Monday, November 28th, 2011 Posted by Jim Thacker

Peregrine Labs ships Yeti: new fur plugin for Maya
Fur grooming in action in Peregrine Labs’ new software, Yeti. (Note: despite the use of the open source Big Buck Bunny model in this demo, Yeti is actually a Maya plugin.)

Peregrine Labs has officially released Yeti, its new Maya plugin for generating fur, feathers, leaves – and anything else that might be created by distributing a lot of geometry across a surface procedurally.

Yeti is specifically designed to integrate smoothly into high-end visual effects pipelines, and offers a range of brush-based grooming tools, including the option to create ‘corrective grooms’ to finesse simulation results.

Unlike many other hair-simulation systems, the grooms are not dependent on surface topology or texture UVs, and may be exported as independent files – for application to multiple characters, for example.

A built-in caching system keeps file sizes low, only storing the information necessary to regenerate hairs at render time. The developer claims that cache sizes of 5-10MB per frame are typical.

Fine user control
The software is designed to offer full control over the results via a standard node network, and supports SeExpr, the open source expression language originally developed by Disney for its own XGen instancing technology.

Peregrine Labs tell us that Yeti is already in use at a number of well-known facilities worldwide, but that Australia’s Fuel VFX and XYZ Studios are the the only ones announced publicly to date.

Yeti is available for Maya 2011 and 2012 on the 64-bit versions of Linux, Windows 7 and OS X 10.6, and costs CAD $495 (around USD $480) for a node-locked licence. A floating licence with unlimited rendering nodes costs CAD $1,195 ($1,170).

The results can be rendered in RenderMan (any edition except the base version of RenderMan for Maya) or 3Delight (3Delight Studio Pro only).

The software is the second high-end visual effects tool Peregrine Labs has developed, following the release of its Bokeh plug-in for Nuke earlier this year.

Visit the Yeti home page