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Baked Facial Hair

polycounter lvl 4
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DustyShinigami polycounter lvl 4

I'm a little unsure and confused as to how to approach baking facial hair similar to Arthur Morgan's in Red Dead Redemption 2.

For something like the head, I know that a hair cap can be used and the hair can be baked straight to that. However, for fine stubble like above, I don't believe any additional/duplicated geometry was used...? This face texture found online looks to be a part of the overall texture...

Or was something like this perhaps projected on via paint like with ZBrush's Spotlight...?



  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J grand marshal polycounter
    Probably they just projected an image or maybe even handpainted. 

    If you tried to bake geometry hair it's likely that you get some projection issues. I'd expect anyway. It's a possibility, but probably more work/less flexibility than just old fashioned texturing techniques. 

  • thomasp
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    thomasp hero character
    Baking on a groom works fine but it has the same issue you get with painted or projected elements - it's very dependant on head texture resolution and uv layout - normally not high resolution enough to display fine facial hair and perhaps a bit distorted in places. You also don't get hair shading for your beard, it's all lumped in with the skin. Fine for lower fidelity of course - RDR2 is after all a PS4 game from a few years ago.

    If you are working on this kind of thing in 2021 you might as well use a 'beardcap' and support it with hair cards for longer strands. All that can be sourced from a groom rather quickly. If it can be made to look as natural as a projected photo on the other hand very much depends on your grooming skills.

  • DustyShinigami
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    DustyShinigami polycounter lvl 4
    Thanks for the advice, guys. This has certainly given me something to consider. I may have to look into a beard cap instead. The texture I did manage to find of this online looks to be 2K according to Photoshop. So unless they did everything at 4K first and then down-scaled...? With my last real-time character, I had the head and hands on a 4K texture sheet. Wouldn't that be enough resolution to bake on a groom...?

    If I did bake onto the mesh, would I need to bake it on before any texturing and then work around it with an ID map...?

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