Baking fur for real-time rendering

I remember back in the Gamecube/PS2 era being impressed with the fur rendering in Shadow of the Colossus and Star Fox Adventures. It used a clever technique of using layers of meshes with cross-section textures of the fur baked in. Here’s a version of the technique described in detail (albeit executed less artistically).

My question, since I don’t know much about Blender scripting: Is it possible to make a script that takes strand data and bakes it into a textured mesh? I don’t know how I would go about manually painting the textures for an entire fur mesh (tbh I’m not really much of a 3D artist and I’ve never even textured a model before, but that’s beside the point), and even if I did, I wouldn’t be able to manually create LoD for different systems. By the system outlined in my link, you could generate anywhere between 6 and 60 layers to create a quality effect.

I don’t really understand the technical details of what’s being generated, but is it possible to use the hair strand system that already exists? It’s pretty nice and has nice features, I’d like to be able to play with it to produce something real-time usable. If I have the time I’ll try and learn about this in more detail and figure it out myself. In the mean time, I’d totally appreciate hearing any information and suggestions I can get. Cheers.

the link is broken

Whoops! My bad, the link is fixed. I took some time to read the article again, and I think I understand it a bit better, but clearly what he’s doing is generating all the textures from scratch. I’m more interested in generating textures (and a shell mesh) from an existing strand particle system.

You can use this technique with GLSL. You should find a demo in the resource forum.

In Multitexture you would need multiple layers of transparent planes. But this eats a lot of performance and the results are not that nice. You can find demos on this in the resource forum section as well.