Hair/Fur Grooming-Tool: Art-directed yet Procedural Hair/Fur Grooming Tool

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  12 December 2012
Thumbs up Hair/Fur Grooming-Tool: Art-directed yet Procedural Hair/Fur Grooming Tool

Hi guys,
Me & my friend have been working on a 'Procedural Hair & Fur Grooming system' Prototype for Maya..
Its not an another new Hair or Fur system, but its a System which can handle large number of curves & distribute them over Complex Organic-surfaces in an organised and Procedural manner. For now we are calling it 'Project Groomboy'..
Unlike the Brush-sculpt based Fur-Grooming tools (which mostly comes with commercial Fur packages) that are very painful to sculpt & control, and gives Artists very less control over the Shapes, Orientations & Volumes of the Fur-Guides.. Our Grooming tool Groomboy works very differently at a fundamental It gives Artists 100% control over Guide-curves..

It allows Artists to do highly Art-directed Hair/Fur Grooming & Combing in a very short-time, It also avoids the Super Boring routine of manually placing & tweaking individual curves over organic-surfaces, which is required as input for any modern Fur-system- like Shave&Haircut, Yeti (or future-coming Xgen for Maya) etc...

So far from Concept to Code It's been 3-4 months of work (part-time).. The Concept for such a tool came in Mind after seeing all the unspoken Hastes Fur-Artists go through when it comes to Grooming complex Hair/furry Characters/Creatures in tight production scenarios..

We are still working on the Code, adding more smart Features-sets, Fixing BUGS & Optimizing User Interface for best end-user experience..
We would be very much interested to know Critics & Comments from the community..!! This will inspire us enough to Finish our Tool..

Last edited by GroomBoy : 01 January 2013 at 01:23 PM.
  12 December 2012
Results look great!
Maybe show some pix of the ui/tools if you want feedback, else, no way to know what sets it apart from other grooming tools.
If animation couldn't change the world, it wouldn't be such a Micky-Mouse place.
  12 December 2012
Originally Posted by EightBit: Results look great!
Maybe show some pix of the ui/tools if you want feedback, else, no way to know what sets it apart from other grooming tools.

Thanks for the comments EightBit... Yeah you are right, we would be putting in more supporting Images.. We are still working on organizing the UI part.. Just settling in to get the Features right. I am working on a few high-quality examples, will be posting soon..
Conceptually our tool works very differently from the usual grooming tools... to start with- its not a Brush-sculpt based tool.. its 50% Sketch based & 50% Procedural.. we start with drawing custom Art-directed curves.. then the curves distribution & volume-assignment over the surface happens procedurally with complete graph-based control over the volume-shape of the individual curves..
Overall you get 100% control over the shape of your groom & you get results more than 20x times faster, it also makes doing iterations & changes much less painful as turnarounds are much faster. Which as per artist's experience is hard to do so when using a sculpt-based grooming tool - as controlling the shape, orientation & volume of curves becomes very tricky thing & then after hitting the ceiling you end up converting thousands of guides to maya-curves & do hours/days of manual tweaks to get them right, & if your supervisor doesn't like the final look, your start all over again.. Kind of an very unsmart way to deal with such an important task-item in the pipeline.
  12 December 2012
Looks very interesting as an alternative to Fibermesh curves from ZBrush.

Keep us posted!

"Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do."-Bruce Lee

  12 December 2012
Nice fur management system!
When do you plan on releasing it ?
Any version to test it out ?

Best Regards,
  01 January 2013
Thanks for the comments @ TheRazorsEdge .. tristratos

Yes this can also be called as a Hair/Fur Groom Management system..
We are still working on finalizing the Features & UI... we do have plans to release it soon.. may be in a couple of months from now.. Currently this tool-set is built with Maya-Python, we are still figuring out the best way for Licensing suited for commercial release.. Unfortunately we don't have an Alpha/Beta for testing.. but will keep you guys posted as soon as we have one..

Here are some more Test-Images showing simple Hair-style creation with Groomboy.. this is a quick example done in 10-15 mins which highlights on the creation process & robust procedural pipeline for our tool..
Hair done with Shave&Haircut: single-fur-node, no frizz/kink, no random scale, clumping=800..
Not getting enough time to do a .. will probably get some time over the weekend to do a more realistic example & post ... till then critics & comments are most welcome..!!

Last edited by GroomBoy : 01 January 2013 at 10:04 PM.
  01 January 2013
looks very good.
which have to support renders? (mental ray, renderman... etc.)
maya fields and dynamics?
planned support for maps and special hair shaders?

Thank you!
  01 January 2013
thanks @ jvgfx

Yeah this would support Maya Dynamics pretty well, since our tool works with native Maya-curves so making them Dynamic with nHair-system(or classic hair-system) will be no problem.. We are also planning to automate the Hair-dynamic part.. so when you finalise your Hair-curves it'll make them dynamic with just the click of a button..

"Hair Rendering & shaders" part should be taken care by the actual Hair/fur system which the artist chooses to use to create the final-Hair/fur.. currently I can imagine artists using either "Maya's native PFX-hair" OR 3rd partly "Shave&Haircut/Yeti" to generate the actual Hairs for rendering..


Last edited by GroomBoy : 01 January 2013 at 10:10 PM.
  01 January 2013

If you need beta testers, I'm game.

  01 January 2013
Here are a few more Hairstyle renders.. This example is more towards Realistic-Hairstyle creation using Groomboy.. will have more details on my upcoming posts..!!
Also posted the same Image in my Thread-Master-post..
Hope u guys like it..!!

Last edited by GroomBoy : 01 January 2013 at 01:07 PM.
  01 January 2013
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