Right click on your surface to bring up the marking menu.
Select inputs > complete list. This gives you a window listing the deformers and everything else affecting your surface, by middle clicking and dragging, these can be moved up or down the list (order of priority).

This way you can have a skinned surface controlled by a skeleton, blend shapes to help with extreme positions and clusters for local movement all existing quite happily. (Great for hand animating clothes without worrying about cloth simulation).

Draw your skeleton perpendicular to the view planes, making sure the rotations are all 0 degrees in the channel box, change the values in the attribute editor 'joint orient' box to get the skeleton to line up to your model. This leaves you with nice clean rotations.

Particles emitting particles (leaving trails):

Make an emitter and particle system - e.g directional

in script editor (from manual):

emitter -r 30 -mnd 1.5 -mxd 2.5 -n emitter particle1;
particle -n emitted;
connectDynamic -em emitter emitted;

this makes an emitter of rate 30, min & max distance 1.5&2.5 called 'emitter' applied to object 'particle1'
also makes particles called 'emitted'
then connects the emitter to the new particles - sorted!

some other switches- [emitter -typ omni | dir | direction | surf | surface | curve | curv -dx -dy -dz -mnd minimum distance to start emission -mxd max" " " -r rate -sp spread (0-1) ]


Emitting smoke from surface (e.g burning plane wing):
(NB- See also for simple expressions for expanding smoke trails)



Using rib archived particles (3d sprites if you will):
A basic method, but hey - what more do you want?



Tracking trick:


Wheel Rotation -
FRONTWHEEL_L_Rot.rotateZ = car.translateX / (3.145 * 71.82) * -360;

where wheel_rotz = mainObject_transX / (PI * wheel diameter) * 360degrees (or negative in this case to fix the direction)

int(rand(1,3)); - clamps random numbers to an integer.

Adding Slim attributes for texturing (where your textures have the same name as the surface - like in DeepPaint 3D):

//Select Shape nodes

string $thing;

string $Things[] = `ls -sl`;

string $end1 = ".Slim_color";
string $end2 = ".Slim_bump";

for ($thing in $Things)

addAttr -ln Slim_color -dt "string" -k true $thing;

for ($thing in $Things)

setAttr -type "string" ($thing + $end1) ("textures/head_colour/"+($thing)+"_color.tif");

for ($thing in $Things)

addAttr -ln Slim_bump -dt "string" -k true $thing;

for ($thing in $Things)

setAttr -type "string" ($thing + $end2) ("textures/head_bump/"+($thing)+"_bump.tif");

You can then refer to these attributes in your shader (see below).


Shader hookup mel:

slimcmd slim CreatePalette -file "/job/CB/crows/models/maya/shaders/palettes/CrowPalette/crowPaletteSlim_v2.splt";

select "*_leg_*_1Shape";
string $selString = `slimcmd slim GetAppearances -name "crowLeg*"`;
mtor control attach surface `slimcmd $selString GetID`;

- Brings in the selected palette


 - selects shape node
 - puts the specified shader name into a variable 'selString'
 - attaches the said shader (from the variable) to the selected object
   (This last line is a mel command for accessing renderman stuff)


Simple light follow expression (uses bounding box):

select -r papi_head_proxy ;
CsRibProxyMesh papi_head_proxyShape papi_head_PLY;

spaceLocator -p 0 0 0;
rename "locator1" "papi_grpTarget";

expression -s "papi_grpTarget.translateX=`getAttr papi_head_PLYShape.boundingBoxCenterX`; papi_grpTarget.translateY=`getAttr papi_head_PLYShape.boundingBoxCenterY`;papi_grpTarget.translateZ=`getAttr papi_head_PLYShape.boundingBoxCenterZ`;"


Basic Indirect Diffuse / Scatter notes:
Most of this stuff will be a combination of shaders, lights, cameras and objects in specific trace sets or individual render scenes.

Bake Diffuse - generate an initial pointcloud from a specific view (camera or perspective coordsys). This is the light falling on the surfaces.

ptfilter - makes second pointcloud for stage two bounce - takes the initial lit areas and bounces light around from there according to settings. eg:

ptfilter -filter colorbleeding -progress 2 -maxsolidangle 0.05 -sortbleeding 0 -sides front -maxdist 500 -bounces 1 -coneangle 1.57 -sources myscene_IDIFF_01.ptc -progress 2 -output myscene_IDIFF_01f.ptc

NOTE: This pointcloud is now usable but only from the same camera it was rendered from. Pointcloud mis-matches result in huge render times. To simplify generate a brickmap:

brickmake -maxerror 0.002 -radiusscale 1 -maxdepth 12 -ignorenormals 0 -progress 2 dk1113_017_env_IDIFF_03f.ptc dk1113_017_env_IDIFF_03f.bkm

NOTE2: Surface shaders need to be able to understand the indirect diffuse component - should be something like kirr=1

Hot objects - to make an object emit light in the indirect diffuse pass it should have an iddEmission value of 1 in the rib (should be an attribute that gets passed through)

Subsurface scatter is similar - makes a pointcloud generated by a filter command, tend to limit number of scatter lights for best effect. --



Mental Ray (Maya 2009 onwards):

Use a non shadow casting sphere to contain your volume (so you don't get artefacts in corners), this has parti_volume attached to the custom volume shader slot (with suppress all maya shaders switched on) and also transmat in the custom material slot (deprecated for 2011).
Attach a physical_light shader to the custom mental ray shader slot of a light (spot or directional), use ray traced shadows. Link your light(s) to parti_volume by using:

connectAttr -f spotLight1.message parti_volume1.lights[0];
Render Globals are set to scanline basic with raytracing on and volume & auto volume switched on

Your scene scale will determine the values of the scatter colour, min & max step length and physical light colour.(Min step length can be 10% of Max step length). You can get nice back scattering effects by pushing G1 & G2 towards 1 (I'm using 0.6). Keep extinction down to default 0.001.

**If using spotlights along way away with small cone angles turn up physical light value to huge number!
*** For falloff use mib_light_spot instead, although be careful if your scene scale is very large.

PRMAN old version:

Corpse Bride was using either fast_volume shader or spotlightdeluxe with volumetrics > do_shadow switched on. (I think it was fast volume, with a low density setting).

Renderman Studio v2:

Atmosphere shaders are only visible against a surface so you'll need to have geometry to render against.
Add an atmosphere to the entire scene by adding a custom shading group through the renderman globals (advanced tab, default shading), then add an atmosphere shader via the attributes > renderman menu and plug in volumeSmoke from the root shader directory. (volumeSmoke works better with transparency). Setting the 'shade strategy' to vpvolumes will help with motion blur.
You can use a regular shadow casting light, it doesn't need raytracing.




Texture grid 773K
Supercheck grid 777K
makexpm utility (windows) 114K