RenderMan for Maya Tutorials

Pattern Generation At Pixar

This is short lecture I've presented as part of my RenderMan class at the Academy of Art University, recruiting trips at the University of Pennsylvania, and guest lectures at UC Berkeley's CNM 190. Originally the material was part of a course presented by Davide Pesare and myself at SIGGRAPH ASIA 2013 in Hong Kong.

The goal is to present some common approaches to pattern generation used by Shading TDs at Pixar, that may be unfamiliar to artists that haven't worked in feature film shading. This is by no means a polished or exhaustive presentation, but I figure having this information available is more important than making it slick.

Procedural Terrain Shading in RenderMan for Maya (Part One) 

This is a part one of a recording of a rough rehearsal for a lecture I gave at CNM 190 at UC Berkeley. The goal of this tutorial is to demonstrate how to shade terrain procedurally using layered materials, fractals, and rounded cube texture projections. Dirt is layered on using facing direction and PxrDirt. For performance, we bake PxrDirt into textures. This has the added benefit of providing a signal we can use to grow vegetation in shaded areas of the terrain using the baked occlusion texture. This tutorial covers how to use a baked texture in Xgen, and some basics of Xgen worfklows.

Procedural Terrain Shading in RenderMan for Maya (Part Two) 

This is a part two of a recording of a rough rehearsal for a lecture I gave at CNM 190 at UC Berkeley.  The goal of this tutorial is to demonstrate how to shade terrain procedurally using layered materials, fractals, and rounded cube texture projections. Dirt is layered on using facing direction and PxrDirt. For performance, we bake PxrDirt into textures. This has the added benefit of providing a signal we can use to grow vegetation in shaded areas of the terrain using the baked occlusion texture. This tutorial covers how to use a baked texture in Xgen, and some basics of Xgen worfklows.

Projection Tutorial in RenderMan for Maya

This tutorial covers how to setup projections in RenderMan for Maya.  I put this together in response to a question I received after posting a lecture on Pattern Generation at Pixar (https://youtu.be/vYi_Dh8ROSg or https://community.renderman.pixar.com/article/1862/pattern-generation-at-pixar.html), regarding the slide on how shading TDs use custom coordinate systems to project detail on more general shaders.  There are many ways to do this, but in this tutorial I work with RenderMan for Maya, and  show how to use place3dTexture nodes as coordinate systems.  These are then used in PxrManifold3D nodes that feed PxrProjection Layer nodes, that are then composited together in a PxrProjectionStack node.  At some point I hope to show the equivalent workflow in RenderMan for Katana. 

A few notes about this demo:

1) This is a free model from high-end 3d

2) The starting shader uses a RoundedCube map to project a brick texture.  Dirt is layered on , with opacity driven by occlusion, curvature, facing ratio to world up, and a fractal.  To see how this is setup,  check out part one of my terrain shading tutorial: https://youtu.be/gy8URR1ypik or https://community.renderman.pixar.com/article/1863/procedural-terrain-shading-and-xgen-demo.html

3) The occlusion and curvature nodes (PxrDirt), are all baked to ensure good performance.  To see how to do this, check out part two of my terrain shading tutorial: https://youtu.be/kQgNSAdtiFo or https://community.renderman.pixar.com/article/1863/procedural-terrain-shading-and-xgen-demo.html

4) This demo is running on a windows partition on a 2015 macbook pro.  Performance is "okay", but screen recording and some windows update processes were contending for threads.

Rendering Open VDB Fog Volumes in RenderMan for Maya RIS:

Very Quick Demo

Here's a really quick demo of the very basics of generating an open vdb fog volume in houdini, and rendering it in RenderMan for Maya (RIS).  This was done in RenderMan for Maya 21.4, Maya 2016, and Houdini Apprentice 16.0.577.  Be careful with your software versions, if Houdini, Maya, and RenderMan are out of sync which what open VDB version they're using, this won't work.