Fur and render layers
You can't set layer overrides for mapped fur attributes. You can get around this by using mel and scriptnodes, details here: http://www.tokeru.com/t/bin/view/Maya/MayaRender#Adding_MEL_to_render_layers
There's a bug in the preset saver for 8.5, it won't store any map names for fur. I've hacked the saver script, copy this into your scripts directory and it'll override the default one. For anyone curious, the default script didn't look at compound string attributes, which is how all maya fur filepath attributes are stored. Basically I just had to add "-multi" to the listAttr call, then do a bit of node typechecking to make sure fur gets all the values stored correctly.
Applying identical fur preset shifts fur slightly
Weird one this, still investigating. Save a fur preset, delete the fur, create new fur, apply the preset. Even when applied to exactly the same geometry, the fur will shift slightly. Not in a horrible way, but its almost like its using a different seed for its random parameters. If your fur has been groomed precicely, this is a problem!
So far it seems to be related to the fur-feedback. If I copy the original fur feedback node and reconnect it to the new fur, everything stays the same. Weird.
With Fur, you should always turn off Smooth UVs to prevent flickering, even post 6.5. This is because
Smooth UVs, by its nature, moves the UVs. But in 6.5, we additionally fixed some flickering with smooth proxy animation when smoothing is applied after skinning. For files created in 6.5, this fix is automatic. For files created prior to 6.5, you can apply the fix in 6.5 by selecting the smooth proxy node in channel box and then doing:
setAttr ".ma" 1;
If you are not using 6.5 and have smoothed after skinning, deleting non-skin history will prevent the flickering.
-- Jill Ramsay via the highend3d mailing list
Fur Attribute Maps managment
If you will be manually editing your fur attribute maps (length, baldness, etc) in an image editor, like photoshop, and don't want Maya to keep generating endless copies of your numerous maps every time you save a new scene version. Set the following in your fur globals, once you have done some initial Fur Attribute painting:
Copy Attr Maps -> Never
Maya will still create any new maps you might create (fur paint) and include that scenes version name in the maps name.
You'll need to update any newly-photoshop-edited image map names in the Details->Length->maps section of the fur description attribute editor, by simply editing the name and hitting enter. If you saved over the existing iamge file, Maya fur will not update until you either re-open the scene file or backspace over a letter in the name and then replace that same letter and hit enter, refreshing it. (The word "Length" above is only an example, it could be the baldness or base curl attribute).
Fur Number of hairs
If you'd like maya to give you, for example, 150,000 hairs across the whole body of the creature/animal/thing you are working on, just set "Calc. Area Values" to "off" and set the number you want in the usual place. Note that if you delete a part of the body, the same number of hairs will then be ditributed across the body.
- 23 Dec 2003