View Full Version : Springy 'Locks' of Hair, dynamically animated? beginner Question

09 September 2007, 07:41 PM
Ok, Since my characters rig is rounding the final corner, and i already know everything im doing with my face, i need to get a bit of heads up for his hair. He doesn't have hair in a normal particle sense, he has cartoony, springy, and sparse hair. In the end, it will probably be around 10-20 hair locks on his head (big fat things).

Here is an example picture, the hair is similar to this, but shorter, standing straight up (with a little bit of weight/bend), and thicker. Same concept though.

With that said, i am hoping to dynamically rig them so i dont have to manually hand animate each 20 locks by hand. Any starter tips for how this is done? I am a medium skilled rigger, coming from XSI, but i have no experience in dynamics.

From what i've seen in other rigs, i am hoping to have something in where basically, the hair just collectively lags behind the head. So i can move my head controller around, animate, etc, but when my head/body/whatever keys are set, i can just hit play and the hair will sort of bounce and follow along.. just like you'd expect.

Soo... with all that said, can you give me some tips on.. anything? What this sort of thing is called, what training resources cover this well (free or paid, i buy a lot of DT stuff already), etc.

Thanks for reading :)

09 September 2007, 08:03 PM
You might not need the Maya Hair system to do this, especially if it's cartoony.

You could model your hair as mesh object(s). Create a NURBS curve inside each lock and use a Wire deformer to control the mesh. Turn the control curves into Soft Bodies with goals, and adjust GoalWeightPP in the Component Editor. That way, soft body particles at the scalp could have a high goal weight, and would stick to the head. Particles at the ends of the dreadlocks could have low goal weights, therefore more affected by inertia (conserve) and fields. Use soft body Springs to keep the control curves from stretching too much.

09 September 2007, 08:17 PM
Also, do direct control and dynamics blend well? I have no idea how it would be done, but i'd prefer to have the option of rigging each hair strand so they can be controllable (FK & IK).

Looking at the dynamics more in depth (and after following some coord rigging tuts) i am getting ideas on how i could do it (probably wrong, but in the ballpark atleast), however i have yet to see any cover any type of direct controls in addition to dynamics.


(Thanks for the reply btw :))

By the way, i apparently forgot to mention it in the beginning, but yes the hair already is meshes, and they are going to have to be :)

09 September 2007, 11:54 PM
You would like hair to be controled with IK/FK or Dynamics?
Please explain how do you see it in your head how would this look like, or how would you animate it?


09 September 2007, 12:59 AM
To combine IK/FK with dynamics, you could animate the shapes of the control curves. This could be done in various ways, for example SplineIK. You may need to adjust or animate the Goal Weight attribute of the control curve, and/or tweak the GoalWeightPP of the soft body particles.

Another approach would be to add more goal objects or fields to attract/repel the soft body particles.

09 September 2007, 03:19 AM
You would like hair to be controled with IK/FK or Dynamics?
Please explain how do you see it in your head how would this look like, or how would you animate it?


Well the only way i can think of, is to have the ability to blend off the dynamics, so when your dynamics are not in control, then your standard FK/IK is. I think the biggest problem (aside from me not knowing how to blend off the dynamics yet), is that for it to be most effective, you would have to be able to snap the IK & FK to the position of the dynamic controls.

I have to do a little more research in it, but dynamics are nothing but (in essence) Constraints correct? So you have a special constraint which is effected by gravity. So if thats the case, i should be able to blend off these constraints in favor of other forms of control (joints for example). Sound reasonable? You could even (in theory) script a command to snap the joints to the dynamics controls, so you could blend off dynamics and have your IK/FK take over.

I really need to do a lot of reading up on the various dynamic constraints so i know whats best for me, but this is seeming like it might work out :)

09 September 2007, 06:23 AM
I'm not a scripter, but I'm sure it would not be that difficult to write one to animate the GoalWeightPP. This would allow you to blend the influence of goal curves vs. conserve & fields. It might already exist on highend3d.

10 October 2007, 12:31 AM
just use maya hair dynamic curves, use the dynamic curves to deform the hair geometry as wire deformers. or depending on your hair design you can use the dynamic curves to loft the hair geometry on directly or attach a paintFX brush, u might try the dreadlock one eh. simple. ok not so simple, but easier than these other methods :) maya hair is designed for hair. i know it seems too simple but it works the best.

maya hair makes it also very easy to blend the dynamics on or off, its a built in parameter NO EXTRA WORK REQUIRED TO BLEND THE DYNAMICS, DO YOU KNOW HOW AWESOME THAT IS. the original non dynamic target curve for the hair can be animated any way u want, i like to rig the cVs with clusters, or they can be skinned to bones joint heirarchy that can in turn be controlled by IK, you can keep layering more and more however more complex you want to get :) but the beauty is the basic hair dynamics works so fast and simple and can blend on and off so easily.

all of the techniques and more were used in the project below, i dont have an animation of it unfortunately but in the real animation all these hairstyles morph together, with dynamic sway responding to the actors head at the same time, requiring a combination of manual over rides and dynamics with extremely precise control needed, i tried everything and maya hair ruled the rest of the approaches. ever since this project i've been a real fan, its one of the best parts of maya, period.

here is ANOTHER project i used the SAME EXACT TECHNIQUE to make dynamic hair animations that could over ride to a defined pose to make seamlessly looping animations, that styll have dynamic hair motion. you can watch the animations of this one, one of the guys even has dreadlocks, the coincidence, so amazing! the movie files are each made of separate looping animations strung together, but they could be put in any order and still connect perfectly, or just loop by themselves, whatever the client wanted.
i looove maya hair.

10 October 2007, 02:43 AM
Sounds good, i'll check it out :)

10 October 2007, 10:44 PM
Sounds great, but of course you need Maya Unlimited.

10 October 2007, 12:12 AM
Argh, didn't realize. Im still new to what Complete has/doesn't have, since i only use animation :/ (i dont even render in Maya)

After trying the dynamics though, in theory i can make that work decently.

10 October 2007, 08:42 AM
Yeah, all that dynamics jazz takes a while to set up, but it gives good results.

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