The beard gods must have punished me since last time, it was a struggle to get the beard to work properly.
To start with, the gorgeous lighting that I’m using is called Native IBL lighting, it’s a lot like “Emit light” except it’s much better and MUCH faster. You activate this by creating an IBL and typing the following in your script editor.
Then you create two new string options and set the following string options like this
Name: environment lighting mode
Name: environment lighting quality
Value: 0.3 (can be bumped up but increases render time)
Name: environment lighting shadow
Name: environment lighting scale
Value: 1.0 (think of this as the light intensity)
Name: light relative scale (this option forces physically accurate lighting on non bsdf shaders)
More on this here: http://elementalray.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/the-native-builtin-ibl/
And so all is dandy! Except that apparently Maya Fur does not render that well (or fast) with IBL-setups. NOW! If you set Fur Render Settings to Volume instead of default Primitives. You’ll get beard that looks like frost and does not really look good at all and registers poorly with the direct lighting from the IBL.
IF you set Fur Render to Primitives you’ll get something decent, but if you want multiple layers of fur, it’s a no go. Apparently this has been a long running bug in maya, my guess is that it has something to do with the depth sorting of multiple strands of fur. The result is multiple random black 4×4 pixel spots flickering on every frame.
SO a great guy called “Puppet” http://www.puppet.su/download/shaders_p_e.shtml has made this custom shader called p_HairTK which works like a DREAM and is really good, it just takes a little while to setup, works with GI and FG, indirect lighting, all kinds of different direct lighting. EXCEPT native IBL light emission. So I got beautiful beard but couldn’t keep my light-setup which I’ve put on a pedistal by now.
But I found a way. After Maya 2012, autodesk introduced a hidden way of overriding their otherwise hardcoded fur/hair-shaders. You do this by selecting the transform node for your Furfeedback and typing
addAttr -ln “miExportMaterial” -at bool -defaultValue 1;
addAttr -ln “miMaterial” -at message ;
Now I’m doing eyelashes, doing my best not to make him look pretty!