New Tutorial on cmiVFX: Hair and Fur in Blender

Hello fellow blender-artists!
I am very pleased to announce a new mammoth tutorial on www.cmiVFX.com!
This time it’s getting hairy!
Since probably all of you have watched Big Buck Bunny, you already know that Blender has a very powerful and capable particle-system with that you can create stunning looking hair and fur. But like most of Blender’s tools it is not quite self-explanatory. Hopefully with this tutorial I can make some things clearer and show you how to grow all of your kojak-models a nice and curly flowing hippie-mane :yes:

http://img.skitch.com/20091010-prmt5ajpj9iiswfc9hg4g7iipj.jpg

Here’s the official press-release:

cmiVFX Launches New Blender Training Video for the new cmiDirect short video initiative
Watch High Definition Training Videos For The Visual Effects Industry Instantly From Anywhere In The World.

Curitiba, PR, Brazil October 10th, 2009 — cmiVFX | cmiStudios launches a brand new way of delivering videos for its fast growing user base. This new series of training videos is called cmiDirect. Why “direct”? The videos are DIRECT to the point and focus on one topic at the time. This will enable artists all over the world to have access to the information they need immediately without sorting through longer feature length videos. These videos explain all the information you need in depth and to the topics extent. We will also be including discount bundles of our videos in the future to help save additional money. When it comes to high end CG and VFX training, there is only once choice… cmiVFX!

Blender Shading and Fur
http://www.cmivfx.com/Blender3D_Training_Tutorials/shading_and_fur/default.aspx

Baldy times are over!
In this tutorial you will learn how to create, comb, shade and render realistic looking hair by making use of Blender’s often underestimated yet extremely powerful particle-system. With Blender’s hair-creating capabilities you can take your creatures to the next level. Because even the best model will look dull without some decent fur. This tutorial will explain the essential tools and settings that you need to cover our mammoth with some nice and dirty woolly fuzzy fur.

EDIT HAIRS
Blender provides you with a variety of tools to create and edit realistic looking hair. Blender’s weight-painting-tools give you a lot of flexibility to limit the fur to certain areas and control its roughness, length or density with different vertex-groups. After you’ve setup the base for the fur, you enter particle-mode and become a real CG-hairstylist! Comb the hair, add more particles, change the length or cut them in an intuitive and easy way. And by making use of child-particles and a special way of rendering these strands you can keep render-times and memory-usage reasonable low.

HAIR SHADING
But of course without a decent shading and good materials even the best haircut will look like a pot spaghetti. This tutorial shows you how to setup your materials to achieve natural looking fur. Map gradients along the strands, use stencil-maps to map different textures to different areas and setup textures to control the particle-properties.You’ll also learn how to give the fur some roughness, make it clump together and even add braiding to the hairs. And of course all these properties can be controlled by vertex-groups and/or textures.

CHILD SIMPLIFICATION
If you want to render a flock of mammoths or any other crowd of hairy things then you can easily run out of memory if you don’t use a way to optimize your scene. Especially if you have some furry creatures in the background then you really don’t need to render every very strand, because as they get smaller on the screen, you wouldn’t see them anyway. This tutorial shows you how to easily get rid of unneeded particles by using “child-simplification” to optimize your scene.

This video is available today at the cmiVFX store. cmiVFX Video Player Online Store http://cmivfx.com/store/Browse.aspx?Category=6

About the Author:
Sebastian König is a german 3D-artist who is working as a freelancer and CG-instructor for several years now. During his studies for Education of Art he discovered the joy of modeling and creating 3D-Animations with Blender and hasn’t stopped ever since. Being a passionate Blender-User he has been teaching Blender at the University of Art and Design Halle/Germany and is also giving online-classes.* He has been working for various studios and companies as a 3D-Artist and freelancer. During the dozens of projects and jobs he completed with Blender he got a profound knowledge of almost every aspect of this great Open-Source 3D-application.

About cmiVFX
cmiVFX is the leader in High Definition Video Training for the Visual Effects Community. To test drive the new cmiVFX TVOD © system, visit http://www.cmivfx.com/cmi_vod.html For additional information about cmiVFX, visit www.cmivfx.com.
© 2009 cmiVFX | cmiStudios. *All rights reserved.

It’s too bad that they don’t offer this series as a download. I’d buy it in a second. But I’m not willing to pay $100 for something I can’t watch anywhere and on the go. Not to mention the streaming technology is not very good. I even upgraded my internet connection speed. I stream multiple high quality Hulu videos with no problem now, but I still can’t seem to get all the videos to play from cmiVFX. Sporadic playability is not reassuring.

I understand the concern regarding piracy, which was my reply from support when I inquired about providing a download option, but they could double their profits if they offered a download service. Many Blender users don’t have a fast connection to stream these videos and would benefit from being able to download the files or purchase a DVD/CD.

I do give praise on how quickly support responded to my initial troubles. I’ve read bad reviews about the response time from cmiVFX support, but it took them only a few hours to respond. And they continued to walk me through a few things. One of the suggestions was upgrading my internet connection and was (as I said) ultimately unsuccessful.

Thank you for these videos. I do wish they were a bit more accessible though.

Oh look, another hair tutorial.

holy crap!
that’s amazing…wait, no

epic!

thats a really impressive render there, really gets my attention
this is the first thing on my list of training videos to buy and watch, as soon as i get an extra few bucks :slight_smile:

Yes I agree, I’ll buy it instantly with a download option, even a bundle of all The kther videos. The hair and fur looks stunning, congratulations!

I posted a poll regarding who would purchase if the videos were available for download. As with many things perhaps if the community voices enough of a positive opinion about providing a download option then cmiVFX will take action.

Find the poll thread here: http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=168969
(please vote and pass along the poll)

Still looking forward if my Blender artworks will pay out some day… But as soon it does i 1# make a donation to Blender Org and 2# i buy this “damn good looking” kit!!!

Thanks for the comments!
I won’t take part in that discussion, but you should know that cmiVFX is aware of that issue. They will certainly have their reasons for their policy. And while the videos may not be what you’d call cheap, it does give them the ability to pay the authors in a way that they can pay their rent from that. For me that’s something I am very grateful for: Making a living by using, exploring and teaching Blender and at the same time promoting Blender on a professional platform that is targeted at studios and vfx-companies. Maybe that can even open up some more future job-opportunities for blender-artists in a 3d/vfx-studio… who knows?
:slight_smile:
Peace!
Seb