Archive for June, 2014


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[Notes]Maya Arnold

Run Arnold Plugin: window->preference -> plugin manager -> load mtao.mll

Flush Caches: When arnold loaded some texture files it’ll lock the file to prevent over written.  To save textures that has already been loaded into arnold.  Do a flush Cache command. Arnold -> flush caches -> all

Arnold render view: It has better option than the traditional maya render veiw.  It has drop down for passes and individual node rendering.  Render will only render updated attribute not the whole scene

usage: Arnold > experimental >arnold render view. “shift” to render region. Turn on 3D manipulat: Under view > 3D manipulation.

render view debugging: temperarly assig basic shader for debugging.  And only render selected object or shader or even individual shading node can be achieve by going under Render > debugging > isolate selection.

save thread: deativate some thread so it can be use for something else.  Render > save UI threads > 1 2 or 3

aiStandard: base standard material which may simulate any kind of material.  As powerful as material_x.   In hypershade, Under arnold -> aiStandard.  Must apply a light for it to show

note: any attribute with a “?” at the name of the attribute can be right click for presets

  • Diffuse colour:  May apply any maya 2D textures as well as some 3D textures.
  • Diffuse weight:  aiStandard isn’t energy conserved shader.  specular may stack with diffuse colour.  The sum of weight of diffuse, SSS and specular cannot go over 1.0
  • Roughness: even distribution of light.  can make it look very dull like chock.  Same as material_x roughness. diffuse roughness follows Oren-Nayar(https://sdm.scad.edu/faculty/mkesson/vsfx755/wip/best/spring2012/kevin_george/final/index.html) to make the surface be rough. value 0 is the same as lambert. Higher value will be suitable for material like concrete, plaster, or sand. In many cases 0.3 is the max value before it collapse itself resulting a dark spot at the center(more tests is needed)
  • Backlighting: translucency.  allow light to get through from the back side.
  • Specular: It gives reflectiveness as well as specular from physical light source.Specular is direct and indirect reflections which can be made glossy (blurred)
  • Specular roughness: the blurriness of the reflection.  The size of the specular are energy conserved.   Means the rougher the surface will appears dimmer.
  • Fresnel: when checked, reflection will follow the viewing angle depending on the IoR value.
  • reflectance at normal: the power of reflection being cast when polygon facing directly to the camera.  If turn it to 1.  it’ll be like no fresnel. As for most dielectric material the minimum value would be 2% and conductor will be around 80-90%. Note that reflectance at normal the value must be lower than specular/reflection.  Otherwise the edge will appears darker than center which is not physically correct.
  • Reflection: Its reflecting sharp and mirror-like reflection.   It is only theer fore perfect mirrors or glass. Doesn’t have roughness or blurry reflection as specular does. It only reflect 2ndary ray onto the surface but not from light source.  Most cases specular can do 90% of the job.  Unless for some reason the object doesn’t have a specular highlight but can reflect objects of its surrounding.  Thats pretty rare.  If an object needs blurry reflections, should apply specular only.  Skydome will not appears in “reflection” neither.  If some how the object has to use reflection to appears dome.  Then use Sky shader with “visible in reflection” enabled.
  • direct/indirect specular scale: Values other than 1.0 will cause the materials to not preserve energy and global illumination may not converge
  • anisotropy: faceting may appears with anisotropy.  It is possible to remove the facet artifacts by enabling smooth subdivision tangent via arnold subdiv_smooth_derivs parameter.
  • Refraction: same treatment as other renderer’s refraction.  Put the weight and IoR to ideal.  But to have a coloured glass effect.  The shadow won’t be colour.  To turn it on. Go to the geometry “shape” attribute-> arnold-> turn off opaque
  • Opacity: under refraction , map any kind of cutout map to opacity colour -> go to the geometry “shap” attribute -> arnold -> turn off opaque
  • emmision: turn up the scale for a glow effect
  • Subsurface scattering:  light comes in and bounce around before it reflects out again.  Pick the sub surface colour to something similar to diffuse colour.


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Still need a lot of tweaks, especially the lips and the mouth bags.  I’ll also test out xgen for eyebrow eye lashes.  Hope it will not be too difficult.

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[Notes]Maya Bonus Tools

Modify Section:

Click/Drag Move Tool: ctrl+shift+w  (hit it once to activate).  May select more than one object and draw on the screen and the object will follow.  Hold shift will only move XZ,  hold ctrl will only move Y

Click/Drag Rotate Tool: ctrl+shift+e (hit it once to activate) hold shift to local rotate,  ctrl to go around the last selected object

Snap Align Object to component: select the object that is going to move -> hover over the target geometry -> rightclick and choose any component -> shift click on one face/edge/point -> bonus tool -> modify -> snap align object to component option -> snapAlign object.

Replicate object on Components..: same procedure with snap align object to component-> select the source, over over target object rmc face/edge/point shift select multiple component -> bonus tool-> modify ->replicate object on components -> replicate object.

Paint Geometry Tool…. :  Paint duplicate geometry on another geometry’s surface

1. Specify the name(rename it in outliner) of the duplicate (cuz it doesn’t allow you to pick which object,  have to type in the name manually)
2. the duplicate geometry must be sitting at 0,0,0.
3. select the surface geometry that wanted the duplicate to sit on
4. Bonus Tools -> Modify -> Paint Geometry tool.
5. type in the name of the duplicate object at geometry section
6. make sure create/modify is selected, adjust the grid size for density, jitter grid is randomization.
7. start painting
8. may go back and select modify or remove and continue to paint


UV editing section:

Auto Unwrap UVs Tool..

1. Select the mesh (make sure the name of the object is clean in one word, no brackets, no colon, not in a group, not in a set.  If in fact that it is an imported obj.  ctrl+d to make a copy, delete the original.
2. bonus tools -> UV Editing -> Auto Unwrap UV Tool… -> enter tool and close
3. select edges that want to cut -> hit add border -> turn on UV editor window -> hit continue when its done
4. check in UV editor, go back to pick more edges if needed.
5. Done button always not working, May need to restart the scene

* pipe,torus type of object: Auto unwrap UV’s Tool -> Choose uniform face method


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