Hatching header image

Hatching and Stippling shader styles

Table of contents
  1. Style breakdown
  2. Attributes
    1. Length
    2. Width
    3. Gradient
    4. Smoothness
  3. Art-direction
  4. Considerations
    1. Attach hatching/stippling onto objects
    2. Jittering
    3. Rendering at different resolutions
    4. Nurbs surfaces

Back to Hatching Features

Style breakdown

The hatching shader style emulates traditional hatching animation in 3D. While the hatching style contains tightly-packed lines to depict shading on objects, the same shader style can also be used to emulate stippling when the hatching length is set to 0 (zero).

This shader style depends on a custom material, which can be assigned onto any poly object. The material generates 3D noise that can be fractalized, maintaining its pixel size, disregarding the distance to the object. That way the size and density of the noise is preserved–never becoming too small or too big. When the fractalized noise is stretched along the object’s flow (curvature), stipples become hatches that follow the surface of the object.

Example of the hatching style with a black canvas. 3D Model by Luis Fernandez Jesus.

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

This style is still in early development. If you wish for us to refine it further for your production, contact us and let’s work together to develop exactly the requirements for your look and pipeline.


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

Style attributes
Style attributes in the globals node


Length of the hatching lines. If set to zero, produces a stippling effect.

Varying length between 0 and 40


Average width (thickness) of the hatching lines in pixels. A width of zero is invisible.

Varying width between 0 and 6


Controls the extent of the diffuse lighting gradient. A value of zero results in a binary shading style.

Varying gradient between 0 and 2


Smoothes the vector field used to orient the hatching lines. Higher values produce less abrupt changes in orientation.

Varying smoothness between 1 and 5


The width and the local orientation of the hatching lines can be art-directed procedurally with NoiseFX and/or locally by painting with VertexFX.

MNPRX noiseFX window
Art-directable parameters of the hatching style.


Attach hatching/stippling onto objects

Activate the Deformed attribute within the materials to bake the fractalized noise onto animated objects.


You can reduce jittering present in hatches and stipples by narrowing down the near and far clip planes within the Maya camera shapes.

Rendering at different resolutions

Hatching is currently sensitive to the resolution that you are working/rendering with. For best (consistent) results, try to keep the working resolution close to the rendering resolution.

Nurbs surfaces

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