28 April 2009

Blend shape attach head to the body

Usually we duplicate the entire body mesh to create a blend shape for the head, but what if the object is heavy? Having few duplicated object will kill your scene.

The solution is to separate the head (extract), then duplicate and do some blendshapes, keep the first duplicated as the 'base' rather than the original mesh because we can't use original mesh as the target due to vertex order change. As soon as blend shape is ready, create a blend shape to the 'base' so it stores information. Then apply wrap deformer to the original mesh.

I know it's killing the scene by computing the calculation. But the trick here is GO TO INPUT AND CHANGE THE ORDER OF THE WRAP BELOW SKIN CLUSTER. Therefore the wrap deformer is no longer calculated after the skinned deformation. This will dramatically improve performance and resulting cleaner construction history. However another method is by using combine and merge verts, which leave ugly construction history. I prefer to use wrap instead.

22 April 2009

squeeze your firefox

Found that you can actually save some pixels on your navigation bar.

Right click on the home button > Customize, change icon to small, and start dragging your back, forward, refresh, stop, home button, url bar to the side of "help"

19 April 2009

Using black white image as mask.

Sometimes you want to blend 2 different textures using the mask which is a black and white image (dirt maps or texture masks) *see B. The way I usually did is to select one of the channel which has better contrast, drag it to "create new channel" to create the alpha, and use that alpha (ctrl+click the alpha thumbnail) to create the selection (indicated by marching ants), and then apply that selection to A. Well this method has disadvantage if you want to use texture which has color information for example. I don't know if this method I'm gonna show is the right one, but it achieve the result I wanted.

  • Click the B. , ctrl+a to select all, ctrl+v to copy
  • Go to A. , create the "add layer mask", click the white area *it must be selected otherwise you won't see alpha channel
  • Go to channel Tab, click on the alpha layer and make it visible.
  • Make sure the layer is selected, and the eye icon is on, ctrl+v to paste
  • Done, now you need to do is delete/hide the original mask which we copied earlier


Many thanks to Peter my classmate for his help

Update: My GF pointed me out an easier way.

Click on the B/w layer (B), in channel, click the RGB instead of creating an alpha from one of the channel, so basically it will select everything, then apply mask on the (A). As simple as that, how stupid am I.

18 April 2009

Can I use the old style render layers in Maya 2009

There is no preset option to create a layer override in Maya 2009 as it was in 2008

However you can still create these overrides by using the following Mel
Where layer1 is the name of the Layer you like to override.

Ambient Occlusion

renderLayerBuiltinPreset occlusion layer1;

Luminance Depth

renderLayerBuiltinPreset linearDepth layer1;

Normal Map

renderLayerBuiltinPreset normal layer1;

Geometry Matt

renderLayerBuiltinPreset matte layer1;


renderLayerBuiltinPreset diffuse layer1;


renderLayerBuiltinPreset specular layer1;


renderLayerBuiltinPreset shadow layer1;

From http://mayastation.typepad.com/