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Monday, September 12, 2011

Creating a realistic brick shader with randomly shuffled tiles in Maya. Tutorial

1. Creating a realistic brick shader with randomly shuffled tiles in Maya.

This technique may look a little complex but you will find it is very useful! You could use it to create mixes of tiles for floors space ship hulls all kinds of things.

First create a simple polygon primative menues Create>Polygon Primitive>cube and draw your cube in the viewport workspace.

Hit 5 to go to shaded view.

The first thing we need is a nice seamless brick texture, you can find many online just go locate one just make sure it's SEAMLESS.

Now take this texture into photoshop or your choice of image editor and on a new layer randomly draw black squares over about a third of the bricks.

Over the remaining bricks randomly drawing pure white squares over another 3rd of the bricks.

Finally draw 50% gray squares over the remaining bricks.

Save it and calling it CONTROL_bricks without the brick background so you just have a black/gray/white image of the bricks.

We will use this texture to control multiple tiles.

Next open your original brick texture and make a Light, Medium, and Dark version of it. These will be mixed together using our CONTROL_bricks

2. Now in maya let's open the hypershade and create three new RAMP nodes. Under create Maya node, 2D textures sub menu. RAMP.

Select your first ramp in the hypershake work area and in the attribute editor on the right you will see it's color gradient there is a little drop down called interpolation near the top of ramp attributes change this to NONE. This will create and instant color change instead of a gradient.

The first one we'll put the white at the bottom, and have the black start at "Selected position" .3

Now select your second Ramp and change the interpolation. On this one we will place the white in the middle Starting at "selected position.3 and ending at selected position .6

Do the same to your final ramp only start the white at .6 and end a 1.0

The idea is that these ramps when all placed together will equal 1.0 so you can adjust them if you wish just make sure they still end up all covering 100% with white when mixed. If that makes sense.

Your ramps should look like this now.

3. Now we want to attach our CONTROL_crick black/gray/white picture to these ramps.

Create a new file node in the hypershape create maya node>2D texture>File

Select the black File1 node that is created. On the right in the attributes editor you can now select an image. Click the file and navigate to your CONTROL_bricks

Now lets connect our file1 node to our ramps.

In the hypershade middle mouse click on your file1 node and hold the button down dragging it over to your "ramp1" node (NOT the place2dtexture)

A menu will pop up select "other"at the bottom.

The coonection editor will appear. On the left side choose outColor, then outColorR

Now in the right side choose uvCoord then vcoord then hit close at the bottom.

Repeat this process connecting file1 to Ramp2 and ramp3

Notice what happens to the ramps after these connections are made. They become white blocks.

The "lower white-banded" ramp now becomes the set of all noise blocks that were dark gray. The "middle white-banded ramp" now becomes the set of all noise blocks that were middle gray.The "upper white-banded" ramp now becomes the set of all noise blocks that were bright gray.

Those blocks will become mattes that will control the presence or absence of one tile or another.

Now let's bring in the Light, Medium and Dark versions of our brick texture.

4. In the hypershade create Maya sode>2D textures>file

Create three final nodes. Select each black file node and load your images. You should have something that's looks like this. Starting to look kinda complex isn't it? Just wait.

Now we are going to start adding it all together into a shader.

Create three multiply/Device nodes. In the hypershade> Create Maya
nodes>General Utilities>Multiply Devide.

Place them all to the right of your nodes. We are going to attach a Ramp and a File to each Multiply.

At the bottom middle click on your ramp hold and drag to the multiply a menu will pop up select input1. Now select the first texture middle click and drag it to the same multiply release and a menu pop's up select input2

Do this with your remianing ramps. Connecting one image file and one ramp. Now it should look something like this.

5. Now let's create a layered texture. In the hypershade, Create maya nodes>Other Textures> Layered Texture

Drag it off to the right side. This one we have to attach a little differently. Select your layered texture in your work Area. In the attribute editor there is a red box under Layered Texture Attributes.

There is a green box sitting there currently, click 2 more times in there to create to more inputs.

Now in your hypershake Work Area middlclick drag from your bottom Multipy node to your multilayered texture. A menu pop's up, choose inputs[n].color >[1]

Do they same for your other multiply nodes only select input [2], [3]

Now select your Layered Texture node in the hypershade, the green boxes have now turned blue. Select each of them and change the blend mode to add in the atribute editor

6. We still need to attach that to a "normal" shader so let's create a new lambert. Hypershade>Create Maya Nodes>Lambert

Select the Lambert in the hypershade then middle click drag your layered texture over to the Color attribute in the common material attributes section of the atribute editor on the right.

Now let's apply our newly created Lambert and see what it looks like. Hmm not exactly what we had in mind. It's to small we simply need to increase the UV repeats. But we unfortunately have to do this in several places.

In your hypershade work area start with the palce trexture node on your CONTROL_brick that we created first. In the attribute editor on the right you should see 2D texture placement attribute. Under that repeat UV. Change these values to 6. Then change this value across all of your 2d place textures nodes (6 others)

That's looking more like it.

7. Last thing we want to do is add some grunge.

Hypershade>create maya nodes>3d Textures>cloud

You may want to adjust how the cloud looks a bit in the attribute editor give it higher contrast etc.

Now middle click and drag the cloud node onto your layred texture a menu pops up choose inputs[n].color>[4]

Then select your layered texture select the new cloud blue box at in the attribute editor and chane it's blend mode to Subtract. You will probably need to play with the cloud settings a bit but the idea is to use it as a sort of dirt map to mess up the bricks.

8. Lastly you can connect the same brick texture to your lambert bump field to get a nice bump map for the same brick pattern and that's it! Have fun making bricks and tiles and let me know how it works for you!

One very interestingly last note about this technique is that if you replace your starting file1 with something randomly generated you can achieve some truly random and unique results.

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