I know it's been awhile since I've posted anything but here it goes!
I'm sure everyone else is like me and is always looking to speed up their test render times, and because of that I've put together a global quality UI. This UI gives you one simple control to scale all of your scene's quality parameters while storing your high quality attributes for returning back to the highest quality. Currently this tool only supports Renderman 4.0 but if there's enough interest, I can make it compatible with other renderers.
You can get the script here: http://www.creativecrash.com/maya/script/global-render-quality-control-ui
Here's the current build's description:
Installation: Place script in your scripts folder and restart maya. Run GlobalQualityControlUI to bring up the UI.
The purpose of this tool is to create a global control for all samples (lights, materials, transforms etc...) in a scene. This includes:
shadowRays,smapSamples, volumeShadowSamples, areaSamplingU, areaSamplingV, reaLowSamplingU, areaLowSamplingV, maxSpecularSamples, maxLightSamples, minSpecularSamples, minLightSamples, sssSamples, nsamples, indirectDiffuseSamples, NumSamples, AntiAliasing Pixel Samples, Focus Factor, Motion Factor and Shading rate.
Adjust the slider to set your global samples for a scene, 1.0 is highest quality while 0.01 is lowest. Once you have chosen a quality, press the `Set!` button and your quality settings will be applied to all the objects in your scene. Your high quality attribute will be stored in a new attribute on your object by the name of "HQ_PRMAN_" and will be updated if any higher values are inputted at the time of pressing the `Set!` button.
The Max shading rate is a cap for the largest shading rate allowed. This helps prevent any textures or displacement from becoming too low res.
There is no guarantee that this tool will work, and I'm not responsible for any issues you may have.
However, if you have any issues, comments, concerns or requested features please let me know at email@example.com.