Tuesday, April 17, 2012

MARI (The Foundry)

MARI is a powerful 1st generation program, that soon can be expanded and become a standard for texture painting. It was developed by WETA Digital (Used in James Cameron movie AVATAR) then was sold to The Foundry.

When you first OPEN MARI, it asks you to choose a chache directory. CACHE is EVERYTHING!
- choose a directory that is Local and has more than 500GB free space for storage. If you lose your CACHE - you lose everything!
There is no Save AS button in MARI - instead there is ARCHIVES, thats a way to create a version of your current work scene (so you can revert to later on, as a backup).
Right Click on your Project - chose Archive. OR in PROJECTS Tab - click Archive.

*For now MARI works only with .OBJ files.
-MARI only recognizes the base subdivision level of your model.
-Uvs cannot be over each other. UV tiling can be up to 10 on the right U and as many in the V layout.
-Mari is pretty flexible on (re)organizing your palletes. View -> Palletes-> choose whatever.

Camera Movement:
The standard - ALT Plus LeftMouse Click - Rotate around model.
ALT + MiddleMouse CLick - Pan
Alt + RightMouse Click - Zoom.
*When you hold ALT + LM click and HOLD SHIFT as well - rotate and move.
When you hold ALT  + LM click and HOLD CTRL - rotate and zoom (something like in Second Life lol).

R - Radius (of the brush)
W - Rotate the brush left and right
O - Opacity (of the brush)
Q - Squash
K - To select a different brush hold down K
L - For Image Library hold L
J - For brush color hold J
I - Objects, Shaders and Channels hold I (its in version 1.3)
*Set your shortkeys yourself: Edit -> Shortcuts
HomeButton will hide / reveal your pallete.

Hotkeys for camera - 1 Front, 2 Back, 3 Top, 4 Bottom, 5 Left, 6 Right
Unfortunately in Mari you have to BAKE your painting every time you paint something. Clear Paint buffer after you done with baking (even the smallest change/paint).
Changing the Size of the UV Maps. With select tool in UV tab - select the maps you want to resize. Then go to Patches > Resize selected -> chose the size you want.

Mari - fill patches with color - select the patches to fill, from Patches Menu select -
fill foreground, fill background, fill transparent.

PS - make 4K texture file.4096, put texture. save, import that specific tex into single
Select the patch by right clicking on it. Go to Import >> Named File (look at my patch
number ex. 1003, find that in the tab and load an individual image. once thats loaded,
make sure you select SELECTED ONLY.
with your patch selected - click CTRL + C and go to another patch and CTRL + V and it
will copy over the information.
You can easily copy and paste info over other (multiple) patches.
In projection tab - edge mask - turn it on. Click Mask Preview Enabled. Rais eup the
value in Fallof End and/ or Fallof Start. So anything that is perpendicular to the
camera will NOT paint on those red areas.
mamke new shader. Make new channel (base), make new channel (MASK) - color space SCALAR
, color BLACK. In the shader - ADD NEW SHADER MODULE > Masked Modules - Masked Diffuse.
in that base texture - change to BASE, Mask texture change to MASK.
BAKING shaders:
right click on a shader - bake shader. Diffuse, bleed. size, color RGBA - bake all
visible patches.
right click on a channel - Export (for textures).
Import. You have TWO different TABS for importing images: Named Files and Sequence.
Named Files - chose your file to import (or multiple files) - you cah choose RESIZE 2
optopns - Patches or Images.
If you chose patches - it will resize the PATCH regarding on your IMAGE size (resolution).
If you chose IMAGES - it will resize the image regarding on your PATCH size!

Applying Normal Map in Mari:
Make a new chanel and (right click) import the normal map texture. Make a new Shader
MODULE - NORMAL. Chose that chanel in shader modeule ( Normal Mapping - properties-
You can import multiple objects in Mari. New project - choose your files (Shift click
to add multiple), choose - Uv, if available; Create From face Groups, Merge Geometries
into One. When you open your UV tab shelf you can see only 1 map per time. Right above
the tabs (forum, projects, uv, etc) there are 3 arrows.
1. Set Selection Mode to Object (you can click on an object to select the uvs.
2. Set selection mode to Patch (selecting patches)
3. set selection mode to face (super cool - selects the faces of the model).
Painting with Images.
Open the Tab Image Manager - Import your textures here. You can double click on an image and you can apply filters on them, as it will make a new copy with appplied changes.
Drag and drop the image in the UVs window. To move the image around hold SHIFT, to rotate hold CTRL, to slace hold SHIFT + CTRL. Paint with Paint Through Brush. To bake hit B.

When you import PSD files with layers Mari automatically creates NEW CHANNELS for those layers with their correspondent names.
How would all those layer/channel information look like together. To put together all channels into one shader, you have to create A LAYERED SHADER (In Mari 1.4).
If you have a psd file imported, once you create a LAYERED SHADER - mari will automatically combine all those channels. To make ONE channel out of all those - you need to BAKE that shader as a diffuse channel!
*TRICK - in PS your alpha masks - convert them to COLOR layer - white/black (when white is visible, black unvisible) and give each layer a name.
Projecting and unprojecting layered PDS files in Mari 1.4
Camera - Layer Painting Projection. Path - find the image to reload. Image Editor - find the path to photoshop.exe in program files. Watch files - enable. Reset projection -
Using object versions.
right click mouse Objects Pallete -
right click - add version It adds it in the object menu properties - geometry - version (pull down menu).
Go to (Top menu) Objects - AMbient Occlusion to recalculate AO based on new version of object.
View palletes - projection pallete: Mask Preview Enabled.
 (masking) Edge, Channel, Ambient, Depth, Backface, Fractal.
RED Color of mask (masked out)
Channel masking! - choose a chanel.


  1. wow, so many useful tips, I'm getting my head around mari, and the first thing I bumped into, was that I imported multiple obj's at the same time (for a character, head, pants, shoes, etc) and i could only see one uv layout, and it was driving me crazy eheh
    do you know if there is a problem in working with multiple obj (the uv maps are not overlapping, but I guess it's not important since they are different obj, am I right?) or should I merge all the different objs into a single mesh and use selection sets to select different parts?
    thanks in advance and thanks for making an effort into compiling this useful tips