Creating a surface to paint on

In Paint Effects, NURBS surfaces are the only surface type you can paint on. You will create a NURBS plane, and sculpt it to make its surface appear like an underwater terrain.

To create a surface terrain for the underwater scene

  1. Select File > New Scene.

    A new empty scene is created.

  2. From the main menu, select Create > NURBS Primitives > Plane > .

    The NURBS plane options window appears.

  3. In the NURBS Plane Options window, select Edit > Reset settings and then set the following options:
    • Width: 15
    • Length: 15
    • U Patches: 10
    • V Patches: 10
  4. In the NURBS Plane Options window, click Create.

    Maya creates a plane primitive and positions it at the origin. The plane is 15 units by 15 units in dimension with 10 subdivisions along each side.

    This surface will become the seabed terrain for your scene.

To sculpt a terrain using the Sculpt Geometry Tool

  1. Select the plane surface.
  2. Turn off the Interactive Creation option for primitives: Select Create > NURBS Primitives > Interactive Creation (no check mark).
  3. On the Status line, select Surfaces from the drop-down menu.

    The Main Menu changes to display Surfaces menu set.

  4. From the Main menu, select Edit NURBS > Sculpt Geometry Tool.

    The cursor display changes to the brush cursor for the Sculpt Geometry tool.

  5. On the Status Line, click the Show/Hide Tool Settings button to display the tool settings for the Sculpt Geometry tool.

  6. In the Brush section, set the Radius (U) to 2. and set the sculpt Operation to Pull.

  7. Drag the cursor along the back right edge of the plane to pull it upwards as shown.

  8. Drag the cursor along the back left edge of the plane to pull it upwards.
  9. Dolly and track the view as required so you can easily view the areas you need to sculpt.
  10. Sculpt along the front and middle of the plane to make some bumpy areas.
  11. Repeat steps 7 through 10 until you have your 3D terrain looking roughly as shown in the image below.
    TipIf you want to undo a particular sculpt operation, click Ctrl + z to undo the sculpt stroke. You can click Ctrl + z repeatedly to undo a number of sculpt operations.

  12. When you complete your terrain, return to the Rendering Menu set by selecting Rendering from the drop-down menu on the Status Line.
  13. Hide the Sculpt Geometry Tool settings window before proceeding.

To select preset brushes from the Visor

  1. From the main menu, select Paint Effects > Get Brush.

    The Visor panel appears.

  2. In the Visor, click the Paint Effects tab to display the various brush folders.
  3. Scroll down the brush folders list to the underwater folder, and click it to view its contents.

    In the next section of the lesson, you use these brushes to create an underwater scene.