I'll second BKOST's request. Especially if you're now working in Blender. I've searched high and low for any pointers on quality hair work for Blender, and there really aren't any. Anyway, great work and bookmarked!
Justo: i indeed use polypaint in zbrush for these since you can paint in it without having to worry about paint & projection artifacts. great for doing translucency e.g. on fingers or ears.
the raindrops are just there for the pose really. they are done like hair cards and skinwrapped to the character mesh.
i actually started with chris pine as a reference. the headshape is still in there but the rest changed over time (deliberately).
Stirls: I use a mix of spraying them on with an object painter script and deforming longer elements along splines. but that only gets you to about 80%, the rest is all manual. you can massage the overall shape pretty well in zbrush when you mask off the roots though.
i revived this head to play around with some more automated hair generation techniques using fibermesh. it leads to a quick start with a full head of hair in the shape and volume i was after - and endless grueling cleanup of the generated f$%!!king mess. still a good way from completion.
refined it some more and rounded off most of the kinks. painful! is there a function to only subdivide & smooth in X or Y across a surface? (blender or 3ds max preferably).
still looks better with toolbags subdivision toggled on will probably use that for final renders then.
Thomasp, is there a tutorial that you did that paved the way for your beautiful looking hair cards?
the transparency is engine dependent. i'm using marmoset which has some nice dithering technique going on. i'm not aware that any openly available tech out there currently does this as well. looking forward to that new unreal shader though. if you're dealing with cutout alpha then you need to up the contrast for the transparency to pick up finer strands.
Sorry to derail the thread though.
Your work is looking great thomasp!
yes, alpha to coverage is the tech term i knew it under. haven't heard that one used since the PS3 era however. only time outside marmoset i encountered this was in inhouse engines and not quite with that quality but it seems unreal will now receive it too. but it's not like cutout is totally unsuited either. i have cases where it actually looks better.
thanks for the breakdown. man
i put some more hours into this. found out that i'm under half the polycount than what is listed for FF15 screw it, time to put some more strands into this then... in the current version shadowcasting is a bit messed up since i changed approach, it ruins the hairline but is a quick fix i'll hold off on till the hairmesh is complete.
i finished a rig+skin for body+hair too and am in the process of developing an outfit that should be about as whacky as the duct tape one.
to be recycled...
Pokemon looks great. Jacket could use a little more reflected/bounce color from it and the bright strap.
Can you show a closeup of the watch?
apparently i'm going for a sins-of-the-90's look. tamagotchi's, g-shock watches and a yet to be done kind of shoes that gave me the creeps back then. all to be neatly disposed of in that garbage bag after the night out. the little pockets are what happens when you section-off parts of a garbage bag to make it more body hugging. i did a mockup with double-sided tape here.
Keep it up!
2 months later, different materials, fresh vertexcolors and a bunch of extra hairplanes... on the upside i moved my entire workflow from max to blender which included a fair deal of time spent on customization alone.
Keep it up!
as for the process it is a tricky one since it relies so much on iteration and these are lengthy tasks. i looked into the possibility of doing a writeup or a video but for that to make sense i'd have to basically record everything from the outset and cut it down to a digestible format when it's all done. i don't work structured like that on personal stuff.
you'll of course find some info about converting hair systems like ornatrix or hair-net and the like but i have never dabbled much in those. my tests with hair & fur in max weren't looking great enough to make this look like an avenue worth exploring properly for realtime hair.
anyway, to warm up for an upcoming gig i did a lunchtime stylized hair thingy to see how long this type of stuff would take. zbrush -> instant meshes -> xnormal -> blender (unwrap) in about an afternoon. the goal was to not rely on normal maps too much to define shapes, else it could have been a lot lower res. plonked it on an unrelated head i had set up in marmoset.
I don't know why you aren't more recognized in the blender community.
You should post your work in Blender nation
hair colored via vertex colors. makes it possible to have uniquely colored hairstrands despite excessive hair texture reusal, in this case on a tiling texture.
output from fibermesh curves to blender and conversion to mesh. it's full of errors, doesn't have a hairline and i exported about twice the required curves and didn't work very organised but still, would not have been possible to do in an afternoon by any other method. the painted texture took longer than the mesh in this case. will refine the whole thing a bit more.
end goal is to have a scripted tool/workflow at some point to speed up the bulk of fleshing out these hairstyles.
something fresh out of the oven (toolbag 3 baker). still a few areas that need attention before i can start some actual texturing - i keep finding fresh and conflicting reference for this thing all the time.
never seen one up close so a few areas are just guess work/not entirely done for now. i'm working on variations at the moment. did briefly consider picking one up as reference from ebay. very briefly...
these poses are just to play with the rig, it's intended for something other than pure ball games. i'm afraid the real thing is not half as lively.
About your latest work...what's your opinion on TB3, specially using it for bakes? Also, maybe this is obvious info I'm asking, but whenever you make hair using hair cards in Toolbag, are you always using 32-bit depth alphas?
coming from xnormal i've been using TB3 for bakes for the last few months. i haven't looked around much at alternatives but the combination of great viewport preview and fast bakes with the ability to paint the cage and have an almost live preview for the end result i find hard to beat.
i don't know what 32 bit depth alphas are though you mean 8 bit per channel, RGBA images? then sure, most of the time.
anyway, i snuck in a few alphas here - it's all part of the plan - although i was more curious about GI this time around:
next up is a camera move through the mayhem to see if it flickers.
updated the image with the GI from the most recent TB3 release. looking softer now, nice!
About the alphas, I might be in the wrong here, but I thought that one should always save stuff like hair texture as 32-bit TGAs, at least for best results inside Marmoset. I'm not saying switching your PSD (for example) to 32 bit mode, but saving it as 32 once you hit Save As and the prompt asks you if you want to do it. Specially talking about opacity maps here, since 32 would give tons more values. I also read some file format importers of Marmoset being broken, like 16-bit+ PNGs, but I do not know whether that was later fixed (or in TB3). Don't know, probably a bunch of outdated stuff I've read.
thinking of making it all longer down the neck, for extra 80's style points.
in all cases these curves then have to be converted to or used as guides for geometry to be useful.