While creating the environment for the weather cycle project, I realized that the painted trees would probably cause an excessive amount of render time. To remedy this I found the solution to make mental ray proxies. A mental ray proxy is basically like an object that maya doesn’t recognize as existing in your scene. What you do with a proxy is load it onto an object so when it renders you see the proxy. Making proxies is an easy way to cut down on render time in the future. This is especially true when creating a large environment like I have done for my project. One blog in particular was a great help in creating these proxies, which was http://www.antoniobosi.com/maya-tutorials-mental-ray-3d/maya-tutorial-c/maya-mental-ray-proxies-tutorial. I only encountered one problem with the tutorial. This problem happened when I tried to import the mental ray proxy into my main scene. Maya gave an error message explaining that it could not read the bounding box information. A quick fix to this is to go back into your mental ray proxy creation scene and convert the paint effects into polygons. The reason for this is that maya doesn’t understand what to make a proxy of, either the leaves or the tree. The way to fix this is to do the following:
- First go to the top menu and click on modify, then convert, and click on paint effects to polygons.
- This has now separated the leaves from the trees so now you want to select the both the trees and leaves and click on mesh in the top menu and then click on combine.
- After this is finished you will be able to export your proxy and import it into your scene with no issue.