Maya Rendering: Editing Simple and Complex Shading

Maya rendering uses hypershade in order to edit, create and connect rendering nodes. These nodes can be used for special effects, rendering utilities, lights, materials and textures. This is a free form way to create materials. The different swatches will connect to each other in order to create textures and surfaces. Hypershade also allows for cameras, lights and materials. Hypershade is found within the render editors menu.

Stacking Nodes

Nodes can be stacked on top of each other to create blended effects and materials. Simply create a new layer and then attach the new color or node. The blending mode will show the way the 2 layers will be blended. Look at the different blending modes to see how they affect the texture. It is possible to illuminate the texture, darken the image, multiply the texture, subtract the color, lighten the texture, desaturate the image, add luminance, create difference and saturate the image. The top colors can completely take over the image, or the bottom layer colors can be the dominate color. Additionally, there can be an even mix.

Texture and Color Node

Combining different nodes will be needed to create certain types of materials. One example of this is that wood grain will need bump texture as well as a color node. Once this material has been created with several nodes, it can be saved. This new material can be applied to anything that needs a wood material. This can cut down on the time needed to create the material. Call this new node “wood”. A new icon will be created for this material. These new materials will come with their own graphs as it is possible to alter the color or the amount of bumps.

Composite Materials

These hypershade images can be used for images that contain different materials. The planet earth is a perfect example. There will be 2 different spheres that are layered on top of each other. One of the spheres will have water on it and the other land. Then the blend mode will be used to have the water show for the oceans and the land show for the continents.


Sometimes a displacement map will need to be used. The map can be linked to a specific shader node. The shader node is always present, even if it is not shown on the image or graph. The displacement map will cause the shape to be deformed. Rendering this deformation will create a new geometry. This geometry can then be altered into a polygon base surface. It is also possible to match the image with the displacement. Height can be applied to the lightness of the image. This is frequently used for creating canyon maps.


Some of the basic materials that come in Hypershade include Lambert, Phong, PhongE, Blinn and Anisotrophic. Lambert is a flat material that can create a smooth material but without the highlights. This material takes reflectivity of the surface into account. Phong uses surface curvature, camera angle and light amount to create accurate highlights and shading. This is good for glazed ceramics, porcelain and plastic. PhongE is like Phong, but it renders faster and has softer highlights. Blinn is like Phong, but can be applied to any shape with accurate light. This is particularly good for metallic surfaces. Anisotrophic is used for material that rotates and stretches.