..::old hair (or "a little off the back sir?")::..
from the author:
This article was written with 3ds max 4.x in mind. Due to software
improvements, bug fixes, user interface amendments and added features,
some items listed below may not apply to 3ds max after version 4.x...
the release of Final Fantasy on DVD and video, we can now sit back
and marvel at Aki's hair time and time and time again. Well, maybe
if you're into that kinda thing, but creating realistic hair in
3D is quite difficult, so we tend to resort to a plugin for these
type of flowing hairstyles. But if it's something else you're after,
like fuzzy old hair, then sir, you've come to the right place. Take
a seat, have a coffee and I'll be with you in a minute...
from the author:
As the head models to accompany this tutorial are not provided
due to intellectual rights of the character, please work on your
own head model, or one of the many free ones available on the web.
You may need to rescale and/or amend size settings of the elements
described in this tutorial to acheive similar results, depending
on the scale of your own scene.
mesh in the screenshots was PURPOSELY messed up as the included
file in the original tutorial was heavily refined then optimised
as I did not want to give away the original mesh.
head modelling skills aren't THAT bad!! :)
the scene "Rowley_normal_head.max" from the cover
cd. This is a base deformed head in a single pose that has been
snapshotted from a previous animation and has quite a high polygon
count; be warned that the polygon count of the scene is going
to get much higher! **NOTE: THIS ASSET IS NOT PROVIDED.
Please use any head model you currently have, or download one
of the many free ones**
will start by creating a rough Geosphere primitive in the centre
of the head to get the rough shape. Set the Radius to 140, Segments
to 8 (so we get a line down the centre of the head) and set
the Geodesic Base Type to Icosa if it isn't already. Label it
FFD cage and push and pull the Control Points until we get something
that resembles the hairstyle in the screenshot. Don't worry
about the hair overlapping the ears or other unwanted areas
as we can remove these later on using polygon selection; we're
just after a rough shape.
shape has been acheived, apply a Volume Select modifier. Check
Stack Selection Level to Face, the Selection Method to Invert
and the Select By Volume to Mesh Object and select the head
as the selection object. This will select all faces outside
the Head mesh.
selection refining is in order as you don't have hair eminating
from your ears! Select the Select Object tool, apply a Mesh
Select modifier and deselect the polygons surrounding the ears
and any other unwanted areas. This will keep the hair confined
to the areas that we want it to be.
with this mesh can be quite slow, thanks to the Volume Select
Modifier. Therefore, to speed up things, clone the Hair Sculpt
Geosphere and label it Hair Sculpt Collapsed. Collapse the mesh
and hide the original one; this will still maintain the selected
a new Geosphere and label it Hair Sphere. Set the Radius to
40 and 4 Segments. Set the Geodesic Base Type to Icosa if it
isn't already. Apply a Noise modifier and set the all the Strength
spinners to 60. Finally, check on Fractal.
Hair Sphere still selected, create a Scatter Compound object.
Select the Hair Sculpt Geosphere as the Distribution object.
We will use Scatter as the way of distributing the hair as it
can give us a random distribution effect which is what we are
Hide Distribution Object in the Display rollout. Set the rest
of the parameters as displayed in the screenshot ensuring Use
Selected faces Only is selected; you may wish to display Proxies
instead of the Mesh while working in the scene due to high poly
counts. We can now hide the distribution object.
Material Editor and create a new Blinn material. Label it Grey
Hair. Set the Ambient, Diffuse and Specular colours to white,
the Specular spinner to 60 and the Glossiness to 40. In the
Extended Parameters, set the Advanced Transparency Falloff to
Out and set it's spinner to 100.
the material to the Scattered Hair object. The main hair texture
consists of a simple Smoke procedural map in the Opacity slot
of the material. This map will give us ample control of the
design of the hair and will give a wispy effect, which is the
end result that we are after.
Smoke procedural Map, set the Coordinates source to Explicit
Map Channel; this will lock the procedural texture to the spheres
and will not 'pass under' the geometry should the scene be animated.
Set the Size to 0.1, the number of Iterations to 5 and the Exponent
the top level of the material, you will notice that the specular
hilight covers the entire sphere, even in areas that are transparent.
To rectify this, instance copy the Smoke map in the Opacity
slot to the Specular Level slot.
hair material and hairstyle completed, we shall add extra detail
to the face by adding eyebrows. Select the head mesh and draw
out eyebrows in Polygon Sub-Object mode as shown in the screenshot.
Don't worry if they are aren't exactly identical, as no-one's
are! (Technically, the eyebrows should be a seperate object
linked to vertices on the mesh due to mesh update times when
eyebrow hair, we shall create another small Geosphere with a
15 Radius and 3 Segments. Apply a Noise modifier to the stack
and set the scale to 30, check on Fractal and set the Strength
spinners to 30. Label this Eyebrow Hair Sphere.
Eyebrow Hair Sphere selected, create another Scatter Compound
object. Select the head mesh as the distribution object and
check on Use Selected Faces Only in the Object Distribution
Parameters section. Check on Hide Distribution object and set
up the rest of the settings as displayed in the screenshot.
hair material is assigned using UVW mapping, the same hair material
can be assigned to the eyebrow hair is required to keep the
style consistant. Simply apply the material to the eyebrow hair,
or clone and modify the Diffuse colour settings if you want
a slightly different shade.
hair is quite thin, so don't forget to un-check Cast Shadows
in the eyebrow's Object Properties window, else a large streak
may be cast by the numourous lights in the scene. Failing that,
make every light raytraced, but be prepared to wait years for
your render to complete!
"Rowley_Firestarter_Head.max" file on the cover cd.
Again, this is a base untextured head for us to play with. Create
a box as shown in the screenshot with a few iterations so we
can deform it into the shape we require. **NOTE: THIS
ASSET IS NOT PROVIDED. Please use any head model you currently
have, or download one of the many free ones**
to get the mesh to a point, apply a taper modifier to the stack
and amend it so that the top of the box almost reaches a point.
A low taper Amount setting normally suffices for this type of
deformation. Failing that, simply use a 2x2x2 FFD cage to deform
3x3x3 FFD cage to the mesh and push and pull the Control Points
so the mesh deforms around the head as shown in the screenshots.
Again, as with the initial head, we need not be over precise
as we can always use sub-object selection on the scatter if
extra refinement to the hair shape, apply a Meshsmooth modifier
to the stack and set the number of iterations to 2. This will
increase the number of polygons in the mesh, enabling us to
add a procedural deformation to get a spiked hair result.
the spiked hair look, apply a Noise modifier to the stack, check
on Fractal and play with the Strength and Scale spinners to
generate something that resembles that in the screenshots. We're
not after something exact, just something that resembles the
the Keith Hair Sphere as we did with the original, with the
same settings for the Geosphere and Noise modifiers. Create
a new Scatter Compound object and select the spiked hair box
object as the distribution object. Set the parameters as displayed
and check on Hide Distrubution Object. Hide the original box
distribution object or make it non-renderable.
UVW map to the Scatter object and align it so it matches that
displayed in the screenshot. Set the Map Channel spinner to
2, as the Opacity map uses channel 1. Instance copy the Scattered
object, mirror it and resposition it to the other side of the
up the hair texture as in the intial model, (or by cloning and
modifying the one provided) create a new Gradient Ramp material
in the Diffuse slot. Set the map channel spinner to 2 and amend
the W angle spinner to 90 to rotate it. Set up the rest of the
gradient parameters as shown. Assign this material to the two
Scattered hair objects in the scene.
a little florescence, mix the gradient diffuse map with a Falloff
map, set to Shadow/Light in the self-illumination slot and the
gradient in the Lit (white) slot. Create the eyebrows as before
and assign the original hair material to them. Instant firestarter!
World magazine, Issue 24, April 2002.
Draper, April 2002. Reproduction without permission prohibited.