I must say that Mari is definitely the industry standard for texturing and for good reason: it’s amazingly easy to create great textures with this piece of kit. Both CVA and CAA are starting to use this program as a part of our Advanced Animation Techniques and after only using the program for two hours I felt like I had accomplished a huge amount in the terms of texturing a model.

As you can see above, we got given an Aston Martin model with very nicely laid out UV’s with little to no stretch or squash for the textures to work best. Our task was to make the car look beat up and neglected with areas of rust and dirt coating the car. We are still only part way through the work, so we will be continuing it next week.

The way Mari works is you paint on, basically, a glass plane above the model in 2D space. Then, when you move your view or bake the paint it applies to the model from that specific angle; it’s almost like spray painting but you choose when it applies to the car after you have sprayed the paint. This allows for some cheaty techniques using perspective and the warping that occurs from painting at an angle on the model: Adam Redford, our lecturer, showed how we can create the long dirt skid marks on the car by looking down the length of the car from the wheel and painting at that angle to create the dirt. At this point, I think I fell in love with the software.

One of the best features of the software is the use of layer stacks: it allows you to create multiple effects onto a single layer without having to nest layer groups like you do on Photoshop. Being able to apply a procedural cloud layer to a mask and be able to adjust it any time, along with the added ability of being able to add more adjustments to that mask is extremely useful. I just wish Photoshop had this feature now.

This has definitely made me more interested in texturing: with the ease of use from Mari as a tool for texturing, I’m in!