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how to render objects modelled in Maya?

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I am writing my own raytracer and I want to render some scenes which are built from Maya. I found some student projects online in which the objects are modelled in Maya and rendered using their own raytracer,like this one: http://graphics.ucsd.edu/courses/rendering/2003/cyrus/scatterbrain.html But how did they do it? Anyone did similar projects before? Thanks.

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Did you read the article?


"Next, I needed to construct the mountain range that this city was built into. For this,
I implemented a terrain generator which would let me experiment with different height fields
and export to the .obj file format." <---------------

.obj is a easy to read text file format which Maya exports.

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