mrCreateCustomNode.mel

david | dj mod,mel script,mentalray,rendering | Sunday, October 14th, 2007

I read a post on Master Zap's blog where he wrote about a problem with mia_material shadows. You can read the full article here. He says "there is a performance issue with the "segment" shadow mode and the mia_material shadow shader" and "The workaround is very simple; don't use the shadow shader for opaque objects".

However when you create a mia_material in maya 2008 it is automatically added as a shadow shader and a photon shader. Rather than having to remember to break the shadow shader connection for each new material, I decided to insert a UI that would allow me to choose what connections to make.

The UI, which pops up when you create a new mia_material, looks like this

djExtraSGConnectionsUI.jpg

The mel script overrides the default maya 2008 behaviour. Just put it in your local scripts folder. Then add the following line to you userSetup.mel

source mrCreateCustomNode.mel;

and restart maya. If you dont like it, just delete it and everything will go back to how it was before.

Download mrCreateCustomNode.rar

UPDATE - 4 Dec 2007

After using this little add-on for a while I got sick of having to click OK every time I created a new mia_material_x. It was so rare that I would change my connection options that I decided it would be better to bypass the prompt and hard-code the connection defaults - which for me is shadow=NO and photon=YES. So I removed mrCreateCustomNode.mel from my local scripts folder and replaced it with a copy of mentalrayCustomNodeClass.mel (D:\Program Files\Autodesk\Maya2008\scripts\others) which I edited to change the defaults.

Near the start of mentalrayCustomNodeClass.mel is a section that relates to mia_material_x and I simply removed the following

connection/mentalray/shadow:

Now if I ever need the shadow connection (for transparant shaders for example) I hook it up manually by dragging-and-dropping onto the shadingGroup node in the hypershade window.

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