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Creating mental ray shaders


From:

Creating Textures and Shaders in Maya

with Eric Keller

Video: Creating mental ray shaders

In addition to the standard Maya shaders, mental ray comes with its own library of shaders. These can be used to create very sophisticated surface effects. So let's take a look at where we could find these on mental ray shaders. I'm going to go to Window > Rendering Editors > Hypershade to open up Hypershade and you'll see in the Create tab, if I click on Maya up here and I click on Surface, you'll see these are the standard Maya shaders, so Anisotropic, Blinn, Lambert, Phong and so on and so forth. I want to create some of the mental ray shaders, I'll go down to the mental ray section and click on Materials, and you can see now I have a list of quite a few mental ray specific shaders.
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  1. 2m 19s
    1. Welcome
      1m 6s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 13s
  2. 17m 49s
    1. Explaining diffuse reflections
      2m 39s
    2. Defining glossy and blurred reflections
      2m 32s
    3. Looking at refraction
      4m 20s
    4. Describing the Fresnel effect
      1m 56s
    5. Understanding anisotropy
      1m 10s
    6. Identifying ambient and reflection occlusion
      1m 49s
    7. Defining sub-surface scattering
      2m 4s
    8. Simulating translucency
      1m 19s
  3. 1h 8m
    1. Using Maya's standard shaders with mental ray
      7m 2s
    2. Comparing mental ray and Maya shader nodes
      9m 12s
    3. Creating mental ray shaders
      2m 32s
    4. Making sense of mental ray shaders
      10m 35s
    5. Introducing the mia_material
      9m 16s
    6. Creating a custom mia_material preset
      9m 17s
    7. Looking at car paint materials
      6m 43s
    8. Using subsurface scattering shaders
      13m 33s
  4. 1h 5m
    1. Understanding UV coordinates
      4m 26s
    2. Comparing NURBS and polygon UVs
      4m 48s
    3. Mapping polygon UV surfaces
      13m 1s
    4. Using texture maps for color and other shader channels
      8m 1s
    5. Applying and projecting 2D procedural texture nodes
      4m 0s
    6. Applying 3D procedural texture nodes
      7m 1s
    7. Using ramp textures
      8m 12s
    8. Setting up utility nodes
      6m 29s
    9. Using file texture nodes
      9m 41s
  5. 22m 36s
    1. Applying the turbulence texture
      9m 37s
    2. Considering the round corners texture
      4m 17s
    3. Improving skin detail with ambient occlusion
      4m 27s
    4. Applying reflection occlusion
      4m 15s
  6. 33m 6s
    1. Painting bump maps
      4m 14s
    2. Creating normal maps
      5m 24s
    3. Applying normal maps in Maya
      6m 17s
    4. Creating displacement maps
      9m 14s
    5. Troubleshooting displacement maps
      7m 57s
  7. 33s
    1. Goodbye
      33s

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Watch the Online Video Course Creating Textures and Shaders in Maya
3h 30m Intermediate Sep 28, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Creating Textures and Shaders in Maya with Eric Keller shows how to create textures and materials, and then apply them to models to render realistic surfaces. The course covers working with the mental ray shading nodes, including the mental images architectural node, subsurface scattering nodes, occlusion, and car paint shaders, as well as how to incorporate these nodes into shading networks using the Hypershade editor. It also explores using textures, Maya software nodes, normal maps, and displacement maps for adding detail to models. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Understanding shading concepts
  • Simulating the Fresnel effect for realistic reflections
  • Rendering transparent and translucent surfaces
  • Comparing mental ray and Maya standard shaders
  • Introducing the mia_material
  • Developing shader networks
  • Using subsurface scattering shaders
  • Mapping polygon UV coordinates
  • Incorporating texture nodes into networks
  • Improving skin detail with ambient occlusion
  • Painting bump maps
  • Creating normal and displacement maps
  • Troubleshooting maps
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
Maya
Author:
Eric Keller

Creating mental ray shaders

In addition to the standard Maya shaders, mental ray comes with its own library of shaders. These can be used to create very sophisticated surface effects. So let's take a look at where we could find these on mental ray shaders. I'm going to go to Window > Rendering Editors > Hypershade to open up Hypershade and you'll see in the Create tab, if I click on Maya up here and I click on Surface, you'll see these are the standard Maya shaders, so Anisotropic, Blinn, Lambert, Phong and so on and so forth. I want to create some of the mental ray shaders, I'll go down to the mental ray section and click on Materials, and you can see now I have a list of quite a few mental ray specific shaders.

Now you don't have to master every single one of these shaders. Just a few of these shaders will take care of most of the effects that you want to create. Now I want to point out very briefly that you'll see that mental ray has its own version of blinn and lambert and phong, these types of shaders, and these are similar to the Maya standard shaders, but they're used in more complex mental ray shading networks. If you just need to use like a standard blinn shader, go ahead and use the Maya Blinn found here under Maya Surface.

That would work just fine when rendering mental ray. The only reason you need to use the mental ray blinn is part of a more advanced network. The other thing I would like to point out is you'll noticed that some of these shaders have three versions. For instance, this metallic paint has a metallic_paint, metallic_paint_x and metallic_paint_x_passes. So which one should you use? The x stands for extended, which means that it has some extended capabilities more in the backend, stuff that you don't necessarily need to worry about when you're solving typical shading problems.

I tend to use the x version of the shader and then if I know I'm going to render it using render passes, I'll use the x_passes shader. And for example, I'm going to create the metallic paint shader just to show a simple point. Let's say if you start out with this version of the shader and you decide later you need to upgrade the shader for if you are going to use passes or whatever, if you open up the Attribute Editor for the shader down here at the bottom, there is an Upgrade Shader button and this will upgrade it to the x version or the x_passes.

So, if you start with this shader and create a bunch of different attributes, but for some reason you need to upgrade it for example to create render with passes, all you need to do is press this button and then you can use that for rendering with passes.

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