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In Maya 2011 Essential Training, George Maestri demonstrates the tools and feature set in Maya, as well as the skills necessary to model, texture, animate, and render projects with this deep and robust piece of 3D animation software from Autodesk. This course takes an in-depth tour of Maya's interface, including navigating and manipulating objects in 3D and customizing the workspace. The course also covers object creation and modeling basics, shading and texturing, surface mapping techniques, character rigging, and lastly, rendering and final output. Exercise files accompany the course.
As you start adding materials to objects, you're also going to want to start adding color and texture to those objects. So let's go ahead and play a little bit with texture and show you how to work with that. I am going to go ahead and create just a very simple object in NURBS > Sphere, and let's go ahead and shade that. I am going to hit 3 to make sure that that is rendered fully. And I am also going to make sure I am in High Quality rendering mode here. So make sure my Render is set to High Quality. So let's go ahead and first of all add a material and then we are going to start playing with textures.
So I can add a material here either by going Rendering, Lighting/Shading > Assign New Material, and I like just going into the shelf and I am just going to go ahead and apply a Blinn material to this. Now once I do that, the Attribute Editor for that Blinn material should come up, and I can certainly add in some color. I can just pick a color here or, if I wanted to, I can actually go a little bit more complex and add a texture. So let's go ahead and do that. If you notice here to the right of the Color attribute, there is a little checkerboard.
In fact, you have a lot of little checkerboards here and each one of those can contain what's called a texture. So if I click on that, what it does is it brings up what's called a Render Node, and those contain all the different types of textures that we can apply to an object. In fact, if you notice here we can highlight it by 2D, 3D, Environmental Textures, other types of textures, and so on. Now each one has its own different characteristics. 2D textures basically work like bitmaps. And so you can have things like Bulge, Checker, Cloth, image files.
So, for example, if I wanted to bring in an actual picture, I'll bring that in as 2D texture. Fractals, which are noises, Grid, so on and so forth. Movie file, so if you actually wanted to have a sequence of the images, let's say you wanted to project something on a movie screen and actually have that actually move. You can do that as well. We also have what are called 3D textures, which work in 3 dimensions. These are things like Rock, Wood. So, for example, the texture of the wood actually goes through the wood. That's the kind of things that we want with 3D textures.
I am going to actually select a 2D texture, and let's just go ahead and use a very simple one. Let's just use this one called Cloth. Then you can see the texture sample here once I select it, but you're not seeing it in the window. We can turn that on by either hitting the 6 key or Hardware Texturing. Now you can see that, well, I have got this texture now mapped to my spheres, so it is not just plain color. Now each texture object here has its own parameters. So, for example, I have one called Gap Color. I have what's called U Color, which is these weaves here, and I have my V Color, and I can certainly change them if I want.
So I can make it a different type of cloth, do something like that. I can change the width. Really these are all what are called parametric textures. They are a little bit different than a bitmap. In that I have values that I can dial in. Now this texture is actually applied through the material. So now that we have kind of dialed in our texture, we need to see how it works within the actual material itself. Now if you remember, I applied a Blinn shader to this, and then I applied this Cloth texture within the Blinn. But if I want to jump up to that Blinn shader, you'll see that there is really no tab here for it.
Well, in order to get there, we have to use these input and output connection arrows here. So the one I want to check here is the output connection, so this is actually going to the Blinn itself. Going up one level brings you to the Blinn, and if I want, I can go back down, here is my color for my material, and I can just go back down and go into that Texture Sample. If I want to come back up, I go to that Blinn. So if I want I can also add textures into other slots. Now Color is one of the ones that we would normally do, but there are also other ones, such as Transparency, Ambient Color and so on.
So, for example, if I wanted to go into Transparency here, I can actually change it to something else. So let's say, for example, Checker. So if I take a Checker, you can see that when the color is dark, it's opaque. When it's light, it's transparent. So now I have Cloth plus a checkerboard transparency, and when I go to render that, you can see that that shows up very clearly in the render. And again with this, I need to go to my output connection to go up here. And you can see I have my Blinn, and now I have a Cloth and a Checker.
So each one of these you can add in for any sort of parameter, so you can actually change that for Specular Color, Bump Mapping is a really important one and we will get to that a little bit later, Ambient Color and so on. So each one of these attributes can also have a texture map on it. Now, I am going to blow your mind just a little bit more, because we can actually go into one of these. Let's go into Cloth. You can see that the actual colors themselves also have little texture map buttons. So, for example, the U color of this texture sample can also be another color.
So you can really go very deep into the rabbit hole with all of this, but just understand that in addition to color you can add texture to just about any attribute in the material.
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