Maya toon outlines - unique random width per object


Hi guys,

i’m doing an 2D animated short and i want to use 3D environments. Toon outlines in maya would be perfect to simulate a hand drawn line. But i have problem with line width and offset. When i add outline to selection and add map to control line width/offset, the map is used for every single object the same way and the outlines are identical on each object. The result looks very uniform (see the picture). Now, is there any other way than to assign unique toon outline with unique map to each object (it could be done through script, but even then its extremely complicated to adjust the outlines (there will be at least 200 objects))?


P.S. I’m a max user, so excuse me if the solution is something basic.


You could change the uvs on each object so your map works differently.

Instead another option might be to use a line modifier node, which has a built in 3D noise. Assign it to the toon line, set widthScale to 1, surfaceOffset to .3, noiseFrequency to 3, and scale the modifier to encompass your objects.

A problem is that if the objects move then the lines will wiggle as the modifier moves through the 3D noise, unless you parent the modifier to that object, but if the objects don’t move together than this wouldn’t work.

Another thing that can help is make the dropoff ramp all 1.0(just delete the right indice)…then the modifier also has an effect outside the container bounds. If one then animates the motion of the modifier it can create a little wiggle when the objects are stationary so the motion when they move might not be so jarring. It all depends on the look you are after.

Yet another option might be to randomly assign 3 or 4 different toon line nodes, each with different maps. This might be enough variety(without needing 200 different toon nodes)that one wouldn’t notice.


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