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A simple maya GUI to help the pipeline when working with large amounts of polys, and rendering them with smooth preview in Mental Ray. Automatic buttons - manipulate the viewport to optimise display for animating (no smooth, show all types) and playblasting (high smooth, show poly, nurbs surface, strokes, textures, hides unwanted displays). Manual buttons - open the playblast options, select polys, set smoothness, toggle viewport displays. I've tried to make the code easy to manipulate if you would wish to change the functions of the auto buttons (maybe to render curves etc.). The auto buttons and smooth enable manual button will always enable mental ray render smoothness to high.
Download the .mel file and place it wherever you like to keep your scripts. Open the .mel file in the script editor, select the whole of the code and save it to the shelf (MMD to shelf, or file > save script to shelf...) Then just run the scipt to view the GUI.
I hope that you find this script useful! Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions/suggestions!
*Please note that I have only tested this using Maya 2009 32-bit on a 64-bit win7 OS. I would love to hear from anyone who uses it with a different setup!