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Bringing real-time ray-tracing to the Maya viewport using the Wisp real-time ray-tracing library.
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Wisp For Maya

Bringing real-time ray-tracing to the Maya viewport using the Wisp real-time ray-tracing library.

Table of contents


1. Download

  • Users Download latest release from the releases page.
  • Developers
    1. download or clone repository.
    2. make sure you have CMake 3.14 or higher, Visual Studio 2019, and Windows SDK 10.0.17763.0 or newer installed
    3. create an environment variable called MAYA_SDK_DIR. This environment variable should point to your <installation/path>/Autodesk/<version> folder. MAYA_SDK_DIR environment variable
    4. Run install.bat , when asked to update submodules choose yes.
    5. Build generated solution, preferably with visual studio. cmake --build also works

2. setup

  • Users
    • follow instruction in README file included in the download.
  • Developers
    1. copy wisp-template.mod to:
      1. if MAYA_MODULE_PATH is not set, any of the following directories
        • <user’s directory>/My Documents/maya/<version>/modules

        • <user’s directory>/My Documents/maya/modules

        • C:/Program Files/Common Files/Autodesk Shared/Modules/maya/<version>

        • C:/Program Files/Common Files/Autodesk Shared/Modules/maya

        • <maya_directory>/modules/

      2. if MAYA_MODULE_PATH is set
        • the specified path
    2. rename wisp-template.mod to wisp.mod
    3. open wisp.mod and edit line 1: to be equal to the location of the repository.

3. Load plug-in

Open Maya and open the plug-in manager. Load the plug-in. Alternatively, the MEL loadPlugin command can be used. If these two options fail, restart Autodesk Maya. The plug-in should show up now.

4. Result

Plug-in loaded and read to use

Plug-in development


The instructions below assume that the Visual Studio Debugger is used for plug-in development. If you use any other debugger, the guide below does not apply to you.

Please check your debugger documentation to find out how to attach to a running process.

Project properties

Right-click on the project and open the properties.

Project properties

Select the Remote Windows Debugger

Go to the debugging settings. By default, Visual Studio uses the Local Windows Debugger, change this into Remote Windows Debugger.

Selecting the remote debugger

Windows Remote Debugger settings

After selecting the Remote Windows Debugger, new settings will appear. There are two settings that need to be changed:

  1. Remote command The remote command is the command that run once the Remote Windows Debugger is launched. Set this to the location of maya.exe. The location of the executable depends on your installation settings, but by default it is located here: C:\Program Files\Autodesk\<version>\bin\maya.exe.

    Please note that the backslashes (\) are required. Using forward slashes (/) will cause the Windows Remote Debugger to fail to attach to the Maya process.

  2. Attach If you were to launch the Remote Windows Debugger right now, a new instance of Maya will be launched. This is not something you want when debugging an application, so change this setting to Yes.

Correct Remote Windows Debugger settings

Select the Windows Remote Debugger

To make it easy to launch the Windows Remote Debugger, click the arrow next to Local Windows Debugger and select the Remote Windows Debugger. Now, every time that button is clicked (shortcut: F5), the Remote Windows Debugger is used instead of the Local Windows Debugger.

Launching the Remote Windows Debugger

Thanks a lot, Nick Cullen, for the step-by-step instructions on how to get the Remote Windows Debugger to work with Autodesk Maya 2018.

Known issues

  • Crash when using big models. memory limitation.
  • Crash when using lots of objects, memory limitation.
  • Only supported PBR shader: Arnold Standard Surface Shader.
  • Outline not rendered properly in some cases, especially when dealing with small scales.
  • Nurbs not supported
  • Animations not supported / not updating model
  • Deleting the result of a boolean operation introduces ghost models
  • Unloading the plug-in may crash Maya. See issues page for more detail
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