This tutorial assumes RPManager or RPManagerLite is correctly installed.
Also, with version 3.1 and 2.1 of RPManager the free and evaluation
licenses support up to 2 passes only, so this tutorial will be modified
somewhat in the future.
You can download a screen capture of this tutorial
being completed here.(
1.8meg zip, quicktime format)
Download and open this scene,
your perspective viewport should look something like this:
Open RPManager or RPManagerLite. If this
is the first time you have opened it, it will offer to convert
your production and draft setups to passes - say no to this dialog.
the RPM interface click the '+' button to add a pass. You can
also add a pass from the 'Passes' menu.
Note: When creating a pass in a scene that already
has a camera active, that camera is used. If only one camera exists,
that camera is used regardless. If no camera exists, RPM will
automatically create one. If multiple cameras exist and none is
actively viewed, it will prompt you for which camera to assign
to the pass being created (camera assignment can be easily changed
later). In this scene only one camera exists so it is automatically
used. Current settings at time of pass creation are used for defining
pass setup - active atmospherics, renderer setup (including draft/production),
output resolution etc.
When you add a pass the pass name is automatically
highlighted for editing, enter the name 'Background' for the pass
Optmise the interface a little by clicking the
small '-' button positioned just below the Add Pass button - this
will hide some items we do not need for the moment. Screenshot (you
can also resize the pass list)
We will now add the background elements to our
'Background' pass so that only those elements are rendered in
this pass. There is already a selection set assigned to the background
and floor elements, we will use this. From the 'Visibility Sets'
menu, pick the 'Import Selection Sets...' item. In the dialog
the item in the list and hit the 'Import Checked' button.
Right Click on the area of the pass name in the 'Visibility
Sets' column of the main pass list, and from the Assign a Visibility
Set submenu pick the
BG_and_floor set we just imported.
This assigns the visibility set to the pass - you can see the visibility
set column reflects the assignment - and the pass is isolated.
Note you can temporarily turn off visibility set
activity in the viewport so assignments are not immediately active
if that is your
preferred workflow. Also, lights and other non renderable objects
are not affected by visibility sets unless you want them to
Next to assign a set to the creature: First, unhide
all objects, then add another pass using the Add Pass button. Name
Select the object named creature in the viewport (the spikey thing
with legs) and Right Click in the visibility set column of this
new pass - pick the first item, 'Create Visibility Set'. This brings
up the create visibility
set dialog. The set is
automatically named to the pass name and highlighted for editing.
options are what we want - created from selected objects and assigned
to the current pass - so either hit the 'Create' button or if the
name field is still highlighted you can use the 'Shift-Enter' short
cut to OK from there. This creates the set and assigns to the pass.
(Note it did not isolate the pass, this is an option in the create
visibility set dialog and its default setting is controllable
via the global defaults.)
Confirm that both sets are correctly assigned by
clicking first on the Background item in the pass list, and then
on the Creature item. You should see the each pass isolated as
you select the pass name.
NOTE: 3.1+ and 2.1+ versions
will not create more than 2 passes. To continue with the tutorial
it might make sense to delete the background pass we created as
the volume light information is still useful:
Our last pass to add in this tutorial is the volume
light pass - there is a volume light assigned, and we want it to
appear on only one new pass, and some hold out meshes to also block
Add a new pass, name it 'VolumeLight'. We want the creature and
the rectangular panel on the floor to be included in this pass as
matte objects, so will use multiple instanced objects to achieve
this (we could use object properties in the non-Lite version of
RPManager to have a more optimised scene, but this is a tutorial
for both). Unhide all, then select the objects named 'Creature'
and 'FloorLight', and clone them as instances.
With them still selected RC in the visibility sets
column and create a selection set from selected objects - this
time turn on the
'isolate set on assign' option in the create dialog so when created
the pass is isolated. Assign a completely black material to both
objects, there is one in the ME already (it helps to assign
a new wire color to cloned instanced objects to make it clearer,
in wireframe view,
We need to control the volume light per pass.
Currently the volume light is on for all passes. This is reported
in the main pass list here. (this column has a RC menu that can
also be used to control atmospherics). Change to the Atmospherics
controls by clicking
on the 'Atmos' tab. This brings up the Atmospherics
controls. The checkboxes here control on a pass by pass basis what
is active or inactive.
Activate the 'Background' pass by clicking on it
in the pass list. Turn off the active checkbox for the volume light.
Do the same for the 'Creature' pass. The atm reporting in the pass
list reflects these changes.
Do a preview of the passes as they stand by clicking
on the Preview/Checked button in the bottom left of the interface.
This will preview
all passes and then load the previews along with alpha channel
into Ramplayer (scene info stamping and preview history are off
by default and will be covered in a later tutorial). Screenshot.
Note that the volume light pass is incorrect - we
need to include the floor as a black object as the light should
not be seen below the ground plane. Close the ramplayer.
Select the Volume Light Pass in the pass list
to restore it. Unhide all objects and select the floor object,
clone as instance
and assign the black material we used before. RC in the volume
lights Visibility Set column, and pick the 'Add
Selected Objects to Visibility Set' item.
This adds the object to
the visibility set, and by default isolates the set (behavior
is controlled using the 'isolate set when objects added/removed'
item in the same RC menu).
Click on the Preview/Selected button in the bottom
left of the interface to preview just the current pass that we
It now looks correct.
Next we will setup the output ranges. The background
pass needs only be a single frame. The other two need to both be
Select the 'background' pass and change to the 'Common Params'
tab. In the time output group set the radio button to 'Single'.
Note the main pass list displays the updated ranges.
Next to setup the output files and output formats.
IMPORTANT Due to a
limitation in bitmap output access in 3dsmax, if you have set
the file output
format using the main render
RPM cannot then set the output parameters *for that output
type* ie if you have set a targa output, RPM cannot set targa
This is fine if all your passes are to be the same type - ie
you will need to do an extra step to workaround this problem:
simply set the output, using the main render dialog, to a format
you will not be using. ie BMP. Make sure neither draft nor production
has the format you want to use assigned.
Then use the controls
in RPM to set your output names and types. This
is usually only
are converting old scenes to RPM, or if you accidentally use
the main render dialog to set your file output.
In this scene the production renderer has never had
the output set so there is no need to set the
main render dialog to a dummy output file.
Next, use the Auto Path
generation of RPM to build some output paths (note the auto path
generation references an unencrypted maxscript function you can
customise to your own needs)
From the 'Output' menu in RPManager, pick the 'Auto
build all paths...' item.
The way the default system works is that it requests
that you select a single directory as your root directory,
and an output format. Once chosen, RPM automatically builds a directory
for each pass, named for the pass, and an output path for each
pass pointing to that directory.
Create a new empty directory (and enter it),
pick the targa output format, and hit the 'Save' button. You will
be asked for the output format for the images, set to 32 bit premultiplied
if not already and OK.
Passes have been set for each pass, and we will use
the Output Inspector to check them. From the Output Menu pick 'inspect
output paths/format'. This brings up this
dialog. Using this dialog
you can edit output paths (entering a path that does not exist
creates that path if possible), as well as edit the output parameters
of each pass. For this tutorial we will set the background pass
to 24 bit - select the background pass in the lower 'output setup'
listbox, and RC on the '32' under the bit depth label. Set to 24
Close this dialog when done.
Last steps are to apply some network settings, check for submission
errors, and submit the job:
We only want one server assigned
to the 'Background'
use the Network controls to set this.
Click on the Network
tab to display the network controls,
then, assuming your manager is running, press the 'Update manager
data' button. This retrieves a list of servers from the manager
(stored in the ini file so you do not need to do this every
time). With the Background pass active, turn off the 'Global
Submission Setup' to convert this passes settings to local,
and then turn off the 'Use All Servers' checkbox.
Note: if you had turned off the 'Use All Servers'
first, this would have affected the Global setups, and hence
all the other passes that are using the global setup (which they
Now check a single
in the server list, this will be the only one assigned to this
pass. (note you can
RC here for some checking shortcuts). The other two passes
are still set to global which is using all servers which is what
we want. Click on them in the pass list to restore to visibly confirm
if you like.
We want to identify this job on the queue when
submitted - 'background' and 'Creature' is not terribly descriptive
when working on many
jobs at once. Rather than adding to the length of each pass name,
we will use use the global pass prefix to enter a unique name
that will be
prefixed to each pass when submitted to the network queue. Enter
'TutorialOne' in the 'Prefix' field below and to the right of the
main pass list. Screenshot.
(note the layout of the Network controls has changed slightly in
the 1.95 version you can download).
Press the 'Alerts' button in bottom right of
the RPM interface, this brings up this dialog listing the current
alerts. We have not tailored the alerts to our scene, so move this
dialog to the side (it can be resized smaller) and change to the
tab in the RPM tab interface.
In the 'Output size warnings' press the 'Get Current'
button (this retrieves the current output size and uses that).
Also turn off the 'single frame' warning and all the multipass
warnings, then press the 'Recheck Scene' button in the Alerts dialog.
This leaves us with just these alerts
which are fine - they indicate difference in frame ranges which
is what we want.
In the bottom of the
RPM interface press the Net Submission/Checked button. This displays
dialog (very similar to the alerts dialog and also
allows rechecking of warnings). We have already checked our warnings
so press the 'Net
Submit' button in the bottom left of the dialog.
be found he submission takes place, and you end up with this. Press
the 'Open queueman' button, connect to the manager in queuemonitor
and you should see your passes submitted. Screenshot.
That's it for this tutorial. After you passes have
rendered composite them together in your package of choice.