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Old 28-06-2006, 11:21 PM   #1
Lt Jim
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Default Render Global Frame Extension Question

I've searched the forum in vain for the answer to this problem I'm having, so I beg the indulgence of the moderators and of all of you! :-)

I wish to use Mental Ray as my rendering tool. I also wish to use the .tiff format. Ideally, I would LIKE to use the following frame extension:

name#.ext

(notice the lack of periods between "name" and "#"). This option is GHOSTED in my render globals when Mental Ray is selected. Is there a reason for this? My computer does NOT like "name.#.ext" or any of the other options with multiple periods before the extension. I suppose I could go and erase all the extra periods from 1000 tiff files, but I don't have the time or desire. I SHOULD be able to choose any of the frame/file extension choices.

Is this a Mental Ray thing, or did I push the wrong button and create a bogus setting somewhere?

As always I will try and solve the problem myself through error and trial, but ANY help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!
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Old 28-06-2006, 11:42 PM   #2
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using mental ray as a renderer i can still choose .tif and then name#.ext... do you still have the ability to choose the name_#.ext? that should work just as well.

unless you're working in like windows 95 or OS 3.X i don't see why your computer should have a problem with multiple dots in your filename... what does it do with a file like that?
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Old 29-06-2006, 12:36 AM   #3
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Thanks for your response, NeoStrider.

I'm actually using Windows XP-64 (the 64 bit "latest & greatest" version. Most common hardware, ie printers, scanners, &c &c do not yet support this version)! Maybe THAT has something to do with it, but I somehow doubt it.

I can NOT access the name#.ext option with Mental Ray selected. It is grayed out. I CAN access it with Maya Software/Hardware, however, which is why I'm suspecting something in Mental Ray. I CAN render single frames in MR, BTW. As far as using an underscore, I do not seem to have that option. I'm using Maya 6.5.

My options with MR selected are:

name.ext (single frame)
name.#.ext
name.ext.#

The grayed out options include:

name (single frame)
name.#
name#.ext

I tried loading all of the default settings for both the common tab and the MR tab, but no dice. If I try to import a name.#.ext file into, say, Photoshop (to have a look at it), it won't open. I'm guessing that if it won't open in Photoshop, it probably won't open in After Effects!

I've gone through my preferences line by line and have not found anything which might explain my predicament. I KNOW I've been able to access the name#.ext option with Mental Ray on my old computer (though my video card wouldn't render anything)!

I am at a complete loss. I imagine reinstalling Maya may be an option, but I do not wish to do that until I have exhausted all other possibilities and/or the patience of everyone on the Simply Maya forum! :-)

I am hoping my problem is due to a setting I might have missed, or due to some other easily fixed issue. I will continue to experiment, but I feel like I'm flying a four engine aircraft on two and a half engines! :-)

Thanks again, and if anyone can help...PLEASE suggest away!
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Old 29-06-2006, 12:42 AM   #4
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Well, I did some experimenting. I renamed a .jpeg with an extra period and it DID open up in Photoshop, so perhaps it won't be a problem after all. If I can get a tiff sequence to open in photoshop/after effects, this will be a non-issue!

BTW I tried Maya Hardware. I have a Radeon video card ((x capable), and the render looks like complete garbage! I will browse the forum and try to find out why!

Thanks again, NeoStrider!
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Old 29-06-2006, 03:24 PM   #5
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most times in after effects you can just import the sequence into your project or composition using file>import>footage file, and it usually recognizes image sequences, with a check box becoming available if you wish to import the whole sequence as a clip.

if your computer gets fussy about filenames with multiple periods then does it also have problems with long filenames as well? (meaning longer than 8 characters without the extension) if that's the case then somewhere you have 16-bit emulation on. but i digress. with photoshop and after effects if you can't seem to open a file straight out, try using the 'open as' or 'footage as' items and point the program towards what the file was supposed to be. it'll ignore the current extension and try to open your file using the method you choose.

as far as getting mental ray to utilize all the extension settings, i've got no clue. if you did press the wrong button, then you can close maya, delete your prefs folder, and it'll re-create them the next time you open maya. be warned though, it'll get rid of any nifty mel scripts or anything you've got customized inside that folder.

if that doesn't work, i'd recommend reinstalling maya and looking for the latest drivers for your video card. the last two seem to usually fix people's problems, but they're kinda last-resort. hope this helps, and good luck.
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Old 29-06-2006, 04:43 PM   #6
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I think I have it figured out, NeoStrider. I will go ahead with the multiple periods! Tiffs DO open up in Photoshop. The problem I had with the Tiff that didn't is that it wasn't fully rendered (ie corrupt). So the mental ray/file extension problem is officially a non-issue.

There is NO WAY I'm going to get rid of all the nifty MEL scripts I've collected, but preference deletion is always an option in an emergency!

As for 16 bit emulation? I will have to check that, though I don't think it's on. Windows 64 bit is literally ahead of its time. TOO ahead of its time! Thankfully, Maya and my graphics card run on it. I have to have a second computer to do all of my scanning and printing (and run most if not all of my 16 bit programs). Even Norton and Symantec do not presently support 64 bit Windows! (I did find an EXCELLENT virus protection system from an English company, "Avast!", which DOES support XP-64 and does so with excellence).

Anyway, I think I'm back in business, so I will proceed. Thank you again for all your help!
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Old 29-06-2006, 06:18 PM   #7
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kick ass, man. glad to see the workaround helped
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