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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.
Maya also has a very basic 3D Paint package, which you can use to paint your own textures. Let's take a look at how this works. I'm going to go ahead and create a sphere. Let's turn off my grid here, and I want to assign a material to this. So I'm going to go into Rendering, and let's just go ahead and assign a Blinn material. Now, once I have that material assigned, let's go ahead and do 3D painting. So we can find this under the Texturing menu > 3D Paint Tool. Now, this is very similar to the Artist and Paint tools.
I want to go ahead and click that tool option right there, make sure I bring that up. Now when this comes up, what happens is it gives me a nice little interface. Very similar to the Sculpt Surfaces interface, in that you have a brush which you can use to paint, but if I try and paint, notice how this error message comes up. "Some surfaces have no file texture assigned." Okay, well what this means is that I need to have a texture map assigned to my channel before I can paint into it.
So, the first step I have to do is go all the way down at the bottom here under File Textures, and then I need to select which attribute I want to paint. So typically we paint Color. But we can also paint Transparency, BumpMap, Displacements, really almost any value can be painted. We're going to select Color here, and then all we have to do is Assign/Edit Textures. Click that button, and it brings up a menu where we can select the size of the textures that we want to use.
In this case, I'm going to go ahead and type in 512 by 512. And then we can also select what image format to use. The default is Maya's IFF format, but if you want you can make it a TIFF, TARGA, JPEG, really whatever format you want. I'm just going to leave it at IFF for this. And then just do Assign/Edit Textures. Now once this is assigned, now I have something into which to paint. So I can select my brush, left-click and drag, and I can paint textures, very simple.
Now, if I want to change the size of my brush, again it's very similar to Sculpt Surfaces. Just hold down the B key, B for brush, and I just click and drag, and I can make it smaller or bigger. If you want to change the color, change it right here. Make a darker color, whatever. If I want to change the opacity, a little bit more of an opaque so we can get more of a water color effect. I can also change the type of brush I have. So I can go a harder edge brush, softer edge brush. I can also load brushes or create my own.
Now, we also have Paint Operations. We can Smear, Blur. So you do have a little bit of that Photoshop functionality where you can Smear, you can Blur. You can Clone, or you can Erase. So now what we're painting is we're actually painting into a texture map and the texture map is located in the Blinn shader. So notice how this Blinn now has a color map here, and that color map is right there. So this is what I have actually painted and it's actually in that map. Now what I have to do eventually is once I've got this all painted, I do need to save out that texture.
So I can just hit this button here called Save Textures. Now, it tells me the scene has not been saved. Now, the first thing I need to do is save my scene out, and let's just call it 3Dpaint. Then I go back into my 3D Paint tool and I saved my textures and they are saved out. Now where it saves it is actually kind of important. Let me go ahead and close this out and I'm going to select my sphere here and let's go into the texture for that sphere. I'm going to go into Blinn, into Color, DPaintTextures\3Dpaint, and then it names it automatically by the name of the object.
So if I hit my Folder, we can actually go into this, 3DPaintTextures > 3Dpaint, and there it is. There is our image. So, it actually has a very set place where it saves these images. And the reason I'm showing you this is because there is going to be a time where you want to bring it into Photoshop or something else and actually fine-tune it using some of those additional tools and you need to be able to find this. So, this is probably the easiest way to locate it is just click on the shader and see where it's saved.
So those are some of the basics of Maya's 3D Paint tool. Now remember you can paint, in addition to Color, you can paint Transparency, Bump Maps, pretty much anything you want.
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