I first got interested in something like this while exploring Kludge City Procedural Model MEL Script, written for Autodesk Maya by Ed Whetstone. Click here for his website. To use his MEL scripts, simply copy the downloaded scripts from his website to your Maya scripts folder, in my case to:
My goal is to create a 3D animated video clip flythrough video, using either Blender or Maya, using a basic looking 3d model of an easily recognizablle of downtown Portland, Oregon – not very 3D detailed, just basic building models with extruded heights to start like you see on Google Earth / Microsoft Bing Maps.
This post will be updated as more progress is made.
KludgeCity from Autodesk Maya 3d Software
This powerful program uses a lot of memory and CPU, so be prepared if you use it – below shows it chewing up 6Gb out of my laptops 24Gb. Sometimes l have had to manually using windows task manager kill the cityengine process as well as Maya when the program seems frozen.
With Cityengine, wait a bit for the computations to complete. If the windows cursor is a simple spinning circle after a long while, then its most likely the program is stuck and needs to be restarted.
Finally got the free Pixar Renderman 19 non-commercial version [click here for the software] installed and working on Maya 2015 as shown below. It took a while for those of us who subscribed to the waiting list to get this software, its about 1Gb for the windows version, and installation requires a login registered with Pixar. The nin windows version is in rpm format [Fedora] which l am yet to try out.
Below animated movie Lava was rendered by Pixar using Renderman
Test renders will come later as l try this out.
Program file sizes
Renderman showing up on menu, plugin and Render window, from Maya 2015
Looking for a NAS, with gigabit interface (l’m done with slow access speeds via usb interface to my internal gigabit network) so as to speed up my rendering server farm file access, and expandable with support for additional sata drives and affordable. Finally settled for the DLINK DNS-321 for $130 and bought just one 1Tb SATA drive that was on sale for $87 – a Samsung 10,000rpm 32Mb buffer drive. As sata drives fall in price and l get more bang for a buck l can add to this unit. I can mirror a drive, but the unit doesnt support ntfs etc – which is fine for me since my shared files on this will be media files, mp3 and rendered jpeg pictures. It has a web interface control and can be accessed remotely via ftp anywhere on the net. This system is built on a GPL / Linux based system, and will format your drive to ext2 format. There might be a hack out there for a more native windows file system support.
Update: 5/14/09. I’m returning this item. The file transfer time to and fro ext2 to my ntfs formatted drives is so so slow, about 10-20x (even by Windows wrong estimates). The gigabit connectivity makes no noticable difference, even when on the same Cisco 5 port Gigabit switch as my server. I’ve ended up overloading my faithful dell sc430 server by “creatively” adding this 1Tb drive to it, the server is designed to support only 2 sata hard drives. See picture below.