hmmmmmmm, this might be old, but useful link,
Single Sided Wireframe Rendering in Maya
by Jared Martin
This tutorial will show you how to render your Maya objects in wireframe mode,
without seeing the backface wires. This tutorial uses no plugins or scripts,
and only knowledge of the Maya interface is needed. Here are some example renderings
to compare the difference between having backface wires, and having no backface wires. It also shows
what the quality of the renders will be like. By the end of this tutorial you'll be able to create
As you can see, the image on the right without the backface wires is clearer and
less cluttered. Most people like to show off their models in wireframe mode without
the backface wires complicating things.
Unfortunately with Maya, rendering
wireframes isn?t as simple (yet) as it is in other programs such as
3DS Max. This approach I?m using isn?t tricky however and doesn?t take
long to do. The only drawbacks are the wireframes can?t cast shadows
have to do this setup for each object you want to be wireframe
rendered. (You could fairly easily write a script that will
'wireframe-ify' your objects for you though.)
We?re going to use the Hardware Render
Buffer (found under Window >
Rendering Editors > Hardware Render Buffer, not to be confused with
Maya 5's new Hardware Renderer) to render our scene. If you?re happy
have double sided wireframes in your renderings, all you have to do is
Hardware Render Buffer, set it to render in wireframe mode (Render >
Attributes) and that?d be it.
But if you want single sided wireframes (and I?m sure you do), read on.
What we're actually going to be doing here is duplicating our object, making one of them be wireframe
only, and then making the other one the colour of our rendered background. The object that's the colour
of the background will be placed 'inside' of the wireframe one, blocking the backface wires from being
Here's an image showing the general idea:
Making the Blocking Object
This is very easy:
And that's it for the blocking object for now!
- Open a scene with the object(s) you want to render, or create a new simple object to practise on.
- Create a new Lambert material and apply it to your object.
- Name this material 'Blocking Material', you'll use this one material on any object you want to render in wireframe mode.
- Change the 'Color' of the material to the same colour as the background you want to render on.
- Change the materials 'Incandescence' colour to the exact same colour, creating a shader that is purely one colour.
- Now rename your object "YourObjectName_Blocking". You don't have to rename it if you don't wan't to, but when there's
two of every object you want to make wireframey, it might get confusing which object is having what effect.
Making the Wireframe Object
This is really easy also.
- Select your blocking object, and
duplicate it. (leaving it on top of the blocking object and using the
default Duplicate options)
- Rename this new duplicate "YourObjectName_Wire", or something like that.
- With this new object selected. open the Attribute Editor (Ctrl+a).
- Switch over to the first tab (which will be named the same as your object).
- Open out the 'Display' section, then the 'Drawing Overrides' sub-section.
- Tick the 'Enable Overrides' checkbox to enable us to override the default object display settings.
- Now we need to turn off the 'Shading'
option (so that the object is now only wires), then drag the 'Color'
slider to choose the colour of our wires.
Your options and your object should now look like this (except with whatever colour you chose):
And that's totally it for the wire object!
The only two things left to do, are to slightly shrink the blocking object, and to render. You need to slightly shrink
the blocking object because right now they're occupying exactly the same space, which can cause rendering glitches.
Now for something like a sphere, box, or any other simple primitive object, simply scaling down the blocking object to
0.98 would work. However if you tried to scale something else more complex down, like a character, the
blocking object would no longer be inside the wire object, because it would scale around a single point (get it? if not
try scaling a complex object inside another). So to scale our object down, yet have it keep the same proportions, we
need to use a little trick I thought up one day (hehe, probably everyone knows it already).
The Scaling 'Trick'
So here it is:
- Select the blocking object that needs to be scaled down.
- Switch to the Modelling Menu Set.
- From the Edit Polygons menu, choose
the Sculpt Polygon Tool (unless of course your object is NURBS, then
you'd use the Sculpt Surfaces Tool found under Edit NURBS).
- Set the paint 'Operation' to 'Push'.
- Set the 'Strength' to 1
- Set the Max Displacement to 0.02. We
only want to scale the blocking object a tiny bit, just so that the
renderer know which object is on top.
- Make sure the Opacity is on 1.0, then press the Flood buttton!
This will 'Flood Push' all the faces
further inside the wire object and now it will render properly! Not
really a trick, but I find it very handy. You could alternatively do
the same thing to the wire object, using 'Pull' instead of 'Push'.
NOTE: Depending on
the scale of your scene, or the amount of small detail that is in your
model, you may need to change those values in order to not disrupt fine
detail, or have too great an effect.
At this last stage I recommend grouping your two objects together, for easy repositioning.
At last, Rendering
Now you can finally render your wireframe
masterpiece using the Hardware Render Buffer! For those that don't
know, the Hardware Render Buffer renders very fast because it uses your
video card to render instead of software algorithms. The drawback
though is that there aren't as many options to set, and the
anti-aliasing isn't as fantastic as when using software renderers.
If you open the Harware Render Buffer
(Window > Rendering Editors > Hardware Render Buffer), you can
choose which view
to render through from the Cameras menu. You can also set all the
rendering options via Render > Attributes. Here are the settings I
use for a still wireframe image.
I won't explain every setting, just two important ones.
- Remember to set the 'Background' colour to the same colour as your blocking object.
- Turning on 'Multipass Rendering'
renders the image multiple times to generate either anti-aliasing or
motion blur. '36' is the maximum number of passes and achieves the best
results. It doesn't take very long because it's using your video card.
And that's about it really! Render away!
Look in the help file if you don't really know how to render using the
Hardware Render Buffer. If you're unhappy with the quality of the
anti-aliasing, try rendering your image at double the resolution, then
shrinkng the image in a program like Photoshop or PaintShop Pro.
I hope everything worked for you and that you acheive the look you wanted!
If you have any comments or questions regarding this tutorial, feel free to email me using the link below.
there r lots of tuts available, will post more