User Guide > 3D Integration > About 3D Rendering in Harmony

About 3D Rendering in Harmony

In order to properly render 3D models in Harmony scenes, the scene as well as your workstation must be configured to allow rendering the model through Autodesk Maya. This is required to render the 3D models with the same rendering quality as originally intended. Otherwise, Harmony will use OpenGL to render the 3D model, which might not give the expected results.

To perform this render, Harmony uses the original Autodesk Maya project, to which it applies the transformations done on the model and its subnodes inside the scene, and sends it to Autodesk Maya for rendering. Then, it takes the rendered image and composites it with other elements in the scene to create the full image. This works just as well when outputting the final rendering images as when switching to Render Preview mode in the Camera view.

Autodesk Maya can render using its own rendering engine or third party renderers. Likewise, Harmony can make Autodesk Maya perform the render using different rendering engines. Specifically, the following engines are supported by Harmony:

  • Maya
  • Mental Ray
  • Renderman Reyes
  • Renderman RIS
  • Arnold
NOTE: It is recommended to use either Renderman or Arnold to render 3D objects through Autodesk Maya, as those rendering engines will return deep texture images, which can be composited relative to other elements in your scene with antialiasing. When using other rendering engines, 3D models that clip with elements in your scene may have a hard pixelated seam at their intersection.

For rendering through Autodesk Maya to work, the following conditions must be met:

  • Autodesk Maya—and of the rendering engine, if not Autodesk Maya—must be installed and activated on the workstation performing the render.
  • The path to Maya must have been set in Harmony's local preferences on the workstation performing the render.
  • If rendering using the Renderman engine, the path to Renderman must have been set in Harmony's local preferences on the workstation performing the render.
  • A copy of the original Maya project file, along with all its texture files, must be in the element folder where the imported 3D model is located, with the same file name as the imported 3D model, but with the Maya project file extension (.ma or .mb).
  • A Render Maya Batch node must be connected under the 3D model in the Node view and, optionally, configured to select a specific rendering engine.

The following topics will detail how to achieve this configuration.

NOTE: The Render Maya Batch node outputs a bitmap to your scene's node system. You can apply bitmap effects to the rendered image.