[MtoA] Warning: Renderer “arnold” does not provide batch rendered options


Not all renderers have batch render options, so if you click the box beside the Batch Render menu command:

menu_options_box

then you’ll get a warning:

// Warning: file: C:/Program Files/Autodesk/Maya2017/scripts/others/batchRenderOptions.mel line 19: Renderer "arnold" does not provide batch rendered options. // 
// Warning: file: C:/Program Files/Autodesk/Maya2017/scripts/others/batchRenderOptions.mel line 19: Renderer "mayaHardware" does not provide batch rendered options. // 
// Warning: file: C:/Program Files/Autodesk/Maya2017/scripts/others/batchRenderOptions.mel line 19: Renderer "mayaHardware2" does not provide batch rendered options. // 
// Warning: file: C:/Program Files/Autodesk/Maya2017/scripts/others/batchRenderOptions.mel line 19: Renderer "mayaVector" does not provide batch rendered options. //

All the rendering options for Arnold are in the Arnold Render Settings.

To start a batch render, click the Batch Render text in the Render menu:
render_menu

[MtoA] The case of the machine that was unable to dynamically load mtoa.mll


In this case, a Windows 7 machine did support SSE4.2, but Maya 2017 still couldn’t load mtoa.mll.

I didn’t get a full Process Monitor log from the client, but I did get a Dependency Walker log, and this case, that was enough.

When you first open a Dependency Walker (dwi) file, it’s easy to focus on the wrong thing. In this case, the missing MSVCR90.DLL (Visual Studio 2008 redistributable) might catch your eye.

dwi_01.jpg

But you can ignore that, because if you take a closer look, you’ll see that MSVCR90.DLL is indeed found and loaded.

dwi_02.jpg

Likewise, you can ignore all these. You’ll almost always see most of those in a Dependency Walker log for Windows 7 and up.

dwi_03

What’s important in this depends log is the warning for AI.DLL.

dwi_04

That warning means that there’s missing functions: MtoA (MTOA.MLL) expects to use certain functions provided by Arnold (AI.DLL), but those functions aren’t there. For example:

dwi_05

And finally, if we click View > Full Paths, we see the reason for the problem:

dwi_06

There’s some older version of Arnold on the system, and that old version is being loaded by MtoA.mll. Most likely, the system PATH includes this location.

With a Process Monitor log, we would have seen right away that ai.dll was being loaded from a non-standard location.

 

[MtoA] Unable to dynamically load : mtoa.mll The specified module could not be found.


I have another, more general, version of this post here. This one is for new Arnold users with Maya 2017.

Here’s what to do if you get errors like this:

// Error: file: C:/Program Files/Autodesk/Maya2017/scripts/startup/autoLoadPlugin.mel line 32: Unable to dynamically load : C:/solidangle/mtoadeploy/2017/plug-ins/mtoa.mll
The specified module could not be found.
//
// Error: file: C:/Program Files/Autodesk/Maya2017/scripts/startup/autoLoadPlugin.mel line 32: The specified module could not be found.

Check if your processor supports SSE4.2

If this is the first time you’ve tried to use the Maya to Arnold (MtoA) plugin, then check whether your processor supports SSE4.2.

Reinstall MtoA

If MtoA used to load, but now it doesn’t, then something happened to the MtoA installation. I’ve seen several cases where DLLs were missing from the MtoA bin folder; most importantly, Arnold itself was missing (Arnold is ai.dll on Windows, or libai.so on Linux, or libai.dylib on OSX).

If you make a backup copy of the MtoA install folder, we can investigate after you fix things by installing MtoA.

Get a Process Monitor log

If a clean install of MtoA doesn’t work (and the computer does support SSE4.2), then “The specified module could not be found.” usually means there’s a missing dependency. Dependency Walker is a decent, if aging, tool for checking out dependencies, but for leaving no stone unturned, I prefer Process Monitor.

The MtoA plugin (mtoa.mll) depends on a handful of files only. Here’s the log of loaded DLLs for a working MtoA:

process_monitor_mtoa

Here’s a quick walkthrough (no audio) of how to get a Process Monitor log:

[MtoA] The renderer ‘arnold’ used by this scene, is not currently available


warning_renderer_not_currently_available

// Warning: file: C:/Program Files/Autodesk/Maya2017/scripts/others/supportRenderers.mel line 64: The renderer "arnold" used by this scene, is not currently available. The "mayaSoftware" renderer will be used instead. //

By itself, this warning doesn’t mean there’s a problem with MtoA or Arnold. The warning means that the MtoA plugin isn’t loaded, so all you have to do is load MtoA:

  1. Click Windows > Settings/Preferences > Plug-in Manager
  2. Scroll down until you see mtoa.mll
    plug-in_manager_mtoa
  3. Click the Loaded and Auto load check boxes.

However, if you get a “Unable to dynamically load : ../mtoa.mll The specified module could not be found.” error, then that’s a different problem.

[MtoA] The curse of pymel.log


PyMEL is great. But…if pymel.log can’t be accessed, any plugin that uses PyMEL will fail to load.

And MtoA uses PyMEL, so every now and again I see a case where MtoA doesn’t load, and you get something like this in the script history:

import arnold
// Successfully imported python module 'arnold'
import mtoa
// Successfully imported python module 'mtoa'
import mtoa.cmds.registerArnoldRenderer;mtoa.cmds.registerArnoldRenderer.registerArnoldRenderer()
# Error: line 1: IOError: file C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Maya2016\bin\python27.zip\logging\__init__.py line 926: 13 #
// Error: Failed to register renderer 'arnold' //
// Error: line 1: initializePlugin function failed (mtoa) //

The important bit is this error:

# Error: line 1: IOError: file C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Maya2016\bin\python27.zip\logging\__init__.py

That error means that PyMELcannot create a log file in your user folder.

By default, the PyMEL log file is created in your Documents folder. For example, if your Windows user account name is Stephen, then this would be the log file:

C:\Users\Stephen\Documents\pymel.log

You need to check the permissions on that log file, or delete it so that PyMel can create a new log file.

Note that the pymel.log file may be a hidden file.

[MtoA] Renderman performance warning


If you have both Renderman and MtoA installed, you may see a warning that says “Arnold for Maya degrades Renderman performance.” Unless you are running a version of MtoA from 20 months ago, this performance warning is false. MtoA does not degrade Renderman performance.

This was fixed in Arnold 4.2.3.1 (fix #4393 main thread was pinned to a single core) back in January 2015.

[MtoA] Exporting XGen archives


Finally, I have XGen > Generate > Export Selection as Archive working with Maya 2016 Extension 1 + SP5 on Windows 7.

I recently updated to SP5 from SP4, but I don’t know if that’s part of why the export works now. But I do know that I had to install mental ray for Maya 2016. I didn’t need to load Mayatomr, I just needed it installed. And then Export Selection as Archive worked!

PS I did see that thread on cgtalk about modifying xgenMR.py and xgenMRExport.py, but that didn’t work on my Windows 7 machine.

UPDATE: In summary, to export XGen archives, you need to:

  • install Mayatomr (but you don’t need to load it)
  • load xgenMR.py and xgenToolkit.mll