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How do I into quick and easy poly hair?
If you have to ask this it won't ever be easy for you
Fuck it, it doesn't have to be easy. I've learned a lot in the past few months, and none of it has been easy. I know how to create things like buildings, props and clothes, including how to UV map and texture shit at least adequately. I'm fully capable of learning shit on my own, I just need to know where to start as far as creating hairs is concerned.

I've looked into GMH2 and Ornatrix and both seem like good solutions. I'm going to figure it out regardless, I was just hoping for some feedback on the subject to make the process maybe less frustrating.
I think there's no quick and easy way but with practice the whole thing can get really streamlined and painless. Personally I prefer poly hair over particle hair since particle hair annoys me to no end with its MASSIVELY increased rendertimes.
Some vids that helped me
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Thanks. I'll check them out. Poly hair is definitely the way to go, I don't wanna skimp out on the optimization.

I tried utilizing the method in this video:

Obviously the result here is a pile of shit, but it's a jumping off point for me. I used the fibermesh feature in Zbrush to create the hair bands, used the 'groom' brush to comb the hair a little bit, clicked the UV button, exported it to substance painter and created a basic hair texture map complete with opacity map. That ended up looking like pic related.

Again, it's a pile of shit but it's a step up from having absolutely zero clue on how to efficiently create something resembling hair. Any pointers or input would be appreciated, but I'm gonna keep trying to experiment and see what sticks.
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Second attempt. Here, I created some basic hair bands and copy pasted them across the model's head in a way that resembles a medium-length haircut.

I unwrapped it and flattened the UV islands using a plugin, giving me a flat, rectangular shape to each island. Most of the UV islands are overlapping in one way or another, which I was speculating if it would have a big impact on the final render quality or not, and it turned out it did...

I tried adjusting the opacity map in Substance Painter to make the ends fade out, but because a lot of the UV islands were overlapping, many of the ends of the hair bands did not fade out, as you can see in the DAZ render.

I'm gonna try to compose better UV maps for my next experimentation. I'm gonna try to have two or three total UV islands in order to get more consistent results, and without any overlap. After that I figure I should spend some time figuring out how to compose better hair band meshes, but for now I'm going to try to get a better grasp of the UV mapping. Any pointers are appreciated.
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Alright guys. This was my third attempt. I think I'm on my way.

I started with creating two hair bands which I then textured out in substance painter. The UV maps were much larger and with zero overlap I was able to apply the transparency with no problem, giving opacity to all the strands and some nice transparency fade towards the bottom of the strands.

I then constructed the hairstyle from the two hair bands I'd created, merged some of the vertices in the middle of the parting, and exported, which gave me the result seen in the DAZ render.

I think this is a pretty comfortable pipeline... I still need exercise with creating better hair models. Using references will help, I'm sure, but other than that, I'm pretty sure I got this. I will experiment more. For future models I might use four or five hair bands instead of just two. This was a very interesting bit of experimentation, I did not expect it to go like this.

Again I know this is the slowest board on 4chan, but if anyone more experienced reading this has any pointers or tips, I'd be very thankful.
Populate area with curve splines, sculpt direction of curves to hair directions using a soft selection tool, intrude poly loops along curves. Thats literally it.
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Okay, here's my fourth attempt at creating a hair model. I applied the pipeline from the previous attempt and just tried to increase the overall fidelity by adding more individual strands, as well as an assortment of wispy sort of run-off strands which are rendered at a lower opacity.

The biggest problem I can see right now is that the hair looks too uniform in color, which I will experiment more with as well. If nothing else I can just alter it in post-processing (photoshop) if I use it for a render, so it's not a huge concern.

I'm relatively content with the result, but if you can see any glaring flaws in what I've done I'd appreciate if you'd help me along...
Thanks, I will look into using curves and shit. I saw it in a few videos I watched.
It's not really hard once you get it, and you can smooth them however you want. It's even simpler and looks better than dragging planes manually
If you've got Blender, check out the Hair Tool add-on. It's a mesh-based curve generator that spits out poly hair as the end result. Quick and easy, albeit maybe a little dirty since you could say it's a bit of a hack.
Just say No.
Well, it's just too bad it's something OP's using then.
That is really pretty nice man. I have trouble with this as well. Good to see you progress in one day.
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Thanks. I think I'll be using this method for the foreseeable future.

It's nice to be able to create hair assets myself now. I just kind of assumed it was beyond my capability for the longest time, but it's not that hard. It's fun!

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