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Maya 5 Paint Effects

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Jim Lammers and Gary Lewis explain how to use paint effects in Maya 5 to create rich and immersive 3D environments. Easy-to-follow tutorials are included to help you get started with the paint effects tool, as well as some more advanced techniques.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

In This Chapter

Paint Effects is one of the most fun and visually impressive tools in Maya. At first glance, the ability to create 3D objects with brushes of trees and flowers seems impressive, but you can also paint 3D objects onto other 3D objects. For example, you can paint a tree onto a terrain you've painted in a viewport, and the tree's components—the branches, twigs, and leaves—will actually exist in 3D space instead of looking like a "flat," painted-on effect. You can also easily adjust and animate these elements to create a 3D environment with realistic light, movement, and shadows. With Paint Effects, you can paint a landscape with plants in a matter of minutes, and a 3D tour of that landscape is just a few clicks away! Some of the areas of Paint Effects you'll explore include the following:

  • Making objects paintable Before you can start using Paint Effects to paint on an object, you must make it paintable.

  • Brush control You'll learn about the controls for brushes, such as width and density, to help you get better results.

  • Picking a brush type Before you begin making your own brushes, you'll want to explore the hundreds of preset brushes that come with Maya.

  • Optimizing the display Paint Effects taxes your system and graphics display, so you need to control what's displayed and its level of detail to keep your visual feedback fast and accurate.

  • Modifying paint strokes After you've created a stroke, you can change its shape and how Paint Effects uses the stroke.

Key Terms

stroke The paint stroke; what's created when you drag the Paint Effects tool. The stroke, which is attached to a NURBS curve, controls how the paint is applied along the path you draw with the Paint Effects tool.

brush The collection of Paint Effects settings that define what the stroke looks like and how it acts; can be thought of as your "paint"—daisies, hay, noodles, and so on.

template brush Your current brush settings. You can configure these settings to affect what the next stroke looks like, or select a new brush to reconfigure the template brush settings.

Hotkeys to Memorize

8 Switch to Paint Effects panel.

b+LMB-drag Resize the brush scale.

m+LMB-drag Adjust the brush offset.

Shift+B+LMB-drag Resize the brush width.

Alt+v Open the Visor.

q Exit Paint Effects.

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