Maya Materials

  1. Diamond effect
  2. Terrain
  3. Dancefloor
  4. Layered Shader
  5. Landscapes and Enviroments
  6. Texturing NURBS

Diamond effect

Make a surface shader, have the connect out color of your Phong (or whatever you're using as the jewel's shader) to the out color of the surface shader. Connect a second shader's out color to the out color glow of the surface shader. Basically, your second shader's intensity will control where your glow happens. Turn everything down so you're left with a specular shine only, and you'll get glows only on your specular areas. Play around with the shader glow parameters, and you can get nice star shaped highlights on your object. With a gem, like a diamond, I bet a lens flare or rim halo might give it a really nice glow that looks like clear gem flares. I'll be doing a tutorial on how to do this with more detail in the next few weeks. Very cool technique that makes the shader glows in Maya very useful.

Answer from Maya-Listserv on (D.W.Kim, Mon, 19 Feb 2001 15:01:17)

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High-res Terrain and shading tips

We use the Shareware terrain-generator Terragen ( to produce some raw material for further use in Maya. Here is a sample workflow

  1. Generate a terrain in TG with default 257x257 resolution
  2. Export a *.lwo mesh from TG
  3. Crank up the resolution to 513x513 (max in shareware version) and answer yes to rescale the current terrain-map
  4. Export the heightfield in 16 bit Intel-byte order raw data
  5. Import the heightfield in Photoshop, resave as *.TIF16
  6. Import lwo mesh in Maya using the free plugin found at
  7. Use the tif file as starting point for your shader apply a planar projection.
  8. Apply a color remap and start throwing in bands of colors in your ramp :-) duplicate the ramp with connections for further use as bumpmapping for instance Render out IFF16 with Z-depth and do some fog and depth-blur in MFUSION. Remember to manually adjust your Far and Near clipping planes to produce the best possible Z channel works like a charm for us.

Answer from Maya-Listserv on (Christer Dahl, Wed, 07 Feb 2001 22:19:56)

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  1. Make each tile an single object & assign a shader.
  2. Map a Triple shading switch to your desired channel (might be color).
  3. Create as mayn ramps with placements as you have tiles.
  4. On their respective Placement-nodes, do a setAttr myRamp.repeatV=0 (if its a V Ramp)
    With repeat V=0 the ramp shows only a single color. By animating now the OffsetV parameter, you get a colorchange on your ramp.
  5. Load the ShadingSwitch into the AE, and MMB drag the Tiles from the Outliner into the Shape-sections, and the ramps into the "inTriple" sections.

Answer from Maya-Listserv on (Christian Miersch, Thu, 11 Jan 2001 20:02:43)

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Layered shader

Create your phong, blinn or whatever and map the color with the blend colors utility. It has three parameters: blend, color1 and colo2. Now, map the checker onto the blend parameter, and map the textures you want under color1 or color2. you will see one texture on the white boxes and the other on the black boxes. It's easy and fast to do if you want to mix a couple of textures via an alpha channel.
If you want to go deep ... you can map a second blend color on the color1 or color2 ... so you have three textures, mixed with two alpha channels. But if you want something in this way, I recommend you the layer texture utility:

open hypershade and create->utilities->texture->other->layered texture.

This is an interesting utility because it's full of utilities: add, in, out, substract, over, lightning, ... and it works in the same way that layered shader works. The output of this texture can be connected to any channel of your phong, blinn ... with just drag and drop.

Answer from Maya-Listserv on (Manuel Orcera Cortés, Mon, 12 Mar 2001 12:39:33)

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Landscapes and Enviroments

about physical fog

A different approach might be to make the background color black (no imageplane) and use a physical fog to create the sky color. I would first try the Atmos fog type, as it is easier to use than the sky fog type. With the correct settings you can create a blue sky due to the scattering of light in the atmosphere. Objects that are very distant will pick up the sky color and the horizon will blend into the sky( a far away moon will have the right daytime look ). You can also add clouds as a transparency and color or bump mapped plane in the sky( or a contact lens shaped surface to simulate the curvature of the earth). Higher and more distant clouds will blend into the sky color correctly.
Also it is critical when creating an atmospheric fog to ensure that the clipping planes and terrain are distant enough to capture the full range of the atmosphere. (for the sky fog you have to consider how large the planet would be in relation to the scene scale, as well as how far the atmosphere extends from the planet surface).

about under water

The underwater fog models a directional light and a uniform density fog with a sudden transition to zero density at the water air boundary. The preset values are not very good. Obviously the water density should be greater than zero. Set it to something that matches the visibility you are after. The waterOpacity color should be perhaps a pale reddish orange rather than the default bluegreen( remember opacity is the inverse of transparency).
Depending on the settings the light will only penetrate so far into the water.. thus when you look down it will generally be darker than when you look up. Also when the camera moves to deep depths the fog becomes very dark , even when one looks up. You can adjust how far the light penetrates the water using the waterLightDecay parameter. When this is high there will be a stronger brightness gradient from the horizon going down into the water. Water also scatters light more along the direction of the light, thus when you look towards the sun from underwater one will see more scattering. Make the waterLightScatter less than 1.0 to see this effect and see how changing the sunAzimuth/Elevation affects the look. If this parameter is low you can see a glow around the lightsource.
Objects that are underwater should be illuminated to match the lighting conditions. If you are in deep or murky water the light will be very scattered, blue and diffuse. Shadows will be very soft. If you simulate lights on the camera, then make sure the light decay is fairly high.
If you can see the water surface, you may wish to create a plane with a water bump or displacement map (avoid feature based displacement for this.. and make sure the displacement has a bump node to match ). For a fairly accurate effect you could assign a spherical reflectionmap that mimics the look of the illuminated underwater environment from the point of view of the water surface( make sure to connect the bump outNormal to the envMap normalCamera). Or you could raytrace the reflected fog( although I think you need 4.0 for this). To get the typical underwater transparency effect, you can make the refractive index on the water around 0.75 (when underwater, when above it should be 1.33 ) and place something that looks like sky above the water. You need to raytrace the refraction to see this effect.
If you don't want to raytrace, it should be possible to set up something fairly convincing using shading networks on a totally opaque surface, perhaps using the facingRatio to control an incandescence ramp texture.

Answer from Maya-Listserv on (Duncan Brinsmead, Mon, 10 Dec 2001)

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Texturing NURBS

First you need a plane (frame your nurbs object into this plane), just place it back of your nurbs obj (make sure you are working on orthographic viewport. You need 2d projection texture. Just project a map connected with the 2d projection node to your character and then render it in orthographic facing the plane you've made.
So you can use the result file in PhotoShop, just edit it as if you're working only on the orthographic viewport. So, if you've finished editing, just load it again with fileRenderNode connected to your last 2d projection node.For best result, you need to set in render global for the resolution about 512x512 or double it size.

Answer from Maya-Listserv on (Paulus Ery Wasito Adhi, Sun, 09 Dec 2001 21:06:33)

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