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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.
If you are a premium subscriber to lynda.com then you can download the exercise files that come with the course. If you're not a premium subscriber than you'll want to create a Maya project so that you can correctly store all the assets as you go through the course. Let's look at the process of creating a project folder in Maya. Go to the File menu, and choose Project Window. And this is showing what the current project is. It's just the default project in My Documents, Maya Projects.
I'll create a new project. And I'll give it a name, I'll call it Maya Fur Project. And I'll just store it in that same location. When I click Accept, that folder structure is created and Maya is now pointing at that folder as the root for all assets, so if I go to the File menu and choose Open, it's going to take me to Maya projects, Maya fur projects scenes. Okay, so that's if you need to create a new project. If you have the exercise files, then you simply want to point Maya at that exercise file's folder.
Go to the File menu, and choose Set Project. I've stored the files on my desktop, so I can just choose Desktop and then click on the exercise file's folder. Don't go down into the folder, just select the top level or the root, and click Set. And now if I go to the File menu and choose Open, it takes me to the desktop exercise file's scenes. And of course, these are all the scene files for the course. Additionally, you'll notice that I've got a different-colored interface to Maya.
I just think that black text on a light-colored background is more legible. I'm not going to cover how to change the Maya color scheme in this course. But I did cover it in a different course, which is called Maya 2011, creating natural environments. Okay, so with the preliminaries out of the way, let's get started with creating fur in Maya.
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