Principled Hair BDSF

Is it no longer possible to plug in a texture to use as color for the new hair shader in 2.8?

I’ve tried all the modes, but when I plug in a texture to it it never shows. It just shows if I turn the radial roughness all the way to 1.

Why is that? I have a creature that requires a specific fur pattern and I can’t create it at all with the new shader. Everything with the new shader just looks dark, grey or white. The blender documentation didn’t really help either.

Has someone used this shader in anything? I couldn’t find anything online besides the documentation.

Bump. Bump. Bump,

have you tryed the direct coloration mode?this should work with a texture.ofcourse you have to UV unwrap your mesh first,for a correct be honest i havent tryed in 2.8,but maybe you need too weight paint the hair areas for intensity?not sure.

Do you mean Eevee or Cycles?

Works fine here.



I suggest that you either explain in more detail what isn’t working for you, or you could provide a .blend file so that we can see what is happening.

I’m using Cycles 2.80 to achieve a realistic fur for a creature. I have also found what was the problem, the HDRI that I was using caused the fur to not show any colors. However, this creates another problem.

It seems that the Principled hair BDSF only works under very specific lighting conditions. Depending on the HDRI the quality goes from meh to utter crap. Not at all what was showed in the video or in the documentation. I tried on four different HDRI from HDRHaven and the result is always terrible. Why is that?

Here is a render of what I have and the blend file:


You need to be much more specific. Everything seems to be working perfectly, as advertised.

What is the problem exactly? I can’t see any issue at all. The quality is ‘crap’? What do you even mean?

I don’t even know what you mean. Terrible in what way? It works correctly here.

Okay. I’m trying to achieve results similar to this:


And the problem is not with the combing or tweaking the strands. The problem lies with the material and lighting. And it seems that no matter how much I work with the new Hair shader I can’t results like these.

Hehe, the new Principled Hair BSDF shader is ‘only’ a shader. It will not create a superb model or a fantastic texture, or nice lighting or composition or hair groom for you.

The short answer is that you should learn more and get better. The shader itself works well.

Some apps have more advanced built-in grooming features that make it easier or faster to get nice fur clumping. They may also have more useful presets that make creating good looking fur easier.

But that’s not the same thing as the Principled Hair BSDF not working, which is what you said.

You also said that textures didn’t work, even though they do. So :man_shrugging:t4:

If you need help with your scene to make it better looking, post your scene as an image or a blend and ask for advice or help. That’s a much more fruitful and constructive route. Up to you.

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well,HDRIs usually have each own unique dynamic range, measured in EVs or Stops.if you have a HDRI which is very bright,then you get the result you desribed.however you can use Filmic in the colormanagment, if you are using a HDRIs.Filmic is helping to avoid that clipping you get with high light strength,like HDRIs have.

btw for the wolf fur,you need at least 2-3 or 4 different hair particle maps.for example around the mouth the black hairs.then the shorter and thinner white fur hair at the head,then the long dark grey hairs at the neck,and then at thebody the lighter grey with sllightly shorter hairs.and ofcourse the legs and foots have different hair too.
it sounds complicated,but its is easyer if you can work with each part of its own.similar too a human head,there you are have 3 different particle layer for hair,the brows and the eye lashes.

I think your HDRI just isn’t so great for previewing fur. You might be better off with a conventional studio lighting setup (or an HDRI that simulates one) that can throw light at your character. The Tears of Steel bridge has one bright light and the rest is really dull and flat and so what you’re getting is intense highlights from the sun coming from behind the camera but no rim or fill. Just switching for a different HDRI may help a lot. (just because I had it handy)

Dont bump it after just a few hours, that can be considered spam. Please give it 1-2 days.

Also, watch your tone. People are trying to help you.

He might have been a bit harsh, but so is reality. Hes completely correct, a shader is only one link in a long chain. You cant expect to get to get anywhere near that look in a week. You need to put time into it.

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Oh man…NO I will not watch my tone.

I’ve spent six years in Blender trying to get good fur and nothing has happened.Putting time into it just makes me grow older because nothing else changes. Everything I ask for help I get shat on and just receive crap answers like this one. I regrett having started with Blender and not with Maya.

Having been using Maya for some months now really has showed me the shit decision I made years ago.

Then swich to Maya…


Can’t smartass. I only have the student version and can’t yet afford it’s ridiculous price tag. Hence me being stuck here with this.

Then stick with the student version, you can still use it for educational purposes.

I mean if you’re making anything that can earn you money, then you should spend that money to pay for the license. Until then, the student version will be enough.

If other people are capable of replicating the look that you’re attempting, then its you doing something wrong, not the software.

Or crack it, who cares. As long as you pay once you can afford it. Im sure not even Autodesk themselves will get mad about it.

Im extremely against cracking things, and can honestly say i’ve never cracked anything myself. However i’ve never faulted anyone for doing so when they sincerely cannot afford it, but still need the program to progress.

The only reason i’ve not cracked anything is that i’ve had the funds to pay for it.

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It’s the software when only the gifted can achieve good results and everyone else can’t. If everyone and their mom can do it then why there is almost nothing in Blender done with fur? No horses, wolfs or fantasy creatures at all whatsoever that use fur in any way.

Must be damn sweet if no one is using it…

With that attitude i dont think you’ll get anywhere… that “gift” is passion, not random chance.

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Here’s some actual advice for good fur.

Good fur result of several things:

  • model
  • lighting
  • texture
  • groom
  • shader

A good groom with several hair layers and different clumping is really key. Perhaps there are some tutorials you could find on that part.

The wolf you posted above is made in Blender and rendered in Cycles, so it is not impossible.