Maya: Shader Networks


Does anyone have a shader network example for creating glass…I was going to just download the shader but I want to see how to make them myself first…


just a quicky test. sample render and shader screenshot attached. this could obviously be simplified much more if you eliminate the tennis ball seams…


Since this is a shader thread, I thought it would be the right place to post a question about blending shaders in Maya.

I’ve come from 3DS Max where blending two shaders on one object with the help of an Alpha mask is a piece of cake. I’m now trying to figure out how to do this in Maya.

What I want is:
Two shaders (any two… could be a blinn and a lambert, or even a skin or glass shader) with their respective shading networks are to be mixed on a single object by using a mask.
If, for example, I have a wall object, I want to have a complete network for the stone (with diffuse, spec, bump - all of it) and then mask in a glued on poster or similar, with it’s own shading network.
Just masking file nodes are simple, but mixing whole shading networks is something I haven’t cracked yet.
Would love the help!


I think what you are looking for is either the Stencil Utility or Condition Node for a mask. I not poistive though.


I’ve been looking around a bit, and seem to be on the right track now.
I’ve found the mix8layer shader on highend, which handles multiplying of shaders in layers, with alpha masks (and it renders good in Mental Ray, which is a problem with the standard Layered Shader in Maya).

I’ve just completed a testrender now, and managed to blend a SSSskin Shader with a normal Blinn material, on a single mesh, with the help of just one Alpha map.
Works like a charm.


A note though is that one have to connect the lmap node to the layered shader SG (instead of the original SSS_simple_skin).

Here’s a link to Threedy where I wrote a short “how-to”:


I haven’t tried the mix8layer, it sounds interesting. Here’s my 2 cents if that doesn’t work for other users.

You can place 2 shaders in a layered shader (e.g. a blinn and a phong) and use an alpha mask in the transparency channel of one of those shaders to reveal the shader below it. This is a very simple example but with a little practice you can set up some really cool and complex shader networks. I like this method b/c you can have an alpha mask for each shader in the network that can be moved independently of the other masks.

I gonna take a look at that mix8layer though, it appears it could be a useful shader.


the normal layered shader in Maya was what I got recommended from people, but I neveer got it to work properly with advanced mental ray shaders.
I think it works good though with normal shaders (like the blinn och phong you mentioned).


well i often use animationcurves instead of ramps- lets you doo the same thing with more control. if you dont know how to create an animationcurve use this link:

mads :slight_smile:


here is a nice ramp shader …very cute for funny stuff…

here is an exmple (for the shader not the funny stuff =P)

its the messenger man shader…really cute :smiley:

if not downloaded try “save target as”


i wanna how to create a nice reflective car shader using sampler infos.

help needed !!


About 2 years back i downloaded a tutorial from the net which helped me add contrast and brightness attributes to the file texture node in maya. i don’t have the tutorial now and it’s not related to the tutorial in the first page of this post. it had only contrast and brightness and it worked amazingly. can somebody help me in creating it again. i don’t remember where it’s from…


Hi everybody,
I started a thread in Maya Rendering about this kind of shading netwok.
My intension was to create an entirely Mentalray based network … that I wasn’t able to run correctly shaded and fast … yet.
At least I came up with a mixed network (Maya and Mentalray nodes) that solves this challenge …
You may have to scroll down the thread to see the actual solution …

C&C welcome …



Hi Mikkel Jans
I know this is an old thread. I tried out your colour edit network and my resulting image has weird colour. (supposed to be a warm yellow farm landscape)
I have attached the network and the rendered image, can you or anybody else help?



Seems to work in my case


Hey thanks alot. I see your network is the same as mine but yours works.


in maya, blending two shader is easy as picking the nose.
Try the “Layer Shader”, find it in hypershade.

good luck on the try.


Ambassador i LOVE your skin shader MAN!!! :slight_smile:

its awesome
i am working on some alien head atm and i plan to test render it with your shader
i will post as soon as i finish it

Thanks alot!! :))


hi ambassador and everybody, why this thread sorta died?


i tryed blending carPaint and Fast skin SSS and it doesnt work for me … any other way of blending shaders in maya.


This rim light is based off of the Lights in your scene. No matter if the lights are in teh back or the front.

In this example I will be using a standard 3 point light setup.

Items/nodes that will be needed.

2 Ramps
(Ramp 1 to determine the length of the rim highlight)
(Ramp 2 to determine the Width of the rim highlight)

surfaceLuminance Node
(To tell where the highlights will be placed)

samplerInfo Node
(to make sure the highlights are only along the edges)

Okay now for the shading network setup…

Okay lets start off down stream…

You have the surfaceLuminance1 node connected via outValue to the vCoord of Ramp1. This will determine the length, color and intensity of your highlight.
As you can see below the ramp setup is so the highlight will fade off along the edges rather then come to a sudden stop.

Moving on we have the ramp1 connected to the ramp2 via outColor into ramp2.ColorEntryList[0].color. In other words there will be only two entries for this ramp, and the entry that is being connected is the one at the bottom.
now depending on how close or far the top entry is from the bottom will determine how wide your rim will be.
You will also notice there is a samplerInfo node also connected to the ramp2 This node is connected via facingRatio into the uCoord and vCoord. This is in place so the highlight will only appear along edges facing away from the camera (only along the rim).

Finally take your ramp2 and connect it to your shader via outColor into ambientColor and or incandescence.

After applying the shader to a model this is what you will end up with…

Model credit to: James Davis, Florida.

Now the controls for your new rim shader.

Rim width:
With your ramp2 your top entry will determine how wide the highlight ratio is. The further up the wider the highlight.

Rim length:
With your ramp1 Take your 2 outside entries and more then towards the center. to create more of a hard specular highlight.

Hope this helped a few people out. As my first “tutorial” I don’t think I did half bad xD.