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Paint effects animation in Maya

By Isidro Fernández Calderón
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Date Added: 30th December 2010
Software used:
Maya
1405_tid_bannse.jpg
Hi, welcome to the second part of the series of Paint Effects Articles. My name is Isidro Fernandez, and I want to say thanks to all of you for the comments I received from a lot of people who want to learn a little more. I'm really satisfied with the comments and suggestions and thanks to that, here is the second tutorial and I will teach you how to create animations with Paint Effects and how to simulate some real forces in your scenes and also some growing simulations.

First, I want to make a little introduction to the possibilities that paint effects has in terms of animation. This will be a medium level tutorial, so is better if you have a previous knowledge of paint effects or you can read the first tutorial here.

Here is the animation of the project we are going to create. It is a simple animation of blowing wind moving some grass, the clouds and the trees in the background, some texture animation and a simple growing simulation for the tree in the front.


Something I have to remark on is the fact that the only geometry that this scene has is the ground, everything else is done in the postproduction process that uses paint effects for rendering (see image), amazing right!, well it's more amazing the rendering time, it takes about 1:08 seconds to render for one frame!!!, and you can see a lot of geometry there.

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Paint effects are something like a particle system, and that it's some of the things that let us created so many possibilities. Let me say some that come in to my mind right now, we can create animated clouds, we can create vegetation, and trees that we can turn into polygons and then use another render system like Mental Ray for rendering and conserve the animation we created in the paint effects system, we can create water simulations, hair that can be animated in an incredibly realistic way, we can make that every step of our characters deform the grass when they walk, we can animate the paint effects and then make them emit particles (I can't imagine how many possibilities this can generate), you can make the tubes behave like springs, you can create so many things and in so many easy ways

Well now starting with the scene, I will share my files with you, so you can explore the settings I use

First Stage: Set up your scene

I made a simple sketch of the image I wanted and then I created the terrain and applied some materials. After that I set my camera and once I have this ready, I can start to work in how I want to apply the paint effects into my scene.

In this tutorial I created the grass, the trees and the clouds in the same way that I show you in the first part of the tutorial, so I will not go deep in that here. I will explain better the clouds stroke, and some thing about the trees, but the important thing here, is the animation.

So lets get started.

I start painting the grass in the terrain, and then I change the settings until I get the shape and colors that I want. Here you can see part of the process (again I will show this really quick).

1405_tid_animation_clip_image004.jpg
Here is the geometry I will use

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This is the angle of the camera

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Here you can see the terrain geometry with some simple shader.

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Here is the first pass of paint effects, the grass.


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Here you can see the grass in the shot.

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And now after configuring my settings, here is the actual render of my grass.



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