You can convert textures to an optimized format to increase rendering efficiency. Maya will automatically convert the textures in your scene file to an optimized format (.map). This feature makes good use of memory, allowing you to render larger scenes and render scenes with a higher resolution. This feature can also improve the performance of network renders.
The conversion to the optimized format can be done before rendering begins, or, you can trigger the conversion by selecting the Update optimized cache textures now option in the Rendering Preferences. After the initial render, only newly modified textures will be re-converted. These optimized textures are only used for rendering. The original textures remain untouched and are still used for tasks such as interactive display, UV placement and so forth.
- When used for network rendering, less data is sent across the network, reducing render times and network load.
- Reduce memory usage so that you can render larger scenes and render scenes with higher resolution textures, such as 10k and above. Attention: If using network rendering, the optimized textures must be accessible on each slave and master machine. You can either store the file on a file server that is accessible by all machines, or, the file must be available locally on each slave machine.
The optimized texture format is an uncompressed format that offers multi-resolution capability, where each level being stored is formatted in a tile. There is no pixel being read when the texture is referenced in the scene. Only the tiles required for the render are loaded as necessary. Using the tileable format, multiple resolutions of the same image are stored and properly filtered. As a result, the optimized texture files are considerably larger than their original counterparts.
- You can set the preferences for this feature by selecting Windows > Settings/Preferences > Preferences. Under the Rendering section, select mental ray as your Preferred renderer. For more information. See rendering preferences.
- If the textures in your scene file are already of the .map format, then these files will still be converted and carried over to the cache location specified under Custom Location in the Rendering Preferences window.