Last month Henry South, lead texture artist at Framestore, kindly shared 23 MARI tips via twitter over 23 days. For those of you who followed these feeds over the 23 days, thank you for your positive feedback. Your encouraging messages let us know that these little projects are welcomed and necessary.
It is quite possible that some of the twitter feeds were missed, so we’re going to take this opportunity to recap on all 23 tips here. We hope these tips continue to be a useful resource as you explore all the functions and endless possibilities available in MARI.
We’d also like to say a big thank you to Henry South for sharing his knowledge and experience of MARI with us. As you get to grips with this new application from The Foundry it can only help you improve following the advice of an experienced MARI user.
Henry South, Lead Texture Artist at Framestore
- Experiment using maps in different channels combining baking and reusing, which may give the look you were missing.
- Custom channel masks are your friends, keeping them is invaluable.
- The fractal noise mask is like chocolate, it goes with everything. Repeating maps are the enemy.
- Got a perfect image or mask from warping it for hours? Save it from the buffer! Make a brush, adapt and improve.
- Warping with points start broad with a small amount of control points and work your way up refining the shape.
- Adding colour to details can come later. For dripping rust and exposed metal applying these details in a grey scale will give much more freedom later, when the artistic director decides that its leaking purple jam.
- Using the channel popup shortcut (default 'i') lets you quickly switch different channels, objects and shaders.
- Don't be afraid of duplicating channels to try something out, its quick & painless, even on large patches.
- You can import animated cameras to preview how your textures will look like in a given shot.
- Artist on the move? You can save your Mari layout and take it with you.
- Import animated geometry sequences to preview or fix any texture stretching issues that may occur before sending your work to render.
- It's always quicker to work with multiple smaller patches than one very large one.
- For general chat & advice, why not check out the Mari users forum at www.paintmore.co.uk
- You can lock your Paint Through image to the panning & zooming of your camera movements.
- Snapshots can help you version up different looks for your texture channels.
- Displacement preview too slow? Try adjusting the view tessellation to a higher number. You can sacrifice accuracy for interactive speed.
- It's more efficient to use a smaller paint buffer and zoom in close to what you want to paint than to try and cover the whole geometry with a large paint buffer.
- Symmetrical UV tile? Use the Mirror option to flip paint over from one side to the other.
- Got multiple identical UV tiles? You can quickly Copy & Paste patches to match.
- Add multiple geometry versions of objects to keep painting as the UV map changes, without having to re-paint your entire texture.
- Use the edge mask to stop your paint spilling & stretching over the edge of your geometry.
- The towbrush can quickly help you heal areas of paint.
- Tired of manually having to clear the paint buffer? You can set up a custom shortcut for this, and many more actions.