I’ve been thinking about ways to render in such a way that wouldn’t
require starting and stopping max for each picture. I thought of techniques I use to do lots of camera shots overnight.
Idea #1: If one were so inclined, time could be saved by animating the
material(s). I would suggest a blend material, using auto key, and
swapping out each material with each keyframe. Make each keyframe a
single frame right after the last one. Then export your frames as
individual images, as all animations should be. Works with NR (Network Render), too.
FYI: You can’t change the material type if you are animating a material.
Idea #2: Create an AVI or MOV that has in each frame the material you
want. This is for simple, non-compound materials, of course. Then
simply apply the movie as a material, and continue as above.
Note: When animating stuff like materials and all things that are not
positional/rotational in the root, you should see a set of red
brackets, the same as with “open” groups in the viewers, around the
widgets/parameter thingies that are being animated.
Don’t ask why, but sometimes setting manual keys does not work, and you need to use “auto key”. Personally, I think auto key creates risk when animating, and this may not be a bug… it may just be a retarded way to do it.
Another caution is that animations of any kind can be adjusted to
loop, stop, yo-yo, etc. when done. Get familiar with the curve editor
and dope sheet, using them as often as you use layers and the light lister.