PSD in Maya - Using Photoshop layers in Maya as a reference for building 3D objects.

By - - Maya
2 mins
Last modification: 16 Sep, 2017

I'm back from a quick trip to the bay area where I met with some game developers.  While I was there I spent a half day at Crystal Dynamics talking with some of their artists and tech artists about Maya.  Some of the guys there (Darrell, Morris, Joe, etc...) I've now known for about 8-9 some odd years from various past developers.  Reminiscing with them I was starting to feel old...  but hey if I'm old, then so are they!  In general it's pretty interesting to see how the industry and the people in it have matured over the last 10 years.

Speaking of reminiscing, it was good to be back in my old stomping grounds.  I lived in SF from 1999 to 2002, which was an interesting time to be there to say the least.  I got to see the rise... and the fall of the dot-com boom first hand.  I had some friends that were actually worth millions on paper only to see it all dissipate almost overnight!  Strange times indeed.

So anyway... let's get back to it.  Below is a quick demo showing how layers from PSD files can be used in Maya.  Most people know that you can load PSD files directly in Maya.  But did you know that if you set up layer groups in the PSD you can actually open them indepedantly?  In the following movie I'll go over this along with a few other tips and tricks for working with reference images, measurements, etc...

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  • Maya
  • Modeling
  • Tips and Tricks
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| 7 years ago
Steven, how can I plug each individual (group) layer from a single PSD file node to different channel on a shader? I've managed to make it work as you demonstrate but cannot connect a specific channel apart from the composite.Is it necessary to duplicate the PSD file node many times in order to do so or it can be done with only one node? Thanks for the above :)
Edited by IH6lkLOn 7 years ago
Fantastic tips and tricks! Thank you very much! Wholesale Louis Vuitton
Edited by HgKFpCfe 8 years ago
| 9 years ago
porfavor algun día los tutoriales en español. gracias^^
| 9 years ago
aaa that's GREAT ! 10x for the tip !
| 10 years ago
Hi nickzucc - yes you can do what you are asking... put different textures/colors for different channels within the layer groups of a single PSD file and then hook them up accordingly. I don't think this will give you any memory/performance improvement necessarily but it will make it easier to assemble and track textures for a given object (diffuse, bump, normal, spec, alpha, etc...)
| 10 years ago
fantastic tips and tricks. some really helpful stuff. thanks so much
| 10 years ago
Yeah, that swatch thing was driving me crazy as well. Glad to know that the PSD works with Layer groups as well. Wonder if I can store color, spec, AO, diffuse, bump, and norm all in one map and have it work with the same texture. I'm guessing that the layer groups can have any type of solid color, hue and sat adjustments, layer adjustments in there and all will be well? Just wishing that there might be some kind of memory savings some how for rendering if using a single PSD file rather than a bunch of broken out files. (I'm sure that Maya is generating some type if individual image file some where correct? Also alpha would be an interesting thing to tackle as well. What if you would like to have multiple alphas that correlated to your layer groups? (I think that I am already asking way to bad.) Thanks again for the cool vid! :)
| 10 years ago
Awesome blog! Thank you very much!
| 10 years ago
very informative.. thanks for your vid!.. Didnt know that psd would work with layer groups like that! and also thanks for the swatch click tip.. freaking always dromve me crazy..
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