Fur baking research

I’m searching for best method to create a realistic fur texture on a character and it’s pretty tough.
I thought about creating fur with the hair system then baking it, and did some experiments.

I got a method of converting fur to mesh with geometry nodes, so it can be baked.

There are some issues with that method though:

  • It’s slow, on top of handling the fur particles, there’s also converting them to mesh part
  • Too many hairs and it will not bake
  • Result is very aliased, especially with many small hairs
  • No realistic look of Hair BSDF material

I’ve seen before people baked fur with turning the furred mesh into UV islands and rendering them with camera directly. This method is also imperfect, it ends up with seams and it’s not clear how normal map would be created from it.

I’m stuck at the moment. Is there a possible method to it? Maybe it would be possible to make with geonodes some UV seam correction, no idea how to do this, definitely hard to figure out if possible at all.

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Interesting !

Do you really need to match a highpoly mesh, or you’re more into finding ways to have lowpoly fur ?

What I mean by that is that maybe you shouldn’t try to bake hairs, but more to find ways to fake the hairs, either with some textures, cards or a mix of both…

Looks like it’s what they did here : https://app.pluralsight.com/course-player?clipId=484b71cb-bca1-48b0-81dd-11a03917c38d

But on this one it looks like they used hairs as basis : https://www.artstation.com/artwork/ZGRgBR

Hope that helps a bit, I never looked into that problem so I can’t give more infos !

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I did painting hair with textures and also made a procedural material for fur.
My goal here is to find more streamlined method where I could make good looking for with Blender’s hair, in that way I’d have more control over shapes, clumps, directions, colors, etc.
Painting hair in Substance doesn’t give me that much control, even though I made a Substance procedural graph, there are still limitations and lack of complete fine control that 3D hair system gives me.

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Yeah, I think this is worthwhile. For LODs, for a base texture that hair cards get placed on, for lower-power hardware that can’t render thousands of hair cards…
I really hope you figure this out before I have to do a furry animal again :smiley:

recently I am trying to make fur\hair textures out of blender for mobile devices and saw this topic.
I dont have the solution on this ,but I did a test on baking I think leaving some notes here might help a bit.

Rytelier and every one probably all have the same issue using blender on baking hair.
Here are my work around on these issue . Its not perfect but its a little progress to the problem
(still hoping for better solution in future )

  • It’s slow, on top of handling the fur particles, there’s also converting them to mesh part

I am on blender 4.1 using the Hair Tool addon from JoseConseco its a geonode Hair tool for hair cards “it is able to convert Hair to Mesh back and forth easily, maintaining an nondestructive work flow”.

But working on full body mass amount of hair is not well performed on this tool at the moment (its not designed for it)
** the tool it self uses its own designed geonode to carry info during process . It wont work with other Hair geonode sets.

If you are using other Hair geonode sets addon. its better to ask them if they can make something like this. and adding baking info like root tip ,clump ID , Hair Id …Etc to the mesh, to automate theses process.

  • Too many hairs and it will not bake

Yes it consumes a lot of ram once its in Mesh state for blender baking, I export hair mesh and use Substance Painter or Designer to work around on this and its blazing fast.

Result is very aliased, especially with many small hairs

due to blender baking lack of anti alias, it well create a lot of noise on texture.
I use Substance Painter or Designer to work around on this. not perfect but its better

No realistic look of Hair BSDF material

This is still an issue , but since I am baking for games ,so I only bake the needed info

hope these helps