Larger order of AO Ramen please

Another AO pass! that's all I'm doing, I'm AO crazy. I need to really move on to the next part of this Ramen Bar. I do want to make some mesh changes though that's for sure. To me it looks like there are too many hard lines, i did model a lot of it with sub-div in mind, that don't show through in the render yet. Once there is grass, some water there should be enough going on the shot to keep it interesting. Ive also come to the realization that i talk to much on this blog, i only know of 1 person that has actually read some and he sits next to me at work so he kind of has to otherwise i might get upset, i don't read through his blog though, i don't read through anyone's, I'm lazy. i want pictures. (p.s. update your blog Stefan)

Higher Res

No 'Hot Tups' today


Victorian AO, Yerba Mate!

Generally between projects there is down time. During this time i generally like to enhance my skills, become a better person etc. Between unleashed and scene it i learned Fujitsu and Spanish. Between scene it and transformers i started working on a Victorian period building. As it normally happens these breaks don't go forever, so a project started generally doesn't get finished, or at least finished quickly. I liked working on this scene and i thought it deserved an Ambient Occlusion pass at least. I set the samples high and maxed out the AA, rendered it out at a lovely 1080p for fun. Went for a long walk, meet up with the folks and came home a few hours later. Here are the results. Which, for an AO pass im happy with.

Full 1080p Render

I found it good to do this AO pass, i can now get a better idea of how my scene is going to turn out, and start thinking about Composition and things like DOF. Also if anything stands out i dont want to, i have a better sense of the scene then just within the viewport normally. Thats abit of a 'Hot Tup'. So now i can look at the images, make any changes in the composition or placement, and continue working on it, rather then getting to deep into it to make any changes. The AO pass is nice for making your modelling look pretty as well. The viewport mesh is generally pretty ugly and boring, which can cause you (ie me) lose interest in a scene. Even at work now me and my fellow 3D artist Stefan ikallA, have been doing quick AO texture bakes onto our mesh, doll them up a bit. Plus it looks like you have done more work if you have a nice AO pass.

At the moment, the things i like about the scene are all the small details in the windows and the bridge. But im affriad the right hand side of the image is to detailed, detracting from the bridge and the rest of the image. I think this maybe due the lack of detail on the left, something i will look at again if i ever get back into it. But its all steam ahead on the Raman bar, hopfully more updates on that soon. (Notice how i have so many unfinished projects... -sigh-)


Maya Paint Effects - Grass

Stefan, who is my good friend and long term partner, not partner like lovers, but like New York city cop type partner, solving mystery's and busting crime, was asking about using the maya paint effects. We wanted to know how to randomly scatter grass on a mesh, rather then painting it individually with brush strokes. So here we go, weee!

1: Assuming you have a mesh setup and ready to go, make sure you are in 'rendering' sets or hit 'F6'. Then goto 'Paint Effects' in the menu bar, and with your mesh selected hit 'Make Paintable'.

This will allow you to paint on your mesh now with paint effects, constraining your brush to that mesh so you don't go randomly all over the place like some kind of clown.

2: Select 'Get brush' in the 'Paint Effects' menu, this will allow you to choose from many different types of brushes, i suggest the brick one because it looks like err... lets go with the grass, found under grasses.

3: Once you have selected your brush, select your mesh. In the paint effects menu go to 'Auto Paint' -> 'Paint Random' and hit the option box. This will pop up an option box like this:

The main options you will need to look at are 'Spans U:' and 'Spans V'. This is how many strokes you along U and V. The more you have the more grass you will have. I hit it up to 100 and it crashed Maya. 30 seems to work well, for a nice lush grass.

4: Hit 'Apply'. Maya will think for a bit, then your grass will be applied. You may find your grass coming out looking like this:

The grass is just to small to notice at the moment. To fix this, we just need to up the 'Global Scale' in the 'Attributes editor'. You should just be able to go straight to your attributes editor now and change the global scale, should be under 'GrassClump100' (will be the tap next to 'strokeShape'. The number will depend on how many U and V spans you set, as it creates a random brush across your mesh to these spans. If you dont have any grass selected you can first open up your outliner and select 'Stroke 1', then open your Attributes editor, select 'GrassClump100' and find 'Global Scale'

Now you have some nice looking grass, randomly scattered across your mesh. saves time, and money, and time.

Also note, that where you change your 'Global Scale' options in your Attributes Editor, there are many other options you can play with to make your paint effects look the way you want them. For more info on this, check out the Maya help files, or Google search.

Hot Tup: I got none, eat it.


ramen update!

A ramen update. Started making a few more tweaks and adding details to my ramen bar. Added some pipes and vent, slowly adding more detail to the mesh, it seems very weighted to the right hand side at the moment, i think with proper textures on the hanging signs will bring the viewpoint back to the middle. Im still keeping the camera angle, i dare not change it!

Hot Tup!
A was having a couple issues in maya 2009: Gradient background not saving, and also reload texture hotkey stopped working. so i found a fix for both online, from forums etc. Here are the fixes, very simple stuff.

Gradient Background not saving.

1. Find My Documents\maya\2009\prefs\
2. Open userPrefs.mel
3. Search (ctrl + f) "-iv "displayDivisionLines" 1"
4. Create another line under this one
5. add the line "-iv "displayGradient" 1"

... and you are done.

Reload Texture.

Instead of having to take ages going into the texture node and hitting reload texutre, this handy mel script (that i didnt write) will allow you to hotkey it, much quicker and easier. Hot keys win again.

In your hotkey editor create a new hotkey, and add the follow script:

//global proc CRupdateTexAll(){
waitCursor -state on;
string $fileTextures[] = `ls -tex`;
int $count=0;
source AEfileTemplate.mel;
for ($node in $fileTextures)
if (`attributeQuery -node $node -ex fileTextureName`)
AEfileTextureReloadCmd ($node+".fileTextureName");
$count = ++$count;
waitCursor -state off;
print ("Reloaded "+$count+" textures"+"\n");

done! thats it... amazing stuff as always. Coming soon, i will walk through nCloth, so easy i dont really need to do it, but i will.