Final Fantasy Hair

If any of you have ever played a Final Fantasy Game you’d know how awsome their CG hair is. Does anyone know if this can be duplicated in blender? The hair looks (to me) like some strange cross between particles and softbodies. Help a brother out!!!

It might be possible in Blender with the newer particle controls. I don’t know if there are any developments with deep shadow maps for lighting, which you will need. You don’t want to raytrace hair nor do you want to use ambient occlusion because your Ram will be used up. Raytracing with single lamps makes the hair turn out like straw as the shadows are too sharp and area lighting would take too many resources.

A programmable environment would relieve most of the constraints and only a few tools offer that level of control including Renderman and Mental Ray, both of which are among the most widely used tools in the industry:

"Q: In producing the movie with a basic polygon rasterizer like prman, did you achieve unique effects through advanced shader/DSO work within prman, or did you employ many separate custom rendering tools?

A: All of the shaders used in the production were written here at Square, and the lights and surfaces interacted in a number of hidden, “non-standard” ways."

They aren’t easy to use though so you just kind of have to mess around with Blender’s limited controls and get the best results you can. The compositing tools should help get some nicer output and possibly the work on the Peach movie will offer some insight into how to make nice hair although fur is a little different from long hair.