Maya: Create models that look like clay
To make a model look like clay you have to find a good balance of model detail and displacements, and have materials and lights that support the look.
Although you can try to add detail to your models by hand to make it look hand-sculpted, using procedural shaders can save you time and produce a great result.
Follow these steps to make your models look like they’ve been sculpted in clay:
01 Add base details
First of all, a great way to add some imperfections to your model is to use Maya’s Mesh > Sculpt Geometry Tool. Have the Toolbox open while you’re using this tool: You’ll want to make adjustments to the values as you work.
First select the Push mode and start adding random strokes to your model; make sure they aren’t too deep by adjusting the Max displacement value. You don’t want to put holes in the model: you just want to make it look ‘not so smooth’.
02 Set up displacement
Once you’ve made the rough adjustments, select the model’s existing material in the Hypershade, then add a Solid Fractal to Shading Group Attributes rollout > Displacement mat. Select the place3dTexture node in the Work Area; in the Attribute Editor, click Fit to Group BBox. This way, the factal will be sized correctly to your model. Ensure that your model has correctly laid out UVs.
The depth of the displacement can be controlled by the Solid Fractal’s Alpha Gain and Alpha Offset attributes in the Color Balance rollout.
03 Render it
You can now render the scene and start getting results. It will take some time to get the displacement working right. You can try to smooth the model if you are getting sharp edges. Having soft shadows will also help with the look.
After this point, it will be a case of going back and forth and making adjustments to either your shader or your base model to get it looking the way you want. One additional function that might help you is Maya’s Modify > Convert > Displacement to Polygons.
By Firat Enderoglu
Firat is a senior pipeline TD at Sony Pictures Imageworks.
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on Wednesday, December 15th, 2010 at 9:00 am under Guides, Tutorials.
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Tags: Animation, clay modelling, claymodelling, Maya, tutorial