Standard Surface

Standard Surface is a renderer agnostic, uber surface shader that can be used to model the majority of materials used in visual effects and animation productions. It implements the Autodesk Standard Surface specification version 1.0.1, and can be used by multiple renderers to achieve similar rendering results via a single surface shader. Standard Surface is easy to use as it has a minimal set of the most useful parameters, all of which are chosen to be artist-friendly and intuitive.

Standard Surface is a default node in Maya, and a standardSurface1 node is created with every new scene. To assign it to an object, right-click and select Assign Existing Material > standardSurface1 from the marking menu. To create additional instances of this shader, click on Standard Surface in the Create tab of the Hypershade or click its icon in the Rendering shelf. Assign these shaders to your objects as you would any other shader.

Presets such as car paint, frosted glass, and plastic are available. Click Presets on the Standard Surface Property Editor or Attribute Editor to select and apply a preset.

See Model glass or metal with the Standard Surface shader for a beginner tutorial that demonstrates how to model a glass or metal material using Standard Surface.

Standard Surface attributes

Standard Surface consists of the following components:

A tooltip with a brief description appears when you mouse over each attribute. For a detailed description of the attributes, see the Autodesk Standard Surface Whitepaper. See also the Arnold for Maya User Guide for a description of the Arnold implementation of the Standard Surface shader.

Renderer support

You can preview Standard Surface in the viewport, in all of the DirectX 11, OpenGL - Core Profile (Compatibility), and OpenGL - Core Profile (Strict) modes. OpenGL - Legacy mode is not supported.

Rendering with the Arnold for Maya renderer is supported, and you can preview Standard Surface in the Material Viewer of the Hypershade using either the Hardware or Arnold renderers or any other software renderer that supports Standard Surface. In addition, the Maya Software and Maya Vector renderers also give approximate representations of Standard Surface.

Lighting support

Standard Surface works with both direct and indirect lighting (image based lighting) in the viewport and in the Hypershade Material Viewer.