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Maya 3D textures not fully supported ?!

Message 1 of 5
1167 Views, 4 Replies

Maya 3D textures not fully supported ?!


I just learned that my entire procedural modeling and shading workflow is broken because Arnold does not render Maya's 3D procedural textures properly. I am absolutely horrified to see that Arnold doesn't correctly render 3D textures such as volumeNoise. I didn't test all of them, but the only one I found that works properly so far is Crater. I just updated to the latest versions of Maya and Arnold, and it did not fix the problem.

This is an utter disaster for me, because my entire process depends on accurate placement of 3D textures. I'm using them as heightmaps for terrains as well as shading. The fact that I get a different result in Arnold is a complete showstopper; it means that I cannot use Arnold for these types of projects. E.G. the Arnold output doesn't match the Maya Texture Deformer.

How can I make the Maya 3D textures render properly in Arnold? Is there some magic workaround? Baking? Something? I can try to use the Arnold native maps, or maybe OSL maps, but I am going to take a wild guess and say it doesn't work in the viewport or in the Maya Texture Deformer.

I saw the docs page that says "We don't provide 1:1 matching with Maya shaders for procedural textures using noise functions, since Maya's noise functions use specific random tables." I don't know exactly what that means or why you chose not to support Maya's textures. Is this a performance thing? Then that's getting the priorities all wrong. I don't care if it takes an extra second to render, I need it to match Maya.

MAXtoA has full support for all of the native 3ds Max 3D textures. There is no difference between the Arnold render output and any other renderer, including the viewport. So if you can do it for 3ds Max native textures, you can do it for Maya, can't you?

Arnold is supposed to be THE renderer for Maya now. If you don't fully support Maya's shading nodes, then that's just a slap in the face to your users. I'm sure your competition supports all of the Maya textures just fine.

I am so desperate right now, this completely blindsided me. I never expected that after all of these years this still does not work. I can't stress this enough, it's a total disaster.

Please help.

Thank you,


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Message 2 of 5
in reply to: aaronfross

Tried the Arnold native aiNoise and an OSL noise. As predicted, neither one works in VP 2.0, and neither one works with the Texture Deformer.

I was able to bake a procedural texture using Hypershade > Edit > Convert To File Texture, and once it was a bitmap it rendered fine in Arnold. But this is not helpful because I need resolution independence, which is the great strength of using procedural textures in the first place.

Message 3 of 5
in reply to: aaronfross

OK, I am still in shock about this. I installed V-Ray and it seems to support the Maya procedural textures just fine. I didn't test all of them, but Volume Noise (3D) and Simplex Noise seem to work OK, and those are the most important.

Mental ray supported all of the Maya textures 100%.

So if:

1. Multiple third party renderers fully support Maya textures

2. Arnold fully supports all 3ds Max textures

why can't Arnold fully support all Maya textures?

Maybe back in the days before the Solid Angle acquisition it might have made sense to say, "Meh, we don't care about Maya textures. It's too much work and we have better things to do." But now that Arnold is an Autodesk product there is absolutely no excuse for this. I am sorry to have to come down so hard on this, but it's a major issue and I am, as I said, utterly shocked.

Please support all of the existing Maya features before adding a bunch of new stuff. Get the priorities straightened out. If this is how it's going to be, I can't justify using Arnold at all. It's just so wrong, I can't wrap my head around it.

Message 4 of 5

Hello Aaron,

thanks for reporting this issue.

Indeed, the procedural textures aren't 100% the same between Maya and Arnold, which in the case of the feature you're trying to use is a blocker. We understand your frustration and point of view.

I'm afraid the best workaround is the one you already found about baking the textures through the Hypershade, even though it implies a limited resolution and is not exactly what you need.

You are right, as the default renderer in Maya, Arnold should support 100% of Maya features.

But that's not the case today, regarding this as well as other features. This task is on our todo list , along with viewport display of all arnold shaders that you mentioned.


Message 5 of 5
in reply to: aaronfross

Thank you Sebastien. Respectfully, this issue needed to be addressed the instant Solid Angle was acquired by Autodesk. That was four years ago, right? MAXtoA has full support for all textures. It took awhile for the devs to work around the issues with IPR crashing, but at least production rendering had full support for all textures from the moment of the bundling of Arnold with Max.

I'm a lot less concerned about Arnold textures displaying in the viewport. It would be nice, but not a showstopper like the Maya textures not rendering accurately in Arnold. If you do focus on Arnold texture display in VP 2.0, don't forget to support all possible applications of Arnold texture nodes in the scene. The Texture Deformer is one critical example. I know that riggers often use shading nodes to perform math operations. Ideally, the Arnold nodes would work everywhere in Maya. If that's not possible/practical, please at least support the Texture Deformer.

Meanwhile I am going to have to find workarounds. Baking is a really bad option. Maybe there's some third party noise texture out there that works properly in both Maya and Arnold.

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