Maya Flowing Windy Grass Field Paint Effects Tutorial by Stuart Christensen


Imagine the wind blowing by way of a golden wheat field. A quick way to generate the grass and wind can be attained with a simple Paint Effects brush and some turbulence. This tutorial by Stuart Christensen will show you how to speedily produce and control your grass elements to make any scene come alive. Just a small quantity of movement can add that missing dimension back into your scene. Need to know strategy!
Video Rating: 5 / 5

  1. deepfriedectoplasm

    I understand what you are trying to do, but remember, dynamic interactions have to be calculated… and Maya is in no way a tool designed for real life physical dynamics, just an approximation of “real physical” interactions. Pre-set Paint Effects strokes are a great way to do this stuff but are taxing on any computer system. With Dynamics you must be selective about how to use them. Isolate the effect, stay simple to start, and build on a humble scale…Unless you are Pixar of course!

  2. 703tomato

    Thank you. You obviously model each blade. Is it possible to add field-like effects to each blade in a different way?
    Below is a quick example video of what I’m attempting but with higher quality grass (like yours here) and custom plants/flowers thrown in the mix.
    Note the grass is pushed aside and then bends back gradually. Is this possible with the grass you’ve made in this video?
    Well they won’t let me post video link.Please search “Blender3d – Grass animation” in youtube by user Drgosani

  3. 703tomato

    I see. Can “fielded” objects only be repelled by likewise “fielded” objects? Or does it act as a force field that repels all objects in a scene?

  4. deepfriedectoplasm

    Sometimes this kind of thing is best done with good old fashioned frame to frame “done by hand” animation. Or, You can attach a field to an object(perhaps a small sphere) and then make the object transparent and parent it to the hand or foot area somewhere so that when the hand moves toward an object, it repels the object etc. Try and think outside the box for even more options. With dynamics I always try and think “simple, yet effective!”

  5. deepfriedectoplasm

    Well, you could use Dynamic Curves and attach them to the flower model, and then attach a Field to the object that moves through the field. Mind you that this can become quite “heavy” on the processor etc. Check out my tutorial about Dynamic Curves! This is where the challenge of Maya pokes through, to make you think of many different ways to get stuff done.  Hope that helps.

  6. 703tomato

    Sorry I have an additional question besides the one below.

    I want to model my own plants and give them the physical properties of the grass you make in this video and which I described in my first question.

    For example, my original model of a tall flower plant that bends, sways in the wind and also bends and is pushed aside as an object moves by it. I imagine a field of my model flowers and
    a person walks through. The flowers get pushed aside and eventually sway back to their original state.

  7. 703tomato

    Hello, thank you for your time in making these great videos. You’ve been incredible for the visual learners such as myself.

    A question – How can I add properties to grass/plants that make them react to being touched? For example, a person steps on grass, it bends/gets crushed.
    Or a person runs through a field, grass/flowers will bend and be pushed out of the way.
    I don’t know how to prevent objects from going through each other instead of repelling.
    How to add a reactive force field of sorts?

  8. deepfriedectoplasm

    And yes! That is another way to get it done….Good Troublshooting!  Maya loves troubleshooters!

  9. josedavidalvarado22

    no actually i found out you could select the brush preset, then save it and use it again, under the animation tab, paint effects, thanks

  10. deepfriedectoplasm

    One method would be to convert that stroke to polygons (Modify – Convert – Paint Effects to Polygons) and then just duplicate that stroke and manipulate as needed. Not sure if that’s what you need but it may work?

  11. josedavidalvarado22

    hi i have a question, if you make a stroke with paint effects and tweaked out that stroke to what you need, how do you make another stroke with the same settings, i mean how do you make another stroke and not have to go into the attribute editor again?

  12. SweaterSwagg

    Gosh Stuart you are basically teaching me Maya, I’m so grateful. I’m 16 and really getting a huge head start thanks to you, your tutorials are for the most part the only ones I watch and I’ve definitely learned ALOT. Please keep up the good work and God Bless, man.

  13. deepfriedectoplasm

    Check out all my tutorials…there’s several other that cover grass options, grass is also somewhat included in simple hair options so check those tutorials as well. Hope that helps!

  14. razrox

    Hey, I’m making grass on maya and i was wondering if theirs a way of applying the paint effect to an entire plane instead of having to paint it on? Thanks!

  15. 08108005

    REALLY good tut ! Thanks !

  16. goldror

    I love your tutorials, keep on the good work! thank’s man

  17. goldror

    i love your tutorials’ keep on the good work’ thank’s man

  18. ITzBATMAN680

    Hey i was wondering if you could show me how to make a rendered video like i want a camera to pan through my scene while grass and what not is moving. If you already have a tutorial that explains this please let me know the name of it so i can search it up. I looked on your page but i couldn’t find find one. Thx for showing me how to make grass move also!

  19. mitchmooist

    Thanx alot

  20. deepfriedectoplasm

    check out my tutorial on converting Paint Effects to Polygons, or render out the grass with a Maya Software Render (Strokes Only option in the render settings) and then composite with your Mental Ray output in After Effects. Hope that helps. Stu

  21. mitchmooist

    do you know how to render the grass in mental ray. I cant make it work

  22. deepfriedectoplasm

    Deepfriedectoplasm commands you to test the theory and let us know what your results are!

  23. Nantchev

    7:50 odd

    “Grass wind” if you choose GLOBAL WIND and create a flag will the grass and the flag be affecte dby the same wind rather than what each individual settings are?

    10:49, if YOU were to set the grass and th eplane to “deform > Make collide” would the grass then ‘crawl’ along the plane when the gravity changes rather than the gras ends going through the plane?

  24. AlienMatej

    Many thanks! Really helpful :))

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