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Fur and Hair


RenderMan for Maya supports Maya Fur and Hair (available with Maya Unlimited), for the creation of highly convincing fur effects. Fur and hair is fully supported, from keyframe animation to dynamic simulations. RenderMan for Maya will automatically render Maya fur and hair, requiring no additional setup.

RenderMan renders these effects fast and efficiently, although rendering fur can be an computationally expensive operation. In addition, both fur and hair are rendered as another scene element in software (RenderMan does not treat fur as a post-process effect), which allows full integration for anti-aliasing, shadows, etc. 

Fur and Shadows

Shadows can give fur the added depth needed for exceptional realism, and Pixar's Deep Shadows are ideal for this purpose. Deep Shadows are capable of creating soft, subtle shadows, free of artifacts. They are more expensive than traditional shadow maps, but are well worth it when rendering fur, due to issues associated with using traditional shadow maps and fur. As shown in the image below, fur with traditional shadow maps has several undesirable artifacts, especially in animation. Deep Shadows, however, are perfect for use with fur.

Fur with Depth Map Shadows

Fur with Deep Shadows

In this image, the shadow on the floor has the artifacts that typically occur when using traditional shadow maps and fur. The only way to compensate for this is by dramatically increasing the resolution of the shadow map, which has its own issues. These artifacts will pop and flicker when animated.

With Deep Shadows, the shadows of the fur are much better looking. Deep Shadows allow the shadow to be filtered, eliminating blocky artifacts. Deep Shadows also can be semi-transparent, which adds additional character to the fur, and they look totally excellent when animated.

For information about fur workflow see the Fur and Hair Tutorial.


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