Inspired by the recent Lego movie (although I still haven’t watched it yet), I thought I would have a go at rendering some Lego models with Arnold for Maya.
LDView only exports in .3ds, .stl and .pov file formats. If you import the .stl using Maya’s Direct Connect plugin from the plug-in manager it will come in as one solid object with no separate materials.
Unfortunately the .3ds importer is not available with the Maya Bonus Tools anymore, so I had to open the .3ds files in Maya 2012 and save them out as a Maya file so that I could open it in Maya 2014.
I tried opening the .3ds file in 3ds Max but unfortunately 3ds Max crashed when doing so.
Ive since found out that the .3ds importer for Maya 2014 has been made available here.
The only problem is the polygons came in triangulated in Maya and the normals got screwed up in the process. The only way I managed to smooth the normals was by ‘averaging’ them. However, it was quite a slow and tedious process going through each piece of rounded geometry (although as you can see in the renders below I missed a few pieces, which will forever haunt me).