Rendering Features

Path Tracing and REYES rendering algorithms.
Users can choose between one of the two algorithms depending on the scene. 3Delight uses a a highly-optimized progressive global illumination algoritm to render Gi effects fast.

Physically plausible materials for realistic rendering.
We provide a solid 3Delight Material for rendering a large variety of surfaces. The material can also simulate coated surfaces. An easy to use skin material and a glass shader are also provided.

Subsurface Scattering
Automatic subsurface scattering can be enabled on a per-object basis and delivers impressive results, fast.

Complete HyperShade Support
All Maya HyperShade nodes supported. RenderMan shaders can also be assigned using a parallel mechanism or directly inserted in HyperShade networks using special utility nodes.

Render Modes
Both direct rendering in Maya (including rendering into Maya’s render view) and RIB export are supported. Direct rendering is useful in normal lighting and rendering work while RIB export can be used for render farm rendering. RIBs exported by 3Delight for Maya are optimized for size and can be written in compressed binary form. Rendering is done in background doesn’t halt Maya.

Motion Blur and Depth of Field
Multi-segment motion blur and realistic camera shutter simulation contribute to high quality rendered images. Compared to other rendering software, motion blur in 3Delight for Maya is fast, especially when using the REYES algorithm. Depth of field is fully supported and simulates a realistic camera bokeh (with polygonal aperture support).

High Quality Anti-Aliasing
Edge anti-aliasing, motion blur and depth of field quality are all controlled using very simple and predictable controls. “Pixel Samples”, “Pixel Filter” and “Filter Width” are the most common parameters one needs to know. Contrary to other rendering packages, such as ray tracers, increasing pixel samples for higher quality anti-aliasing does not affect performance significantly.

Geometric Displacements
Displacements are efficiently rendered to sub-pixel accuracy. Hypershade displacement shaders as well as RenderMan shaders can be assigned to geometry.


3Delight For Maya offers a multi-pass rendering workflow that is suitable for production work. “Render Passes” can be used to render different components of a scene (as in “Render Layers”) or to render different lighting characteristics of a scene (such as diffuse, specular or global illumination). In short, a render pass can define the following parameters (please refer to the User’s Manual for a thorough description):

  1. Camera and quality options
  2. Render Engine (path-tracing or REYES) and Render Mode (normal render or RIB export)
  3. Objects to render. Maya sets can be used to define groups of objects to render in a given pass. The default is to render all objects in the scene
  4. Light sources to render. Maya sets can be used to define the light sources that are used. The default is to use all light sources
  5. Environment to use for HDR global illumination
  6. Output format (EXR, TIFF, etc.) and corresponding options (quantization, bit depth, etc.)

Additionally, a given render pass can use a certain “shader collection.” This means that objects can have different shaders assigned to them, depending on the pass being rendered. The User’s Manual provides more information about this unique feature. Note that one could simply use one render pass for the more traditional one layer rendering.

Supported Geometry

Maya Hair and Paint Effects
Rendered using 3Delight’s efficient `RiNuCurves’ primitive.

Polygons and Subdivision Surfaces
All types of polygons, including those with holes, are supported. Additionally, polygonal geometry can be tagged as a subdivision surface and rendered as such.

NURBS (Maya surfaces)
All NURB surfaces are supported. Trim curves on surfaces are also fully supported and rendered to sub-pixel accuracy. All surfaces are rendered smooth.

Hierarchical Subdivision Surfaces
Fully supported, including both creasing and partial creasing on edges and vertices as well as per-level UV sets. As always, all hierarchical subdivisions are rendered smooth and to sub-pixel accuracy.

“Point”, “blobby”, “sphere”, “streak” and “patch” particles are supported. “Point” particles are rendered using 3Delight’s efficient lightweight particle primitive.

Maya curves can be tagged as renderable on a per object basis and rendered using 3Delight’s RiNuCurves primitive.

Additionally, UV sets, texture reference objects and normals (if any) are correctly assigned to all primitives.

Configurability and Flexibility

As with all serious production tools, 3Delight for Maya has been designed with flexibility in mind. In fact, no other rendering plug-in on the market achieves the same balance between integration and configurability.

1. We implemented most of the RenderMan interface in MEL, which means that you can call RenderMan commands in your MEL scripts. Other packages mainly provide “RIB boxing” capability.

2. 3Delight for Maya was written mostly using the MEL RenderMan interface which means that one can modify it at will. Only core functionalities have been programmed in C++ for performance reasons.

Import and Export

Output Formats
3Delight for Maya can save rendered images in almost any format, includingEXR, Deep EXR (EXR 2.0), TIFF, JPEG and cineon.

Output Formats
3Delight for Maya can save rendered images in almost any format, includingEXR, Deep EXR (EXR 2.0), TIFF, JPEG and cineon.

HDR Images
tdlmake can convert high dynamic range probes (both normal and “twofish” probes) images into environment maps suitable for image based lighting.