Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Quick Maya Material Reference

Here's a good reference for the Hypershade. It gives short, clear descriptions of shader types and attributes in 3 handy pages.

Here are some guidelines when working with materials:
1. If you're using texture files, start off with a Blinn.
2. Most materials will involve Color, Bump, and Diffuse maps.
3. Play around with the basic "shininess" of your material. With a Blinn, that means working the Eccentricity and Specular Roll Off sliders.
4. The exceptions to these rules come with funky surfaces like glass and shiny metals.
5. The skydome uses a Surface Shader. A Surface Shader allows you to have a material that functions independently of the lights you set up in Maya. A surface shader will always show the values and colors of your texture map regardless of how it is lit.
6. The Layered shader can be a groovy way to get more advanced material effects down the road. It lets you combine different materials into a new material.

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