Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with ramp textures, part of Maya Essentials 4: Creating Textures and Materials.
Now let's take a look at another common map type, and that's the Ramp, and this is something that you'll probably be using a lot. So let's go ahead and go through this. Let's go ahead and do the same thing we did before. We're going to just create a simple NURBS plane, so I'm going to go ahead and drag this on the grid. And again, I'm going to go over to my NURBS Plane shape under makeNurbPlane, and let's go ahead and just make the Length Ratio 1, so that way it's perfectly square. And I'm going to go ahead and shade it and move it up so that we can see it, and let's turn on Hardware Texturing.
Okay, so let's go ahead and start playing with the ramp. I'm going to add a Lambert shader to this so I'm going to go ahead and right-click over my object, Assign Favorite Material > Lambert. And then in the Color channel of this Lambert, I'm going to go ahead and select this and we're going to find the one that says Ramp, which is right here, and click on that. And, as you can see, we've got what's called a Ramp. Now this is basically a gradient that allows me to change my color however I want.
Now I'm on a fairly tight screen here, so, as you can see, I have to just kind of scroll up and down, so just bear with me on this. But let's take a look at how this works. First off, we have different types of ramps. So on a material, we have what's called a U and a V direction. It's very similar to the X and Y direction. And so what this tells me is that this ramp is going in the V direction, so it's going from this to this. If I want, I can change this to any sort of type of ramp.
So if I want, I can go to a U Ramp which goes the other way. I can do what's called a Diagonal Ramp, a Radial Ramp, in other words, it spins it around, a Circular Ramp, a Box Ramp, couple others, UV, okay, Four Corner, so each corner is a different portion of the ramp, and what's called a Tartan Ramp. So we've got a number of different ways to use these, and you can use these for a lot of different things.
So, for example, if you wanted to use a Circular Ramp, you might be able to use that to create what's called a bump or something like that. Let's say we're doing bump mapping, and you can use that to create kind of like a bulge in an object or something like that. Or another way to use it is to create something like the iris of an eye or something like that. So let's take a look at how to actually manipulate some of these parameters. So if you look here, we've got this ramp here, and it goes basically from red to green to blue. And so each one of these has a little dot and a box.
So the dot is the selection and the little box here has an X in it, and that allows us to delete it. So, for example, if I selected this green one here, I can select the handle, and I can move the position of that green channel up and down. If I don't want green, I can go ahead and just hit this box, and it goes away, and so now I'm just going from red to blue. Now again, I can select these and just move them around. So if I wanted it to be more red, I can do it like that.
Now once I have this handle selected, I can change the color. So all I have to do is click on that color, and I can change it to any color I want. I can also change the Position. Okay, and again, what that does is it just basically is the same as moving this little handle here. So, as you can see, as I move this, this changes. We also have what's called a Wave. So if you want you can do what's called a U or a V Wave, and you can probably see this a little bit more clearly if I turn this back into a V Ramp.
So I'm going to go up here, select V Ramp, and, as you can see, the Wave basically works in one direction. So if I'm doing a V Wave, that's in the V direction, and a U Wave, because this is a V Ramp, you're not going to see it, so you have to see it in something that's a little bit more UV-like, which would be a Circular Ramp. So I'm going to go ahead and switch it back to Circular Ramp, and, as you can see, each one of these can change it a little bit. So that is a great way to get some psychedelic type effects.
We can also add Noise. So if you want you can add noise to the ramp. And if you add noise, you can also add a Frequency to the noise, how big do you want that noise to be. So I'm going to go ahead and turn all these down. Now if we want, we can also add what's called Hue and Saturation Noise. So this is just noise just to specific parts of, or specific channels. So if you were to have a color picker with HSV, in other words, Hue, Saturation and Value, so you can change each one of these just by dialing up the Noise value.
And again, each one of these has a Frequency. Now just like with any other map, we have Color Balance, Effects, and UV Coordinates, and these are exactly the same that we would have in the bitmap. So, as you can see, this is a great way to create different types of effects. So let's go ahead and use this to create something as fairly simple. Let's go ahead and create the pupil of an eye. So I'm just going to start with a cartoon eye pupil, so I'm going to go ahead and click on this top one here, and let's go ahead and turn that selected color to white.
And then for this bottom one here, I'm going to turn the selected color to black. So let's go ahead and just get a dot in the middle here. So if I want, I can create another handle here and all I have to do is just click a little bit off of here. And if you want, as you can see, as I click on the gradient, I can create another handle. So, as you can see, I can dial this down. I can create a very sharp edge, so if I wanted to, I'm creating basically a circle within a field of light.
And you can use this, for example, for an eye, on a character, or something like that. But let's say you wanted an eye that was a little less cartoony and little bit more realistic. Well, what you could do, again is just click in here and create another ramp or two and change the color of the eye. So let's say I wanted the center of the eye, in other words, the pupil of the eye, to be black, but I want the iris to be a different color. So now I've got basically a whole bunch of handles here, but I'm going to go ahead and select this one, and let's go ahead and just make it up a dark blue.
And, as you can see, we're already getting that effect. I'm going to go ahead and select this one here, and I'm going to make it even a darker blue. Okay? So, as you can see, we've already got this almost like a pupil of an eye. And this is really just using the ramp by itself. So when I do a quick render of this you can see I've got a pretty good-looking eyeball there. So, as you can see, this can be a very, very versatile tool, and so that's one reason why I really wanted to show it to you. So go ahead and experiment with it and get familiar with it because I know you'll find use for it as you start to author your materials.
- Understanding the basic materials
- Creating and applying maps
- Working with the Hypershade window
- Using bitmaps as textures
- Creating reflections
- Using bump vs. displacement mapping
- Projecting textures on surfaces
- UV mapping a complex object