Chapter 12
Specialized Materials
and Material Effects
    of specialized eects that come with Maya, and we look at three
of them in this chapter. First, we look at creating what appears to be 2D animation
with Maya. en we look at painting in Maya, a powerful paradigm that is used in multiple
contexts. Finally, we address a common problem when creating an outdoor scene: provid-
ing lighting that naturally resembles daylight.
Since this book is about 3D animation, it might seem that 2D animation is outside our
scope. But its not. at is because there are actually two ways to make 2D animation with
Maya. Well, to be precise, two ways to make our 3D animation look 2D.
Why would you want to do this? 2D animation has a completely dierent look than
3D. 2D animation is based on vector graphics, along with the distinct assignment of
colors to areas enclosed or partly enclosed by lines. is means that we do not gradually
fade one color into another and we leave the borders between colors sharp. is is how
we obtain the at 2D cartoon look. Oen this is the best way to create a model that looks
funny. e problem with 2D animation is that we have to draw our models from multiple
perspectives. is is time consuming and more signicantly, some of us are not the best
drawing artists.
Maya can render a 3D scene as if it was 2D, and we can simulate 2D by making use of
special shaders.
The Vector Renderer
Until now, we have only looked at using three renderers: Maya Soware, mental ray, and
Maya Hardware. But there is another one, called Maya Vector. If you go to the Render
Settings and select Render Using, you will nd the Maya Vector renderer. If you go to the
330 3D Animation for the Raw Beginner Using Maya
Common tab, you will also nd that one of the choices for Image format is SWF, which is
Flash animation, the most widely used vector animation format. e vector renderer can
also produce vector images in Adobe Illustrator (AI) format.
e problem is that it is up to us to create a 3D scene that will look good when it is
vector rendered. is can be quite tedious to do. If you are, for example, using polygon
modeling, you have to carefully control
the number of faces on your object and the
colors you put on those faces if you want
the vector renderer to produce that at 2D
cartoon look.
But Maya has another way to get the job
The Toon Shader
e second way to get a 2D vector look is by
using the Toon shader in Maya. We select
the model and then choose:
Rendering Main Menu → Toon → Shaded
Brightness Two Tone (see Figure12.1)
What Maya does is create a ramp shader
with two colors. If you look at Figure12.2,
you can see that the two colors have been set
to a dark and a light brown.
Next, we choose:
Rendering Main Menu → Toon → Assign
Outline (see Figure12.3)
FIGURE 12.1 Shaded brightness two tone.
FIGURE 12.2 Two colors selected.
Specialized Materials and Material Effects 331
is tells Maya to add an outline around areas of a given color, in order to simulate the
lines that might be drawn by a 2D vector artist.
Finally, as seen in Figure12.4, we choose a background color and have Maya place it on
a plane that is perpendicular to the default camera perspective:
Rendering Main Menu → Toon → Set
Camera Background Color
e resulting render is shown in Figure12.5.
Maya has taken care of the task of deciding
where each of the two colors will be placed
on the cow, as well as where to draw the
black outlines.
e paint metaphor is used widely in Maya,
and the Artisan engine inside Maya sup-
ports a number of tools, in particular, the
FIGURE 12.3 Assign Outline.
FIGURE 12.4 Background color.
FIGURE 12.5 Toon cow render.

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