Mesh brushes

Mesh brushes are a brush type that provide special features not available with other Paint Effect brush types. Mesh brushes render using polygonal triangles rather than brush stamps. As a result, mesh strokes can be more accurately texture-mapped for realistic results. They also appear more realistic compared to other brush types whether they are viewed close-up or from a distance.

The mesh brush stroke can also be converted to a polygonal surface in the Maya scene. Once the stroke is converted to polygons, the resulting polygons can be modified using any of the Maya polygonal modification tools and utilized like any other polygonal surface (animation, rendering, and so on)

In this section, you are introduced to mesh brushes and learn additional techniques related to the various brush and stroke attributes. You learn how to:

To select a mesh brush preset from the Shelf

  1. Select File > New Scene.

    A new empty scene is created.

  2. From the Toolbox panel layout shortcuts, select the Single Perspective View.
  3. From the Shelf, select the Paint Effects tab to display the Paint Effects preset brushes.

  4. From the Paint Effects shelf, select the Teapot Brush.

    In the scene view, the cursor changes to a sphere icon indicating it is set to paint a stroke. The Teapot Brush is a mesh brush type.

  5. In the scene view, drag your mouse or stylus along the ground plane to create one short stroke.
  6. Dolly and tumble the view to see the wireframe version of the stroke.

    The teapot stroke displays three wireframe tubes to represent the teapot. These tubes represent the body, spout, and handle for the teapot.

    Paint Effects uses a plant or tree archetype to represent the various tube attributes. If you envision how a plant or tree has a trunk, out from which branches, leaves, flowers, and buds grow, you understand how each attribute is controlled in the attribute editor.

    The center vertical line represents the main tube, whose attributes are found in the Creation tab of the attribute editor. The diagonal and semicircular lines represent the Leaves and Flowers tube attributes for the spout and handle of the teapot.

To render the paint effects stroke

  1. In the main menu, select Window > Rendering Editors > Render Settings (or click the Render Settings icon on the Status Line) to display the Render Settings window.

  2. In the Render Settings window, do the following:
    • Select Maya Software from the Render Using drop-down list.
    • In the Image Size section, select 320×240 from the Presets drop-down list.
  3. From the Status Line, click the Render Current Frame button.

    The renderer executes, renders the paint stroke, and then displays the image in a Render View window.

  4. Close the Render View window.

Mesh brush types are useful for representing hard surfaces compared to other brush types (the teapot is one example).