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Tech Document on Maya Fur

Tech Document on Maya Fur

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Published by aflockofpixels

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Published by: aflockofpixels on Apr 07, 2011
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02/01/2014

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How does one go rom a simple clay render to aantastic ur render?Assigning ur to a ball or a plane is as easy as drag n’drop, but a urry bear? Tat’s asking or trouble.
Te beginning
My rst venture into ur was in the orm o a ew tests;to look at the possibilities o using it or this project,which I thought would be a good idea, just so I wouldknow what I would be getting mysel into.I used a ew polygon doughnuts and messed aroundwith various ur attributes to see what I could come upwith.My rst major concern was render time, the secondwas to decide whether or not to make it movedynamically or to leave it static. Tirdly was how easy was it to make the ur look good on a character. Aerall there’s a big dierence between a doughnut and abear!
Dynamic Vs Static
Going back to those doughnut tests, I experimentedwith both dynamic and non dynamic. o make urmove dynamically in Maya, it needs to be controlled by Maya’s hair system.Tis gave some amazing results, but my experienceo dynamics has taught me that test’s is one thing andactual scenarios is another.A decision had to be made now, and I chose static.When thinking about it, with all the other technicalaspects o the ur, this was just one too many things tobe worrying about.
echnical Document on Maya Fur
Fur RenderClay RenderDynamic Hair Curves Controlling Fur
By Ethan Shilling
 
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Render times
It’s no good saying “I’m going to have a urry bear inevery shot”, i its going to take until next year to renderit. I had to nd out how to achieve render speeds thatwere realistic or the project, while still maintainingreasonable looking ur.A technique I discovered was to decrease the density o ur while increasing the ur base width. ogether withthe skins background colour matching the ur colour, itgave the appearance o denser ur. I also ound out thatthe Mental Ray renderer has two methods o renderingur. Fur Primitive (deault) and Volume Fur.I switched to rendering with Volume Fur, and althoughit didn’t necessarily speed up render times, it didgive it a soer look, which seemed to help add to theufness.In total, one urry bear averaged about 20 seconds perrame. So much better than a possible 1 minute 30!
Stylising Fur
Te biggest challenge was still to come.Fur assigned to the bear with no ur maps controllingdirection, length and colour looked pretty horrendous!Te bulk o this technical document lies here, with urstylising.Painting the ur direction was one o the mostimportant things that needed to be done as without it,the ur would be angled in one direction, and the urwould never look right.Maya has it’s own way o ‘painting’ on 3D objects. Tisis how you are supposed to paint ur direction, only asI very soon ound out, this was not a very good way.Limitations o the soware really made this animpossible task.20 seconds 1 minuteVisible Seams withoutpainting ur direction
 
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Having ten strands o ur over one bear isn’t exactly enough detail to paint ur direction. My rst attemptsat painting in 3D showed that to be able to see whatyou are painting, you need to increase the display ursamples.Setting that to 128 was just about enough. Any higherand Maya just couldn’t handle displaying such denseur in the preview.What I also ound out is that you should be paintingat a decent resolution so I made the map size 1024by 1024, both in the ur settings and in the paintingsettings.Painting in Maya was proving to be a nightmare.Visible seams, random smudges that didn’t seem todisappear. Tis was when I decided to look at the maple and see what I was painting.I discovered that Maya was painting at a 128 resolutionon a map le o 1028 resolution. I also saw plenty o random patches which were the obvious cause o thesmudges.Te main thing that I ound out is that the display settings or previewing in Maya actually determinesthe resolution o the map, regardless o the actualresolution that is set or the map le!Tis was when I decided to paint the map manually inPhotoshop, but rst I had to understand what the black to White values represented.Tis is a diagram that I created to help me understandhow ur direction is represented. White and black aredown, and all the levels o grey are the 360 degrees o rotation. With that knowledge I was able to paint amap le that worked.Maya’s Direction Map FilePainting Fur Direction In Maya

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