Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 Posted by Jim Thacker

Ephere releases Ornatrix 1.3 for Maya

Ephere has released Ornatrix 1.3 for Maya, the latest update to the Maya edition of its plugin for creating hair and feathers, adding new options for working with mesh hair, plus new dynamics options.

New in version 1.3: new Retarget Normals operator for more realistic mesh hair
To judge from the online release notes, not all of the features shown in the video above were literally rolled out in version 1.3.0, but they do all date from the last few – roughly twice-monthly – updates.

One of the newest is the Retarget Normals operator, which transfers the normals of any external mesh to the mesh cylinders or strips generated when converting conventional hair using Mesh from Strands.

The operator creates more realistic surface detail when using mesh hair: often used for real-time rendering.

New hair dynamics options
There are also a couple of new dynamics features, including a new Holder Particle Position parameter, which you can see in action at around 02:35 in the video above: it effectively controls root stiffness.

There is also now support for guide channels in the Gravity node, meaning that it is possible to set groups of hair strands to be affected differently by gravity.

From recent releases: workflow improvements, more controllable guide hair generation
Workflow improvements include the option to switch temporarily to the Selection brush by holding [Shift], making it possible to mask groups of selected hairs more quickly.

The length brush gets length limits, meaning that it is not possible to increase the length of guide hairs beyond a preset maximum value.

The system for generating guide hairs itself gets a new Face Center distribution mode – that is, one guide hair per face of the underlying mesh.

There is also now UDIM map support – itself new since the original release – when rendering with RenderMan, plus a number of other smaller changes.

Also new since the original release: new Knife operator, better saving of custom tool adjustments
Other changes since we last wrote about Ornatrix for Maya include a new Knife tool to cut hair along a straight line; and an option to generate hair from a polySphere to test hair grooms quickly.

Custom curve diagrams applied to tools can also now be saved and reloaded as presets; and the brush settings for the Edit Guides operator are now saved independently for each brush.

Pricing and availability
Ornatrix for Maya 1.3 is available for recent versions of Maya running on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. A workstation licence costs $499, and the plugin can be installed on any number of render nodes for free.

Read a full list of new features in Ornatrix 1.3 for Maya on Ephere’s forum

Read more about Ornatrix for Maya on the product website