Using MARI will give the Rhythm & Hues artists freedom to focus on being really creative.
Rhythm & Hues are already using MARI on a number of projects in production including RIPD, Seventh Son, and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. Going forward they will use MARI on all new shows.
Jack Greasley, MARI Product Manager at The Foundry comments: ”We are excited that Rhythm & Hues have decided to use MARI as its 3D paint and texturing tool. I have been working with them for some time to help them to understand just how powerful and flexible MARI is. It literally breaks off the shackles of monotonous procedures and lets artists get down to being truly creative.”
Designed from the ground up to meet the needs of the most demanding VFX texture and matte painting artists, MARI is a 3D digital paint tool capable of handling vast numbers of pixels. It allows artists to concentrate on painting detailed, multi-layered textures directly onto 3D models in a fluid and natural way.
MARI 1.4v3 was released in March 2012 and is used extensively by cutting edge artists at a variety of major film studios and post production houses worldwide. A new version of MARI will be launching this summer.
Angela Frame, Texture Department Supervisor at Rhythm & Hues
There are a number of features we really like. The copy shader feature allows us to copy shaders and channels between objects easily and has been a big time saver for us. The copy textures feature is also useful, letting us easily replicate textures from multiple patches between objects.
MARI’s ability to reuse channels in different shaders is key and triplanar is a great tool to get a seamless base texture on a lot of similar objects. There’s lots more features that we find very useful including the paint through tool, the new mask diffuse brightness / contrast and other mask adjustment shader modules, the slerp tool, edge mask, tow brush as well as MARI’s nice set of default brushes.
It was the perfect time for us to do it now. We have several shows in production that require the texture painters to work on large challenging models. MARI gives us the ability to see our textures on a complete model, paint large textures in real time, and set up preview shaders that give us a closer approximation to the final result. All of this was not doable with our old way of working.
Now with MARI, the artists can spend most of their time painting and less about copying files back and forth. The transparency of how MARI works was a big draw in freeing up the artists.
We had been using BodyPaint since 2007. The big picture reasons we decided to also adopt MARI were its capability of handling large amounts of texture data and the ease with which artists can view their work on models without having to break it up into pieces. Also, we value the ability it gives us to preview our textures without having to wait for renders, and little to no file management.
Previous to MARI, file management was a big part of our texture pipeline, working with large Photoshop files in BodyPaint and going back and forth between the two programs.
We've conducted a few classes for our Texture Leads to get them acquainted with MARI so that they can then train their teams. We are also documenting Rhythm & Hues specific workflows on our internal wiki page.
Overall, the artists have found MARI quite user-friendly and easy to pick up and are now able to paint production assets in a relatively short amount of time. With MARI, handling the complexities of texture management is so much easier, allowing us to work smarter and push textures out quicker.
Yes, we have several experienced MARI users who have been helping us incorporate it into our pipeline.
The Foundry has been one of the most supportive groups we've worked with. It's been a pleasure really. Even before we made the decision to adopt MARI, Jack Greasley (MARI Product Manager) made several trips to our studio to meet the team. We appreciate the personalised treatment.
The Texture Department uses Mudbox for sculpting and the Modeling Department uses Maya for modeling. The texture painters use Mudbox to sculpt in low frequency (large) details and we generate our high frequency (fine scale) details from the color maps as a starting point.