Spore, a New Paintable Particle Node for Maya

Anno Schachner Shares a Paintable Particle Node for Maya for Scattering Objects With a Degree of Control.

Maya’s Instancer allows for the scattering of objects for a variety of tasks. Even newer, are the scattering tools in Maya’s motion graphics toolkit MASH, including the World Node, developed to populate scenes with vegetation both procedurally and with manual controls. Maya also can scatter a massive amount of elements with xGen. Scattering scripts are also a popular download for many Maya users. Now, a new Particle Node for Maya, Spore joins the ranks, with the ability to paint and control where your scattered objects will place.

What is Spore?

Developed by Anno Schachner, Spore is an interesting take on scattering tools. Spore is a set of plugins and scripts, based on sporeNode and sporeContext. The sporeNode is a custom dependency graph node that produces an instanceData attribute that is designed to connect to Maya’s particle instancer node, while the sporeContext is intended to place and manipulate points in the instanceData attribute.

How it Works.

The tools try to offer a more natural interface for creating and manipulating points that drive Maya’s internal instancer. The plugin lets you scatter, paint and modify elements intuitively. The points you create can either work with one of four different sampling algorithms or with an interactive brush. Once you have placed items in the scene, they can be interactively modified using one of four different “grooming” brushes.

What Spore Isn’t.

The plugin is a prototype, and admittedly the author notes that it may not be the best tool for vast amounts of data. “It is important to note that spore is probably not the right tool if you want to scatter massive environments,” Schachner notes. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get some beautiful results though.

Spore is free to download, visit Anno Schachner repository here.