Paint Effects Tubes

Select the Visor from the Window - General Editors

IMPORTANT: Paint Effects will only Render with the Maya Software or Hardware 2.0 renderer.

Different kinds of Paint Effects

Flat paint-like strokes

Tubes with growth-like attributes

Mesh with geometry-like structures

Painting on an object:

1. Select an object - Nurbs or Poly

2. Switch to the Modeling menu set

3. Under the Generate Menu select Paint Effects - Make Paintable

4. After choosing a brush in the Visor, paint some paint effects on the object

5. Rotate the object and paint more

Painting on the ground plane or an object:

You can choose to Paint on Objects or the View Plane

1. Under the Paint Effects section of the Modeling - Generate manu, select Paint Effects - Paint on View Plane

2. Select some paint effects from the visor and paint on the grid

Customizing the Paint Effects

Notice that some paint effects have a stoke and a curve in the outliner. Some only have a stroke.

1. Select the paint effect or the stroke.

2. Open the Attribute Editor

3. Select the tab with the name of the paint effect

attribute editor paint effects

The Global Scale is used to enlarge the entire Paint Effect

The Brush Profile applies to flat paint/marker/airbrush-like strokes

For this lecture we will focus on tubes. The following sections apply to tube:




Shadow Effects



and a few others....

Understanding Tubes

When tubes are turned off, the effect occurs along the stroke. When it is on they protude out from the stroke.

Select a plant or tree from the Visor and draw something in the window

1. Open the Tubes section and open Creation


Tube Completion:

On = grow till they reach the number of segments specified (after stopping the drawing of the stroke)

Off = grow while the stroke is being drawn and will stop growing when you stop drawing (will be shorter at the end of the stroke)

Tubes per step:

The lower the number, the closer they will be together

Tube Rand:

The lower the number the more orderly

Start Tubes:

Number of tubes that are at the start of the stroke


Increasing segments results in slower renders and smoother tubes (each segment if a straight line)

Length Min and Max:

The tubes will be created between the min and max length

Tube Width 1 and 2:

Width 1 is the base and width 2 is the tip of the tube. It will create a smooth interpolation between base and tip width.

Width Rand:

The higher the value, the more variation in width

Width Bias:

This only works when random is greater than 0.
If bias is 0 then there will be equal number of wide strokes as thin ones.
If the number is a positive number you will have more wide ones.
If the number is negative you will have more thin tubes.

Segment Length Bias:

If Segment Length Bias is 0, all tube segments are the same length.
If the value is positive, segments closer to the base are longer.
If the value is negative, segments closer to the tip are longer.

Segment Width Bias:

If Segment Width Bias is 0, width of a segment has no effect on its length.
If the value is positive, wider segments are longer.
If the value is negative, wider segments are shorter.

Width Scale:

width scale

Controls the width from the base to the tip of tubes, rather than using a simple linear interpolation between two values.

Click along the graph and drag the point.

Up = wide
Down = narrow

Tube Direction:

tube direction

Along Normal - Tubes are generated along the surface normal

Along Path - Tubes are generated along the path of the stroke (tangent to the stroke path curve).

Elevation Min, Elevation Max

Azimuth Min, Azimuth Max

Simplify Method - You can simplify the wireframe display of a stroke by decreasing the display quality.

Display Quality does not affect the rendered strokes—only the quality of the wireframe representation.

Tubes Per Step - The display quality only affects the number of tubes.

Segments - The display quality only affects the number of segments along the tubes.

Tubes and Segments - The display quality affects the number of tubes and the number of segments.



1. Experiment with all the settings

Behavior (to be continued later):


Open Turbulance

Grass Wind - The force applied to the tips of the tubes is delayed from that applied at the roots, resulting in motion similar to grass blowing in the wind.

Tree Wind - The force applied to the outermost branches is stronger than that applied to the parts closer to the root, resulting in motion similar to a tree blowing in the wind


tube shading

Color1 - defines the color of the tube roots

Incandescent 1 - Makes the paint look incandescent—as if it were illuminated from its own internal light.

On strokes with tubes, this attribute defines the incandescence of the tube roots.

Transparency1 - Defines the opacity of the paint. Transparency1 defines the opacity of the tube roots.

Tube Shading section

Color2 - defines the color of the tube tips.

Incandescence2 - Makes the paint on tube tips look incandescent

Transparency2 - Defines the transparency (or opacity) of the tube tips.

Hue Rand, Sat Rand, Val Rand - how much random variation Maya applies to tube colors.

Low numbers = all tubes are created using colors very close to Color1 and Color2. Increasing these values causes more random variation.

Brightness Rand - Defines how much random variation in tube brightness there is. If the value is 0, all the tubes are created at the same brightness.

Root Fade, Tip Fade - Makes the root end or the tip of the tubes transparent, in effect “fading” the root or tip. The transparency changes linearly between the center of the tube and the root or tip.

Additional Maya info on Paint Effects

Rendering with Paint Effects