Creating a Layered Texture
Maya 2012 Tutorial
How to Build a Layered Texture Using Multiple Textures in Maya
Layered Textures are used to create complex textures for your objects. By stacking a series of textures, it is possible to build a composite a texture, similar to Photoshop layers.
In addition to Layered Textures you can also create Layered Shaders. Blinn, Lambert and Phong are examples of shaders. Textures include Files, Movies and Procedural Textures. One advantage of Layered Textures is that you can use blending modes (i.e., Multiply and Lighten) to build your texture. For more information on Layered Shaders, see topic, Creating a Layered Shader.
To use a Layered Texture, you must first start by adding a shader (i.e., Blinn or Lambert) to your object.
Open a new Maya document and start a new project. Be sure to set your project and save your new scene. For more information, see topic, Starting a Project.
Add a polygon plane to the workspace by choosing Create > Polygon Primitives > Plane.
Select the plane, then right-click the plane and choose Assign New Material from the menu. Choose Blinn in the Create Render Node.
In the Attribute Editor, blinn tab, click the Color checkerbox to open the Create Render Node.
Choose Other Textures > Layered Texture from the Create Render Node panel.
In the Attribute Editor, layeredTexture tab, the textures appear as a series of rectangles with the topmost texture on the left. Currently, the Layered Texture has only one layer since there is only one rectangle.
Click the rectangle to select the top most layer, then click the checkerbox next to the Color slider to add your first texture.
In the 3D Textures section, choose Stucco.
In the Attribute Editor, stucco tab, change the colors to something a bit more interesting.
Return to the Attribute Editor, layeredTexture tab and click the area next to the first rectangle to add a new layer below the stucco layer.
Click the new rectangle, then click the Color checkerbox to open the Create Render Node panel.
In the Create Render Node, 2D Textures section, right-click the Cloth button and choose Create Texture.
Return to the Attribute Editor, layeredTexture tab and click the stucco rectangle. Change the Blend Mode to Illuminate and decrease the Alpha value to 0.5.
Click the Render Current Frame icon to see your new texture.
Tons of Options
As you build your Layered Textures, the options can be overwhelming. In this example, you can adjust the Stucco parameters, Cloth parameters, change the blending modes and fine tune the Blinn settings.
The best way to familiarize yourself with the blending modes is to spend some time trying the various modes. To only see the upper layer, set the blending mode to None or Over.
Layered Textures and UV Sets
You can also use Layered Textures to break an object into sections and apply textures to the various UV Sets. For an example of this process, see topic, Adding Textures to UV Texture Sets.