Duplicating objects along a curve in Maya

I was making a stylised amusement park for a project, and wanted to create a roller coaster track by duplicating planks along a curve. To do so, I created a curve and snapped the plank object at the start of the curve. I selected the plank, shift-selected the curve, and hit Animate –> Motion paths…

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Rendering wireframe in Maya

Below is a house I modeled for an interactive desktop application that I wanted to render out as a wireframe. There are a few ways you can do this in Maya, but I found this to be the simplest method. First, create a lambert material and go to its shader group tab. Expand the mental…

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Controling and Smoothing Depth of Field in Maya

We’ll see how the image below changes as Depth of Field parameters are altered. We’ll then take a look at smoothing the depth of field because the default maya DoF makes the render look very grainy. If you select a camera and open up the attributes editor there is a Depth of Field tab. Expand…

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Animating Water with Maya: Chateau de Chenonceau

I modeled a castle below based on Chateau de Chenonceau. Now I wanted to create flowing water for it to stand in. I started by creating a polygon plane where I want the water surface to be, and applied an OceanShader material to it. (Right click –> Assign New Material.. –> Ocean Shader) The default…

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Adding a Reflection Map in Maya: Cinderella Castle

Below is a castle I modeled ‘loosely’ based around the Cinderella Castle. If you look at the windows, it doesn’t have any reflection on it because there is nothing in the scene to reflect. To make it have reflection without creating any more objects in the scene, I went to the Hypershade window and created…

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Maya Particles: Creating a flower field with particles

Above is a flower field I created with flowers in the background made of particles. Particle sprites always face the camera, meaning they will face you regardless of camera movement or camera swap. To create particles, set your menu to Dynamics mode, and select Particles -> Particle Tool []. In the Particles tool settings, enter…

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Rubicon 3D Irrigation Animation

A 3D animation I made for Rubicon Water earlier this year (above) is now translated into Spanish and Chinese! Links below. Chinese: Spanish:

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Creating and Blending Layered Textures in Maya

Below is a floating island I modeled. I wanted to tile the grass and rock textures, but have them blend into each other, rather than have a clear cut line between the two textures. First, I laid out the UVs so they are contained within the first quadrant with no overlapping UVs. Just like I…

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Quick Realistic Grass in Maya

When you just use a grass texture, it doesn’t look very realistic because the render looks flat like below. So here’s a quick way to make grass have some volume, without using fur or paint effects but, by using a displacement map. Open up the Hypershade window and right-click on your grass texture and select…

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Phong Shading on loaded materials and Environment Mapping in Papervision3D

Using lights in Papervision3D to create objects having a Phong Shading on flat coloured materials are easy enough, but what about when you want dynamic highlights on jpg/png materials that you load in? After making a light like below… var light:PointLight3D = new PointLight3D(false, false); //(showlight, flipped) light.x = 0; light.y = 0; light.z =…

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Embedding Collada and texture files to Papervision3D

One bad thing about not embedding collada and texture files in your swf file is that it can take quite a while for flash to load in external files, even if they’re pretty small. To embed collada and material files, declare them as a class. The paths are relative to your flash src file, rather…

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Baking lights and shadows in Maya using Mental Ray Renderer

I’ve written how to bake lights and shadows onto texture files using the Maya Software renderer before, but this post is for the more exciting Mental Ray renderer. (Yes, smooth shading, final gather, normal maps!) Here’s a simple scene set up with a few spheres and lights. This is the mental ray render that I…

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