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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.
In this chapter, we'll look at rendering fur, both in Maya software, and in Mental Ray. And each of those renderers has its own special requirements. First let's look at rendering in Maya software. I've created a simple lighting set-up here, with a single spotlight and a single point light. We can see that in, the outliner, you can see I've got a spotlight and a point light here, and the reason I'm using a spotlight here is because the spotlight is the only type of light that can cast shadows with fur in Maya Software.
I've got a rendering already made here I'll open that up so you can see what it looks like. Basically the fur is too bright. And I've got a lambert material on the cat's head, the mesh surface underneath the fur. And that's rendering at the correct brightness, but the fur itself is just way too bright. It's overexposed, so we want to reduce the intensity of that white color. We'll do that by going into the hypershade. Window, Rendering Editors, Hypershade. Let's go to the textures tab.
Remember previously we made a remap ramp to control those colors, I'll select that remap ramp node and then graphics input and output connections. And we just want to make a duplicate of that ramp and we'll just select it and then go into the Hypershade menu and choose Edit, Duplicate With Connections To Network, which means it's going to make a duplicate node that branches off of the existing shader tree. I'll select it and go to its attributes CTRL+A, and select this white flag here and just reduce its color.
It's got a value of one, currently. I'll set it down to a value of 0.8. Now we need to assign that to the fur description node. Which is just here, actually. We can select it. And then middle mouse drag and drop that ramp onto the base color. And the tip color, and then when we've done that, we can click Bake and we see, that in fact, those colors have changed in the view port. We'll go ahead and render that. Notice that the rendering takes longer. It's because I've increased the density of the fur description node to a value of 250,000.
So now that fur is not overexposed, and we might even bring it down a little bit more but that demonstrates the point. The next thing I want to show you about the Maya software renderer has to do with the technique that we used here. It's not actually a fur issue, but it's an issue that we'll have to address anyway And it has to do with our Shader network. It's not actually a fur issue, but it could crop up if for example, you've got baldness on your object and then you try to render. You may see black spots in this particular set up.
And it has to do with a filtration of the file node. To illustrate the issue, I'm going to select the fur and then just hide it. Set it's visibility to zero. And go ahead and do a quick render of that. And you'll see these little black spots here. So if we had a baldness in that area, that would cause issues. And, in fact, this'll dance around. These little dots'll appear in different random locations depending upon face angle. And the issue has to do with filtration on the file map. I want to select that file node and go to the attributes, and set the filter type up here to mipmap, and then try another render.
And now that's resolved that issue. The issue only exists with my software, it won't be an issue with Mental Ray.
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