Hair like in "Shadow of the Colossus"?


Does anyone know the proper way to create the hair effects in “Shadow of the Colossus”?
I assume its multi layered sets of polygon, but it looks very different from other hair effects I’ve seen. Or if anyone has any good links to hair creation for games would be helpfull as well.Thanks.



This link will be of helpful for you.
They used Sasquatch to make the texture.


Wow, six layers to make that hair effect.Do all the extra polys make it an more rare effect, or is it just really difficult to make the required alpha maps? I have Shave&Haircut, so I could make some good hair textures if needed, but the alphas look like they change from layer to layer(maybe I’m wrong), how do they go about doing that for realistic hair(maybe adjusting the contrast or levels of the alpha in PS?)?
Thanks for the link though, the pictures were very helpful.


that fuzzy hair type looks to be a shader to me.


if only it wouldn´t be in japanese!
It looks extremely interesting…


Gotta aggree there :sad:


I also agree, surely there is a kind person who can read that language who would be willing to give a quick shortened overview of whats said?


google can translate it to a certain extent. Go to google language tools :

Then enter the page’s url into the translator field and pick a language translation.


better yet, visit this thread over at Gaming Age forums:
Its a break down, translated and links directly to images. The fur shading is not an actual shader. You can clearly see it is made of polygonal shells. I will post my work on my Klonoa model soon which uses the same technique.


thats an incredibly cool and informative read there, thanks jfalconer.
And i cant wait to see yours too!


Thanks for that link jfalconer.I saw your thread with klonoa, the model looks great.I’ll post pics if I get any decent looking tests of making the fur.


I modeled an arm, and set up some sections that will act as hair.I’m off to make a good texture of fur.


You can look up the original NVidia Fur Papers from GDC 2 or 3 years ago. This Shell technique isn’t new. I am guessing they wrote a custom script to convert or back the shells properly using Sas. The animation of the shells is best to be done procedurally too from what the Nvidia people told me a while back.

But it does look great in game. I am also super impressed that they used LW for the whole thing.


Actually, those furs on the colossi are also used on the ground in the game as well. as grass, flowers and other foliage. Basically, you pull a face (or faces) off of the object you wish to be “furred” then in your texture editor i.e. photoshop, you make a texture in a series of dots, then produce an alpha channel in that texture to show only the dots. Then the face is duplicated anywhere from three to six or so times and that texture is applied to it. I tried it with grass when SOTC came out. It’s a nice effect, but you have to play with the variables a little (amount of dots, amount of fur faces and the spacing between each of them.)


been told its a very very old technique (i havn’t been doing cg for long at all so i cant say)
its a nice one though


Just a quick note: if you’re using this technique for anything in unreal, make sure the material order of the “shells” is in the same order as their height, or it probably won’t sort correctly with itself.


I don’t think this is how it was in Shadow of the Colossus, they use the same texture on all the layers, not dots, but they move the UVs of each shells a bit to create the effect of a line of hair. Otherwise you will always end up with pyramid-like effects. Regardless, I have not seen anyone pull it off properly compared to the game. It looks quite different, it would be nice if someone managed to pull it off as well.


Making an alpha that looks good is the hard part so far.I am going to try to use some reference picks of bear or wolf fur.


Heres what I’m using it for… to create some grass. Not 100% sure if I’m going to keep it though. Anyway, for anyone else wanting to try this out in unreal, you can use oscillators that move slightly less each layer down to create a swaying effect.