Achieve HairAndFur-like results with polygon hair?

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Old 04 April 2013   #1
Achieve HairAndFur-like results with polygon hair?

Hey everyone.

As some may know, the most common method of doing hair in 3D models is either using polygon strips, or a dedicated hair system.

I've been using polygon hair for a while now, but have recently arrived at the conclusion that the look is far too 'fake' for my liking.

As an example, here's two comparison shots (I realize they're different cameras, but you should still get the basic idea. And sorry for spamming so much Jenova whenever I post =P)

With polygon strips:


With Hair and Fur:


The main issue(s) I have are:
1) You can't RTT the resulting hair (since I plan to make a low-res model out of this), and
2) You can't render this hair behind translucent objects (well, you *can* but it'd be done with geometry and will look awful [I tried it])

Thus, I want to ask: How do you personally handle your hair? Do you do it with a hair system, or do you do polygons? If the latter, how do you personally paint the textures and then arrange the polys on your models? Do you use any maps other than diffuse and cutout/alpha?

Additionally, it'd be good to know if there are any techniques for low-poly rendering hair such as this.

EDIT:
Another bonus question: Do you have any ways of rendering buffer-based hair (like the one shown above) behind translucent objects? If so, that'd be very neat. n_n
 
Old 04 April 2013   #2
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