Look Development for Visual Effects in Maya

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Course overview

Along this course we’ll find out the full details of all the necessary steps to succeed in a simple texturing and look-development task, similar to the ones we could come across in any visual effects studio.

We’ll use a real asset (model) and we’ll cover each step of the process in a professional way, considering the quality and professionalism demanded in all major visual effects studios.This way, the experience you’ll acquire during this lesson is a real experience.

We’ll cover all production phases as in a real job, as if we needed to travel across the pipeline of a movie picture with its own visual effects properties.

We’ll begin the course explaining the basic terminology and tools related to the texture and look-development area in VFX environments and, on a second phase, progress over field work and creating absolutely all necessary materials to complete the task. We’ll cover from a photography session to the final presentation of the project in a meeting with the supervisors.

Topics covered


  • Linear Workflow
  • LightRig
  • Multi UDIMs
  • Introduction to Mari
  • Differences between texturing for animation and texturing for VFX

Body of the course

  • Asset sanity check
  • Textures quality. ¿Hero asset?
  • UV mapping
  • Photo shoot
  • Grading photos
  • Bakes
  • Guides and camera projections
  • Projections inside the 3d software and Mari
  • Create 16 bits color textures
  • Create 16 bits gray scale specular maps
  • Create 16 bits gray scale bump maps
  • Create 16 bits and 32 bits displacement maps
  • Material clusters
  • Look-Dev blocking
  • Look-Dev primary
  • Look-Dev secondaries
  • Look-Dev refinement
  • Create material libraries
  • Check the asset under the shot lighting conditions
  • Dailies template for approval.


Chapter 1.

Introduction to linear workflow.

Chapter 2.

Introduction to the light rigs.

Chapter 3.

Introduction to multi UDIMs.

Chapter 4.

Differences between texturing for animation and texturing for VFX.

Chapter 5.

Introduction to Mari.

Chapter 6.

Asset sanity check.

Chapter 7.

UV mapping pre-production.

Chapter 8.

UV Layout.

Chapter 9.

Finish UVs inside the 3D package.

Chapter 10.

Photo shoot.

Chapter 11.

Introduction to projections.

Chapter 12.

Guides and projections.

Chapter 13.


Chapter 14.

Color maps: Part 1.

Chapter 15.

Color maps: Parte 2.

Chapter 16.

Color maps: Part 3.

Chapter 17.

Color maps: Part 4.

Chapter 18.

Color maps: Part 5.

Chapter 19.

Specular maps.

Chapter 20.

Bump maps.

Chapter 21.

Dsiplacement maps.

Chapter 22.

Look development clusters.

Chapter 23.

Look development blocking.

Chapter 24.

Look development secondaries: Part 1.

Chapter 25.

Look development secondaries: Part 2.

Chapter 26.

Look development primaries.

Chapter 27.

Dailies template.


  • All the alumni have to be able to work with Maya or Softimage, Photoshop and Mental Ray.
  • This course include a basic Mari introduction for all those people who never worked before with that piece of software.


  • Softimage or Maya
  • Photoshop
  • Mari
  • Nuke
  • UV Layout