WAcky, Ingurum:OK yeah that was kind of thrown together. Maybe this image will explain things better.
Each example (a series of 3x3poly planes) has 5 layers that are given their own material to correspond to the thickness of the fur. For the textures, I made each hair (represented as a dot) really thick on the base layer, then gradually smaller in the following textures until only 1 pixel in radius at the top layer (check out the multilister’s file texture thumbnails). You could make the change in thickness less dramatic, but this was just a test.
Select all the polyplanes and Unitize the UVs, then open the texture window. You won’t see all the layers, in this case just the base layer (a solid color) but thats fine.
Select all the UVs and scale them up/down to increase/decrease the texture resolution as it is applied to the polygons. As you can see in the examples, you can vary the number of hairs displayed quickly and easily, since it updates in the viewport you can just do it by eye. Just be careful if your textures don’t repeat properly (mine don’t) because then you can get seams happening. The problem with the way I’m currently doing this is we have 5 different materials. Even though each one is only 26x26 pixels (arbitrary size, should’ve made it 32x32), that still seems clunky. Once I’ve laid out Klonoa’s UVs I’ll be more efficient and try to squeeze it all into one or two files (one for the furry parts and the other for the non-furry parts).
As for the hairs breaking up on the outline issue, this can be lessened if you minimize the distance between polygonal layers. This won’t solve the issue 100%, as we can see the same problem even in the commercial games listed above, but looking on the bright side it did provide the clue as to how those artists created the effect anyway, I’d take this effect for fur over the usual method any day, and its not dramatically more polygons than say, doing the ink-outline look for celshaded games (duplicated model with black material and inversed normals w/ backface culling on). It looks much better when you see it in motion.(give a couple seconds for it to load)