Join Aaron F. Ross for an in-depth discussion in this video Defining essential fur attributes, part of Maya: Creating Fur (2013).
Let's define some essential fur attributes. The most basic ones include the directionality of the fur. I'll select the fur object and in the attribute editor, select the fur feedback node. I'm going to knock the U and B samples down a bit, to 50 and 50, just so we'll get realtime performance in the viewports here. And in the fur description node, so that we can most clearly see how these direction attributes work, I'm going to disable a couple things. I'm going to turn Straggle off. Turn that to 0.
And I'm going to turn the Clumping off. Turn that to 0 as well. And now you'll see that we've got straight lines coming out. Okay. What we want to play with here is the direction of the fur. If you look closely here, you will see that fur is actually growing. In certain directions on the character's body. And for example, the fur is growing this way up along the cat's back. So we want to reverse that direction. We want to clean this up. And those attributes are the inclination roll and polar attributes.
Roll is just what it sounds like from aviation. It's basically twisting around the normal of the surface or around the z axis. Inclination is the elevation or how high the fur is allowed to stand up. With an inclination of 0, the fur sticks straight out from the surface. With an inclination of 1, the fur lies flat on the surface. And polar. Is the yaw attribute from aviation. It's the twisting around the y axis.
So with those 3 attributes we can sort of dial in the directionality of the fur. See that looks much better now. If you look closely however you will see that there are some inconsistencies. Right here at the top of the cat's head, right between the ears, you'll see that the hair is growing in 2 different directions. And that's more obvious if we play around with the inclination. This is happening because the model has 2 different UV shells. Let's take a lot at that, just quickly, take a detour into that so you can see it.
I'll go into the Polygons menu set. Edit UV's, UV texture editor. So you can see the UV layout for the character. This is the front of the cat's face, and this is the back of the head. And because they're 2 different shells, we get a discontinuity in the directionality of the fur here. But that's not a problem because we can style the fur any way we want using brush tools. Right now we just want to get a base directionality to the fur with an inclination of let's say 0.8 or so, and then the roll of about 0.5, which is kind of neutral and the polar attribute looks like it wants to be all the way up at a value of 1.
We can also play around with some of the other attributes here like. The base opacity and tip opacity. I would turn the base opacity all the way up to 1, because when it's down to the default of 0.7, the fur isn't really quite thick enough at the roots. Of course, we've also got the width, base width and tip width. But of course, we won't be able to see those attributes very well unless we do a rendering. We've got the length here of course, and finally you will see baldness, which is a very important attribute.
We can paint baldness so that for example we won't get any fur on the character's nose. We can also just increase the amount of baldness. And ironically we do that by reducing the baldness value. Those are some of the most basic attributes for fur description note.
- Loading the Fur plugin
- Understanding the Fur node structure
- Optimizing viewport performance
- Rendering in Maya and mental ray
- Adding shadow and shading
- Setting fur density and scale
- Adding curl, scraggle, and clumping
- Styling with the Paint Fur Attributes tool