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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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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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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Fixing jagged edges rendered in Maya’s mental ray

After creating a 3D house in Maya, I was disappointed to see mental ray not render the edges cleanly – the edges were jagged. This was clear especially around the windows and the top edges of the house: To fix this, the sample settings in the Render Settings were changed. In the Quailty tab, the…

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Light Fog with Maya Mental Ray using Parti Volume

Light fog doesn’t show up when you render with mentay ray like it does with Maya’s default software renderer. To make it work with mental ray, you need to create a parti volume. Before you start, go to Render Settings => Features tab. Under Extra features, tick the box for Auto volume and increase volume…

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Gamma Correction for Physical Sun and Sky

Using the Phisical Sun and Sky is meant to give realistic results for rendering, but it also seems to wash out all the colours. This is apparently due to a gamma value of 2.2 that gets applied twice. I’ve tried to fix it using a few lazy approaches (such as in post production) but came…

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Ambient Occlusion and Final Gather in Maya

Below is a render without ambient occlusion. And here is one with ambient occlusion. The image looks less flat now and shows more depth (in particular, the white wall near the hedges). To make a render layer for ambient occlusion, first click the below buttons on the channel box to get to the layers window….

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