View Full Version : Achieving 3DSMax line definition in Maya

06 June 2006, 04:31 PM
I'm hoping someone can help me out. I'm working on a project where the client wants to show technical detail (particularly edge detail) for reference's sake. We're working with large, flat industrial shapes and these don't work well with cell / nprs shaders. I've seen what 3DSMax can do in this area, and I'm hoping there's some way to do it in Maya. Is there a way to do it in Maya? I've tried downloading several nprs shaders, tried making some of my own, and I've also tried the built-in Maya toon shader and vector renderer, and none come close to the clean lines and clear colors that 3DSMax seems to create easily.
Attached is a reference picture of what I'm trying to achieve.

Thanks - William

(Please note that this attached pic is not my own work, merely a loose example of what I'm aiming for.)

06 June 2006, 09:09 PM
Is there a way to do it in Maya?
William, Mental Ray has Contour options as well, but they may not produce satisfactory results. Depending on your source geometry (NURBS or polys), you may want to consider the Provide3D plug-ins:

They also have one for polygons:

06 June 2006, 09:27 PM
Also, Maya 7's toon system is pretty full featured. You can probably get what you need out of it, if all else fails.

06 June 2006, 10:41 PM
I'd have thought that the toon system is definitely the way to go, perhaps if you posted the results of your test and then say what you didn't like about them then someone may be able to suggest some improvements.

06 June 2006, 10:49 PM
Thank you all for your suggestions. To reply:

The modeling will be done in polygons. The problem is that with the larger, flat surfaces of the machines that I'll be modeling, the regular toon shaders don't work because they may do the very external profile edges well, but not the edges that aren't on a profile. Of course some of them work, but not all, and that's not accurate enough.

Basically I need something that will trace a line down each edge where the shape of the plane changes, not just the very profile edges.

Admittedly I tend to not be an expert when it comes to Toon shading in Maya. I am aware Maya 7 comes with its own Toon shader but I admit to being a little ham-fisted with it.

As a reference, I've been trying this shader I found in the Tutorials posting on this forum board - - and so far it looks like exactly what I need - however, the instructions are for Maya 5, and the differences between 5 and 7 are enough that I can't get past certain steps.

So, I think based on what I've learned so far, the best way to do it would be Mental Ray's contour render, as that seems to be moving in the direction that I want to go. However, I'm not that well-educated with MR. Does anyone know of any tutorials that will work for Maya 7 that I can take a look at?

06 June 2006, 11:32 PM
Well, Maya 7's system isn't a toon shader per se. It's an elaborate, paint-effects style system that creates curves on your object in realtime, lofting polygon surfaces from those curves, and it's VERY customizable. I am pretty sure you can get any effect you really want from it, if you monkey with it a bit.

06 June 2006, 12:27 AM
Theres also the ravix vector render, which renders out like your image.

06 June 2006, 12:33 AM
This may be a little too far out of the box but it may be useful to use some kind of curvature shader for finding hard edges, this one is really good although IIRC it only lets you render one object with the shader applied at a time.

06 June 2006, 02:58 AM
Many thanks to all. BD, I actually took your advice and went back and really took a good hard look at Maya's built-in toon system (that's what I've been doing pretty much nonstop for the past ten hours). Anyway, I'm not 100% satisfied with the results but so far I know now that I'm on the right path. Just need to tweak it. You may see a quick post here with my results. Thanks again!

06 June 2006, 04:40 PM
Check out this thread:

This guy has some nice wireframe renders that look similar to what you are after, and he posted a reply about how he made them.

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