Paint Effects converted to curves and rendered using an Override set (rollover image).

 

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 let's begin.

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

The scene file can be downloaded here.

 

Paint Effects Gloppy Brush

 

 

Convert Paint Effects To Polygons

You should now have a polygon version of the Gloppy paint effects brush as per the image below:

 

Paint Effects Galaxy Brush

 

 

 

Convert Paint Effects To Curves

 

Add Curves To Set

A quicker and more efficient method for rendering multiple curves is to use the Curve Collector.

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

Add Extra Attributes

  1. 'aiRenderCurve' - determines whether or not the curve will render.
  2. 'aiCurveShader' - allows you to assign a shader to the curve. Connect either a Standard Hair or Standard Surface shader to this attribute.
  3. 'aiCurveWidth' - allows you to set a width value for the curve. Choose a value of at least 0.010 to get some thickness, but not too much.
  4. 'aiMode' - allows you to choose which rendering mode for the curve - 'Ribbon' or 'Thick'. Choose 'Thick'.

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.

Conclusion

You are now ready to start rendering the curves. The next step would be to add some interesting lighting (Physical Sky as in the images below), and camera depth of field. You could also try adding a Paint Effects 'line modifier' to either the 'gloppy' or 'galaxy' strokes to 'style' the curves into some more interesting shapes. 

Rollover image

 

 

 

Further examples