Maya Playblast to RV Tool

A small tool for playblasting directly to RV from Maya.

How to Use



This tool is pretty simple to customize. Make sure to save this to your scripts folder as, “ebLabs_playBlastRV.mel”. Heres the basic format: ebLabs_playBlastRV(imageWidth, imageHeight, aspectRatio, matteOpacity);

  • imageWidth – the width in pixels of your image sequence, eg, 1280, 1920, etc
  • imageHeight – the height in pixels of your image sequence, eg, 720, 1080, etc
  • aspectRatio – if you’d like a mask overlayed in RV, set your aspect here, eg, 1.777, 2.35, etc
  • matteOpacity – set the opacity for the overlay mask in RV. 0 for none, .5 for 50%, 1 for 100%, you get the idea.


  • Try making a popup list on a shelf button with different settings.

Sample Code

Standard HD with a 16/9 soft mask.

Quick Preview with no mask.


Code For Windows

*Make sure to put in the full path to your rv executable, as well as include escape characters. (You will need to put an extra \ before any single \ or spaces.)

12 thoughts on “Maya Playblast to RV Tool”

    • yes that’s exactly what it’s happening..please note that I’m using windows 7 64 bit and maya 2014 which does NOT have a qt option while taking the playblast…I’m taking out image sequence and playblasting..unfortunately RV does’nt pop up…I emailed you a printscreen which’ll elaborate on that .


    • Hi Sree,

      I added some code for a windows version. You will just need to replace the contents of the MEL file with this new windows version, as well as update the rv path.

      Does it work you you as well?


  1. Hi Eric,

    Thanks for making this script available to us! I have just tried it on maya 2014 (OSX), although it does create the png img sequence (wouldn’t a single .mov be cleaner?) RV never pops up.. let me know if theres a way around it. Plus I would suggest you to get the playblast’s options set by the user (like quality, ornaments, etc.. ), or at least get the image size and aspect ratio from render settings, idk..


    • Hi Mike,

      Thanks for the feedback. Its been a while since I’ve tried this on a mac. I’ll have to look into it a bit more and get back to you on that.

      This was a pretty barebones tool. I actually have a more robust playblast manager that Ill be rolling out soon. The logic behind using an image sequence rather than a video file, was that it lets you playblast smaller ranges and overwrite existing images. So basically you wouldnt need to completely playblast the whole shot again if you’re just changing a small part.

      The new playblast manager Ill be rolling out soon, includes a simple option for exporting your image sequences as movie files. As for ornaments, did you have a preference?

      All the best!

    • Hi Eric,

      Now it makes more sense 🙂 thanks for your attention. I usually playblast without ornaments, its cleaner and if you need a frame counter or text there are many scripts that generate those with polys, like zurbrigg’s ShotMask.

      Have a great week!


    • Hi Michael,

      I don’t have my mac here, but heres something to try. Ill confirm this later as well.

      On a mac, you will have to look inside the package contents folder to find the actual RV executable. Here’s where I found mine.

      Try changing the shotOrnaments to 0, this will switch them off.

  2. I have no idea about this, but is it possible to get it to playblast on 2’s? or 4s if you want?
    For example.. if I typed (1-47:2, 48-72:4) It would record every second frame from 1-47 and every 4th from 48 to 72? but hold them the appropriate amount? Would be helpful for us old character animators I think.

  3. Hi man i’m a huge fan of eb_labs tools.
    I wonder why doesn’t work
    give me
    // Error: ebLabs_playBlastRV; //
    // Error: Line 1.19: Wrong number of arguments on call to ebLabs_playBlastRV. //
    i’m on linux here my code

    //for playblasting with RV
    //(c) Eric Bates 2015

    global proc ebLabs_playBlastRV(int $width, int $height, float $aspect, float $opacity)
    //make a playblast without launching fcheck
    string $movie = playblast -format iff -sequenceTime 0 -clearCache 1 -viewer 0 -showOrnaments 1 -offScreen -fp 4 -percent 100 -compression "png" -quality 70 -widthHeight $width $height;

    //spitout name of playblast for artist reference
    print (“\nDude, wheres my last playblast?\n” + $movie + “\n”);

    //launch RV
    system(“/home/gabriele/rv/rv-Linux-x86-64-6.2.3/bin/ ” + $movie + ” -eval ‘use rvui; rvui.setMatteValue(” + $aspect + “); rvui.setMatteOpacityValue(” + $opacity + “);’ “);


    sounds good?

  4. Hi Gabriele ,
    Ah, it looks like you might be missing the full command.

    Are you writing in the resolution, aspect and mask opacity? Like this;

    ebLabs_playBlastRV(960, 540, 1.777, 0);

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