How to Rig Hair for Animation?

Hey guys,

Is there a way to rig particle hair like you would polygon hair so that you can control the animation? I found this thread about it from a year ago: http://community.cgcookie.com/t/hair-rigging-with-armature/517/10

But it didn’t seem to have a concrete answer (and if curve guides is the answer, could someone direct me to a tutorial on how to use them?). Would it just be better to try and texture polygon hair to look closer to real hair than to figure out how to rig particle hair?

Thanks in advance for any help!

So I tried to convert the particles into an object by following this: http://blender.stackexchange.com/questions/2745/convert-cycles-hair-particle-system-to-mesh-object

The hair can be rigged now, but it also doesn’t look very much like hair at the tips. I also imagine that if I add enough hair for it to cover a character’s entire head, it would end up being an outrageous vert count and would slow everything to a crawl.

Wouldn’t it be easier if you let physics do it for you?

Sure, but I want to be able to move the hair however I want. Like if I want the hair to follow a cartoony line of action in a shot of a character running, or if they come to a quick stop and I want to make the hair wobble, I need to be able to animate it.

For anyone wondering, I did manage to get the curve guide thing working(ish). Here’s the tutorial I used to get the hair to follow a curve: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0xV5ToPHlw&list=WL&index=43
And then I just added a hook (Ctrl+H if you didn’t know) to the end point. So it works alright, but if anyone can figure out how to rig hair with a real armature, that would be amazing.

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What do you mean by rig hair with real armature. A hook can be a armature…did you use a empty or a bone for the hook.

I just mean a bone system, like how you would rig an arm. The hooks work okay, but you have to be sure the flow of the curve is just right all the time, or else it’ll throw the whole thing out of whack. If I could somehow parent it to bones, each section would be separated and I could simply rotate each section with a bone without having to worry about a curve underneath. And I used an empty for the hooks.

Haven’t played with the follow-curve, but I’ve used this technique for spline IK systems to mix spline IK physics with forward IK. Set up your bones as you want them (you will probably need quite a few to get something smooth looking). Using cursor snapping techniques, create edges with vertices at each bone head. Convert this mesh to a curve, and you end up with a poly curve. Poly curves don’t use tangents, so the segments are always straight. Hook each control point to each bone. So now you have a curve, and bones which animate the curve PERFECTLY. With proper constraints on these small bones, I’m sure you can set up the rig so that you only have to animate a few larger bones.

I hope this helps.

@ThatGuyVito : you’re pretty close now, you just need to parent your hook to some bone and it should work…
It’s also possible to use bone as a hook, but personally I prefer doing the hook with an empty and parent it to a bone latter.

Oh cool, thanks guys! I never thought to parent the hooks to bones!