SHADER SWAP – OVERVIEW

 

Shader Swap is a simple tool that swaps shader assignments by shader name suffixes.

The tool can be useful for using renderer and viewport shaders together on animation rigs. Animators can use the viewport shaders and see their textures in the viewport, and then at render time, the shaders can be swapped with a button click.

This tool supports any shader type in Maya for all renderers including those not usually by Zoo Tools Pro.

 
 

USING THE TOOL

 

First name your shaders appropriately. For example a scene may have Redshift (or Arnold/Renderman/VRay) and your Viewport shaders.

faceShader_RS (Redshift shader)
faceShader_VP2 (Viewport blinn/surfaceStandard shader)

bodyShader_RS (Redshift shader)
bodyShader_VP2 (Viewport blinn/surfaceStandard shader)

clothesShader_RS (Redshift shader)
clothesShader_VP2 (Viewport blinn/surfaceStandard shader)

The tool will toggle shader assignments for all scene shaders with matching suffixes.

 
 

RIG REFERENCING AND SHADER SWAP

 

In the case of character rigs the shaders can be swapped back and forth easily for the riggers while saving and updating their rigs.

Two rig files can be saved and maintained by the rigger, for example, in Redshift.

rig_redshift.ma
rig_viewport.ma

Animators will use the viewport rig referenced into their scene, and at render time the Redshift rig can be replaced with Reference Editor > Reference > Replace Reference.

 
 

SETTINGS

 

Quick Suffix Drop Downs
Use the drop down menus to set quick preset suffix names in the text boxes.

Suffix One & Two Text Boxes
Enter the suffixes into the text boxes to swap between shader assignments; the order does not matter. The tool will find the first shader suffix and swap all assignments to the opposite suffix.

The suffix names are not limited; you can use any suffix.

Shader Swap Toggle Button
Press the Shader Swap toggle button, and the tool will swap all shaders to the opposite suffix.

Press it again, and it will return all the original suffixes.