I have been toying around with how to come up with the water elements for the Ersilia film that is currently in the works. The majority of Maya water tutorials tethers on the realism realm which is not the style that I am after. I did however come across the following tutorial by this gentleman who completely cuts through the bullshit to get to the point of making water in a handy and effective manner with the possibility of making it more stylised.
Since the world of Ersilia revolves around those constricting ropes I wanted the water to feel the same as the previous bunch of renders in my last post and consist of ropes growing and lapping along the ocean and have those growing ropes utilise Maya’s old school paint effects.
To attempt to get that same feel I followed the above tutorial to create the base of the ocean and fiddling about with the settings to give me the desired results for the water base shown in the video below.
I then decided to give Alpha Maps a whirl by laying out the UVs for the Ocean base and applying the alpha map as a material for the ocean. For once alpha maps didn’t make the cut! I didn’t like the look of the brush strokes, they looked too flat compared to the thickness of the paint effects in the previous renders so I needed to figure out a way to make the paint effects follow along the moving water base, which I thought would be a bit of a struggle to figure out but was relatively simple.
To get the paint affects used, in Maya in the modelling menu go to – Generate – Get brush which then gives you a mammoth library of paint effects to choose from! it has everything from fire, trees, eyeballs and fingers (picture below) I went with the simple rope brush.
To paint the chosen rope brush along the geometry of the water base you simply make the water base paintable by selecting it and in the Modelling menu under Generate again chose – make paintable, and then paint to your hearts content.
When you are finished with your paint effect brush strokes you then turn the paint effects into polygons by going to modify – convert -paint effects to polygons; it took me some tinkering to figure this out as if left as just paint effects it wont follow along with the movement of the water but oh the joys when the paint effects started following along with the water! You can then simply hide the water base by putting it in a layer and making it invisible. I’ve attached a video below of the process as I think its easier to see rather than read.
This process is really opening up my eyes to its possibilities, Previously with my last Green Glider post I mentioned that I wanted to dial up the illustrative style of the worlds and one thing leaving me scratching my head (and beard) was how the fuck would I manage making the water look illustrative? as there’s a lot of water in all worlds of the Green Glider but nada on illustrative Maya water tutorials. This method is definitely the key and I am excited to jump back into the Green Glider to translate what I have learned from this side project a whirl and make it suit the painterly aesthetics of The Green Glider.