I am working on coloring hair. To do this, I have been learning how to use the Hair Info node to control where colors are placed on the hair (for example, use the Intercept factor of Hair Info as the Mix Shader factor mixing 2 Diffuse shaders to have it gradient between the two down the length of the hair. Usually done with a color ramp.)
What I want to know now is if there is any way to control how materials interact with children? Say I have a parent strand with children around it (imagine them clumped up.) If I use the Intercept as above, that lets me control color down the strand. But what if I wanted to control color perpendicular to the strand? In other words, have the strand be black, then gradient out to the children around it, with closer children being gray, and the furthest away white.
Is anything like this possible, or are the children just exact copies of the parents that cannot be affected in such a way?