SOuP is a nifty third party toolset for Maya developed by CG artist Peter Shipkov. Similar to MASH, which wasn’t added to Maya until the release of 2016 Extension 2, SOuP enables you to create more complex procedural effects, graphics and animation, à la Houdini and Cinema 4D. You can read more about it and try it for yourself here.
It has a bit of a learning curve… at least for me. To quote Forrest Gump: “I’m not a smart man…”
Using SOuP and a little bit of MASH in conjunction with the Redshift renderer and some volumetric lighting, I mucked around and created a few abstract images. DOF was rendered within Maya and chromatic aberration, color grading and grain were applied in After Effects using Red Giant’s Chromatic Aberration plug-in and Magic Bullet Looks. You can see the results below:
As with SOuP, Redshift was introduced to me just last year and I’ve been super impressed with it! It has its own learning curve when it comes to render optimization, but the results have been consistently stunning thus far. As of now, it’s also available for Houdini, C4D, 3ds Max and Katana. You can read more about Redshift and try it out here. There’s also an official YouTube channel with some great tutorials on running/optimizing the renderer.
In the meantime, I’m also getting to know Houdini more. It utilizes a node-based procedural workflow like SOuP, but I personally find it a bit more intuitive to grasp. I’m making some (hopefully) cool stuff with it and will post said stuff soon!
Till then, I leave you with this: