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Chapter 14. Paint Effects > Paint Effects Overview

Paint Effects Overview

Paint Effects is a compelling feature that offers the CG artist a quick and easy way to add all sorts of complex elements to a 3D scene. Simple paint effects such as Airbrush, Markers, and Swirl are included in the brush sets. You can see the potential of Paint Effects in more complex brushes, such as lightning and clouds, but it's the nature effects—including flowers, shrubs, grasses, and trees—that show off the best of what Paint Effects can do.

All this magic comes from a feature referred to as tubes, which follow or continue the path of a stroke to simulate organic growth. By basing the 3D portion of Paint Effects on tubes that exist in 3D space, you can apply the entire gamut of changes over time and space. You can create growth, dynamics, lighting, turbulence, and so forth with the 3D effects that come from the brush's paint stroke. The paint stroke is attached to a NURBS curve, so it can be fully animated. You can edit the curve to grow, undulate, change shape, and move, and the brushes applied to the stroke will follow the curve. In the same manner, the brush type applied to a paint stroke can be changed so that a row of oaks, for example, can become a row of rose bushes. Opacity, luminosity, and other attributes can be built right into the brush; with these attributes, you can paint a luminous glowing lightning bolt just as easily as you'd paint a semitransparent raindrop or fully opaque ivy vine.


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