PixelCG Tutorials are now on iTunes

I’ll be placing all my HD video tutorials on iTunes.
Now you can learn on the go :)
iTunes Link

September 22nd, 2010 by | 7 Comments »

How to change the timeline color in Maya 2014 – Tip

The dark grey color can be changed via a simple MEL

Maya timeline before

timeControl -e -backgroundColor 0.5 0.5 0.5 $gPlayBackSlider;
timeControl -e -forceRefresh $gPlayBackSlider;

Where the 0.5 0.5 0.5 is the new lighter grey color.

Maya timeline After

Note: this is a temporary change, as it will go back to default color after Maya restarts.
For a permanent change , add the lines to your userSetup.mel file located in C:\Users\XXX\Documents\maya\2014-x64\prefs\scripts

July 4th, 2013 by | 1 Comment »

Introduction to Scene Assembly – Tutorial

Scene assembly is a new feature that was introduced to Maya 2013 Extension (aka 2013.5). It will allow artists to build and interact with large data sets without the burden of memory overhead.
The artist will be able to quickly assemble and interact with the Maya scene in any given type of representation whether it is a Maya scene or GPU cache.
In this tutorial, we will get a quick glance on what Scene Assembly is and how to implement it in the pipeline.

Get Adobe Flash player


The HD vr. can be found here.



October 12th, 2012 by | 1 Comment »

Installation guide for Maya 2013 on Linux Fedora 14

Thanks to Nelson Cruz for his help writing this document.

Installing Nvidia Driver
Download the driver from nvidia web site

Make note of the download location and move it to the desktop

Step 1: Disabling nouveau
Go to Application > System Tools > Terminal

Type : Su -
Enter your root password
gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf:

Add the line
blacklist nouveau
Save and quit

back to the shell as root, type:
gedit /boot/grub/grub.conf

Add the line
rdblacklist=nouveau vga=31B

At the end of the kernel line (make sure to expand the gedit to see the line end)

1600×1200 – 346
1280×1024 – 31B
1400×1050 – 348
1024×768 – 318
800×600 – 315

Save and quit
back to the shell as root,type:
yum install binutils

You will be asked to “confirm” a few times
Enter Y for yes.

At the end you should get:

Step 2: Install missing packages
Back to the shell as root, type:
yum install gcc
yum install kernel-devel

This will install the package needed for nvidia

While still in root, type:
yum update kernel*
This will give you the latest Kernel

Step 3: Changing the load option
Still in root type:
gedit /etc/inittab

This will open a text editor where we can modify the run level
Change the id to 3:

Note: Next time Fedora runs, it will log into shell mode rather than UI.
If you want to change it back, you will need to change the id level to 5]


Step 4: Installing driver
Fedora will now login into a shell mode
Enter login name as “root” and provide the root password
Then type:
sh /home/UserName/Desktop/NVIDIA_DRIVER_NAME

Where UserName is the name of the account
NVIDIA_DRIVER_NAM is the exact name of the downloaded driver.

You can use the “Tab” button on your keyboard as a short cut to complete the file name.
Follow the simple installation instructions and accept the nvidia-xconfig

Once completed this step, restart and use the shell command to login with your user name and password.

To launch the UI, type: startx

Now fedora will launch in its more familiar interface.
You can change the inittab behaviour to always start the UI by changing the level to 5

gedit /etc/inittab

Prepping for Maya

Step 1: Installing additional required packages
In a shell window a  super user type:
yum install mesa-libGLw
yum install libXp
yum install gamin audiofile audiofile-devel e2fsprogs-libs

You would also need to install tcsh
yum install tcsh

Step 1: Installing Missing Fonts
System Administrator > Add Remove Software

Do a search for “xorg-x11-fonts-ISO8859-”.
The fonts that we need are: 75dpi and 100dpi

Get both the font and the font set

Install libXp.
While the “add/remove” software window is open, search for “libXp”
The one you want is: X.Org X11 libXp runtime library

Installing Maya
Make sure there is a tmp folder located under /usr
If not, make one by running:
mkdir /usr/tmp
chmod a+rwx /usr/tmp/

Extract Maya to a folder on your desktop.(if it was a downloaded zip)

In shell mode as a super user
cd /home/USER_NAME/Desktop/Maya


Enter your product key and serial number

Once done, you will need to link some libraries

cd ‘/usr/autodesk/maya2013-x64/lib’
ln -s /usr/lib64/libcrypto.so.10 ./libcrypto.so.6
ln -s /usr/lib64/libssl.so.10 libssl.so.6

Tweaking Linux
Maya uses the “Alt” key for camera movement. To make sure that the hotkey will work on Linux, you need to do the following: System > Preference > Windows

And enable the ‘Super’ option under Movement Key

In order to have the show batch render function working on Fedora, you need to go to: System > Administrator > SELinux Management

Change both “System Default Enforcing Mode” and “Current Enforcing Mode” to “Permissive”

If the option is left as “Disabled,” it will prevent you from using the show batch render function in Maya.

April 13th, 2012 by | 7 Comments »

Installation guide for Linux Fedora 14 – dual boot

Thanks to Nelson Cruz for his help writing this document.

This document is written for Fedora 1. Please adjust accordingly.
Download the DVD from Fedora’s website.

Example location:
Note: Avoid using KDE. Instead, use Gnome as a window manager with Autodesk products as it handles floating windows more effectively. Burn the .iso file onto a DVD and use it to boot the machine.
The following are the instructions for Dual-boot with Windows 7. Skip to “OS Installation” if you are aiming for a single boot.

Step 1: Dual-boot preparation
To create the partition that will host Linux, RMB click on “My Computer” and choose “Manage.”

RMB click on the “C: volume” and choose “Shrink Volume”

At this point, you need to decide how much space you want to allocate for Linux.

Once you hit “Shrink,” windows will take few moments to create the new partition.
Note: Take notice to the partition size as you will need it to identify the right partition when installing Linux.

Step 1: OS installation
Insert Fedora DVD into your drive and boot the machine. The DVD will offer an option to verify the media. It is recommended to do so before installing.

Follow the basic instructions of language and keyboard settings.

Choose “Basic Storage Devices” as a storage type.

Next step: Assigning a host name to the machine.

Select a location for time zone configuration.

Create a Root Password.

Step 2: Disk Partition Setup
Choose “Create Custom Layout.”

Choose the free partition. As noted above, if you recorded the size of the partition, you will now be able to decipher which one is “free.”

Choose “Create.” This will open the “Create Storage” dialog box.
Choose “Standard” and hit “Create.”

You will need to create 3 partitions.

  • A. Boot Partition
  • B. Swap Partition
  • C. “/” aka Main Partition

A. Boot Partition:
From the “Add Partition” window, select the following;
Mount Point = /boot
File System Type = ext 4
Size (MB) = 200 (this will be the smallest partition as it will only hold the boot information)

B. Swap partition:
Repeat the above steps to add a new partition.

Mount Point = (leave this empty)
File System Type = ext 4
size 4096 (4GB)

C. “/” aka Main Partition
When this process is completed, the machine will boot into Fedora for the first time.

Follow the basic steps and create a user name and password.

Welcome to Fedora! :)

Step 3: Connecting to the network

At this point we have not setup a connection yet. To do so, go to
System > Administrator > Network

It will prompt you to enter the root password.
Highlight the Device eth0 and choose “Edit”
Check “Activate Device” when computer starts

Next step will be installing nVidia driver.

April 13th, 2012 by | No Comments »

How to fix the final gather rebuild issue in Maya 2012

This glitch will appear in Maya 2012 with mental ray Final gather
Once FG map was enabled and giving a specific name, our render will come out as expected such as this

However when we turn off the final gather Rebuild to use the already built map

The render will come out as if we turned off the final gather completely

There are 2 solutions for this
Solutin A:
Add a secondary final gather map, and type in the Name of your map
This will force Maya to go and fetch the map

The MEL script would be
setAttr -type “string” miDefaultOptions.finalGatherMergeFiles[0] “AshManDu”;
Where AshManDu is the name of the FG map.
Note: the MEL doesn’t update the UI. It just adds the map

Solution B:
Use FG legacy approach
To do so:
In the command line run
select miDefaultOptions;
The attribute editor will load some mental ray options.  Scroll down and expand the “String Options” category and click “Add New Item”
Scroll down to the bottom of the list to see the new empty options.  Enter the following.

Name: finalgather legacy
Value: True

Now we should have our render back with FG

September 2nd, 2011 by | 2 Comments »