Category Archives: V-Ray

Peregrine Labs Yeti – Mr. Blackfur

I have been testing the new fur plugin for Maya called Yeti by Peregrine Labs this last week, and I made this guy with the apt name of “Mr. Blackfur”. He is a gentlemen who runs a black oil company called EarthKill. A proper oil tycoon extraordinaire! On weekends, he does a great deal of charity work and gets his rocks off by slapping little bunnies in the face with rubber gloves. What a backstory, I know. He is CRAZY.

Take a look at him up real close here.

Anyway, Peregrine’s Yeti plugin is a bunch of fun and relatively simple to use. It took a little time to get into grooming the fur, but I soon got the hang of it. Unfortunately I only have a 30 day trial, so I can’t do a proper project with it just yet.


V-Ray Ptex Normal Displacement

Disney’s Ptex technology means that 3D artists should never have to spend endless hours on UV-map our models for painting/texturing. Autodesk Mudbox 2012 and V-Ray 2.0 for Maya has Ptex built in, so we can already start using this amazing technology. One thing is to get ptex textures painted and rendered, but another is to get normal displacement working. I had some troubles with this, and with the help from the Chaosgroup forum’s and their support guy Vasil, I managed to get it working.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Import your model into Mudbox, sculpt it however you want. Once you’re finished, go to Mesh>Ptex Setup and turn your model into a Ptex model.

2. Export your low-level mesh (level 0 or 1, or whichever you want) as an obj or fbx

3. Go to Maps>Export Texture Maps> New Operation and select Displacement Map

4. Set your target model to the level of your low-level mesh (the one you exported)

5. Set your Source model to the highest level of your sculpting

6. Use either ray casting or sub-division

7. Set your output to a 32-bit Ptex file with either Good or High quality

8. Open Maya and import your low-level mesh

9. Apply a V-Ray Material to your mesh

10. Open your Hypershade and add a Ptex node, and connect it to the VRayMtl through the displacement channel.

11. Set your cache size to a reasonable size. This usually depends on the size of your ptex file

12. Select your mesh, then go to your Attributes Editor, select the shape node and turn on Attributes>V-Ray>Displacement Control

13. Choose Normal Displacement, turn on Keep Continuity and change Displacement Bounds to Explicit

14. Click on the black color square (Minimum Value) and set these values in the HSV areas: H=0 S=0 V=-5 . Then click on the white color square (Maximum Value) and set it to this value: H=0 S=0 V=15. These are arbitrary values, so they can be adjusted to your specific value. You could always just set them to -100 (min) and 100 (max).

15. There you go, render and all should be well!

It’s amazing how well Ptex works with V-Ray and Maya. This will shave of hours and hours off your production time!

V-Ray for Maya Displacement Tutorial

I learned this the hard way, so here’s my contribution to the Maya / V-Ray community.

So you want to get your Mudbox model displacements into Maya and V-Ray 2.0?
Technically this should be quite simple, but if you’re using a 32-bit EXR, it’s a bit harder. Here’s a very quick and dirty way to get it working. Sorry for not showing step by step images or videos, but I just don’t have time right now. I’ve got a baby in the house, sorry! 😉

Step by step:

1. Export your displacement map from Mudbox using Raycasting or Subdivision. Subdivision is faster, Raycasting is more accurate but takes a while to export. Use 32-bit EXR or 16 bit. You can use 8 bit PNGs or whatever format you want, but to be more accurate, we’re using floating point 32 bit EXRs here.

2. Export your lowest level model from Mudbox as an OBJ file.

3. Import the lower level geometry into Maya.

4. Put a VrayMtl onto the model.

5. Make a file node in the Hypershade, attach it as a displacement node to the VrayMtl.

6. Load your 32 bit EXR into the file node. Turn off filtering!

7. Add a VRay Extra Attribute in the file node called “Allow Negative Colors” ( if using 16 bit, then this step is probably not necessary. Haven’t tested though)

8. Turn on V-ray displacement options on your mesh (Quality+Options, etc) so you can set the values of your displacement.

9. Turn on “Keep Continuity”

10. The default (1 and 0) Displacement Amount and Shift should be correct.

11. If you want to change the Displacement amount and shift, make sure that they are inverted values.
ie. Disp. Amount = 1 then Disp. Shift is -1.

12. Turn on subdivision on the object via the Vray Extra Attributes. Set the value from 256 to the upper level of the mud box hires model. So, if the upper level of your model is 7, then set that to 7 (duh!).

Click render and it should work!