I recall hair shape keys was added to a branch associated with the gooseberry project but was later removed for reasons that it was a hack and not ideal to be added to master.
Shape keys for simulation is a very important part of vfx and gives control of how certain things can move or simulate. Currently shape keys have been added for cloth simulation which is a big plus.
I have been doing some readings about hair simulation with some control and I came across the link above.
''Like Geralt, the girl/vampire’s hair was achieved with a combination of Ornatrix and Yeti. “The biggest challenge regarding her hair was probably the part where she lets her hair down at the beginning of the trailer,” suggests Máté. “Two separate hair assets were created: rolled-up and let down/loose, both created from the same curves so that we could blend between the two states. Simulation was then added on top of the blending, for the final result. Another interesting challenge was adding the tiny pieces of silver-dust which are stuck in the monster’s hair during the fight - this was achieved using Yeti as well.”
Imagine a project, where this is required in Blender, all u need to do is set 2 shape keys for the hairstyles and simulate between the keyframed shape keys or more shape keys required. This is also useful for things like grass, ropes, someone using a rope as a fighting weapon e.t.c. So my question is do the Blender devs have any intention or plans of reintegrating the shape keys for hair back into master? I understand that the hair particles code is being cleaned up and stuff. Any info when they intend to add it if they plan to do so. Is this likely in Blender 2.8 ?
Lukas Toenne worked on hair for Gooseberry and generally on Blender particles.
He came with the idea of particles nodes, started to work on particles to realize that he should work on nodes, first.
He did a lot of work on nodes, tested a lot of ideas on particles, alembic cache for Gooseberry.
But he had a better career opportunity and left Blender Institute.
So, now, there are docs, plans of what works, what does not, what to do but nobody to do it.
2.8 is a big piece of work. So, all available devs have no time to give to particles.
They agreed to concentrate on everything except particles and most of physics effects, to postponed the idea of particles and modifiers nodes.
Current particles code was removed too soon without a replacement solution for hair.
People could imagine to do emitter particles animations in 2.7x and a whole movie in 2.8x.
But it is really too complicated when you are taking into account hair of a character.
So, old particles had to be re-added to 2.8 branch. But nobody have time to improve them.
Just to clarify some point here even though i m not a dev. in my understanding:
Particle system was already put back in 2.8 branch by lukas
There is now the physic team with the young talented Luca, scorpion, angavrilov, mont and sergey, sebbas,… who will work on putting the particle system in a state that will be eventually removed (not big changes). Sergey will handle hair and Mont will tackle particle emission itself. We have to note that those devs are already overloaded with other projects, so big change will probably be for Blender 2.9. Who knows? It is Open Source, we believe in Miracle
Thanks for the info, guys. So 2.82 or 2.83? I doubt hair shape keys would be added till maybe next year. It would be nice to hear from a dev about this. Yeah, with mesh deform modifier would be awesome too.
I m wondering why they can’t put the original gooseberry branch back up. Sure it’s not the ideal package but it works for those who need it till they add it to a later branch. I have no idea why they decided to remove it from the download page while they have previous versions of Blender up.
I am also hoping for hair particles keyframing in the time slider also for those who need more control and the ability to simulate between those keyframes. I could see a good number of vfx studios incorporating Blender into their workflow because of this feature. I don’t know why some ppl see shape keys for hair as a hack. It’s a very useful feature for directing simulation and creating interactions with hair, water, grass e.t.c. This same technique was used for Tangled. The hair curves were keyframed and simulation was done over them. This could also be used for things like animating water movement for say a character controlling water on an ocean e.t.c Hey…shape keys for emitter particles? The cool thing is you use the brush to move particles around rather than manual points on curves which is a huge time saver.
The possibilities are endless. I don’t think 3dsmax or Maya has this feature yet. Hopefully they put the gooseberry branch back up, it’s not going to harm anyone who wants to use it
It is not a user point of view about features.
It is a dev observation about the code. They consider it obscure, impossible to extend, incompatible with new conventions, so not maintainable.
And it is true that last years, each time, they tried to solve a problem with hair or to add a feature to hair ; they added a new bug or broke another feature.
Lukas did not only try hair shape keys for gooseberry. He also tried alembic cache for hair, hair modifiers in Object Tab,…
But these ideas and the basis for animated hair distribution (requiring an addon) was really, in practice, complicated to use and understand.
Before searching to improve advanced hair features, there is a lot to do to simplify and consolidate basics steps like their creation, storing and sharing between blend files.
Is there any chance that someone could put the hack together into a addon?
I’m struggling with a transformation sequence that needs hair to change and grow on a character
(time line length wont work right for this situation as the shape of the hair cant be changed afterwards without affecting the original design of the hair).
I have some alternative ideas using alpha maps but they all require some very large files to get done right, this would solve a lot of issues for me.
Is there a script I could put into 2.78 that would allow the hack?
The developers are working on 2.8. As mentioned, it is very unlikely that new features are added to the particle system. It is necessary to replace or at least heavily refactor it with something that is maintainable and extensible. This is going to be the first step before new features can be added and this first step alone is going to take months. Whenever someone is working on a particle system replacement, we are almost certainly going to have lots of discussions about it here in the forum.