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This tutorial shows you how to render a complex 'abstract' curve scene using Maya's Paint Effects in combination with MtoA's override sets. We will create some interesting shapes using Maya's Paint Effects tools. We will then convert the results to curves and render them very quickly and easily using override sets. So lets let's begin.

Note

The Curve Collector is a faster and easier method for rendering a large number of curves.

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  • Create a new scene. Open the Content Browser window.
  • In the list of Paint Effects, folders on the left  should should be a folder called 'funmesh'. Select the folder. 

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  • With the Gloppy geometry selected and the 'galaxy.mel' paint effects brush highlighted, open the 'Paint Effects>Auto Paint> Paint Random' options window. The 'Auto Paint Random' will randomly apply the selected paint effects brush to the selected geometry, saving us from having to do it manually. The Spans U and V determine how many strokes it applies to the geometry. Be careful not to go too high with this number. Otherwise, otherwise Maya may take a long time to calculate all of the curves, or worst run out of memory. Change Spans U and V to 20.

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  • Now we can convert these paint effects strokes to curves. To do this, select the 'galaxy' strokes and go to Modify>Convert Paint Effects to Curves. After some time calculating, Maya should convert all of the 'galaxy' strokes into curves (you will probably notice the curves look very different from the galaxy paint effects strokes. Do not worry, ; this is exactly the effect that we want!

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Info

You may notice a delay when selecting the curve Set. This is due to the a large number of curves involved.

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The 'Override Attributes' that you have added should appear under 'Extra Attributes' in the Attributed Editor for the set. You can see that we have connected a shader to Ai Curve Shader (in this case a Standard Surface). The Ai Curve Width has been set to 0.01. You can choose to increase or decrease this value depending on your preference (all of the example renders use 0.01). The Ai Mode has been set to thick, which in this case looks better , because it has a circular cross section.

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