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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.
We can customize and style the fur using a paint based interface. To get better feedback in the viewport, let's increase the U and V samples. I'll select the fur and go to the attribute editor, control+A and in the Fur feedback shape node, let's increase the U and V samples up to about 60. And now, we should get pretty good viewport performance and we'll get a better approximation of what our fur is doing. With the fur still selected, go to the menus and choose Fur>Paint fur attributes tool options.
And two dialogues open up, the paint fur attributes tool settings and the artisan paint scripts tool. In the tool settings we can choose which attribute we want to paint. Let's paint the direction and then in the tool settings here let's change the display so we can see it a bit better. In this display section I want to turn show wireframe off and turn draw brush on and now we can see a bit better what we were doing. Additionally, in the stroke section we can enable reflection if you want to paint on both sides the same.
That's going to reflect around the x-axis by default. Finally up at the top here I want to choose a hard brush so that when I paint the direction for example all of the fur hairs underneath the cursor will be painted equally. Okay, and then we can change the size of the brush with B key and just paint to change the direction. Wow that's pretty cool so up here we definitely want to change the direction. To make that fur all grow in the same direction.
Do that all over the model. Maybe go back to the back of the head and comb the fur down a bit. We can also paint other attributes with the paint for attributes tool setting still open. We can go and paint, for example, the length. And we'll need to set a value to the length. If I use a lower value, then we'll have shorter hair. So I'll set that value down to about 0.1 and then drag the mouse, and you can see that we're able to shorten those hairs.
I need to alert you that there is what appears to be a bug in the current version of Maya. Maya 2014 is the one I'm using. If I go back into the paint fur attributes tool and make changes, then it will appear that those changes are being reflected on the screen, but the attribute maps are actually not updated. And even if I go into the attribute editor and click Bake, the values are still not updated. The only workaround for this is to save the Scene File.
And that will force all of the Fur Attribute Maps to be updated.
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