Maya XGen Colored Cubes and Spheres Rendered with Arnold

Some more tests with XGen archives and spheres. This time with a bit more color. I basically use a texture map to ‘drive’ the length and color of an XGen primitive. These primitives can range from spheres, splines or as in most of the examples below, cube geometry that has been exported as an archive. I then use expressions with XGen in Maya to modify the length, size and orientation of the archives. Finally, I use the Arnold software renderer to create the final image. Arnold is able to realistically render millions of these pieces of geometry very quickly at high resolutions without any problem. A tutorial that goes through the process can be found here.  All of the images are rendered with Arnold for Maya. Click here to view my initial tests without color. Click here to view more XGen tutorials. Many thanks to Pedro F. Gómez for his assistance with XGen. Featured on: Daily Planet Show, COLOSSAL, GIZMODO, THE VERGEtheCreatorsproject, CREATIVE BLOQ, 3dtotalBEHANCE, SPLOID, LESTERBANKSCG RECORD, ronenbekermanCGFeedback, DIGITAL PRODUCTION.xgen-thumbs Its nice to see that my work has inspired other artists to also have a go. Please share your results with me!

High Poly #highpoly #storm #cinema4d @maxonc4d #octane #octanerender #fottergraph #freelancelife

A photo posted by fottergraph (@fottergraph) on

43 thoughts on “Maya XGen Colored Cubes and Spheres Rendered with Arnold

  1. If you made a real physical model of these at a large scale they would make amazing wall installations. Add some cool up or down lighting as well!

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  4. Wow! They look so alive! It looks like oceans and coastlines with cities. Is it possible to wrap this around a globe? That would make for some beautiful planets!

  5. Hi Lee,

    I’ve been trying this for fun but I’m a bit stuck at the step where you assign the aiStandard shader to XGen – what level should this be applied at? I’ve used the Outliner to select the top level XGen Collection, with no luck, and have also tried the Description level. I get to see the shader in the Node Editor and can connect the aiUserDataColor node to it, which I then name and create a map for in the XGen window, but I think I missing the step which applies the JPG image I’ve chosen to the primitives. Whatever I do, the primitives come out at the default colour when I render. I’ve even ended up with the image on the underlying plane a few times, but never colouring the primitives!

    1. Hi again Lee – I figured it out. Unless I’ve done something wrong in an earlier step, I think there’s one step missing from the “apply colour to primitives” tutorial. You have to bake the colour map into the PTex by clicking the save button next to the Custom Shader Parameter on XGen’s Preview/Output window, otherwise the colours won’t be applied to the archive primitives.

      Thanks for sharing all your wonderful work with us, by the way – it’s inspiring!

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