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Best method to create lowpoly hairs?

Short Hairs:
Modeling: the best way I can think about is to create some little plans with planar uv, texture them by base hair texture and put their instances on the head by object painting.
am I right on this?

Medium hairs:
Modeling: to use strip tool in 3ds max and paint plans on the head, tweak them manually by moving vertices/edges to shape the hair.
UV and texturing: ?? - I just painted hairy alpha for hair texture on separated UVs for each plan. results is not good as you may except.. so if there is no better way to texture these type of hairs, any tips on how to create a good alpha for hairs will be very helpful!

Long hairs:
Modeling: to use "hair and fur" and shape the hair, reduce number of hairs and convert them or convert guides to spline, then using sweep modifier(thank to Vig!) and convert splines to plans.
UV and texturing: ?? - almost same as medium hairs?

any techniques/tips on this please?

ps. is there any way to render hairs to texture with correct alpha? :icon3:


  • Revel
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    Revel greentooth
    Probably this page from Polycount Wiki can give you some idea. It has some example from your favorite game also, like Final Fantasy or Gears Of War..

  • Autocon
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    Autocon polycounter lvl 12
    Remember using the search feature and wiki are your friends :)
  • omid3098
    thanks revel. I know that page and actually some of these methods I told in modeling, was inspired by those shots.
    Autocon - I almost searched whole web! (+polycount wiki and forum!) and now I'm here! ;)
    and still I'm looking for a good quality and stable pipeline to make hairs from modeling to texturing..

    just had more tries today and I could shape hairs with "Shift" tool (freeform -> paint deform). we can shape polygonal hairs almost like "shave and haircut" brush.

    but I think there should be more ways to create hairs.
    will keep trying, and please let me know whatever you can think on this.
  • ZacD
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    ZacD polycounter
    Maybe if you post your results and what issues your having, it might be easier to give you ideas.
  • omid3098
    well.. this is my yesterday try for medium hairs.. (just diffuse texture on hairs)

    basically as I know that my hair results will not be so good, I try to sculpt base hairs and then add some additional hairs to make it better. (maybe this is totally a wrong way)

    for instance:

    how Rich made that shapes?
    how he placed uv coordinates?
  • ablaine
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    ablaine polycounter lvl 12
    I had a thread about this not too long ago too. I'm working on a female character with long wavy hair that curls at the ends and so far I haven't liked the results I've gotten. Planning on digging my heels in today and trying to find something I like. I've never tried using that paint deform shift... I'll have to give it a go today. Thanks!
  • Syros
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    Syros polycounter lvl 11
    Hey Omid, I think the Key to have nice Hair is to put Patience in working them out, I have read a lot (mainly from all the artists on that wiki page) that the key is to put a good amount of time for your models and textures. Try to making good looking textures and placing those plains in right form, try get some reference and mimic them, look for the way the hair curls and turns and all that stuff.
    I think in this issue there is no shortcut and all the great artist had explained us the best pipelines. So first make it good with no "pipeline" in mind, then I will promise you could make your own pipeline that suites you fine. sorry for being too long. thanks for reading.
  • omid3098
    as there is lots of hair types, I know that there should not be a dedicated pipeline for them.
    you're right about patient. later I want to spend some times to try to script something to make them faster according to hairtypes.

    also I've tried to place short hairs using particle system. just place the on selected polygons and then sort them manually! (damn! there were too many hairs!)
    result was good and pipeline was little faster!
    thanks for your time ;)
  • fauzimg
    what technique you used to make hair plane like follow the hair flow, just only plane by plane with manual method or you adding spline(or Others) to follow the hair flow?

    By the way our model in Blender or 3ds max?

    please reply to my email ([email protected])
  • melviso
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    melviso polycounter lvl 9
    I used to have problems with polygonal hair as its time consuming and involves a lot of tweaking until I decided to play around with the lattice deformer in Maya.It was a life saver.I can create clumps of hair in no time from one already textured hair strip.Just uncheck the local influence and move the lattice points and manipulate.If the points are tangled,select the mesh,delete history and select the lattice deformer again till u are satisfied and then delete history,the deformer disappears and u have a nice looking clump of hair.


    This explains how to use the bend deformer in 3dmax for polygonal hair.The funny thing about all these 3d apps is that there are tools that can make things easier but most of the time we don't know they are there and its annoying when u stumble on them after the difficulties u have encountered.
  • ultramedia
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    ultramedia polycounter lvl 11
    Hi Omid3098,

    I just relaunched my tutorial site a couple of days ago, and one of my brand new tutes is a big four and half hour behemoth that covers creating low poly hair in great detail from start to finish.

    I start by showing you how to paint your own hair textures from scratch, then I show you how to model low poly strips to use the hair textures on, then I show you how to cluster your hair strips into a flattened out hair style (I find it easier to arrange them this way), then I show you how to use a sneaky combination of modifiers to shape and fit your hairstyle around a characters head.

    Also, bonus, at every stage of the process I show you how to use the techniques for both a short hairdo and a long hairdo just to demonstrate that you can use the workflow to make any type of hairdo you want :)

    *if* that sounds like the sort of thing you might be interested in, please feel more than welcome to pop along to my site at www.showmethatagain.com and have a squiz!
  • darthwilson
    For long hair:

    This fellow uses splines in max and then sets it as renderable as rectangle.. I've tried it, pretty good!

    I do on strand, give it some definition and unwrap it. Then I duplicate it. I would advise doing about 5 different hair strands to give yourself some variation.

    For short hair and beards:

    Check out this link by Epic Games!

  • pasha_sevez
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    pasha_sevez polycounter lvl 10
    In the case of not very long hair I found useful... ZBrush FiberMesh. Seriously )) Don't think it's for hipoly and rendering purposes only. Just keep you hairs count, segments at reasonable rates. Also be aware of using too much Twist parameter - it may really hurt! Make Fiber have just 1 segment in profile - and you'll get nice planes that behave exactly as we need.
    After styling I use my own little trick - I apply FiberMesh UVs, make the geometry from FiberMesh and apply "crease" with 180 tolerance and then subdivide it few times. The 2nd Subd level gives very clean and even hair planes. Just tweak it a bit in your 3D package of choice - personally I prefer pushing central edgeloop to make hairs' profile slightly curvy.

    Some sample images with hair made from Fibermesh scratch.

    For more long hair I still prefer manual creation of hair. The main pain in the ass while making hair is to avoid hair planes cross intersection - it really hits in the eye. The best way is definitely to be patient ))

    Few samples.
  • Mecha
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    Mecha polycounter lvl 11
    How do you deal with alpha-sorting in your examples?
  • bugo
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    bugo polycounter lvl 12
    That's marmoset, should sort automatically. It will still have some glitches while rotating the camera. But it should be fine. There's no way to avoid that.
  • CheeseOnToast
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    CheeseOnToast polycounter lvl 16
    For reliable sorting in pretty much any engine, use 1-bit alpha test. It doesn't look nearly as nice as blended alpha though. Alpha-to-coverage can help soften it a bit, however.

    Sorting issues on dark hair don't show up as much, but when you start doing blonde/light coloured hair they can be much more apparent.
  • natetheartist
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    natetheartist polycounter lvl 9
    Hey all. I thought I'd bump this old thread and ask if anyone has used FiberMesh specifically for generating Game Resolution hair (alphas/cards/whatever) I didn't see anything else in the forums specifically tying FiberMesh to game resolution (if it's around please feel free to point me in the right direction)
  • arvinmoses
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    arvinmoses polycounter lvl 8
    Trying this as I type. Will update.

    Done... Results aren't exactly what I'd want..
  • DesignWarrior
    Anyone could show me howto make the hair in photoshop for later apply to the planes in 3d max?
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