I have a question for Maya 2008.
I think that what I'm trying to do is not that hard, but it's hard to explain. I'm a bit of a noob...
I need to make an animation (simple fly-by) of an object with a transparent material (ie. white dots and text with transparent space between them), that does not throw shadows or have shadows on it (ie: is always 100% white), but is reflected in a second object, AND .. (here's the part I'm having trouble with) although it's transparent, the surfaces of the object that are behind some other surface of itself are hidden.
The background image (a simple gradient) can be seen through all the parts that are not white.
If this was just a still image or a one off animation I would render the object without transparency, just black and white, and then mask/key out the black areas in Photoshop/After Effects. Unfortunately this project will be translated in to around 15 different languages so I'd like to keep the workflow as simple as possible. Just remake and remap the textures from a template and render the animation.
I hope this makes sense to someone. Have a look at this image for a better idea of what I'm getting at: http://www.netzschritt.webhop.biz/files/problem.jpg