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This tutorial covers how to apply color to XGen primitives using the User Data node in combination with a texture map. The resulting effect is similar to a technique called PointillisimPointillism, where small dots of color are applied in patterns to form an image. For some real world inspiration, you should also look at some of the work by this artist and  this this artist and also this artist who use many small objects to create large works of art.

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  • It is good practice to lower the Percent value in the Preview/Output tab before continuing. If the Percent value is too high, you may find that your computer will stall due to the a large number of primitives generated.

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  • Adjust the Spacing and the Size until the buttons are almost touching. In this case, a Spacing of 1 and a Size of 1230 was used.

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  • MtoA will not gamma correct the Ai UserData Color node, therefore you . Therefore you will need to add a Maya Gamma Correct node in-between the Ai UserData Color node and the Color attribute of the Standard Surface shader as shown below. Change the Gamma RGB values to 0.454.

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Custom Shader Parameters

  • Click on the PriviewPreview/Output tab in Xgen and open up Output SettingsUnderneath you should see the Custom Shader Parameters. 

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  • In the Name text field, type the same name that was used for the Color Attr Name with the Ai UserData Color node. In this case, we used the word 'Color'. Click on float and change it to Color because this is the attribute that we want to change.

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Info

Remember to select the disk icon after updating the file texture used to define the primitive attributes. Otherwise, otherwise XGen will not bake the ptex map to disk and the render will not change.

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