This lesson begins by reminding us about the scanline renderer, telling us that the Material Editor uses it. It mentions the Mental Ray renderer, which we used in the last chapter, and tells us that we might install other renderers from third-party vendors as well.
The text reminds us that changing the renderer will change the options available on various panels, the render scene dialog panels among them. We will look at features on the Common panel, Common Parameters rollout.
We have seen the importance of the time output group. (It's not a rollout, because you can't expand or collapse it.) In the lessons on animation, you learned that you only get a Single frame rendered unless you select the Active Time Segment, a Range, or a specific list of Frames.
You have also used the Output Size selections to set the resolution for your render output.
Exercise Notes and Questions
Work through the exercises and turn in your answers to all questions below as part of the homework for this assignment.
Exercise 1: This is a short exercise. Open the indicated file.
The lesson continues, describing more features. You have used the Files button in the Render Output group to save your output as an AVI file. The text tells us that we could also have saved a single frame render with the Save Image button (it has a floppy disk on it). The text calls this the Save Bitmap button. This is a misnomer (bad name). The screen you get next lets you save the file in lots of formats, not just bitmap.
The lesson moves on to discuss the RAM Player, which loads frames into RAM and plays animations from there. This would be a useful option if you have lots of RAM, a fast processor, and no way to save a file. Be advised that the RAM Player loads slowly, so you should not do this if you are in a hurry.
Exercise 2: This exercise demonstrates the RAM Player without stressing your computer.
Exercise 3: Open the indicated file.
Exercise 4: This is another exercise where we can cut to the chase. Follow the instructions to load and modify the file.
Exercise 5: This exercise has more value, especially if you are not sure how to modify a scene to best effect.
Exercise 6: This exercise shows you the Batch Renderer. It is useful when your scene has several saved states, and you want to render two or more to files.