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VertexFX is a tool which grants localized control of effects at the vertex level of control. The tool can be opened by clicking on the pFX shelf icon and shares the same window with VertexFX.

VertexFX tool window
VertexFX of the watercolor style.

Each MNPRX material (uber and proxy) supports VertexFX, but the effects driven by VertexFX depend on the loaded style. To use VertexFX select an object with an MNPRX material and click on the paint icon of the effect that you want to paint with.

From top to bottom, these are the different elements of the VertexFX tool.

View VertexFX

On the top-left, you will find an eye icon which toggles the parameter view. This will allow you to observe the control parameters that you are currently painting.

On the top-right, you will find View vertices, a checkbox which allows to show the vertices underneath the brush where VertexFX are being applied to.

Brush types

The next row of icons allow you to set the brush stamp to use when painting the different effects.

Paint Widgets

Each style has different effects, therefore, the paint widgets (sections) will vary depending on the currently loaded style. Each widget (section) handles a specific effect/behaviour within the style e.g., Lighting, Pigment turbulence, Color bleeding.

On the left side of each widget, you will find a term for the generalized behaviour of each effect. This is followed by a Brush, indicating what the behavior/effect does. By clicking on the Brush you can quickly start painting the effect with the currently defined values on selected objects. Before going into more details on painting, underneath the Brush icon, you will find three buttons, which will allow to animate VertexFX values.

Insert key on selected vertices

This button will key the painted values of selected vertices at the current time, allowing you to animate the painted effects through keyframes.

Show timeline of selected vertices

This button will show the keyframes in the timeline of selected vertices/objects allowing you to adjust timing or delete keyframes of the painted the effects. It will also show the keyframes in Maya’s Graph Editor.

Remove key on selected vertices

This button will remove the keyframe of painted values from selected vertices at the current time.

Keying of VertexFX requires the construction history of the vertex color sets, refer to the FAQ if you have deleted its construction history. should be done with caution, as Maya internally stores the value of each vertex on adjacent faces. This means that, if you are keying one vertex with four values (RGBA), that is shared with four adjacent faces, you will be keying 16 values—for only one vertex. This escalates exponentially when keying objects with hundreds of vertices. Therefore, try to use proxies and animate them instead, whenever possible.

Because of construction history and how Maya internally stores vertex-color data, painting effects with VertexFX on objects with a lot of vertices can substantially increase the file size of the scene. To reduce the impact in file size, we recommend deleting the Non-Deformer History (Edit->Delete by Type->Non-Deformer History) of objects whose VertexFX will not be animated.

Modifying Paint Values

To modify the painting values of each widget, you can use the radio buttons to quickly change between the two or more painting modes and adjust the vertical slider at the right of the widget to set the painting value/intensity. The painting value/intensity is specified underneath the vertical slider and can also be modified by manually entering the desired numerical value in the spin box.

By modifying a painting value, the tool will automatically change to painting mode, so there is no need to click on the painting icon anymore.

Reset and Flood

The painted values can be reset or flooded (added) on the selected objects/vertices. There are two buttons for this at the bottom of each widget. These buttons are useful when you need to assign a specific value to a lot of vertices in an object, be it to reset the VertexFX values or to add the effect evenly to the selected objects/components. Reset will put the values of the selected objects/vertices to zero (0) whereas flooding will add the numerical value set by the vertical slider or entered manually in the spin box.


Painting VertexFX