Material and Texture Research for Monsters – Fur and Feathers

I wasn’t sure that Mudbox would be suitable for the look we wanted on our monsters so we also looked at other options for shading and texturing them. We had discussed the possibility of feathers, fur, hairy arms, dragon-like scales and rough dry elephant skin. Mark Mullan had also suggested to us that it would look cool if dust fell from the creature with every step (like a dirt monster with glowing eyes).

Katie found this plug-in for creating lovely dynamic feathers in Maya:

jcFeather dynamic test

However we then saw on the creator’s website that it doesn’t support Mental Ray:

http://www.jerrykon.com/jcFeather.html

I saw this tutorial on Digital Tutors but then I heard that Xgen has changed a lot in Maya 2016 so the tutorial might be outdated.

Creating a Pegasus Using XGen in Maya

http://www.digitaltutors.com/tutorial/1510-Creating-a-Pegasus-Using-XGen-in-Maya

I had started to look more into what XGen is as I had no idea. This video was informative but I haven’t tried it myself in Maya yet:

Creating XGen hair – Part 1: Basic hair (2014)

This was similarly helpful:

http://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/maya/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2016/ENU/Maya/files/GUID-66822A1A-C6AD-47B4-8782-E058B5E6A528-htm.html

I saw this ‘Book of Yasin‘ thread on the ZBrushCentral forum that has some beautiful rendered results. For example:

Images from: http://www.zbrushcentral.com/printthread.php?t=89280&pp=40&page=4

This image was created by sculpting different types of feathers in ZBrush which were then distributed on the model using Xgen in Maya and rendered using Arnold. This sounded like a possible workflow that we could use.

I came across this plugin, ‘Shave and Haircut’, quite a few times also:

http://www.joealter.com/shave.htm

It was used during the creation of the fur on this creature, MoZoOo by Cloud Studios:

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