Rendering variables


This variable can be used to specify the quality of JPEG files that Maya renders out. The valid values are 1 through 100, with 100 being the highest quality. The default is 100.


Allows you to control the subsampling quality of the rendered image.

The value of the AW_JPEG_SUB_SAMPLING environment variable is:



A few possible settings for this environment variable are as follows:

For example:

The values for each of the L1xL2, Ch1xCh2, and Gr1xGr2 components can be between 1 and 4, where 1x1 is of the highest quality. In general, the lower the component value, the better the quality of the final JPEG because a smaller sampling block allows better high-frequency color information to be captured.


To achieve high visual quality, the environment variable AW_JPEG_Q_FACTOR should also be set to “100”. This variable controls the overall quality of the image, which may mask out any settings to AW_JPEG_SUB_SAMPLING.


If you are quantizing to 8-bit color, we apply some randomness, or jitter, to the color. To enable this option, set the value equal to 1. To disable it, set the value to 0 (zero) or leave it undefined.


If you set this variable to 1, Maya includes the camera background in the calculation of reflection and refraction rays. If you set this variable to 0 (zero) or leave it undefined, Maya ignores the background color for these rays.


Enable this flag to force baked file textures to be the maximum of the texture resolution attribute on the file texture or the actual file texture dimensions.


Set this flag to 1 so that you can preview your render in progress in imf_disp while rendering from the command line. You may need to adjust your firewall.

This environment variable was added in Maya 2008.

This environment variable is not necessary in Linux.


Set this flag to 1 to expose the Render Offscreen option in the Hardware Render Buffer > Render menu. When enabled, an offscreen buffer is used when rendering sequences using the Hardware Render Buffer. Single-frame renders will continue to be rendered into an on-screen buffer. During offscreen rendering, moving windows over the Hardware Render Buffer window does not affect the rendered frames, as would normally be the case.


The Render Offscreen option is only supported on Linux and Mac OS X and not Windows.


EXR version 1.7 supports 252 character channel names. The limit is 252 and not 255 to save room for an extension of up to 3 characters used to differentiate individual channels (for example .R for the red channel). However, EXR version 1.7 is currently supported by very few external applications (for example, Flame), and embedding channel names longer than 31 characters may break compatibility with external applications that do not support it. By default, channel names are truncated to 31 characters for backward compatibility. Set this to 1 to allow long channel names so that channel names are not truncated.


Set this environment variable to either OPENGL or DIRECTX to define the MAYA_TEXCOORD_ORIENTATION_OPENGL or MAYA_TEXCOORD_ORIENTATION_DIRECTX macros respectively. When the macro is defined, it is set to 1.

By setting this environment variable, when the CgFx plug-in compiles a CgFX shader, the shader is compiled with the MAYA_TEXCOORD_ORIENTATION_OPENGL macro or MAYA_TEXCOORD_ORIENTATION_DIRECTX macro set to 1, and the texture is loaded using the orientation (OpenGL or DirectX) you specified. See Orientation for the texture co-ordinate system for more information.


You can customize the gamma used for encoding Quicktime playblast by setting the environment variable MAYA_QUICKTIME_ENCODING_GAMMA to the desired gamma. If this environment variable is not set, the default value is 2.2.


Set MAYA_USE_SUBRENDERING to 1 to enable subrendering. By default, UI elements are interleaved with the rest of the scene. However, you may want to render UI elements separately instead so that they do not interfere with the scene render.

During subrendering, similar UI items are rendered together in the same render pass. Therefore, all UI elements in the scene, such as the wireframe, locators and icons, are rendered in the same render pass after the main scene is rendered. Rendering is therefore more efficient as UI elements are rendered separately from a complicated rendering system. For example, UI elements do not need motion blur, therefore, it is more efficient to render them separately after the scene has completed rendering.

However, the tradeoff of using subrendering is that UI elements cannot alpha blend correctly with the scene, since they always render last and only interact with the zbuffer of the scene.


Use this environment variable to select the rendering engine with which to run Viewport 2.0. When set, this environment variable overrides the user preference (Window > Settings/Preferences > Preferences > Display) for both interactive and batch sessions (using the -hw2 option).

Set this environment variable to VirtualDeviceDx11 to render Viewport 2.0 in DirectX 11 mode. Set this environment variable to VirtualDeviceGL to render Viewport 2.0 in OpenGL mode.

Unset this environment variable to use the user preference again to select your rendering engine.

See Using DirectX 11 with Viewport 2.0 for more information about running Viewport 2.0 in DirectX 11 mode.

For Intel graphics chip

By default, if you are using the Intel graphics chip on the Windows platform, Viewport 2.0 always runs in DirectX 11 mode, regardless of your Display preferences (Window > Settings/Preferences > Preferences window, Display section).

This message will appear in the command line: Detected Intel integrated graphics. Using DirectX11 mode for Viewport 2.0.

NoteThis message does not appear if you have explicitly selected to run Viewport 2.0 in DirectX 11 mode (for example, via the Preferences window).

To use OpenGL mode instead, you must set this environment variable.


This behavior only applies to users of Intel integrated graphics, or users that have both integrated graphics and discrete graphics but choose to use the integrated graphics.

If your hardware does not support Viewport 2.0, then the default viewport is used instead.


By default, Maya 2014 uses a new algorithm for determining depth priority (that is, deciding which UI elements draw on top of another). This algorithm scales linearly in clip space and provides more accurate results when the near clip distance is small. You can revert back to the legacy (NDC) depth priority algorithm by setting this environment variable to 1.


If your motion blur has no effect when an image plane is immediately behind a moving object, you can workaround this issue by setting the MAYA_VP2_OFF_NON_PE_FRAGMENT environment variable to 1. Setting this environment variable allows the image plane to be included in the calculations of all scene post effects, such as screen space ambient occlusion, depth of field and motion blur.


This environment variable enables you to debug graphics card issues during development of plug-ins for Viewport 2.0. You must also install the DirectX SDK to use this functionality. Set MAYA_FORCE_DX_DEBUG_DEVICE to 1 so that, when using DirectX mode in Viewport 2.0, the DirectX device is created with the D3D11_CREATE_DEVICE_DEBUG flag enabled.


Maya 2014 uses a new algorithm for the Object Sorting transparency option (Renderer > Viewport 2.0 > ) that provides more accurate results. To revert to the legacy (Maya 2013) Object Sorting algorithm, set MAYA_OBJECT_SORT_USING_BOUNDING_BOX = 1.


Before Maya 2014, mental ray for Maya may render your material assignments incorrectly when all of the faces of a surface have had a material override. This has been fixed in Maya 2014. However, you can revert to legacy behavior by setting the environment variable MAYA_INCLUDE_EMPTY_SHADING_GROUPS to any value.


This environment variable determines the API that is used by the gpuCache plug-in to drive Viewport 2.0. By default, this is set to MPxSubSceneOverride. This is the only value that is supported.

When this environment variable is not set, the MPxSubSceneOverride API is used.

This variable can also be set to MPxDrawOverride, but this option is only provided as a devkit example of how to use the MPxDrawOverride API. It does not support screen space effects such as screen space ambient occlusion, motion blur, transparency sorting, and per-pixel lighting.


Set the environment variable MAYA_FORCE_DX_WARP to 1 in order to always use the WARP software rasterizer.

The use of WARP is indicated in the output window when the renderer is first used.

In addition, the heads-up display, which indicates the current renderer, also indicates that WARP is being used.

WARP denotes Windows Advanced Rasterization Platform. Refer to the documentation from Microsoft for more details.

NoteWARP may not support the full set of features that a hardware rasterizer supports. This is more noticeable with the Windows 7 platform than with the Windows 8 platform. WARP is currently not a qualified configuration.

Creative Commons License Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License