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Frayed shader style

Table of contents
  1. Style breakdown
  2. Tutorials
  3. Bloom
    1. Bloom Intensity
    2. Bloom Size
    3. Bloom Blur
  4. Ambient Occlusion
    1. AO Blend Mode
    2. AO Radius
    3. AO Strength
  5. Atmospheric Effects
    1. Atmosphere Tint
    2. Atmosphere Range
  6. Frayed
    1. Enable
    2. Inflation
    3. Frequency
    4. Amplitude
    5. Feathering
    6. Pigment Density
    7. Paper Granulation
    8. Edge Darkening Intensity
    9. Edge Darkening Width
    10. Drybrush Threshold
    11. Drybrush color
    12. Max Gaps Overlaps Width
  7. Post Processing
  8. Frayed Settings
    1. Toggle instance on selected
    2. Bake effect positions on selected
  9. Considerations
    1. Attach frayed edges onto objects
    2. Nurbs surfaces
    3. Inflation
    4. Warnings

Back to Frayed Features

Style breakdown

The frayed shader style emulates the broken edges commonly found in paintings in 3D, while providing other painterly effects often found using traditional painting media such as pigment turbulence, edge darkening, canvas textures and more.

This shader style depends on the Flair material, which can be assigned onto any mesh object. The material embeds painterly reflectance models and supports the art-direction framework of Flair. The material also contains a Deformed setting attribute, which allows to attach the broken edges to animated objects.

The broken edges from the frayed shader style are generated by rendering a separate inflated 3D noise for each object. This noise is fractalized so that the broken edges retain the same pixel size, no matter how close/far the object is from the camera. Finally, the fractalized noise distorts the image to achieve the frayed look. Individual meshes can be excluded entirely from the noise calculations by toggling the noise instances using the Flair Toolbox.

While production-proven, the frayed shader style may not have all features that you need. So please let us know if we can help polish the look exactly to your requirements and pipeline.

In this page, we only document global attributes specific to the frayed shader style. To learn more about other global attributes, please see the globals node documentation.


Frayed 101 - Break 3D edges with Frayed Edges
Frayed 102 - Frayed Edges In Nuke (Arnold-MNPRX)

A series of frayed attributes are provided within the globals node to control and refine the style.

Style attributes
Style attributes in the configuration node


Bloom, sometimes also referred to as Glow, leaks light from bright areas into surrounding areas.

Bloom Intensity

Defines the intensity/amount of the bloom effect.

Bloom Size

Defines the threshold at which a pixel is bright enough to be considered for the bloom effect.

Bloom Blur

Defines the radious of light leakage to the surrounding areas.

Ambient Occlusion

Ambient Occlusion (AO) darkens the image in areas that are hard to reach for the ambient light due to the local shape of the geometry (e.g. concavities, crevices, holes). Note that this effect depends only on the geometry (and the viewpoint, to a lesser extent), and not on the lights present in the scene.

Flair currently uses a screen-space implementation of ambient occlusion based on the Ground-Truth Ambient Occlusion algorithm (GTAO).

AO Blend Mode

Defines how the computed ambient occlusion is applied on the final image.

  • None: AO is not applied.
  • Multiply: the AO is multiplied over the image.
  • Color Burn: same as above, except that the AO is blended over the image using the Color Burn blending mode.
  • Style-specific: AO is applied by the current style, so the effect depends on the style implementation. (default)
    • With styles other than the Graph styles, the AO modulates the pigment density, resulting in darker colors in occluded areas.

AO Radius

Defines the radius used by the ambient occlusion filter: larger radius results in larger darkened areas.

AO Strength

Defines the strength of ambient occlusion: higher values make the ambient occlusion darker.

Atmospheric Effects

Atmospheric effects are useful to add depth to bigger scenes by changing the color within a specific range.

Atmosphere Tint

Defines a custom atmospheric perspective color, making things at distance tint towards the specified color.

Atmosphere Range

Defines the range at which the atmospheric tint will start and end. Set these values high to not have the atmosphere range affecting your scene.

If you wish to exclude an object from the atmosphere tint affect (e.g., a background plane), enable the Color Plane attribute in the Flair shader material assigned to that object.

The units work as meter/cm, so keep the World Scale in mind when setting up this attribute.



Creates inflated noise instances of objects in the scene to be used for the frayed edge stylization within Maya. You can disable this attribute if you don’t want frayed edges or do not wish to see the noise covering all scene elements in normal Viewport 2.0.


Amount of inflation of the noise objects, default: 0.05. Inflation is required to keep the frayed edges outside of the geometry.

Inflation between 0 and 0.5


Frequency of the frayed edges, default: 50.0.

  • Higher frequency ⇒ smaller distortions
  • Lower frequency ⇒ bigger distortions
Frequency between 0 and 200

Note: if the frequency is too high and the noise enters the sub-pixel size, it will flicker.


Determines the amount of distortion on the frayed edges, default 1.0.

Varying amplitude between 0 and 10

Note: Increasing the Amplitude will also require a higher Inflation amount.


Determines the softness of frayed edges, default 0.0.

Pigment Density

The concentration of pigments, giving the render either a diluted or a more saturated and darker look.

Pigment Density between 0.5 and 2

Paper Granulation

The accumulation of pigments on the valleys of the paper (canvas). Concentrates the pigments on the valleys and creates a more saturated and darker look.

Paper Granulation between -1 and 5

Edge Darkening Intensity

Strength of the edge darkening effect. A higher intensity will concentrate more color on the edges.

Edge Darkening Intensity between 0 and 3

Edge Darkening Width

Width for the edge darkening effect.

Edge Darkening Width between 0 and 30

Note: A wider edge darkening will require an increase in intensity, as well.

Drybrush Threshold

Sharpness of the drybrush application. Using a dry brush will only apply pigments to the peaks of the canvas, leaving the canvas color appear at the valleys of its profile.

Drybrush Threshold between 0 and 20

Drybrush color

Color of the drybrush application.

Different drybrush colors.

Max Gaps Overlaps Width

Maximum width of the gaps & overlaps effect.

Gaps and overlaps width between 1 and 5

Post Processing

Post Processing attributes contain simple but useful self-explanatory post-processing filters

  • Saturation
  • Contrast
  • Brightness

This group is closed by default, but can be opened by clicking on it.

Frayed Settings

The Frayed settings allow additional functionality for the Frayed shader style. The available settings can be found in the Flair toolbox, once you click on the Frayed settings button.

The window with frayed settings
The Frayed settings window

Toggle instance on selected

This button will toggle the inflated instance on the selected objects on/off. Especially useful for transparent objects, so that only objects behind fray the end result.

Bake effect positions on selected

This button is a convenience function that will check the Deformed setting attribute on materials where the selected objects have been assigned into.


Attach frayed edges onto objects

Activate the Deformed attribute within the materials to bake the frayed edges position onto animated objects.

Nurbs surfaces

Nurbs surfaces can’t save any data in vertex colors, so frayed edges won’t stick onto the objects and it won’t be possible to use VertexFX on them.


  • Vertex normals in objects that are not sub-divided will need to be averaged for hard-edged objects. Otherwise, each face vertex has its own normal and inflation will leave gaps between each inflated face, creating uncoherent frayed edges.
  • Thin objects should have faces on both sides for the object to inflate correctly.


...due to multiply-instanced child Whenever you get this warning, uncheck the Enable attribute in the frayed stylization, make the edits that you previously wanted to do and re-enable the frayed stylization.