PaintFX & Proxies
In my last post I think I mentioned having an update on creating some foliage. I intended on using this great ivy generator programme that has been created by a guy name Thomas Luft.This is a great little programme but it does have some complications which given the small amount of time I had, left me no choice but to scrap it from my scene :( Still if anyone wants to give it a test or even create some ivy in their own scene, here's the link ... http://graphics.uni-konstanz.de/~luft/ivy_generator/
Creating an Italian scene without any plants and plant pots dotted around the place really wouldn't be an Italian scene now would it? To do this I used PaintFX, a very easy technique for creating all sorts of foliage and other things fast. I went a bit crazy, duplicated many plant pots and filled them with loads of flowers and plants only to find I now have almost 2,000,000 polys in my scene!
That's when I remembered watching a tutorial over the summer about the proxy function in Maya.
Exporting an object into a MentalRay Proxy is essentially creating an instance, even better, it's something that doesn't really exist until you render it. This means you can quickly 'capture' an object with thousands of polygons and is represented in the viewport by a simple 6 sided cube, making your viewport speed a whole lot quicker. Here are some screen grabs to explain it a little better.
1. In this image you can see a tall plant that has a great deal of polys on show. To the left is a proxy of the same plant.
2.Here you can see a wireframe of the both, notice in the proxy you cannot see the plant. (The plant pot wasn't used as a proxy)
3.And finally here are both the plant and the proxy rendered and looking exactly the same.
This method took my polys in the viewport down from 2,000,000 to around 250,000. A massive improvement! This method can be used for a number of things, especially for types of plants, bushes or trees.