What is the current state of hair/fur/particles in blender 2.57?

I’ve been trying to get some successful fur animations out of blender for a few days now and just keep hitting wall after wall. No randomization of fur length, glitchy fur renders, etc. The last time I dove into blender was 2.49 and in there I had a reasonably full feature set and nearly flawless output.

I’m assuming this is all because a lot had to be rewritten for 2.5 and therefore things aren’t fully polished or complete yet. What I’m wondering is what is the overall state of dynamics in blender? When can it be expected to be back on par with where we were in blender 2.49? And did the upgrades to the hair system that were made for Sintel ever find their way to trunk? Will they?

I apologize if this is all common knowledge, but I haven’t been able to find much info on the subject. I took a break from my blender training for a while so I’m out of touch. :slight_smile:

Thanks!

I think if you can get awesome hair animations working in Blender 2.5x then many of us would like to know. Which reminds me - testing hair is the reason I organised the Sintel Lite file in the first place. http://www.blendswap.com/3D-models/characters/sintel-lite-2-57b/

I can’t remember what made it from Durian into trunk specifically, but I hope some of the hair stuff did. Even then we still had issues with the system so it still needs improvement to my knowledge. One of the issues seemed to be the jump between controlled test cases and use in a typical production type shot where the character moves around a lot, linked in via several groups with a linked wind force somewhere in the distance… etc. Dealing with more external points of failure. So I took out a lot of the extra geometry and textures from the Sintel character so developers and users alike could test things like hair with a production oriented character.

Never got as far as testing hair myself though. Cycles kinda happened.

Without geometry collision i won’t even bother with long hair testing. Blender really needs that for the system to be useful. That being said im hugely interested in fur, which is much simpler to get working right i imagine, but right now i cant get a reliable test render out of it even with non deforming geometry. Im in the middle of a deadline at the moment (for which blender is working rather well, sans hair), but once i can come up for air id like to do some proper fur testing.

Not having a way to randomize hair velocity is driving me nuts though. Does anyone know when/if that feature will make i back in? And in light of the problems the sintel team had with hair, has there been any recent activity towards fixing those issues (like geometry collisions)?

What about using noise/clouds etc. textures to control particle attributes?

Ill give that a try, thanks for the tip! Can you hook a texture up to particle velocity…?

Yes. After you add a particle system to your object, look in the “Textures” tab, and you will see that a “Particle Textures” icon has appeared in the upper left corner. Once you add a texture it will show you all the influence options available. Velocity is a physics parameter, so im guessing you’re probably looking for the “Length” parameter.

Pesho, you rock. No wonder there was no randomizer settings in the hair panels anymore. They’ve all been moved to the texture panel. Now to just get some stable non-flickering animations out and blender fur will be back to being awesome. :slight_smile:

There will always be work needed in this area.

Glad to help :wink: If you’re getting flickering shadows, you have to increase the buffer size in the spotlight settings (it’s set to 2048 in the picture):

http://www.pasteall.org/pic/show.php?id=13147

What I’m wondering is what is the overall state of dynamics in blender? When can it be expected to be back on par with where we were in blender 2.49?
This is something I’d be very interested in as well.
Is any development done at all in this matter? There are so many other things at the moment, which capture dev and user community interest, that I fear these missing features are postponed with unknown roadmap … which really doesn’t make me happy, as at least 50% of the character design work I do involves long hair.
If this topic is left out much longer, I’ll have to consider a software change, whether I like it or not …

I wasnt getting flickering shadows, my fur would shift around, pop in and out, reorder itself on the mesh, etc. And this was all on non deforming geometry. Is there a specific order to how modifiers should stacked? Maybe the fur was reacting unfavorably to solving after the subsurf modifier, i dont know. Ideally, fur would come after subsurf and displacement, but is this a good idea?

Does it do something like this:

http://www.pasteall.org/pic/show.php?id=13992

I’ve had a lot of headaches with this one because the hairs kept jumping position between frames. After some investigation, it turns out that this happens when “B-Spline” is on in the particlesystem settings… Normally it shouldn’t be much of an issue whether the hair comes before or after the subsurf. I usually have it after subsurf, because when a character is covered with fur, you might aswell not have subsurf at all!

That appears to be exactly it!! Have you logged this as a bug? Thanks!! Ill try this workaround tonight.

I never thought of it as a bug, just one of those things that should be changed when doing animations, like Blender Units instead of pixels for strand size. I’ll submit a report for the hell of it though, could actually be some kind of bug with the B-Spline…