The Freelancer’s Guide to MARI

[Level] Intermediate

The Freelancer's Guide to MARI

This installment of “The Freelancer’s Guide” by MAXDEPTH covers in detail the amazingly powerful texture painting program MARI by The Foundry.

Over the course of this tutorial, we’ll introduce the powerful Layer/Channel system in MARI, and show you how it’s Layer Stack system can be used to create breathtaking textures and drive shaders for live real time previews of the textures on your model. Additionally, we will introduce you to a number of important options in MARI’s Palette toolset like…

1) The Image Manager for projecting textures.

2) The Projection Palette where you can set bake behavior, and choose from a number of powerful masking options. Specifically for this tutorial we’ll focus mainly on the Edge Mask, the Depth Mask, and Fractal Noise Masking options.

3) The Painting Palette for setting up and understanding your Paint Buffer, and how it is essential for maximizing the resolution of your textures.

4) The Light Palette where you can manipulate, and art direct the lighting within MARI to preview the way your model will look in your 3D software package of choice inside of MARI.

We will also cover techniques like Layer Sharing between Channels, Adjustment Layers, Procedural Layers, and Masking techniques. For example layer sharing your diffuse color channel with your spec channel allowing your spec to be driven by your diffuse color. How to set up and use adjustment layers in our layer stack affording us the same functionality you would expect from Photoshop. How to use the powerful per layer masking options allowing you the flexibility to make nondestructive changes to individual Layers in your layer stack, as well as introducing techniques for using procedural layers like tiled and tri-planar projection to lay down large amounts of paint quickly and easily.

Closing out the tutorial, we’ll show you how to export your textures, and give additional tips and tricks for integrating MARI into your pipeline.

Find some amazing 3D tutorials at