Arnold for Maya Tutorial: Ice Cube Material


Arnold for Maya

Fox Renderfarm is known as a powerful but affordable render farm in the CG industry. Fox Renderfarm supports most mainstream software, Renderers, and Plugins, including Maya and Arnold. This article is about the knowledge of ice cube material in the basic material related learning in the Arnold tutorial. I hope it can be helpful for your learning of Arnold.

In all kinds of texture making, ice cubes are a special kind. The overall texture of the ice cube is transparent, and has high specularity and refraction, as well as a certain caustics. Although the ice cubes are smooth, fine particles can still be seen at a certain angle. These particles are actually some small white bubbles generated during the ice-making process. There are many ways to achieve this effect. Today we will share a method of making ice cubes.


First create a block to serve as the main body of ice. Then create an Arnold base shader and modify some of the settings. Because the ice cube material is transparent. There is no color, so there is no surface color. In Diffuse, set Color to black.

Increase the Weight value in Specular. Because the surface of ice has no roughness and is very smooth, you need to open Fresnel to simulate this effect.

Set the refraction, the value of Weight also needs to be adjusted up, the value of IOR is set to 1.33, and then check Fresnel, also need to check Caustics.

Now the basic texture of the ice cube has been set.

Now you need to add a small bubble effect to the ice cube. First create an Arnold 3D texture material, give the model, the following dialog box appears, just close it.

After jumping out of the Aibump3d1sg node, you just need to drag the created Arnold texture to the Surface Shader in Arnold of Aibump3d1sg, then the model will appear small bubbles of bump effect.

Next, place the ice texture made in the Shader of Aibump3d1 in the texture.

Next, you need to add a Stucco texture map to the Bump Map in the 3D node, and then change the Bump Height to 0.5.

Now that the material part is complete, the rest needs to add an HDRI. Open the material editor, create an aiSky environment ball map in Arnold, and paste an HDR environment map in Color. Change the value of Intensity to 2.

Some settings are required before rendering. Click the Background link in the Environment to create the aiSky texture that was just created, so that the lights in the scene are set up.

The sampling value of Cameraca is increased to 5 (the higher the value, the slower the rendering speed). Refraction value is set to 4. Set the Refraction value to 4 in Ray depth. Create a sphere as an environment and check Visibe in Refiections in Render Stats. Then conduct a rendering test.


In 3D texture mapping, Maya's own 3D texture mapping can achieve many different effects (turn off the highlighter and refraction of the shader, and the following effects appear,

The highlight and refraction of the shader are turned on, rendering:

Maya 2018 Arnold's Method of Making Motion Vector Blur in AOV Channel

Maya 2018 Arnold's Method of Making Motion Vector Blur in AOV Channel


cloud rendering

Yesterday, I found that the Arnold of Maya 2018 has a directional error for the motion vector blur method made in the AOV channel. The motion blur method I wrote earlier applies to Maya 2016 and earlier versions, so I spent a little time studying it today. The problem has been solved now, and cloud rendering will use a small case to explain the production steps.

Step 1: Creating the ball as a simple animated scene.

Step 2: Turn on motion blur: Render a reference to motion blur.

Step 3: Follow the method given in the official Arnold documentation: Change the camera's Shutter Start and Shutter End to 0.5 (why changed to 0.5 because my motion blur type is Center On Frame).

Step 4: Create a channel for AOV motion blur:

Here I will create two motion blur channels:

The first is the motionvector channel that comes with Arnold.

The second is to use the custom motion vector AOV of motion vector shader (giving the aiMotionVector material in the AOV channel).

Cloud rendering note: MBlur is named according to your preference. The setting of aiMotionVector was wrote in the previous article.

Step 5: Render this image to see two motion blur conditions.

It can be seen that both the motionvector and MBlur motion blur channels in our AOV channel are in the wrong direction.

Step 6: Next I will officially explain how to solve this problem: From the beginning.

A: Turn on the Motion Blur button in the render settings: I chose the Center On Frame mode here.

B: Change the Shutter Start and Shutter End in the camera Arnold attribute to 0.5, respectively, corresponding to the Center On Frame mode.

(Note: When rendering the motion vector AOV, the camera Shutter Start and Shutter End should be the same value.)

C: Create a new MBlur_2 channel in AOV (to compare with the previous MBlur.)

D: Open the material editor and find the two nodes aiMotionVector and aiVectorMap under Arnold's material panel.

1) Connect the outColor of the aiMotionVector node to the input of the aiVectorMap node.

2) Then connect the outValue in the aiVectorMap node to the DefaultValue in the Shader property of the MBlur channel in AOV.

Change the XYZ mode of the Order in the aiVectorMap node to YZX mode and remove the hook of the tangentSpace.

4) In the aiMotionVector node, enable Encoding Raw Vector.

E. After the above steps are completed, start rendering the image and view it in Nuke.

As shown in the figure: Maya's default motion blur is basically the same as the MBlur_2 channel we made in AOV, and the motion blur adjusted by Nuke is basically the same. Of course, I also found a bug in the Arnold renderer, its motion blur channel does not solve the shadow of motion blur, there can be seen in a big picture that cloud rendering attached below.

Animated Short Film "Survival" Scene Production Analysis


Arnold for Maya

This time, our render farm brings you an analysis of the animated short film "Survival" scene production. As the leading cloud render farm in the CG industry, Fox Renderfarm has always been committed to providing artists with affordable, reliable and secure cloud rendering services. It also encourages outstanding artists to make good works and promote the production of their works, and let more people know them and their excellent works.

This article brings about the production and analysis of the animated short film "Servival" produced by CG artists Li Yicong, Sun Ningning, Xing Luyue, Shi Tao and Li Yongcong. The software used is Maya, Arnold, AE, Nuke and so on.

A brief introduction to the short film

The short film tells that in a city where energy is exhausted after the end of the world, a lonely little robot relies on finding a waste battery in the city every day to live alone, until he finds that the city has no more disposable batteries to use, but he has no choice but to go home. Packing up the luggage, reluctantly pulling his own stroller, leaving the city, embarked on the road to find new energy.

The specific production process

Previous period

The script is written by members and then determined through multiple discussions based on the technical level and conditions that can be achieved, and then the character design and scene design by the pre-art.



I found a lot of references during modeling, and I used to make up for a mechanical principle for a while. However, the animated character and mechanical design are not exactly the same. Consider the functions of action binding, emotional expression, and plot. Figure 1 is a partial reference of the character. The mapping is mainly used for Ddo and Mari.

Role model

Light rendering

Scene one

One of the scenes is the home of the robot, which lives in an abandoned train station. This lens acts as an empty mirror to ease the rhythm and explain the living environment.

The robot looked for a day's battery, and the harvest was not much. Because it was far away, it almost lost a life on the way home. The lighting is set in the evening, except that it feels very dull, and it also implies that the small robot has lived in this city for a long time. On the other hand, the evening light effect, the light ratio is strong, the angle between the light, the camera and the object is relatively small, and the surface of the object will produce a beautiful Fresnel reflection. The figure below shows the material properties of the railway.

Here you can use three or more textures to represent an object, color map, reflection map, and normal map or bump map. If it is close-up, you need to add a roughness map to make the object produce more rich changes.

Backlighting also works well for translucent objects, such as the dirty old glass on the bridge, the grass on the ground, and the semi-transparent effect of all the plant leaves on the vine. In addition, the grass adjusts the wind output in SpeedTree and then imports it into Maya for material adjustment. Special plants need to be created in SpeedTree. Add force field to shape the plant into the shape and growth trend that you want, and then export. Creating plants in SpeedTree allows you to export wind animations to Maya, and plants can move to increase the authenticity of the scene.

SpeedTree Software

Plants imported into Maya

Create a render layer in Maya, put all the objects into the new render layer, and then add the Arnold base material for layer coverage so that the entire scene is the same material and the texture is ignored. Benefits are,

First, when lighting, it can be not affected by the texture of the surface of the object. It can observe and adjust the position of the light and shadow well, and use light and shadow to compose and shape the volume of the object.

Second, remove the texture, refraction, etc., the test rendering speed is fast, the adjustment can get feedback quickly. Here you can see that this picture is not completely retrograde, the light source is to the left. At the time, when lighting in the scene, I hope that one side of the locomotive can produce a bright surface, and the lower left corner is too bright, so that the light of the whole scene is too average.

Adjust the lights and start making material adjustments and renderings. If you find that many places need to be adjusted after rendering, you can reduce the sampling of all aspects, in order to save rendering time, after many adjustments to the screen you want, if you want the work more realistic and reduce the rendering time, you can use a Maya render farm.

In Arnold, it is generally necessary to separate several layers,

Scene 2

In the home of the small robot, this is a parting scene, where the warm shades of light are used to make a warm and sad feeling, so use the Maya spotlight to simulate the sun's rays, let it produces a light fog to simulate the atmosphere, which can increase the drama and authenticity of the scene.

Scene 3

Post-production and composite editing

The short film uses Arnold to render a multi-channel synthesis scheme with a total of 13 layers, which is finally synthesized in Nuke and AE.

Using Arnold For Maya To Make A Work "Empress"


Arnold for Maya

This work was invited by 3D Artist Magazine, and then according to a portrait of a Chinese ancient queen, the following will explain the whole process of production, using the Maya, Arnold renderer, ZBrush, Photoshop, Nuke and so on.

  1. Collect reference pictures

Finding reference pictures is a very important part, and this part has cost a lot of time.

  1. Making Model

The model is first built in Maya and then placed in ZBrush for engraving. Except for the more complicated models (such as decorations on the hair, chairs, etc.), the other ones are first carved in DynaMesh in ZBrush, and then Decimation is used. Master reduces the number of faces and then exports.

  1. Making maps

All textures are done in Mari. Face skin first finds a female face projection, simply remove the pores, because the pores wrinkles are carved in ZBrush, so you can export the ZBrush displacement map to Photoshop and turn it into a High Pass image as the skin texture is superimposed on the skin.

The hardest part of the clothes is to look for references to the above patterns. Once it is determined that the production is very simple, first put the shading and then cast the pattern. Remember to divide the layers among Mari, so it is very convenient to adjust later.

  1. Making materials

Here we use the gray mold to adjust the displacement and bump, then adjust the highlight, and finally the color and SSS.

  1. Making hair

The hair uses the Xgen that comes with Maya. After combing the hair, comb it with a comb and adjust it with several different tools.

Eyelashes use another method of creating Xgen, creating a guideline and then generating eyelashes.

  1. The final rendering

This work uses the Arnold renderer, set as follows,

The rendering output format is EXR, and finally, the Nuke compositing is imported. First add all the colors, highlights, and sss together, then use Mask and various condition layers to adjust the brightness, color, saturation, gamma and add atmosphere.

Translated from an article written by 3D artist, Lu Ang

An Amazing CGI Personal Project Sharing Of Liu Yifei Likeness As Mulan


Arnold for Maya

Realistic performance is not the whole of 3D art. 3D technology is constantly developing. This is the important driving force for 3D character artists to create. In film and television works, the visual development of characters is the most crucial step. Jung-Won Park is a 3D character artist from South Korea, specializing in 3D modeling, character modeling and rendering. This time, we based on the Mulan, the 2020 movie, we will create techniques such as creating realistic and delicate skin textures and high-quality 3D character model rendering. The main used software and renderer are Maya, Arnold, ZBrush, Substance Painter, Mari . 1. Model creation

Before the model is created, the reference material collection and basic model adjustment must first be performed. Then, perform basic model disassembly UV, heavy topological operation, and detail engraving. This step is very important. 2. Texture Drawing

Draw a model, refine the color texture, and drawing texture of the head and neck, face, forehead, arm and other body parts. Then draw clothing, accessories, and swords. If you don't know the material of any item, please check your reference picture or find a satisfactory reference. 3.Displacement map

The Displacement map is the most important part of the entire texture drawing process. Zbrush & Mari software is required for collaboration and in-depth analysis of TexturingXYZ displacement map settings. 4. Camera principle and lighting

Camera principle and lighting adjustment, this step can make the works infinitely close to the real world. It is necessary to properly set and test the ratio of scene to real world, camera parameters, and basic lighting.

  1. Highlighted texture creation

Create highlight texture, including marking the model's highlight position, making primary high-light reflections & secondary high-light reflections, and perfecting the highlight texture. 6. Skin material

The skin material is made to match the principle of light as much as possible. 7. Eye creation

The creation of the eye is believed to be a diffcult things for many students. First, create eyeball models, iris materials, and perform UV splitting, use PS to create scleral texture to create scleral materials. And finally, handle inner corner detailing. 8.XGEN fur creation

XGEN makes fur, which is the only way to pursue delicate results. Before making a production, first analyze the fur making ideas. Then, create the upper eyelashes, eyebrows, fluffy hair on the face, the top area of the hair, the hair of the forehead bangs, the hair on the face, and the fine hair on the back of the neck. Among them, the use of Fibermesh for hair styling, the application of random expression of hair distribution, increased hair volume, and the creation of ponytail will be the focus of learning. 9. Body and clothing materials

Use UDIM to create displacement texture for apparel gloves and master Substance to Arnold. Draw the displacement texture of the arm, highlight texture, and perfect the hand coloring material. 10.Posture adjustment

Model rigging and posture adjustment, adjust Pose in Zbrush, learn to use Maya's "transfer". 11. Light rendering

Light rendering can be combined with a variety of advanced rendering, such as Arnold. Apply HDRI lighting, add lighting layouts, adjust DOF & chromatic aberrations, handle rendering noise and finish. Skin, detail, light There are 3 core contents of character visual performance. Rendering how to obtain high-quality image performance, in the texture part and the rendering part of the work of the model artist's level of high judgment, Park Zhengyuan's skin, hair, lighting rendering performance is called crafts level.

SSS skin texture production,

A Production Process Sharing Of The 3D Works "Redemption" By Arnold For Maya


Arnold for Maya

I am very happy to share with you the production process of the work of Redemption. I have shown a way of thinking and process of making this work. And I also learned something new from the project, I hope everyone can learn something from it. The software used in this work is Maya, Zbrush, Marvelousdesigner, SubstancePainter. Collection of materials Collecting the information you need is a very important part of the project before it is started. This is a very important part. I have been collecting enough information before I start the next step. But some of my friends, they will look for reference materials while making this way, it will take more time and effort, and the effect is not very good. I think that while doing the reference, it is better to take a day or two to collect and classify the required materials, so that you can also collect your own database.

Production 1. Composition The composition of the work is very important, directly affecting the final effect. I use a relatively small composition of the work of "Redemption", which is very interesting in the composition.

  1. Model At the beginning of the production, I will quickly build a simple model, not too detailed, all models are as simple as possible, the sooner the better. This stage of production I try to control in one day. At this stage, I need to complete the simple and fast, then determine the angle of the camera and arrange the lights.
  1. High poly workflow The high poly workflow phase is a very important part. Whether it is game production or film and television model production, the high poly workflow stage is very important. After the large shape and the composition of the screen are determined, I will start from the main body of the character and proceed progressively according to the composition and the primary and secondary relationship. According to the principle of subject, local, subject. Some common brushes and some post-production texture aids used by individuals as follow,
  1. Texture I used the more popular PBR process in drawing the texture. Substancepainter is the most common drawing software for this type of texture drawing. The character face and skin use Mari. Character skin replacement, skin color is made in Mari, Mari is a very powerful software.
  1. Render and post-synthesis This work uses the Anorld for Maya, and the entire rendering process takes about 4 days. In addition, a separate AOV layer is rendered to facilitate further modification of the color and scene atmosphere in the PS.

The above is the whole process of the project of "Redemption", I will introduce it to you here. I also found some deficiencies in the production, I hope that my production can give you new ideas, we can all learn new things in the project.

BY: Qi Gong

To Rebuild Avatar With Arnold For Maya

To Rebuild Avatar With Arnold For Maya


Arnold for Maya

In 2009, a sci-fi film Avatar swept the world. This film won a lot of honors, but as a CG enthusiast, the greater fun is still exploring the production process of this film.

In Avatar, many characters and scenes are made using Maya. Today we will introduce the Avatar as a case by Arnold and Maya to introduce the software. 1. Collection of materials Material collection is an important step, and the more time you spend collecting material, the less late errors will be. When making the Avatar model, I used the web to collect a lot of real material and video reference. You can add some of your own understanding during the production process. You can also try different brush strokes when post-production in ZBrush, and finally unify the whole character. Here are some of the materials I collected.

2.Maya basic model Use Maya's own box as the basic model, first adjust the general proportion, and then start from the large-sized model parts, so that you can grasp the overall feeling of the character in a relatively short time, and easily modify the scale. As far as possible, the wiring should be as clean as possible. It is not necessary to describe too much detail. In particular, pay attention to the structural turning of the head to facilitate engraving later.

Step 1: This role, gives me the feeling is a combination of feline and human face, the upper part of the face is a lion, the lower part is a human. I decided to put more effort into her lower half of the face and tried to understand the upper half of the cat's face. After analyzing these things, we can grab some of her characteristics to start modeling. I made a simple model, this time there are very few lines, it is very convenient for you to adjust the feeling. At this time, the proportion and position of the character's lower jaw and facial features were fixed.

Step 2: Add one line while adjusting and perform local detail processing.

Eye, eyebrow and cheekbones, here are the low mold and final wiring diagram.

  1. Adding ZBrush details According to the previous reference to determine some of the details of the role structure, subdivision in ZBrush, improve the number of faces of the model to add some details to the model. For example, pores, texture of the lips, etc. Step 1: First perform Maya's cleanup to check if there are more than four sides. Export the obj model without problems.

    Step 2: Import ZBrush to add details. Use a few skin brushes. Detail breakdown and detail addition.

  1. Mapping the texture Because there is already a film and television as a reference, the texture is closer to the content of the film. Here are some of the material I collected.

You need to make sure the uv is correct before drawing the texture. I am using the UVLayout plugin to split the model UV. Pay attention to the position of the tangent at the time of splitting, try to put it in the place where it can't be seen, so as to avoid the seam problem. The mapping of the texture here is made by combining Mari and ps. In order to quickly grasp the process of drawing textures using mudbox here.

These are the uv splits using plugins. It's worth noting that sometimes splitting out is not ideal and needs to be re-edited in the Mayauv editor.

The overlapping parts in the red part of the figure can be adjusted in the uv editor. The final result is as follows.

After the UV editing is done, it is necessary to draw the texture and draw it here using the mudbox. Firstly, subdivide the model and then export obj. The second is to open the mudbox and import the model. Select a brush.

The shader looks at your personal habits and can switch between viewing highlights and non-highlights. Select the brush and click New Layer on the model to select the map size and format as needed. I am here to choose 40964096 size for clarity. And named as the background color, in order to put the background color on the model, to prevent the back when painting the map. The new layer adds the pattern, which can be adjusted in conjunction with the layer blending mode. To achieve the right results.

Generate textures and export them after making multiple adjustments. And add textures in ps. And the root layer is created to generate the corresponding 3s highlights and bumps.

  1. Rendering Light setting: The first step, we basically use the most basic three-point lighting principle to first adjust the intensity of light to achieve the required intensity. Note that this is the arnold renderer that is utilized, so the default light is attenuated with light. The lighting test of the advanced model (the model without the map) pays attention to the contrast of the cool and warm of the light.

The three-point lighting is generally the primary light source auxiliary light and contour light, pay attention to the contrast between the main light source and the contour light. There is also an application with skydemo light to simulate the surrounding environment. Setting of the shader ball: In order to better express its texture and skin characteristics, we will use the corresponding skin material.

The first step: Since the texture has been drawn before, the respective skin layers whose inherent color is blue are also adjusted according to the inherent color. Connect all the textures to the corresponding properties of the shader and adjust the parameters.

Here, five textures are connected to the skin's three-layer highlight and normal map. Then adjust and test the lights. Render channel output: Render the corresponding channel, which is more convenient to adjust later. They are id, normal, highlight, ao, sss, etc.

Channel synthesis: The rendered layer is synthesized in ps, the ao channel is synthesized by the method of the film stacking, and the highlight channel is synthesized by the screen method. The normal channel can be synthesized in nuke to re-adjust the light. It is possible to directly adjust the eyelashes and adjust the background lighting effects and color in the ps. Adjust the desired effect with the final adjustment.

Author: Xiao Zhen Xing

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