Smart Mask Setup - Step by Step Tutorial

In this Step-by-Step we will be using the included Smart Mask Example Project found under the Mari Help Menu.

This project includes a already baked Curvature and Ambient Occlusion Map

No matter if you use the Mask Shelf in Layer Mode or Nodegraph Mode , importing your first Smart Mask into your project requires an initial setup process.

This process needs to be done once per project. From the second imported Smart Mask onward the setup is automatic.

In this Example we will utilize the Mari Nodegraph to bring in a Smart Mask and configure it. 

The Example can also be applied in the Layerstack if the Mask Shelf is launched in Layer Mode

Open the Mask Shelf

Within the Nodegraph right mouse button click into an empty space and open the Mask Shelf.

If it is the first time in your current Mari Session the Mask Shelf opens, it will take a few seconds to open to build the thumbnails.

Any time you open the Mask shelf after this, it opens instantly, since the thumbnails are already stored in memory

Import a Smart Mask

Either using the Import Selected Preset Button or through simple drag and drop, import a Smart Mask into your Nodegraph.

The First Time Smart Mask Setup

The average Smart Mask consists of a Node containing a Subgraph and several Radio Nodes.

The Radio Nodes are used to connect to data necessary for geometry specific effects such as Ambient Occlusion and Curvature Maps

A imported Smart Mask in the Nodepgraph

If it is the first time you are importing a Smart Mask into your project and you have not pre-generated the necessary data

you will be prompted with the Smart Mask Setup Dialog.

The Smart Mask Setup Dialog

The Baked Maps are usually required for the Smart Masks to work.

By default the Dialog will look for a channel called 'Ambient Occlusion' and 'Curvature Highpass'.

If the channels are not found you will be asked to specify those channels yourself ('Please select a channel or set to "Ignore"')

Channels for Ambient Occlusion and Curvature should always be set to linear or raw in the Mari Channel Palette


Baking is  only required once per project

Confirm the Smart Mask Setup dialog. If it is the first time you are setting up a Smart Mask in your project you will see a Status Dialog processing the different Maps:

The Processed Maps are placed in a Backdrop called 'Geo Bakes' and the maps are connected via Radio Transmitters to the Radio Nodes

of the Smart Mask

Modify Smart Mask Parameters

The Smart Mask is now ready and can be modified via the Node Properties


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