realistic long hair

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Old 06 June 2013   #31
Originally Posted by cineartist: If you are looking for a hair solution in a good all around 3D app I thnk Maya is a great choice. Blender for example is great, but you'll be very limited in animation/dynamics capabilities with the hair. It all depends on what you want to do with it. So evaluate the package as well. For stills, the options are quite unlimited but for animation not so. 3Delight has some real good rendering of hair available - as mentioned. And there is a plug for Maya of course.
Thanks for that info. It's stills, btw. I'm looking for photo-realistic, stray strands, weaving in and out of clumps. Just natural looking, not the coiffed overly perfect looking appearance like so many examples I've seen. There have been good suggestions in this thread and I'll be looking into 3Delight as well. There's a GeForce 690 in my future which will cover me for whatever I decide on for software.

edit: here's something I just found rendered with 3Delight in Softimage and with some how-to.
(the Mathaeus post)
http://www.si-community.com/communi...php?f=24&p=8986
Awesome.

Last edited by shokan : 06 June 2013 at 07:58 AM.
 
Old 06 June 2013   #32
Yep.... I was just going to post a link to that:



In general, the effect you are looking to achieve is is done by the technique of using multiple instances of hair guides or follicles. And for the specific kind of control you are looking for I think it will rule out Blender. Just my opinion. Been using it for quite a few years. And granted I am not a Blender hair expert, but I have used it and am fairly confident you'll find the controls limited.

Of all of the hair systems I have used, I think nHair in Maya gives me best control.

I have used Blender, LightWave, and XSI hair. Maya out preforms all of those easy. Can not comment on other solutions. But Maya is of course a great package to do all of the rest of the work in. Even though it could be overkill for stills, it'd be great at all of the various aspects of creating images, considering paint effects and all the rest of it.

Maya nHair also comes with a nice set of presets:



This would make it easy to get started,

And as I mentioned you could have a basic preset and then add a second nHair node for the friz stuff.

You can also have quite a bit of control over editing the individual hair follicles.

Another thing to consider is Zbrush Fiber Mesh:

http://pixologic.com/zbrush/features/FiberMesh/

In general the two packages I see most of the great still work come out of are some combination of Zbrush and Maya, Zbrush and Max etc. With the use of Photoshop for finishing touches on things like hair and other dynamic effects. And in Many cases Vray or some other solution for rendering. Though Mental Ray ain't all that bad either.
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Last edited by cineartist : 06 June 2013 at 10:05 AM.
 
Old 06 June 2013   #33
I will definitely be looking at nHair in Maya. Thanks!
 
Old 06 June 2013   #34
Originally Posted by cineartist:
In general the two packages I see most of the great still work come out of are some combination of Zbrush and Maya, Zbrush and Max etc.


I also just found this:

http://lesterbanks.com/2012/08/scul...ox-curve-tools/

I'm thinking, do a quick sculpt in MB for general shape, apply the curves, then go into Maya. This is great.

I hadn't anticipated Maya being the software I will use. Softimage attracts me mainly because of the Gigacore huge scene in viewport capability. Wondering if this is something Maya can match.

edit: new Scene Assembly and viewport enhancements should be fine.

Also, do you recall seeing examples and/or tutes for the Fibermesh Maya workflow?

edit: this is what I found about that.
http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showth...rkFlow-answered

Last edited by shokan : 06 June 2013 at 11:05 AM.
 
Old 06 June 2013   #35
I also use Softimage. Love it. But the hair system is not nearly as nice as Maya. Just in general Maya has better character tools. The other plus is the support for Maya from the various other render solutions and plugins. And of course a real nice companion with Mudbox.

I use Maya, Softimage, Zbrush and Mudbox in my pipeline. I actually started out with Softimage but then decided to upgrade to the Maya entertainment suite which includes MotionBuilder and Mudbox. And kinda more or less shifted over to Maya.

Looks like you have found a lot of stuff to get your questions answered. In general I think you can not go wrong with Maya. Not sure the extent of your still work. But you'll find Maya a great all-around tool. And Zbrush is top notch for still work content creation to use in Maya as well.
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Old 06 June 2013   #36
Originally Posted by cineartist: In general I think you can not go wrong with Maya. Not sure the extent of your still work. But you'll find Maya a great all-around tool. And Zbrush is top notch for still work content creation to use in Maya as well.
The Maya viewport alone makes me want to use it. Looks better than Softimage 2014 HQV from the videos and screenshots.

Thanks for your suggestions.
 
Old 06 June 2013   #37
You're welcome.

Good luck!
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Old 06 June 2013   #38
I cannot praise Blenders groom tools enough. I dont know how well it animates or renders. The last i had seen was Sintel, but that was not only a long time ago but i believe it was the testbed for the system so im sure it was tough back then.

But today the grooming tools for guide curves are simply the best i have ever used, even commercially. If you are using software that allows custom guides then it is not only the cheapest solutions but the most flexible imo.

The population and rendering however fall on the software you chose to export the guides to and the renderer.

I dont have a clue how blender works but i can sculpt a complex hairstyle in hours. But having good guides isnt the only part of successful hair. The population of the strands is another major component along with clumping. The radius of each need to be tweaked. I don't use Maya but i think it has this ability, i use Houdini and it sails through in this aspect.

I have thoroughly tested zbrushes fibermesh and while it might work within zbrush and even export guide it is far too difficult to work with imo.
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Old 06 June 2013   #39
Blender has some of the best grooming tools I've ever seen commercially. It's rendering quality is coming along nicely too (a new hair shader is in development and looking good). It can render a hairstyle pretty dang fast with full GI and good antialiasing on thin strands.

http://cgcookie.com/blender/cgc-cou...der-and-cycles/

In motion, however, blender needs work still. Poor dynamics and not very directable. Also motion blur is not yet supported either.

Maya, conversely, has flat out horrible grooming (out of the box, anyway) and poor rendering options (great when using rasterizer and no GI, but who the hell wants no GI?)

It's dynamics, however, kick ass. Great for animation.

And it's worth noting that you can get better grooming with 3rd party options like shave and a haircut (blender still has better grooming here) and 3rd party renderers like vray and Arnold that render hair better than stock mental ray.
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Last edited by fahr : 06 June 2013 at 11:44 PM.
 
Old 06 June 2013   #40
Originally Posted by fahr: Blender has some of the best grooming tools I've ever seen commercially. It's rendering quality is coming along nicely too (a new hair shader is in development and looking good). It can render a hairstyle pretty dang fast with full GI and good antialiasing on thin strands.

http://cgcookie.com/blender/cgc-cou...der-and-cycles/

In motion, however, blender needs work still. Poor dynamics and not very directable. Also motion blur is not yet supported either.

Maya, conversely, has flat out horrible grooming (out of the box, anyway) and poor rendering options (great when using rasterizer and no GI, but who the hell wants no GI?)

It's dynamics, however, kick ass. Great for animation.

And it's worth noting that you can get better grooming with 3rd party options like shave and a haircut (blender still has better grooming here) and 3rd party renderers like vray and Arnold that render hair better than stock mental ray.
Blender with the new Cycles does look pretty awesome. It isn't the first time I've noticed this, either. I'm constantly checking images.

Last edited by shokan : 06 June 2013 at 12:32 AM.
 
Old 06 June 2013   #41
By the way grooming lowest level of control there is.

http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/D.../Particles/Mode

Many apps today have much better control than Blender's grooming. So I am really not sure where that is coming from. XSI which is not the best there is has more control than Blender. And grooming even is but one step in the process. Then you have to have more control beyond that.

Maya nHair takes it many steps further by giving you control at the follicle level and you can even create braids very easily with a braid setting. Then there are the presets for hair styles. The controls for Maya nHair are really off the charts. There is just too much there to go into here.

And in Maya hair you can render with GI. You can also convert to paint effects/polygons to export to other render solutions. Then of course you are open to use Vray which has it's own special Hair shaders that are quite nice.

Blender is amazing and coming along quite nicely. I have been using it for 4 years. I actually use it for work.

But it is factually not the best solution for hair - because you really need more control than grooming. But rendering. That is coming along and looks promising. You could always convert to polygons and send to Blender for rendering.

The other drawback that they have not handled with Blender yet is it is still not as good at handling large amounts of data and has no true instancing. But I am sure both will come.

I use Blender along side Maya. And in a hearbeat, I'd use whatever got me the result better. I have no reason to favor one over the other. Save which one does a better job. And that happens. I do send some things over to Blender to do things it does quickly and efficiently.

And I am always watching things on the rendering side. I love using Cycles.
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Old 06 June 2013   #42
Originally Posted by cineartist: By the way grooming lowest level of control there is.

http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/D.../Particles/Mode

Many apps today have much better control than Blender's grooming. So I am really not sure where that is coming from. XSI which is not the best there is has more control than Blender. And grooming even is but one step in the process. Then you have to have more control beyond that.


For grooming guides what apps are better. Last i had seen from XSI in this area was all manipulator and/or settings based to control guides.

Even the documentation shows an example of how grooming can look in blender.



This may look erratic in this example but there are a number of reasons it is very flexible and powerful. They maintain hair length while grooming, you can be using the brushes to control the guides and you can be assured that they wont stretch (unless told to).
To pull off convincing styles you sometimes need lots of guides, to groom such and amount can be tedious but in Blender you can mouse of guides, hold a key to select and now your brush only affects those curves and ignores the rest. (This one feature has saved me the most time when styling).

I am not addressing hair population/interpolation and settings to control those strands or even render settings. I am solely speaking to the grooming tools. As i find the grooming tools very flexible, i export those guides to Houdini to generate my fur/hair descriptions.

Maybe software has changed from when i last used it. What do other applications offer in this area of grooming.
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Old 06 June 2013   #43
Originally Posted by Phrenzy84:
I am not addressing hair population/interpolation and settings to control those strands or even render settings. I am solely speaking to the grooming tools. As i find the grooming tools very flexible, i export those guides to Houdini to generate my fur/hair descriptions.

Maybe software has changed from when i last used it. What do other applications offer in this area of grooming.
What type of file are those guides you export from Blender to Houdini?
 
Old 06 June 2013   #44
Originally Posted by Phrenzy84: For grooming guides what apps are better. Last i had seen from XSI in this area was all manipulator and/or settings based to control guides.

Even the documentation shows an example of how grooming can look in blender.



This may look erratic in this example but there are a number of reasons it is very flexible and powerful. They maintain hair length while grooming, you can be using the brushes to control the guides and you can be assured that they wont stretch (unless told to).
To pull off convincing styles you sometimes need lots of guides, to groom such and amount can be tedious but in Blender you can mouse of guides, hold a key to select and now your brush only affects those curves and ignores the rest. (This one feature has saved me the most time when styling).

I am not addressing hair population/interpolation and settings to control those strands or even render settings. I am solely speaking to the grooming tools. As i find the grooming tools very flexible, i export those guides to Houdini to generate my fur/hair descriptions.

Maybe software has changed from when i last used it. What do other applications offer in this area of grooming.


Yes, hair style is only one aspect of it. And applications all give you "grooming" controls, which is only one aspect of styling hair - usually. The groom tools in Blender are more or less what I would consider the basic level of control.

I am not going to spend the time explaining everything. But in XSI you have a multitude of different brushes and ways to control the hair style. It is quite a bit more than Blender, I can tell you that much.

Maya then with nHair takes it to another level entirely. You'd just have to study it to appreciate. But just look at the hair presets above. I actually do not know of any hair styling application that allows you to make something like braids. That does not mean that there are no others that do it. I mean I have not used one. And between Blender, XSI and Maya, Maya is the only one that allows for this - easily. Doing this in XSI is nearly impossible. And in Blender you could probably convert some geo to guides I think. But it is still not the same as in Maya where you can adjust the parameters on the fly to create a virtually unlimited number of styles completely aside from the grooming aspect and do so on a follicle by follicle level.

Hair rendering is always a challenge. But you can in fact use Maya nHair with the various Mental Ray features such as Final Gather, Physical Sun and sky etc. And as I said even convert to geo.

I am not going to pretend that hair rendering in Maya is the best. Not at all. But I think it is much better out of the box than XSI. And way better than Lightwave FFX, which is not saying much.

Blender on the other hand for rendering looks promising. But still you are limited by other factors. However it is an option. And Cycles is improving all the time.
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Last edited by cineartist : 06 June 2013 at 11:03 AM.
 
Old 06 June 2013   #45
Originally Posted by cineartist:
Maya then with nHair takes it to another level entirely. You'd just have to study it to appreciate.
Digital Tutors has Creating Realistic Hair Styles in Maya 2012. $45 for a month subscription. I'd definitely be needing that. Just wondering if between Maya 2012 and 2014 versions there's added hair functionality Autodesk came up with that wouldn't have been presented in the Maya 2012 tutorial.

I'm leaning towards unbiased rendering btw at this point. A Maxwell Maya combination is possible.
 
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