drow/ice bust (need advice on animating with hair)




My workflow is terrible! I’m at my limit of my knowledge of what Blender is able to do in terms of sculpting a realistic character, with hair, for animation. Please let me know if you know of a better way to do things >:).

Putting the hair on was a pain in the butt, because 2.5 is missing the “PAttr” 2.49 feature, which would allow textures to control particle attributes like density and length. Lacking this, I tried to use the Particle Add brush to add all the hair parents by hand, but that brush picks where it applies the hair based on where the base mesh would be if there was no sculpting, which, for a cube basemesh, is nothing like the mesh shown on the screen. It was nearly uncontrollable. I opened a bug report for this, but it got moved to the dev todo list because it’s sort of more a missing feature rather than a bug.

So, lacking functional textures, and lacking a controllable brush, in order to control the hair placement, I had to use vertex groups. But this is a multires sculpt on a cube with one extruded face – it only has twelve base verts! I had to apply (or “bake” as it were?) the multires data to be able to control the hair, but now it’s not really easily animateable at 700k quads. If I retopo it back down, I won’t have the verts to control where the hair emits!

Insult to injury, now the baked file grinds for 3 minutes on opening it or moving objects between layers. There’s something wrong with it now, I suspect – my system is quite good, and can normally handle 1Mquad files.

This was the first time I needed the power of material nodes – I would need disjoint stencils to apply both the freckles and a lip texture. But his textures are on the stack because I’m a noob, and I don’t really feel like redoing it in nodes at the moment. I’ll get you next time, lip texture!

The turntable render is beautiful, except that that the SSS shader in render25 fails completely every ten frames and he turns 0x0 black, so it looks kind of … epileptic. I’m not sure the render25 branch is … being maintained. But if I’m wrong, the problem is reproducible, so should be relatively easy to track down.

There are a few extraneous hairs that aren’t in the parent cache. Who knows? :slight_smile:

I’m not entirely sure what I’ll do in order to get this guy into a complete character. I thought maybe I could use PTex branch multires vert data as vert groups to drive hair density, but no dice. I think my best bet is cheating PAttr by using shaped subcutaneous emitters. What a kludge! The next challenge beyond the hair is actually constructing him. Combine the hair issue with not (yet) being able to extend the model with something like unlimited clay, and I’m hitting program contraints left and right. (Or rather, ‘ill-planned workflow’ constraints?) He’s going to have to have a large “collar” of flair to cover up the poor connection between the bust and body. Gimme a few weeks :confused:

Trying to think of other things to say … I guess this took about nine days’ worth of free time. Feels awfully slow to me, definitely not up to par, but it’s my first time doing something that I’m extremely proud of, so onwards and upwards.

Suggestions, comment and critique of any kind are very welcome!

Vyer nice character. I’m not too good with strands, but the hair does stick out a bit to the eye so I’d make it the taddest bit darker and a hint of blue.