Displacement: Killamari wip

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In this tutorial we will cover how to convert a scene that has been setup for use with the mental ray renderer to MtoA. We will cover how to shade the Killamari character character using the Ai Standard shader. We will also cover using displacement on the body object and use Arnold's subdivision to create a smooth looking mesh. Finally, we will create a simple studio lighting setup that we can use to light our character.

The original Maya scene files for this series of tutorials can be downloaded from Autodesk's Hyperspace Madness production page here.

This tutorial will cover the following topics:

Displacement: Killamari wip


Displacement: Killamari wip






  • We can add more detail to the hair geometry with the use of displacement. Select the Shading Engine for the Hair Shader and connect the 'sven_detailDisp_u1_v4_1' file texture to it.

Displacement texture connected to Shading Group of Hair shader

When using displacement, you should ensure the geometry has enough subdivisions to retain detail from the displacement map.


  • Select the hair mesh and go to the Subdivision tab under the Arnold attributes. Change the Subdivision Type to Catclark and increase the number of Iterations to at least 2With Catmull-Clark subdivision, increasing the number of iterations produces a smoother mesh.


Rendering with displacement adds a subtle level of detail to the mesh.



Camera Exposure




Displacement: Killamari wip

  • Open the Render Settings window and go to Environment. Connect the Physical Sky we created eariler here by clicking and holding on the  icon to the right. It should appear in the drop down menu.

Physical Sky connected to Background



Open up Sampling in the Render Settings Window. For test rendering Camera (AA) samples at 3 is fine. However, for final frame rendering you will want to increase it to at least 5.

A simple guide to sampling can be found here.

Displacement: Killamari wip

When rendering scenes with MtoA it is a good idea to get familiar with the Arnold Log in the Diagnostics tab of the Render Settings window. This log file will show you any warnings and statistics which will help you diagnose your scene file.

A guide on how to read a render log can be found here.



Thats it. Congratulations, you have successfully converted a scene from mental ray to MtoA! Now go out there and explore new worlds of rendering!


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