MARI: Texture Challenge 2012

Mari, originally developed at Weta Digital for Avatar, is a 3D texture painting application that uses Quadro GPU-acceleration to handle complex, high resolution textures in 3D. With a responsiveness and feature set that puts even the best dedicated 2D paint systems to shame, Mari with Quadro solutions is extremely scalable, coping easily with an obsessive level of detail — literally tens of thousands of textures — quickly and elegantly.

MARI is a production proven 3D digital paint tool designed to keep artists painting. Built from the ground up so artists can spend more time being creative and less time managing technical issues, MARI lets artists paint directly onto 3D models, view work in context and spend much less time copying files back and forth between applications.

Designed to meet the needs of even the most challenging VFX painting projects, MARI is capable of handling super high-resolution textures and millions of polygons without slowing artists down. MARI is open, scriptable and interacts well with other VFX tools and Photoshop. With a customisable UI to boot, with MARI, artists can work the way they want to work.

Making life simple, MARI fits around the artist to provide a fast and flexible workflow, where day to day technical issues are a thing of the past and artists can work in ways never thought possible before.

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MARI | 3D Challenge by nVIDIA and CG

The Foundry and CGSociety are looking for the world’s best MARI artist!

The Foundry, makers of the 3D digital paint tool, MARI, has supplied us with “Witch Doctor” by the wonderful Jakob Kousholt (thanks Jakob!). The model, shown above, is for you to texture and bring to life. Download it here: (10MB)

The artwork will be judged on the composition, attention to detail and general awesomeness. We want to see textures that tell a story.

We’ll be looking for detailed, realistic textures in a lookdev-ready setup (a minimum of colour, bump and spec maps for each shader). Details which make the textures more evocative will get bonus points too. You will receive extra qudos for submitting animated textures, turntables, renderable scenes (Maya and 3ds Max etc.) and showcasing your work in progress on CGTalk.

The competition will be judged by Jack Greasley, MARI’s product manager, the multi-talented Scott Metzger, Image Engine’s Justin Holt and well known texture artist and CGTalk Chief moderator and host Leigh Van Der Byl.

You must have permission to distribute the textures you use.

Haven’t got MARI? Never used it before? The Foundry are offering a 60 day trial for the duration of the challenge, plenty of time to get to grips with this incredibly powerful tool. Download the 15 day trial, and to extend it to the end of the competition email your name, address, phone number, and sys ID for the license to

If you want to brush up on your texture painting skills before presenting your final entry, CGWorkshops is offering an 8 week, fully mentored, online “Creature Texture Painting in Mari,” CGWorkshop with Image Engine’s Justin holt. The workshop begins on 15th October. Click here for more details. Remember that although you’ll learn better techniques through Justin’s videos, feedback and live webinar sessions, Justin cannot give you any advice or help on your competition entry.

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How to install

Download a free 15 days Trial and then start installation. First extract the files from the archive. In a shell as root:

tar xvzf filename.tgz

You should then read the pdf user guide that has been extracted. This will tell you where to copy the plug-ins or how to install the software.

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