When working with Maya there are a few different ways to render your final piece. The first and easiest is the “Batch Render”, which is located under the Rendering menu set, in the Render menu option, Batch Render. This has an option box, which allows the user to dictate how many processors are allocated towards the render.

Another very straightforward way of rendering in Maya is the right-click render. On any Maya file if you right-click the option for render is there. By selecting render you will notice the DOS prompt open and rendering begins. This method is a good one to use if you have gone and set all of your render globals before hand and are only rendering out one camera or one set of frames.

The DOS rendering through Maya is the most powerful and allows you to call a large variety of options for your renders.

Start by opening up the DOS prompt, in most Windows based operating systems it is located in the accessories folder within start menu, named Command Prompt.

Once the Command Prompt has been launched you will see that a blinking cursor is behind a drive name. If you know DOS then this part is easy if not here are the commands you will need to do.

First you want to change directories to the location where your file is stored.

The drive name and a colon does this, ex. d:

Now I am in the “D” drive. To see if my file is in this location I can use the command, dir, which stands for directory. Dir gives me a list of the contents of the current directory that I am in. Any folders are represented with a DIR in front of them.

My file is within one of those folders so I need to change directories. Use the command “cd foldername”, ex. cd rponte (rponte is the name of the folder). Now my current directory should be, D:\rponte>

I can use the dir command again to view the contents of this directory. Since my file is here I can now start the process of writing out a line of tags that will control the render.

Here is a basic line.

render -n 0 –s 1 –e 100 –cam camera1 –im scene01 –rd D:\rponte\renders file2render.mb

Each dash is followed by the tag and each tag is followed by a space then the proper information for the tag.

-n           is to tell how many processors should be used.
-s           is the start frame numbe.
-e           is the end frame number.
-cam      is the camera name.
-im         is the rendered image name.
-rd          is the render directory, where renders are saved.
And then the filename of the file to be rendered.

The most powerful part of DOS rendering is that multiple lines of different renders can be planned ahead and then executed. By typing up your line within a text document then typing another on the next line, and so on. Then save that text document as a .bat file. The .bat file can by launched and will set multiple renders up on the same machine, so you can go out or to sleep or whatever while the computer renders multiple, scenes, cameras, frame counts, etc.

If you want to know more render flags type this into the command prompt.

render -r renderer name -help
renderer name is either, sw for software, mr for mental ray, hw for hardware or vr for vector.