Time in Zero to One Range
  • Set the Motion Blur Amount to correspond to the motion blur setting in Massive.

You should now be able to render your Maya scene with the agents appearing at render time in place of the proxy object.  The surface and displacement shaders used for the agents will be those configured for the selected render pass in Massive.



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