Creating Fur in Maya
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating Fur in Maya

with Aaron F. Ross

Video: Creating a fur description for grass

To conclude our course in Maya Fur, we're going to look at integrating fur with dynamic end hair. End hair is Nucleus hair, it's based on Mya's Nucleus dynamics engine. And let's play the simulation here. What I've done is, I've created a fur definition for grass, and then created a hair system, adjusted the hair attributes, and connected the hair to the fur. And additionally, there's a turbulence field that is animating the hair, causing the grass to blow chaotically in the wind.

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

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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

Creating a fur description for grass

To conclude our course in Maya Fur, we're going to look at integrating fur with dynamic end hair. End hair is Nucleus hair, it's based on Mya's Nucleus dynamics engine. And let's play the simulation here. What I've done is, I've created a fur definition for grass, and then created a hair system, adjusted the hair attributes, and connected the hair to the fur. And additionally, there's a turbulence field that is animating the hair, causing the grass to blow chaotically in the wind.

And finally, I've created an expression to animate the turbulence so that it's not a static field. It'll actually change like real wind. So that's what we're going to do. Here's a simple scene that we can use to demonstrate how to create dynamic fur. I've got a simple ground plain here, and I'm just going to select it and add fur to it. Go to the Rendering menu set and choose Fur > Attach fur description > New. And then I want to go into the attributes, Ctrl+A, to that fur description node. And I want to make a whole lot of changes. First of all I need more density.

We'll give that a density of 100,000, which is pretty dense, but we want it to look good. Scroll down a little bit we got a to change a bunch of things. We got the base color. We will set that to kind of a forest green, and the tip color, likewise you want that to be sort of little bit brighter green. We can maybe turn this regular color down a little bit. It tends to get a little bit hot. The length we want to increase, let's give it 30 units. We'll play around with some of these other attributes, but we'll leave the inclination, roll and polar where they are. We want the system to be driven by the hair and not have any inherent directionality to it at first.

The opacity, we'll also leave at 1, base and tip opacity both at 1. The base width I want to increase that up a bit. Let's set that to 0.5 and the tip width I'll set to 0.1 so that our grass will be a little bit thicker. We don't need any curling. Going down a little bit further, we'll give it a little bit of scraggle, just so that it's not perfectly uniform. And, the scraggle frequency we'll leave at 5, seems fine. We want to go down into the details, and add some chaos.

We want to have a non-uniform color to the base color. So, we'll set the noise amplitude here to .7, and the frequency I want to turn way up, so that each blade of grass is a different color than its neighbor. I'll set that frequency all the way up to a thousand. Scroll down a bit more and use the same values for the tip color 0.7 for the amplitude and a thousand for the frequency. Scrolling down a little bit more, we want a variable length here. We don't want all of these to be same length, so I will set the length noise amplitude to 20.

And then the noise frequency, I'll just leave that at ten. So now we've got some grass that's not uniform. Okay, so let's take a look at what that looks like, go ahead and render it. As you can see we've got a nice little patch of turf here, and in the next movie we'll create an end hair system.

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