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Chapter 13. Cameras and Rendering > Previewing with Playblast

Previewing with Playblast

In most of the simpler examples in this book, the scenes are so basic that even slower 3D video cards can probably keep up with changes made to the Shaded view. However, when you have a lot of objects in your scene, use hardware texturing, or have other factors that burden a 3D video card, the responsiveness of the Shaded view suffers. Normally, this isn't a problem; you can wait for the Shaded view to catch up, or simply switch to Wireframe mode when you don't need to check for object intersections, for example. However, for gauging animation speed, you need some way to play back your animation tests in real time.

Tutorial: Rendering with Playblast

The tool for this function in Maya is called Playblast (choose Window | Playblast on the main menu or in the Hotbox). This tool uses your 3D video card to create screen captures of frames to produce an animation; you can watch the results to help you figure out how to fine-tune your animation. This method is much faster than rendering with Maya's software renderer.

On the DVD


On the DVD


Open the file you just created in the previous tutorial, or you can begin with the file listed next to the DVD icon. Either way, make sure you're looking through Camera 2 in your Perspective viewport. Right-click over the Time Slider and click Playblast | option box.

Playblast renders the active window, so right-click on the Camera 2 view to make sure Playblast uses that view. Select the Save to File check box, and click the Browse button to point to where you want your rendered AVI file saved. Use the hotkey 5 to turn on the Shaded view, if it isn't on already, and click apply in the Playblast Options dialog box to render (see Figure 13.7).

Figure 13.7. The Playblast Options dialog box.

To view the rendered movie, look in the directory where you specified the movie file should be saved.



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