Paint Effects Behavior

Adding Paint Effects to a curve

  1. Create a curve (EP or CV)
  2. Select the curve and go into the Visor and select a brush.
  3. Under the Modeling Menu set, Generate menu - Curve Utilities - Attach Brush to Curve

You can animate the curve by selecting its edit points and setting keys on them.


1. Make a cylinder

2. With the cylinder selected, click the Make Live button (the magnet)

3. Create menu - EP Curve

4. You will need to twirl around the column and click to create a spiral curve STARTING AT THE BOTTOM that follows the column

5. Turn off the Live button - click the magnet again

6. Delete the column

7. Select the curve and go to the visor and select a brush (vine or fire)

8. Modeling Menu set, Generate menu - Curve Utility - Attach Brush to Curves

9. Modify the tubes until you are happy (tubes per step, global scale, etc.)

Continue with the above example: Animating Paint Effects

Keying attributes:

All attributes in the Attribute editor for the Paint Effect can be animated by some make more sense than the others:

Width, length, Global scale (located at the top), segments, elevation, etc.

10. Select the paint effects and go to the bottom of the Paint Effects Name tab and select the Flow Animation section and turn on Time Clip and turn up the Flow Speed.

flow animation

11. Play it

12. Turn on Stroke Time and watch it grow from the beginning of the stroke to the end.


Flow Speed: This controls the speed that the tubes grow. You can use negative numbers to inverse the movement.

Textures Flow: This moves the texture down the tubes.

Stroke Time: Time Clip must be on. Animates the tube growth and flow from the beginning of the growth simulation to the end of the growth simulation.

Time Clip: The animated tubes begin to grow at the time set by Start Time, and stop at the time set by End Time.

If Time Clip is on, but Stroke Time isn't, the tube growth is uniform.

Start Time and End Time: When the tubes appear or are born and when they die or stop growing. This is set in seconds (1 = 30 frames when working at 30fps)

Presets with Animation

There are some brushes that have animation already set.

For instance, Weather brushes:

Try Drizzle, Rain or Snow.

These brushes have the Flow animation set.

Altering the Stroke of a Paint Effect that is drawn on the view plane and objects.

To alter the curve after you have drawn it, you want to first make the stroke Path visible:

1. Select the Stroke

2. Display menu - Show - Show Geometry - Stroke Path Curve

stroke path

You are going to want to simplify the curve because it has too many CVs on it.

Select by component to see the CVs. select by component

Select by Object to go back. Make sure the curve is selected.

Select Modeling Menu Set - Generate menu - Curve Utilities - Simplify Stroke Path Curve

Then you can animate the curve using the Select by Component and moving the CVs.

Paint Effects Behavior






See Maya Reference

Rendering Paint Effects

1. Add Lights to your scene

Paint Effects only render using Maya Software renderer. If you want to use something else, convert them to Polys or something else.

2. Render Settings - Click the Maya Software tab

3. At the bottom: Paint Effects Rendering Options

paint effects render options

Enable stroke rendering - if you don't want to render the paint effects turn this off

Oversampling - This renders the paint effect at double the size then sizes them back down to create anti-aliasing

Oversample post filter - creates even better smoothing

Only render strokes - allows you to only render the paint effects and no geometry (you can composite them later)


Additional Maya info on Paint Effects and more