Hair Tutorial for DS4 Users

Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,100
edited February 2013 in DAZ Studio Discussion

Introduction

This tutorial is intended for DAZ Studio 4.5 users who work primarily with Genesis and/or with the 4th Generation figures (Victoria 4.2, Michael 4, etc.). Most of the information also applies to DS4.0. The objects of the tutorial is to familiarize you with basic concepts involved with using hair in DS4, to address common hair-related problems, and to give advice on optimizing the appearance and rendering performance of your 3D hairstyles.

Several months ago, I posted a message in the New User forum, asking if anyone knew of a good tutorial or general advice on hair. While I got a great deal of helpful advice, I didn’t find any tutorials, so I decided to write my own, compiling the responses to my question together with other information I’ve learned about hair. In this endeavor I’m greatly indebted to those individuals—including (in no particular order) fixmypcmike, Jaderail, adamr001, Frank0314, DWG, Indigone, Wiseavatar, RAMWolff, Lindsey, kitakoredaz, and others—who have helped me and other forumites with hair-related questions. I’ve provided links to several of these threads in the Additional Resources section at the end of the tutorial.

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Contents

Post 1 of 5 (this post)
Introduction
Contents
I. Types of Hair
1.1 Painted hair
1.2 Conforming hair figures and hair props
1.3 Other types of hair

Post 2 of 5
II. If the Hair Fits…
III. Parenting 101: Not Just for Moms and Dads
Example 1: Using Mitsu Hair for Aiko on Genesis

Post 3 of 5
IV. Fits, Morphs, and Poses
V. Dye Jobs, Mat Poses, and Surfaces
5.1 Changing the color in Smart Content
5.2 Changing the color in Content Library (materials or mat poses)
5.3 Changing the diffuse color
VI. Using Morphs and Poses to Find Your Style

Post 4 of 5
VII. Rendering
7.1 Basic rendering settings
7.2 Uberhair
7.3 Fantom occlusion (phantom shielding)
VIII. Special topics: hats, elf ears, beards, body hair, and more
8.1 Hats and Hair
8.2 Elf ears, lash distortion, and other unusual shapes
8.3 Facial and body hair
IX. Additional Resources

Post 5 of 5
Reserved for additional Q&A

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List of hair products used for examples in this tutorial:

Mitsu Hair for Aiko (prop/hr2) from the (currently) free Anime Star Fighter bundle: http://www.daz3d.com/shop/anime-star-fighter
Taylor Hair (figure/cr2; dsf): http://www.daz3d.com/shop/taylor-hair
Gia Hair (Genesis/dsf; prop/hr2): http://www.daz3d.com/shop/gia-hair

You don’t need to own these same hair products to use the tutorial, though: you can follow the examples using any hair of the same type (keeping in mind that some of the finer details might be different). The principles described in the tutorial should apply to just about any hair.

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I. Types of Hair

1.1 Painted hair

“Painted hair” usually refers to a skin texture in which the scalp is painted to look like hair. Probably the most familiar examples of this are the default textures of Victoria 4 and Michael 4, but plenty of other textures contain options for painted hair as well, usually alongside bald options. Some good examples include Chablis for Genesis/V4 (http://www.daz3d.com/shop/chablis-for-genesis-v4/) and Stefan for M4 and Genesis (http://www.daz3d.com/shop/stefan-for-m4-and-genesis/).

The advantages of painted hair are numerous: it allows for faster renders, it usually has realistic fine detail, and it makes it easy to use hats or other headgear since there’s no separate hair prop or figure to get in the way. They’re also matched to a specific character, since they are part of the skin texture, so you don’t need to worry about finding the right hair prop or figure to go with the character you’re rendering.

However, there is one big disadvantage to painted hair: the shape of the character’s head is the same as if they were bald, meaning that the outline of the head gives the effect away. Some characters (like Stefan, mentioned above) do come with special hair-head morphs that can help to an extent with this issue.

Another, less common meaning of the term “painted hair” is hair that is painted on in postwork, using Photoshop or another program. Basically this means rendering the character without hair, then taking the rendered image and painting hair onto it. This can be a good solution if you have strong 2D art skills, but it’s beyond the scope of this tutorial.

1.2 Conforming Hair Figures and Hair Props

Hair that is a distinct item, rather than painted on, comes in several varieties, which can be distinguished by the file type: .dsf, .duf, and .cr2 are conforming hair figures, .pp2 and .hr2 are hair props. The distinction between .pp2 and .hr2 is that the former can be found in the Props folder under Poser Formats, in the Content Library, while the latter can be found in the Hair folder, also under Poser Formats in the Content Library. Conforming hair figures with a .cr2 extension can be found in the Figures folder.

With some exceptions—short hair just needs to attach to the head and is likely to be a prop, while long hair also needs to respect the rest of the body and is likely to be conforming (so that you don’t have long tresses sinking into the shoulders, for example). Conforming hair is analogous to conforming clothing—at least in theory, it can conform to the body without causing pokethrough or other issues.

In general, conforming hair should be fit to the figure (covered in section 2), while prop hair should be parented to the figure (covered in section 3).

Hair for use with Genesis in DAZ Studio will have the .dsf extension (or .duf for files designed to work in DAZ Studio 4.5). Genesis hair should easily fit to Genesis, but if you want to try using it on another figure, you may need to parent it rather than fitting it.

So how do you tell whether you have a hair prop or hair figure? There are several ways. One is to find the product page or readme documentation for the hair product, and scan it for the file name and type. Another way is to tell based on where you found the hair in the Content Library (if you found it in Smart Content instead, and have Genesis selected, there’s a very good chance that it’s Genesis-type hair). If you found it under “Poser Formats” in the Hair folder (or the Props folder), then it should be a hair prop. If you found it in the Figures folder, it should be a conforming figure. If you found it under “DAZ Studio Formats,” it’s probably Genesis hair. Another method is to click on the Edit menu, choose Preferences, click on the Content Library tab, and check the box for Show File Extensions.

Regardless of whether the hair you are using is a prop or a figure, it probably falls into one of two categories: transparency mapped (transmapped) or fibermesh. More rarely, you may encounter some hair that’s neither; these will likely be highly stylized rather than realistic (Nata Toon Hair is one example). Think of transmapped hair as a series of ribbons attached to a skullcap. The ribbons are textured to look like locks of hair, with transparent stripes and sections for the gaps between hair strands. The last promo image of Pure Hair: Catwalk gives a good illustration of how these ribbons look without the textures and transmaps. Fibermesh hair is more like real hair, with each strand (fiber) represented—although the fibers tend to be somewhat thicker and not as dense as real hair. Fibermesh hair usually has a very high polygon count, so it’s memory-intensive. Transmapped hair can also take a very long time to render, due to the transparency maps. Later in the tutorial, I’ll discuss strategies for rendering hair more efficiently.

The render below shows, from left to right, fibermesh hair, transmapped hair, and a geometry-based hair without transmaps. It was rendered in DS4.5 with basic, non-Uber lights. The character is Candace for S5 mixed with Young Teen Julie.

1.3 Other Types of Hair

There are other varieties of hair you’ll hear about, such as procedural hair plugins, dynamic hair, and shader-based hair. True dynamic hair can be found for some programs like Poser and Carrara, but it doesn’t exist for DAZ Studio at this time. It’s similar to dynamic clothing in that it has realistic movement with a sort of gravity to it, and it can even be combed and styled in various ways.

Shader-based hair is basically a fur shader (like the one found in the Supersuit Fantasy Pack or Furify) applied to a figure’s scalp, or to a bodysuit covering the scalp. It can yield results like the mohawk seen in the image at the bottom of this page: http://www.daz3d.com/shop/products/genesis/genesis-michael (although as far as I know it has not been confirmed whether or not that was the method actually used to create the mohawk in that image). This is an unconventional method and not one that this tutorial will cover in any more detail…if you wish to try this, I’d recommend getting the Supersuit, the Supersuit Fantasy Pack, and finding a good tutorial on shaders.

While most if not all hair products will include an .obj file, you may encounter hair that’s in .obj format (without an associated .hr2, .cr2, etc.). Like any .obj file, it can be imported into DAZ Studio. This type of hair would fall into the category of hair props, but it’s rather unusual and will not be discussed in more detail here.

Two new hair plugins for DAZ Studio offer additional options for realistic hair: Look At My Hair and Garibaldi Express, both now available in the DAZ 3D store. You can find out more information about these from their official sites (LAMH | Garibaldi), forum threads (LAMH | Garibaldi), and other sources, but the bottom line is either plug-in offers users the ability to create, grow, and shape their own hairstyles. I haven’t used either, but I have admired the results I’ve seen from other users. These aren’t truly dynamic (the hair doesn’t behave dynamically in DAZ Studio) but within the plugin it works much like dynamic hair—it can be combed, cut, grown, etc.

Illustration (below) - Paul Hair by Neftis3D, Pyrit Hair by SWAM, Anime Hair by Mec4D

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  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,100
    edited February 2013

    II. If the Hair Fits…

    When the hair you want to use is compatible with the figure you want to use it on, the procedure is usually very straightforward. There are several ways to fit the hair to your character’s head, and they correspond with the methods for loading clothing or accessories. With your figure selected (the whole figure or just the head), double-click on the appropriate hair icon from Smart Content or the Content Library, or right-click the hair and choose “Load it.” You can also click and drag the hair icon onto your figure (and the figure doesn’t need to be selected in advance for this method to work). Another option is to load the hair separately by double-clicking it without the figure selected, then right-click on the hair once it loads, and choose the option to fit it to the figure (for example, “Fit ‘WildMane Hair’ to…”).

    Sometimes this is all you’ll have to do; other times, if the hair loads untextured, or the fit isn’t quite right, or if you want to color or style the hair in a certain way—there will be additional steps. These will depend on the situation, but they are covered in parts IV, V, and VI of the tutorial.

    With AutoFit, it’s nearly as simple to use conforming hair made for 4th Generation figures on Genesis—especially in DAZ Studio 4.5. With your figure selected, double-click on the hair. A dialog box will pop up asking you to select the figure that the hair was made for (if you don’t know, consult the readme or the online product description), and the type of object (hair, in this case). The software will do the hard part, leaving the hair conformed to the figure’s head. This should work with all Genesis shapes, but it may not work perfectly with the more extreme ones, so keep that in mind if you want a gorilla with braids or a troll with an updo.

    If you’re still using DS 4.0, you can still use this method, but be aware than any morph dials that the hair contains will not be usable after you AutoFit the hair to Genesis. This was fixed in DS 4.5. Alternatively, you can use the Transfer Utility to accomplish this, and keep the morphs intact. See here for details on this method: http://forumarchive.daz3d.com/viewtopic.php?p=3277033#3277033

    III. Parenting 101: Not Just for Moms and Dads

    When the hair you want to use is not compatible with the figure you want to use it on, all is not lost! Virtually any hair figure or prop that DAZ Studio can load can be made to work with the figure of your choice; it just takes a little more effort. If you’re using Genesis and a hair that was intended for another figure, you can try to AutoFit the hair to the figure. Results vary, and if you're using DS4.0 rather than DS4.5, you may lose the ability to use the hair’s built-in morphs.

    An alternative way to get your hair onto your figures is to parent it rather than “fitting” it. The difference is that if the software is not able to adequately get the hair to fit to the figure’s head, you can do it manually instead—but you’ll have to tell the software to make sure the hair moves with the figure so that it doesn’t suddenly come off if you change the figure’s pose, position, or shape. The way to do this is called parenting.

    Here is the basic procedure for manually fitting and parenting hair to a figure. We’ll use Mitsu Hair for Aiko 3, which is available for free as part of the Anime Star Fighter product (http://www.daz3d.com/shop/free-3d-models-and-content/anime-star-fighter), as an example, and for the figure let’s say Genesis, but in practice this same method works with virtually any hair and any figure. Start with Genesis (or your figure of choice) in the default position and pose. You can apply a shape or morph either before or after you parent the hair. If you’re using Mitsu Hair and you own the Aiko 3 shape for Genesis, it may be helpful to apply that shape first. Deselect the figure, and then load the hair. It will probably load either too high or too low, but otherwise it should be in the right position assuming you haven’t moved the figure.

    Select the hair and go to the Parameters tab. Zoom in so you can see what’s going on. Adjust the y-position slider until the hair is in the right vertical position. You may need to adjust some other sliders as well—such as scale (or one or more of x-scale, y-scale and z-scale). When it’s looking as close to perfect as you can get it, take a look at any morph fit sliders in the Parameters tab, and/or pose sliders in the Posing tab, to fine-tune the fit. These will depend on the hair that you’re using, but often there are sliders that will let you control how the hair fits specific parts of the head, such as the temples, and perhaps move the hairline. The idea is to align the hair’s skullcap with the figure’s head as perfectly as you can—otherwise when you render your scene, you could see something like sideburns that seem to float next to the character’s head, or bangs sprouting from the forehead. If you’re not sure, it may help to do a test render to see how things look. The next section of the tutorial will discuss this procedure in more detail.

    Finally, you’ll want to parent the hair to the figure. There are a couple of ways to do this. You can go to the Scene tab, click on the hair in the list, and drag it to the figure’s head (you’ll have to expand out Genesis by clicking the triangle next to it in the Scene tab, and the triangles next to each node, until you see the listing for the head). Alternatively, you can right-click the hair in the main viewing pane and select Change Parent. A dialog box will pop up—select your figure’s head from the list (again, you may need to expand out the figure by clicking on the triangles), make sure “Parent in Place” is checked, and click Accept. Note that there may be more than one “Head” node in the list…be careful to choose the one that belongs to the correct figure.

    Now that your hair is parented, you should be able to move the figure around, or pose it, and the hair will stay on the head! If you change the figure’s shape, the hair should still stay in place, but you may need to adjust the fit again by using those sliders in the Parameters tab, and perhaps the Posing tab. If you go to the Scene tab, you’ll notice that the hair is no longer a separate entry—it now appears nested under the figure’s head in the list.

    Another thing you can do with prop hair that you may not be aware of: you can convert it into a figure so that it will conform to Genesis (not sure if this works on other figures). RAMWolff’s tutorial on the subject explains how to accomplish this…it’s easier than you may think: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/1866/

    Example 1: Using Mitsu Hair for Aiko on Genesis

    1. Load Genesis
    2. With Genesis not selected, load Mitsu Hair for A3 (see Figure 1-1)
    3. Select Mitsu Hair, and, on the Parameters tab, slide the “yTrans” dial until the hair seems to be sitting on top of the figure’s head
    4. Zoom in and rotate the camera to check to see if the fit is correct, or if it needs work.
    5. If necessary, adjust the scaling and translation dials to perfect the fit. In this case, the fit seems fine to me, except for some pokethrough in the Genesis figure’s back that we’ll fix later (see Figure 1-2)
    6. Parent the hair to the figure’s head by right-clicking on it, select “Change ‘A3 Mitsu Hair’ Parent…” and choose your figure’s head from the list (see Figure 1-3)
    7. Now you can move, pose, and reshape your figure, and the hair will stay where it belongs! Please note that if you change the shape of the figure’s head, you may need to make some changes to the hair to make it fit properly. For example, if you dial up the Victoria 5 shape to 1.00, you’ll see the scalp poking through the hair’s center part. To fix this, I adjusted the yScale and zScale both to 101.5%. That seemed to do the trick (there are probably other ways to fix this, also).
    8. Once your figure is shaped and posed the way you want it, and the fit of the hair has been adjusted if necessary, you can make other changes to the hair if desired. For example, if the hair is colliding with the figure’s back, or if you wish it to look windswept, there may be movement morphs or poses you can dial to achieve the right look. This process will be covered later on in the tutorial.

    See Figures 1-4 and 1-5 for the parameters dial formula I used, and final rendered image. Products used in the creation of this image include Victoria 5, V5 Elite Skin Texture Valerie, Fiery Genesis (pose, though I made some changes to it), Onyx for Genesis (clothes), Chablis for V4 and Genesis (lighting), and Light Dome Pro (backdrop).

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  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,100
    edited February 2013

    IV. Fits, Morphs, and Poses

    Many hair products will have morph sliders accessible through the Shaping tab (or Parameters tab). These morphs can do anything from changing the length of a certain region of the hair, to altering the shape of the skullcap to assist in fitting the hair to a certain figure, to simulating motion (a windswept look, for instance).

    Experiment with these dials, and you’ll be able to change the hair in a multitude of different ways. Sometimes, some dialing will be necessary (if the long tresses vanish into your character’s breasts or shoulders, for instance. Even if it’s not, it may be well worth the effort to take advantage of these options in order to achieve a unique look. Keep in mind that you can turn off limits for each slider to expand your range of possibilities even further: just click on the gear icon at the upper right corner of the slider, click “Parameter Settings…”, and deselect “Use Limits.”

    Of course, you’ll need to select the hair in order to gain access to these sliders. And sometimes it can be a bit more complicated: rather than simply selecting the hair, you might have to drill down to the Neck (or occasionally the Head) of the hair before the morph or pose sliders will be visible. To do this, go to the Scene tab and click on the little triangle next to the listing for the hair. A new item (node) will appear on the list. Click on the little triangle for this one too, and repeat until you see an entry for Neck. Select that and see if more sliders appear in the Parameters, Shaping, or Posing tabs.

    Some hair also comes with pose presets. If so, you can change the hair’s pose just as you would the pose of a character figure.

    V. Dye Jobs, Mat Poses, and Surfaces

    Hair typically comes with one or more color options, and there are a few methods you can use to change the color among these options—or even dye it the color of your choosing.

    5.1 Changing the color in Smart Content

    If you’re using Smart Content, the easiest way to change the hair color (or choose a hair color, for hair that loads untextured) is to select it and then choose the appropriate color option in Smart Content. Depending on how the metadata is set up, the colors may appear under Presets, or Materials, or perhaps somewhere else. When you find the available options, simply double-click one of them and that texture will load.

    5.2 Changing the color in Content Library (materials or mat poses)

    In the Content Library, options may show in one of several places. If you’re looking under “DAZ Studio Formats,” then there will likely be a Materials sub-folder within the folder that contains the hair (for example, People>Genesis>Hair>...>Materials). With the hair selected, open the folder and choose the texture option you like.

    If you’re looking in “Poser Formats,” in most cases the colors will be in the Poses folder, as “MAT Poses” that change the materials but not the actual pose of the hair, but sometimes you’ll find them in Materials instead, depending on the hair you are using. Again, once you find the options, just double-click the one you want and it will load.

    To find out for certain where the color options are located, consult the readme file of the hair you are using.

    5.3 Changing the diffuse color

    Some hair products will have preset options for changing the diffuse color (in other words, changing the color of the hair to something other than what’s in the image files that come with the product). AprilYSH in particular is known for including some diffuse options for her hair products. If these exist for the hair you are using, you can load them through the Content Library just like the other color options.

    There’s another way to change the diffuse color as well: one that gives you the flexibility to select any color you like (though the results will depend on the “base” color of the hair, found in the image file). Think of this as hair dye: the hair is “naturally” a certain color, and you’re applying an additional color which mixes with the base color to create a new look. You can’t “bleach” hair (at least not with a diffuse color, unless the hair defaults to a diffuse color other than white), only darken/dye it. Given this, you may wish to load the lightest hair color option as your base, although darker colors can be used as well.

    To manually change the diffuse color, select the hair, go to the Surfaces tab, then select the surface regions you wish to dye, then locate the “Diffuse Color” setting from the list of options, and change the RGB color values to the hue of your choice. If you double click on the color bar, a popup will open, allowing you to choose the color from a spectrum or palette, which may be easier than messing with the RGB values directly. Some trial and error may be involved, but once you get the hang of it, this can be a powerful way to add variety to your hair options. Also noteworthy, though off-topic: you can use the same method to change a character’s skin tone!

    VI. Using Morphs and Poses to Find Your Style

    Styling hair is a broad enough topic that it probably could the the subject of a tutorial of its own—especially if one includes procedural hair systems like Look At My Hair and Garibaldi, in which styling options are much greater—and parts of such a tutorial could more easily be written by a professional hairdresser than by your average 3D artist. Rather than going much detail here, I’ll simply recommend playing with the various morph dials, colors/materials options, supplied poses (if any), and other settings until you find a style that works well for your character and scene. You may be surprised with the diverse looks you can get out of a single hair model. For example, the three attachments below all feature Gia Hair by AprilYSH.

    Keep in mind that you can turn limits off if you want to push morphs even further than they would typically go. To do this, click on the little gear by the morph slider, go to “Parameter Settings,” and deselect “Use Limits” (or set the range by changing the Min and Max values).

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  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,100
    edited April 2013

    VII. Rendering

    For rendering hair, you might have one or two goals in mind:

    1. How do I get hair to render more quickly?
    2. How can I make the hair in my renders look more realistic?

    Unfortunately, these goals often conflict with one another...things that increase realism tend to increase render time as well. Fortunately, this isn't always the case--read on for details...

    7.1 Basic rendering settings

    Let's use the DS4 default rendering settings as our starting point before moving on to some more advanced (and powerful) options. If you're totally new to changing render settings, it's definitely something worth learning about. Good tutorials/information can be found here: http://forumarchive.daz3d.com/viewtopic.php?t=144303 or here: http://rubicondigital.host22.com/index.php/articles/poserdazstudio/4-optimising-render-settings-in-daz-studio

    For our purposes, I'll assume you're using 3Delight (quality level 4), not OpenGL (quality level 1, 2, or 3) or an external renderer such as LuxRender. Lowering the quality level to 3 or below will switch the renderer from 3Delight to OpenGL. While this will likely increase render speed, I don't recommend this, even for test renders, as it doesn't give a good sense of what the final 3Delight render would look like.

    The most critical setting to note is the Shading Rate. The default level is 1.00, which I would describe as fair quality. Lower is better, so raising the Shading Rate to 2.00 or higher will make things go faster, but it's not my preferred method--I rarely render at anything worse than 1.00, even for test renders. Choosing a lower value for the Shading Rate will increase quality. I usually use 0.20 for high-quality renders.

    Lighting can have a huge impact on render speed, particularly when it comes to things like hair that take a good amount of memory to render. If you want to do a quick render, try one or more of the following: turn off some or all of your lights, or turn shadows off for some or all of your lights, or use basic lights rather than UberEnvironment2 or UberArea lights. Or, keep your lighting and shadows the same, but select your hair and (on the Parameters tab) turn "Cast Shadows" off--that will help somewhat, and may not have a big impact on the realism of the resulting render (depending on the situation). You can also make the hair itself invisible (go to the Scene tab, find your hair in the list, and click on the eye icon next to it)...that should speed things up quite a bit, and will let you test how your lights look on everything in the scene other than the hair. I do this for test renders all the time--I hate having to wait hours for a render to finish, with most of that time devoted to rendering the hair, only to decide that the lighting isn't quite right.

    7.2 Uberhair and UberSurface settings

    If you don't mind playing with the surface settings, there are some tricks that will help you speed up your renders considerably, without sacrificing quality. In fact, you may find that the quality actually improves! The first of these uses a shader that comes with DS4--UberSurface. Select the hair, go to the Surfaces pane, select all hair surfaces, and change the shader to UberSurface, which you can find in Smart Content under Presets>Shader. Hold down the "Control" button (I think that would be the "Command" button on a Mac) when clicking !UberSurface Base and, when the window pops up, change Map Settings to "Ignore." Otherwise, the hair will turn white--it will lose its texture. Click Accept and go to the Editor tab within the Surfaces pane. There are a number of different settings here, but the ones we're concerned with are at the end of the list. Turn off "Raytrace" and "Occlusion." Optionally, you could turn "Accept Shadows" off too, to speed things up even more.

    There is a product in the DAZ 3D store called UberHair, which is an add-on for the UberSurface shader. UberHair makes this process easier by giving you some presets that you can simply double-click (rather than having to hold down the "Control" key and mess around with surface settings every time), plus other things like letting you easily control how shiny you want the hair to be. You can find out more about UberHair here: http://www.omnifreaker.com/index.php?title=UberHair

    7.3 Fantom occlusion (phantom shielding)

    This may seem like an "advanced technique," but the Geometry Shell feature in DAZ Studio 4.5 actually makes it fairly easy, especially if you're already comfortable with switching from the default shader to UberSurface as described above. I learned how to do it from this thread, so you may wish to check there for more detailed information.

    First, load your hair, select it, select its surfaces on the Surfaces tab, and change the shader to UberSurface following the directions above (again, be sure to hold down "Control" key and change Map Settings to "Ignore"). This time, on the Surfaces tab, turn Occlusion off; Raytrace can either be on or off (I kept it on in the example render below).

    Then, from the Create menu, create a new geometry shell. The shell basically duplicates the hair, which can in effect make it appear more detailed through the process described here. Select the shell and convert it to UberSurface also. Then turn Opacity to 30%, turn Fantom and Occlusion ON and Accept Shadows and Raytracing OFF. Next, select the skullcap or base surface only and turn the opacity for that surface down to 0%. Then turn "Cast Shadows" off on the geometry shell (find this on the Parameters tab). Render it and admire the results!

    For even more detailed hair, you can add a level of subdivision. Find this setting on the Parameters tab also.

    In the images below, I used the default DS render settings (Shading Rate of 1.00), the light preset from Aiden for M5, Stephanie 5, and Taylor Hair. Of course, using a better shading rate will yield better results (see last image). The differences between these four are rather subtle...some of that is probably due to the small image size, but feel free to play with the settings and you may come up with something better. Note that the default render is the one that took the longest! Your renders will likely be faster--my system is rather slow.

    A more detailed exploration of fantom occlusion is available on page 2 of this thread.

    VIII. Special topics: hats, elf ears, beards, body hair, and more

    8.1 Hats and Hair

    Whether your character is a Victorian gentleman, fairy-tale princess, cowboy, jockey, pirate, witch, or just a sophisticated modern socialite, there's a good chance that you're eventually going to want to put something on top of that hair. Unfortunately, in the 3D world, hats and hair don't always get along. If your hair is poking through your hat, there are a few things you can try to get it to behave:

    First, you can make the hat larger and/or make the hair smaller. For the hat, this will probably involve scaling it up. For the hair, you can try morphs such as reducing volume morphs, and for prop hair, you can also adjust the scale as needed. You may even need to shrink the hair so drastically that the character's scalp is showing through--that's not a problem, though, as long as the hat sufficiently covers it up.

    Smoothing and collision modifiers may help as well, but they're not going to do the job on their own. Try setting the hat to collide with the hair. Maybe try fitting the hat to the hair, instead of the character. If you keep trying different things, you'll eventually find some that work--or at least help. You can find all these controls on the Parameters tab.

    Sometimes, though, these sizing, morphing, and smoothing tricks don't yield good results--maybe you'd have to make the hat so large that it looks comically out of place, or maybe the hair you have chosen just isn't that adjustable. You can try switching to a different hairstyle--possibly even one that comes with its own hat, like Beret With Hair or Hat Hair Props, or you can look into a "fix-it" product specifically designed to solve this problem. I know of two such fixers: Sickle Super Hat and Hair Fixer for Genesis and Deformers Plus: Hat Head for 4th Generation figures.

    Finally, you can opt to correct the situation in postwork, editing the image to remove the pokethrough. How to do this is beyond the scope of this tutorial, but it might involve layering two images, painting over the affected areas, or other methods.

    8.2 Elf Ears, Lash Distortion, and Other Unusual Shapes

    Conforming hair will typically adjust to follow any morphs you use on your figure--typically a good thing, but not when it comes to elves and other creatures with odd-shaped ears. You may see ugly distortions in the hair as it attempts to follow or cover the shape of the ears. Fortunately, there's an easy fix for this. I'm going to quote a recent post from Lindsey, who explained this solution very clearly and succinctly:

    Lindsey said:

    1. Select the hair, go to the Parameters Tab.
    2. On the Active Pane Options (white square upper right on the Parameter's tab), select "Show Hidden Properties"
    3. You'll see the morph for the elf ears the hair has applied.
    4. Just dial to 0 and the hair will return to it's normal shape!

    After completing this process, check to make sure that the hair and ears are not clipping each other--if they are, some additional morph dialing may be required.

    It's worth noting that if you save the scene and then load it later, you may need to repeat this process. Or, simply lock the slider after setting it to zero. More information on this can be found here: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/15743/

    Sometimes, you'll see hair distortions around a character's eyes, also. You can use the ear-fix method described above to correct this problem, but sometimes it can take some hunting to find the offending morph (in my experience, it's usually related to eyelashes).

    8.3 Facial and Body Hair

    Options for these used to be limited, but as FiberMesh technology grows more popular, more products have hit the market to allow you to add beards or body hair to your figure. For Genesis body hair, try Unshaven or ManFuzz. You can find beards for 3rd Generation guys in the store here, and for Michael 4 as well (I've found that the Michael 4 Long Beard also works nicely on Genesis). There are now many Genesis beard options, ranging from the close-cropped Short Beard for Genesis to the morphable Unshaven Beard, and from the trimmed Actual Face Hair to the wild-looking beard that comes with Neanderthal for Genesis (this can be shortened, and looks great on modern males, also).

    I'm not familiar enough with other, non-Genesis beard and body hair options to provide much commentary, but some possibilities include Beard for Michael 4,Jepe's Project M4 Beard and Body Hair, 1 Click Face Hair, and 1 Click Chest MAT.

    IX. Additional Resources

    General information and fitting: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/4702/
    Elf Ears: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/4201/
    Distortion: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/16913/
    More on Distortion: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/16764/
    Transfer Utility: http://forumarchive.daz3d.com/viewtopic.php?p=3277033#3277033
    Using Older Content on Genesis: https://helpdaz.zendesk.com/entries/21258657-using-4th-generation-content-on-genesis-in-daz-studio-4
    Converting Prop Hair to Figure: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/1866/

    Fantom Occlusion: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/4949/
    Geometry Shells and Fantom Occlusion: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/8694/
    Rendering Hair: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/4470/
    UberHair: http://www.omnifreaker.com/index.php?title=UberHair
    Render Settings: http://rubicondigital.host22.com/index.php/articles/poserdazstudio/4-optimising-render-settings-in-daz-studio
    Render Settings: http://forumarchive.daz3d.com/viewtopic.php?t=144303

    Resources to hairy topics not covered in this tutorial:
    Modeling Hair: http://www.art-collaborations.com/Valea_HexHair.pdf (pdf)
    Modeling Hair: http://digitalbabes.jp/tutorial.zip (zip)
    Modeling Hair: http://www.3dtotal.com/ffa/tutorials/max/joanofarc/hair1.asp

    (End)

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  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,100
    edited February 2013

    Reserved for future Q&A :)

    Post edited by Scott Livingston on
  • Proxima ShiningProxima Shining Posts: 1,001
    edited December 1969

    WOW! :wow: What is more to say than - THANK YOU !!!

  • KatteyKattey Posts: 2,900
    edited December 1969

    Nice tutorial, thank you very much!
    *bookmarked*

  • KalisxKalisx Posts: 104
    edited December 1969

    Fantastic tutorial. Very useful.
    THANKX

  • bighbigh Posts: 5,409
    edited December 1969

    great info - thanks

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,100
    edited December 1969

    Thanks, everyone...I appreciate the kind words! :)

    I made a couple of quick updates to the tutorial:
    - Garibaldi Express has been released! http://www.daz3d.com/garibaldi-express-hair-system-for-daz-studio/
    - I found this thread, with more information on how and why fantom occlusion works: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/8694/

  • Dr StupidDr Stupid Posts: 311
    edited December 1969

    What a fantastic contribution to this forum/community! Thank you so much for all your time and effort :)

  • lexbairdlexbaird Posts: 50
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for a great tutorial!

    I do have a question though, regarding the ubershader trick

    You say "...and change the shader to UberSurface..." in the Surfaces pane. I find no "shader" setting there. What do I do to change the shader?

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,100
    edited December 1969

    lexbaird said:
    Thanks for a great tutorial!

    I do have a question though, regarding the ubershader trick

    You say "...and change the shader to UberSurface..." in the Surfaces pane. I find no "shader" setting there. What do I do to change the shader?


    Here's a quick tutorial on applying shaders: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/16887/ (in this case, you can skip steps 1 and 2, since UberSurface should be installed already). In my opinion, the key step (that's easy to overlook when you're just learning this stuff) is #5, where you select the appropriate surface(s) in the Surfaces pane. Once you have done that, you should be able to locate UberSurface in Smart Content (or in the Content Library). Its exact location will depend on which version of DAZ Studio and Genesis Starter Essentials you have installed.

  • White RabbitWhite Rabbit Posts: 66
    edited December 1969

    Thanks Scott!! This has been an extremely useful tutorial which I have bookmarked for future reference.

    :-)

  • Miss BMiss B Posts: 3,069
    edited December 1969

    Very nicely done Scott. Don't know how I missed this up until now. This will be very useful. :-)

  • dsb.1274dsb.1274 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    That is one hell of a tutorial. Thank you very much. Helps loads.

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 9,359
    edited March 2013

    Well, it appears I'm the only one messing up on this.
    I got the hair converted to Uber Surface Base, and created the new geometry shell, then you stated to "convert to Uber Shell also." Well, hmmm. Since I already followed you step by step without any problems, imagine my surprise when I tried to repeat the steps and having the Geometry Shell selected in Surfaces and also Editor, the Surface Selection tool selected- I went merrily on my way to the Smart Content, just like I did for converting the hair. Whether I used Files or Products, All or Default, the only thing under Presets is Cameras, Characters, Lights, and Materials. No "Shaders" -No Ubers anywhere. Tried every combination. The geometry shell is selected in surfaces, double checked.

    Where oh where has my Uber gone, oh where oh where can he be.....?

    Post edited by Novica on
  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,100
    edited March 2013

    Novica said:
    Well, it appears I'm the only one messing up on this.
    I got the hair converted to Uber Surface Base, and created the new geometry shell, then you stated to "convert to Uber Shell also." Well, hmmm. Since I already followed you step by step without any problems, imagine my surprise when I tried to repeat the steps and having the Geometry Shell selected in Surfaces and also Editor, the Surface Selection tool selected- I went merrily on my way to the Smart Content, just like I did for converting the hair. Whether I used Files or Products, All or Default, the only thing under Presets is Cameras, Characters, Lights, and Materials. No "Shaders" -No Ubers anywhere. Tried every combination. The geometry shell is selected in surfaces, double checked.

    Where oh where has my Uber gone, oh where oh where can he be.....?

    Hmm. When I do this, I usually go not to the main Smart Content tab, but to the "Presets" tab within the "Surfaces" pane. That brings up a list that looks very similar to Smart Content. You should be able to find UberSurface there, as long as you've selected one or more surfaces. I just tested it, and when I had the Geometry Shell and its surfaces selected, I was able to find UberSurface in that "Presets" section of the "Surfaces" pane, but (like you) not in the main "Smart Content" pane...not sure why this is...it might be a bug I suppose.

    If you're not seeing it in either place, you can also find it in the Content Library, under "DAZ Studio Formats>My DAZ 3D Library*>Shader Presets>omnifreaker>UberSurface"

    Try loading it from there and see if it works.

    *or "My Library," or whatever is the name of the folder where your content is installed.

    Post edited by Scott Livingston on
  • NovicaNovica Posts: 9,359
    edited December 1969

    Haven't tried it yet, just wanted to say thanks in advance- in my notes I had written down Smart Content instead of Surfaces for that step for the Uber. When I did the hair, I had the forum window open and so was following your notes, for the geometry, was using my notes! I'm sure I'll be able to find it :)

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 9,359
    edited December 1969

    Found it. Now just a couple questions-
    I am using it on the Pyrit Hair (remember THAT thread, lol) for my Kaetl character, and I don't know how that geometry shell relates to the hair so far as doing changes to diffuse, ambient, specular- I am trying to add bluish highlights to her black hair, and making it glossier, do I do that in the pyrit or in the shell?

  • Pixel8tedPixel8ted Posts: 261
    edited March 2013

    :red:

    I found my answer to question I deleted. (I had asked about transferring some morphs but realized I was looking at the wrong place and had the morphs I wanted the entire time.)

    Post edited by Pixel8ted on
  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,100
    edited March 2013

    Novica said:
    Found it. Now just a couple questions-
    I am using it on the Pyrit Hair (remember THAT thread, lol) for my Kaetl character, and I don't know how that geometry shell relates to the hair so far as doing changes to diffuse, ambient, specular- I am trying to add bluish highlights to her black hair, and making it glossier, do I do that in the pyrit or in the shell?

    If you're using the shell for fantom occlusion, I'd assume that it would be better to make these changes on the hair itself. When fantom is on, the surface is basically invisible to the viewer, though still impacting things like shadow and reflection. But free to experiment with this and let us know how you make out! :)

    I'm glad that so many are finding this tutorial useful, by the way! :)

    Post edited by Scott Livingston on
  • NovicaNovica Posts: 9,359
    edited March 2013

    Hadn't forgotten you, just busy with Life.
    There are so many settings that I don't know (since I changed to Uber shader (is that the right term?) and the Geometry Shell- there are additional sliders and I don't have a grasp of what the initial ones did, lol, but was getting there. But what I'm finding with just moving sliders and trying different things was messing with both the hair and shell, I got better results. I'm still "slidin'" it like crazy, but thought I'd show you the pyrit hair from my Kaetl character. I added a spotlight (whitish blue) and am working on bluish/light blue locks in a fairly dark scene. This is lightened just so you can see the hair strands better. Seems like more of them and better definition (I think.)

    So what are you other folks doing when using uber and geometry shell- messing with the shell, hair, or both for ambient, diffuse, specular, etc? And is there a tutorial that tells me what the heck that other stuff is? (Anisotrophic?!!!)

    Again, hair is lightened in corel to show you the strands. Not the individual strands, just the intensity and lightness of the entire image.

    EDIT: no, the smoothing wasn't on. Her hair in her face will be fine tuned when that is applied.

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  • assmonkeyassmonkey Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Which hair plug-in would people say to get? Look at my Hair or Garibaldi?

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,100
    edited December 1969

    There have been several discussions about that...this is perhaps the most enlightening: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/17345/
    I don't really think there's a wrong answer...the two are similar in many ways (though there are some differences), and both can yield very impressive results.

  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 15,728
    edited December 1969

    ...first off. Thank you.

    Was steered here from another thread where I mentioned I was having difficulty trying to do a render with the Mentha Pieperata hair Love the style but is is so loaded down with transmaps that even on my new workstation it was taking hours to render (and it only comprised about 2 - 3% of the image). I don't know how anyone was able to render this in the 32 bit days before Ubersurface unless they used no ray tracing at all and only the preview lights. Several years ago I tried as scene with it using LDP2 and it crashed the application as I ran out of memory.

    Re rendered the scene and it took just over 12 minutes.

  • babel25babel25 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Anyone know of tutes about creating new original hair items, either from scratch or by customising existing hair objects in a 3d modelling app?

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,100
    edited December 1969

    @Kyoto Kid: glad it was helpful to you! :)

    @babel25: There are links to a couple hair modeling tutorials in this thread: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/4368/

    Hmm, maybe I should add those links to the Additional Resources section...

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,100
    edited December 1969

    I've been experimenting with the phantom shielding (fantom occlusion) technique some more, now that I'm on a computer that can render decently fast (about twenty times the speed of the one I was using before). I've run a couple dozen renders in different conditions and would like to share my findings in this thread.

    The lighting of my first test scene was based on the light setup of LaticisImagery's tutorial. It's UE2 plus additional lights. The test subject is Timeless Male Hair for Genesis plus Colors for Timeless Male Hair, as modeled by David 5. Shading rate was set to 0.2, as I wanted to show a lot of detail in these tests.

    Here are the render times for the twelve tests of this scene that I ran. Of course your results will depend on your system specs, the composition of your scene, and your lighting and render settings. So don't pay so much attention to the actual times...what is important is how the times compare to each other.

    1. 26m59s Default shader
    2. 20m22s Converted to UberSurface (US)
    3a. 12m26s US with Occlusion off
    3b. 18m44s US with Raytracing off
    3c. 12m20s US with Occlusion and Raytracing off
    4. 26m36s added Geometry Shell, converted shell to US, fantom off

    For the rest of these, if there's a shell, assume has Fantom turned on

    I ran two tests with the hair materials (including transmaps) applied to the shell:

    5. 22m21s Hair: Occlusion and Accept Shadows off; Shell: Accept Shadows off
    6. 22m06s Hair: Occl., RayTr., Accept Shadows off; Shell: Accept Shadows off

    Turning the transmaps off had a big effect on render time:

    7. 11m17s Hair: Occlusion and Accept Shadows off; Shell: Accept Shadows off

    Next is the same as the previous one, except I never applied any of the hair materials to the shell, just converted it to UberSurface and set up fantom occlusion as described in the tutorial.

    8. 11m11s Hair: Accept Shadows and Occlusion off; Shell Accept Shadows off

    For the next ones, the hair has the same settings as above, but I removed the geometry shell entirely:

    9. 8m01s Hair: Accept Shadows and Occlusion off
    10. 7m56s Hair: Cast Shadows, Accept Shadows, and Occlusion off
    11. 6m52s Hair: Cast Shadows, Accept Shadows, and Occlusion off and Opacity Maps (transmaps) removed. This was fastest of all, but the appearance suffers...still, it might suffice if your character is in the background and out of focus.

    Lastly, one more with the shell, but no fantom...unlike 4, the transmaps are off on the shell this time

    12. 13m37s Hair: Accept Shadows and Occlusion off; Shell: Accept Shadows off and Fantom off.

    Images below show the Default render and numbers 7, 8, and 9.

    more scenes and examples coming...

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  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,100
    edited April 2013

    From these initial tests I drew the following preliminary conclusions:

    1. It appeared to confirm my belief that the most important thing you can do to increase speed is to convert the hair surfaces to UberSurface and turn Occlusion off.
    2. I wanted to compare using an untextured shell to using a shell that has had materials applied. If the shell has Opacity maps (transmaps), much of the speed improvement will be lost. If the shell has materials applied but transmaps turned off, there doesn't seem to be much difference in either speed or render quality vs. an untextured shell.
    3. Sometimes the whole fantom occlusion process may be unnecessary...if there isn't much difference in terms of appearance between fantom occlusion and no occlusion, why bother? Judging from my tests, it seems like fantom occlusion has more of an impact when using a hair model with complex geometry (high poly).

    On to the next scene...this is one that anyone should be able to duplicate and experiment with, since it uses the Fiery Genesis Ready-To-Render scene that comes with DAZ Studio. I changed the shading rate to 1.00 but otherwise left everything in it's default setting (except for the hair, of course).

    The numbers correspond to the settings from the first scene, above. I only ran numbers 1, 7, 8, and 9. 1 is default shader and settings, and I found 7, 8, and 9 to be the most useful for purposes of comparison.

    1. 8m18s
    7. 6m19s
    8. 6m23s
    9. 3m35s

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    Post edited by Scott Livingston on
  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,100
    edited April 2013

    The next set uses Victoria 4, Modern Muses Amalie, Lantios Lights, and SAV Sonia Hair from Renderosity.

    1. 11m29s
    7. 7m45s
    8. 7m30s
    9. 3m09s

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