Creating Fur in Maya
Illustration by John Hersey

Adding fur shadowing attributes


From:

Creating Fur in Maya

with Aaron F. Ross

Video: Adding fur shadowing attributes

To get your fur to cast and receive shadows, you need to add some attributes to the lights. Additionally, if you want true cast shadows in Maya software in fur then you have to use a spotlight. I'll select my light. I've got it off the screen here, but I can select it in the outliner. Spotlight 1. And go to the attributes, control a, and what I want to show you is that currently in Mya 2014 when I create a light, I'm getting ray trace shadows enabled by default.

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Watch the Online Video Course Creating Fur in Maya
1h 12m Intermediate Aug 09, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Hair and fur are vital details for realistic 3D models, and their texture can vary wildly—whether soft, prickly, tousled, matted, frizzy, spiky, or straight. This course, with animator Aaron F. Ross, shows you how to create, render, and customize all different types of fur in Maya. Fur starts in Maya with the Fur node, where you attach a fur description and define essential properties. Then you'll learn to map fur to your models with texture and style it with the Paint Fur Attributes tool. Plus, discover how to control shading and shadowing, render out your model in Maya or mental ray, and animate dynamic hair with the nHair system. In the end, you'll have textures you can use to create luxuriant heads of hair, fur of many stripes, and even other materials like grass.

Topics include:
  • Loading the Fur plugin
  • Understanding the Fur node structure
  • Optimizing viewport performance
  • Rendering in Maya and mental ray
  • Adding shadow and shading
  • Setting fur density and scale
  • Adding curl, scraggle, and clumping
  • Styling with the Paint Fur Attributes tool
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
Maya
Author:
Aaron F. Ross

Adding fur shadowing attributes

To get your fur to cast and receive shadows, you need to add some attributes to the lights. Additionally, if you want true cast shadows in Maya software in fur then you have to use a spotlight. I'll select my light. I've got it off the screen here, but I can select it in the outliner. Spotlight 1. And go to the attributes, control a, and what I want to show you is that currently in Mya 2014 when I create a light, I'm getting ray trace shadows enabled by default.

Shadows were turned off for all brand new lights, but apparently that's changed in 2014. However the Mya software renderer of course has ray tracing disabled by default. So let's take a look at what we get if we render this now. I'm going to hide the fur and set the visibility to 0. And then, I'll do a render. And this has got no shadows in it. I'll store that, and then I'll go into the render settings and enable ray tracing in the Maya software tab.

Ray tracing quality, turn it on. And then render. And you'll see we're getting shadows here so, there's with ray tracing off. And there's with ray tracing on. You'll notice by the way, that the eyes have got some refraction on them too, because I turned on ray tracing. What we want to do in this case is use depth map shadows on the spotlight. So we'll turn the ray tracing engine back off again and go back to the light itself. In the outliner. Control a and turn right tradeshows off, but turned depth map shadows on, maybe increase the resolution of it to 1024 and we'll do another test rendering.

So now we've got depth map shadows, so there it is with no shadows and now I've got depth map shadows. We can maybe play around with the quality of that a little bit more, but you get the idea of what's going on here. So I'm going to store that image, and I'll turn my fur back on again, because it's been hidden. So I'll go back to the outliner and select that cat head for feedback note. Set its visibility back on again, type in a 1. And then do another rendering. And, what you will see is kind of odd.

The surface underneath is able to cast and receive shadows, but the fur itself is not able to cast and receive shadows. And because the fur is on top of the surface, it's basically obscuring the shadows and kind of making it appear that they're not there when, in fact, they are. What we need to do is we need to add certain attributes to the light. Go back to the attribute editor, and if you scroll down, you will see a section in that spotlight shape node that says fur shading/shadowing.

And if you open that up, just oddly, there's nothing in there. We need to add the attributes. So with that light selected, go into the fur menu, and choose fur shadowing attributes, add to selected light. Now that we've added those attributes, we can go ahead and adjust their properties. And we'll do that in the next movie.

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