Mari is a 3D texturing software developed by Weta Digital for the productions of King Kong and Avatar. Several years later, the software was acquired by The Foundry (Nuke, Hiero, Katana, Modo) and was rapidly popular in some of the largest post-production studios (Digital Domain, MPC, Framestore, Dneg, ILM…). The principal strength of Mari is to be able to paint directly on the 3D model. So, you no longer have to deal with matching or deformation of texture problems. This year at ArtFx, I had the chance to work with this very modern software.
At first it is a little baffling, the software doesn’t have layers like Photoshop, it only has channels that are connected to the shaders. So, you must look at the channels like layers and the shaders like groups. Once the new workflow is assimilated, the software unveils all of its powers and becomes really enjoyable to work with.
Mari is equipped with a very simple and totally customizable interface in just a few clics.
The HUD (helper) shows shortcuts for the selected tool, which helps you control the software in the beginning.
The nice part about this is that each action/palette corresponds to a shortcut, which allows you to quickly work from just the viewpoint of the screen. Meanwhile, the Pie Menu allows quick access to a selection of brushes and colors.
Mari has several possible viewpoints:
Very useful functions:
And a number of other functions, notably the ability to paint in symmetry, a gateway with Photoshop and Nuke…
Mari is also capable of working on 3D models with millions of polygones having tens of 8K patches and all without any problem, which made it very useful to me this year!
In March of 2013, the highly anticipated Mari 2.0 was released.
Numerous new functions had been added, among them:
And of course others…
Other new functions in this video.
I found this new version less indulgent in terms of the configuration, and globally more fluid in Linux that Windows.
To conclude, Mari was a very powerful ally for me this year. It especially allowed me to save time and gain considerable precision. Not to mention that I really enjoyed working with this software, for both organic and mechanical textures.
Here are tests created in Corei7 -2600 / 16G RAM / GTX 560 Ti 2G.
For more information
[small_button]English version by Danielle Harrell, English teacher for ArtFx[/small_button]