Last Supper - Let There Be Hair - WIP - IOTM
The next step for my Last Supper project was to add hair to the models. I have very little experience with modeling/rendering hair in Blender, so this step was also more involved than I originally anticipated. My intent was to create a rough draft of the hair, with another iteration of styling/coloring once the near-final lighting for the scene is complete. So, from that point of view, I was successful, but I still think the current result looks like a toupee factory exploded. :)
The learning curve for setting up hair particle systems was steep and I had the opportunity for multiple do-overs. After the first success, though, each additional follification was fairly straightforward. Here is a short list of the lessons learned:
- Separate the head/face into multiple zones (using vertex groups) to allow for slightly different styles of hair on each model. Typically, I separated the face, the sides of the head and the top of the head, particularly if the hair was parted.
- It is easier to shorten hair than to lengthen (within reason). For my settings, the final hair length was a combination (multiplication) of the Overall Hair Length setting, the Children Length setting and the Kink Amplitude setting. Two things complicate this; 1) the Overall Hair Length can't be edited once you start styling the hair, and 2) the Children Length setting can be set between 0 and 1. This meant I usually set the Overall setting at a value larger than I thought I would need and lowered the Children setting to get hair the correct length. Also, I set the Kink to Nothing until I had the shape of the hair roughed in. Then I tweaked the amplitude and Children Length to get the correct length.
- When styling hair, there is a difference between the Cut tool and the Length tool. The Cut tool removed nodes from a hair strand. Most of my hair used 6 points; cutting the hair reduced that number. Using the length tool to shorten (or lengthen) the hair scaled the length without changing the number of points. Once I figured that out, I rarely used the Cut tool.
- If, like me, you've been sleeping through the changes in the last several updates, you may not realize Blender now has a Hair Shader. Some of the original learning curve was time spent in the material node creating a realistic looking hair material....until I noticed the Hair Shader. Technically, the single Hair shader has two embedded shaders, Transmission and Reflection. My results show I still need some tweaking, but they are a big time saver!
- Hair uses a fair amount of memory. I created the hair particle system(s) for each model one at a time and was able to use GPU rendering to quickly render the affect of changing various settings. However, memory requirements to render the entire scene meant I needed to switch to the CPU for the 'final' render. I will probably turn the hair visibility off now until I am ready to complete another iteration of style and color tweaking.
Here is a render at the completion of this stage. Creating materials for the clothes and the room/table are next on the list. As always, comments are welcome.