Tutorial: Creating realistic Carrara hair for animations and still renders

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  • Salem2007Salem2007 Posts: 510
    edited December 1969

    Jonstark said:
    Salem2007 said:
    Jon,

    I think I solved my problem. I had some of the values for the settings off. I don't have speakers connected to my desktop, so I watched the tutorial without audio and I missed a few steps... oops!

    Glad to hear it, Salem :) Was it 'auto-grouping'? That seems to be a step that's easily missed and can to lead to lots of stray hairs misbehaving.

    For me personally I tend to make the same mistakes and missteps over and over again. I often forget to turn off collisions in the effects tab for all of the high-poly stuff in the scene I don't want my hair colliding with, then when I'm hit the 'simulation' button and everything slows to a crawl I find myself saying 'why in the world is this taking so long... oh wait, duh I forgot..' For others who make a similar mistake, you can always hit the escape button to stop a simulation and get back to correcting the scene. This is true for draping too, a quick tap on the esc button will stop it at once.

    It was the collision, actually. I had it set too high so the hair was pushing out against everything.

  • argus1000argus1000 Posts: 701
    edited February 2015

    I've been playing around with the lessons of tutorial 1. I'm not into complex hairs yet. Really, I've only been using the brush tool, with a little wave effect from the shader room. Not very successful. Sometimes, clumps of hair have a will of their own. We'll see what we can do about that.

    Am anxiously hoping for somebody who can distribute a Genesis low res-proxy figure with skeleton.

    P.S.: The woman in the test video is sad, because her man dumped her. She's thinking maybe about getting some Botox treatment.

    http://youtu.be/9kESPx3nUXo

    Post edited by argus1000 on
  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited February 2015

    Argus, nice start! I think I would add more guide hairs to help offset the illusion that some of the hair is 'crawling' over the shoulder (the guide hairs are falling over the shoulder naturally but they are invisible, and the clumps of loose hairs that are following the guide hairs are moving all at once with the guide hair they are following, which is why you get the 'walking/crawling' effect when a clump of hair all moves as one then then seems to cling to the next section.

    Also it wouldn't be too hard to split this hair into two different hairgroups to make it only slightly more complex but still nicely manageable. Keep the very front just as it is, but give the rest of the hair a slightly different shader with less pronounced wave (or maybe kink or maybe some combination of both) to show that it has volume too, but allowing for a less pronounced final wave/curve at the very tip so that the effect when the hair goes over the shoulder is less obvious and more natural (because unless you put in 5000 guide hairs there's always going to be some measure of groups of loose hairs all following the same guide hair).

    Overall, very good looking start. Neat to see :)

    Post edited by Jonstark on
  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited December 1969

    argus1000 said:

    Am anxiously hoping for somebody who can distribute a Genesis low res-proxy figure with skeleton.

    Actually, I think the universal solution is applicable right now. Cut the head off your v4 proxy that has the hair and get rid of the body, then you can drop that proxy head onto any figure (a little pushing and pulling of vertices and it will fit the head of whatever figure). Throw in a few primitives that you can also push/pull to get a closer shape match onto whatever body parts you need to collide (for example, a cylinder for the neck and a couple of cylinders on the collarbones) and you can take the hair you've created on the V4 proxy and put it on any other figure, including genesis.

    Diomede's got that cool low-poly genesis envelope figure, it's unboned, but is also very useful as well (you can find it on sharecg). My own testing so far though leads me to believe the conforming low proxy figure won't work well with Genesis and Genesis2, the autofit is too strong and makes the low poly figure shred in places sadly. There may be a way to bone it so that it follows Genesis without the autofit, more testing is needed, but like I said even so there's a solution to make your hairset universal for any figure (though it does require a bit of fiddling with primitives for the hair to collide against).

  • argus1000argus1000 Posts: 701
    edited December 1969

    Hi Jon,

    I've been playing with V4 as she's walking. The whole hair animation seems pretty natural, as she walks fast, but at frame 51 and 124, there are sudden little bursts I'd like to get rid of. Also, I didn't put any wind, but I think the hair maybe seems to react to some kind of wind that is too strong. Any ideas of some settings I need to adjust? Thanks.

    http://youtu.be/Bs06sRxROfc

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited December 1969

    Looks good Argus, couple of things spring to mind, the air dampening being set high is what keeps the hair from jittering, but it can also cause the drag too, therefore pushing your hair farther back than you want as she moves. You can amp up the hair density really high in the simulation tab in hair model room to help offset this as it makes the hair 'heavier' in simulation (without actually changing any hair numbers or the way it renders) so that it's more resistant to wind and drag, etc. Also you could add some shape stiffness, this would also help it resist the 'wind' a bit better.

    One thing I haven't mentioned is that hair is very sensitive to highlights, and especially if you are setting your gamma correction to 2.2 the hair can get blown out, if you're like me and like to render with gamma correction 2.2 to enable the linear workflow on the renderer and give excellent realistic light rendering, you will want to counter the effects on the hair by multiplying the color by itself. Meaning change the root and tip colors from the colors they are initially to an operator: multiplier and then put the exact same color in both channels, so it multiplies by itself, and this can get your hair to retain the coloring you want even if the gamma correction is set.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606
    edited December 1969

    Looking really nice, Argus!

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited December 1969

    Dangit, I totally forgot to mention in my earlier post Argus - you can also increase the gravity strength in your scene (in the physics tab of scene in the assembly room). This will also make the hair 'heavier' and lay down a bit more and be less 'wind' susceptible. If you go this route though, I also recommend increasing the root stiffness of the hair up to 100%, don't want any of it so heavy it 'lays down' all the way on the scalp. Just realized I didn't mention this before and had to rush to my laptop to post :)

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,232
    edited December 1969

    @jonstark

    Thanks so much for taking the time to show us your methods - I've certainly learned a lot and you has solved a lot of issues that have bugged me :)

    When you first posted your tuts, my broadband allowance for the month was running on empty, so I've only now had the opportunity to watch them carefully.

    Couple of questions, if I may?

    Would it not be more versatile to grow the hair on a haircap, rather than on a proxy figure, but still use a proxy for collisions? A quick test shows that the hair will grow through the inside of the proxy figure, but collide with the outside. Possibly because of the normals?

    Secondly - have you explored the shader room for making hairstyles at all - if so, I'd love to see some solutions, because that really bugs me. Seems that I get it just about right, then a small change totally messes it all up, with no way to correct.

    Lastly - hair length. When using more than one growth region, any change to one region, will change the length on all regions. Have you explored this at all?

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited December 1969

    Roygee said:
    @jonstark

    Thanks so much for taking the time to show us your methods - I've certainly learned a lot and you has solved a lot of issues that have bugged me :)

    When you first posted your tuts, my broadband allowance for the month was running on empty, so I've only now had the opportunity to watch them carefully.

    Couple of questions, if I may?

    Would it not be more versatile to grow the hair on a haircap, rather than on a proxy figure, but still use a proxy for collisions? A quick test shows that the hair will grow through the inside of the proxy figure, but collide with the outside. Possibly because of the normals?

    Secondly - have you explored the shader room for making hairstyles at all - if so, I'd love to see some solutions, because that really bugs me. Seems that I get it just about right, then a small change totally messes it all up, with no way to correct.

    Lastly - hair length. When using more than one growth region, any change to one region, will change the length on all regions. Have you explored this at all?

    Haircap could work great for growing hairs, and is indeed a very versatile approach. My only reason for not going with a haircap are twofold, and neither is really related to whether it's a viable approach or not, imo. First my personal preference is that when I'm building a hair in the hair modeling room that I can see the dimensions of the whole head and how the hair will lay and fall on it. Just makes it easier for me to draw the hair areas to get a more precise hairline especially on the forehead and around the ears, which is why I particularly like the low poly proxy that Diomede made, since it has a nose and an eye section, as well as ears that stick out a little. It does need a few extra polys on the top of the scalp to let me draw the hairline more precisely, but I just add those in and I'm off to the races. :)

    The second reason I prefer a whole head approach is to make it more friendly for newcomers to Carrara to use dynamic hairs. Meaning in a couple of days (hopefully either this weekend or in the coming week) I want to start releasing free hairstyles for use of the Carrara community that are already ready to go for rendering and that don't require a new user to watch hours of my rambling on in tutorials, or even to go into the hair modeling room at all. And with a whole head proxy that I've built the hairstyle on, I envision it will be as simple as dropping the proxy head on a Genesis or Genesis2 or whatever figure, and animating the character and rendering, ready to go for anyone. A haircap can also work for this, but I fear might appear to the new user as more complex if they are trying to fit it to a character's head (it really isn't, but just might appear more intimidating or less intuitive of how to make it fit). I really think Carrara hair is something that should be in the hands of new users as a quick and easy feature right from the start, Carrara hair moves way more realistically, is more easily styled, renders faster than prop hair, but currently almost no one uses it (including me, up until just a couple of weeks ago) because of the myth of 'too complex, don't know if I'll be able to understand all the hair room tools' etc, and I really want to conquer that. :)

    I did get into the hair shader room a bit in my 2nd tutorial with the more complex hair, but even since then I've learned more and have developed different approaches to make hair behave. The most important thing I think to remember about the shader is that it does not affect the way the guide hairs behave or fall at all, it only changes the way the 'loose' hair that is rendered in scenes and that follows the guide hairs behave. So it's really really easy to have get a shader that makes your 'loose' hair (the stuff that renders in scenes and is not affected by collisions or sims or anything other than following generally the guide hairs) to appear to pass through the mesh of your character if the shader is telling the loose hair to 'spread out' too far from the guide hair. I'm going to try to work up to a 3rd tutorial to talk about some of the things I've learned about the hair shader room, it's a powerful component but you have to watch out how it's used (particularly in the front near the face, if the back or sides of the loose hairs are passing into the mesh it's not visible, but the front can be critical). Also different hair regions can have different hair shaders, and that can be very important in making your hairstyle really work well.

    Hair length affecting all regions? I have not experienced this, but this may be simply because I often have 'restrict to selection' checked and therefore cannot effect any other region but the one I"m working on. However even without that there is another solution you may want to explore that I've had very good success with, which is simply the fact that you can have multiple hairs on the same model in the same place, and they can each have their own simulations and shaders, all entirely separate, but visible in the render as all one hairstyle. I've lately explored using this to put on an under layer of hair without using a haircap, just drawing a flat laid down to the scalp hair that I don't even run sims on and have a high shape stiffness so it won't move at all. Not that the haircap itself doesn't work fine, it's just that this is a method that can keep your hair count super low and render just as fast as a haircap and yet even if you look really close you're actually looking at hairs and not a prop.

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,232
    edited December 1969

    Thank you - you make a compelling case for using the proxy. Being able to see the whole head and shoulders is really important. Pity we can't bring the body into the hair room without it being part of the process.

    Somehow I missed your video on the shader room - I'll take another look.

    Good hint on the hair length for multiple groups - must try that.

    Cheers :)

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited December 1969

    Here's a link to the 2nd tutorial (if you feel like boring yourself silly :) )

    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/52022/

  • argus1000argus1000 Posts: 701
    edited December 1969

    Thank you for your generous advice, Jon. The gravity and the density don't do much for me, but when I add 8% shape stiffness, I get results.
    There is a bump in the middle of the clip. It's not the animation. I checked the graph editor. It's in the dynamic hair settings. I don't understand it.
    http://youtu.be/_JBoiZRdD2k

    I found out that Daz distributes a Genesis hair cap with skeleton. All I have to do is attach the hip with Diomedes' Genesis proxy (with the "attach skeleton" feature under the animation tab) and I'm in business.
    https://www.daz3d.com/downloader/customer/files#prod_17109

    I am eagerly waiting for your free hairstyles!

    Genproxy.png
    620 x 650 - 68K
    haircap.png
    666 x 626 - 29K
  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited December 1969

    I'm mystified by the bump, I can see it in your second vid but not encountered anything like this before myself (unless there's something invisible in the scene hitting the hair unexpectedly).

    Very very cool about the Genesis skeleton working so well with the proxy envelope, didn't know that was out there, excellent find! :)

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited December 1969

    I wish there was a way I could look at your actual scene to see if I can figure out what's causing that weird bump, I'm completely mystified looking at it as I'm not encountering anything like this.

  • argus1000argus1000 Posts: 701
    edited February 2015

    Jonstark said:
    I wish there was a way I could look at your actual scene

    I tried to send it to you through Dropbox, but it doesn't work for some reason. :-S
    The link they gave me is:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/0pg2nij9agtqqgr/Walk dynamic hair.car?dl=0
    but I don't think it works. My file is uploaded on their website though.
    Post edited by argus1000 on
  • argus1000argus1000 Posts: 701
    edited February 2015

    I tried 4shared. I PM'd the link to you. It seems to work

    P.S. Never mind. I re-installed Carrara and the problem is gone.

    Post edited by argus1000 on
  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited December 1969

    Roygee tried to send me something in 4 shared the other day, but the 4 shared site seems to want to force me to download all kinds of different software that I don't really trust before it will let me download the file. I got the link, but not sure if I dare download it, so I'll leave it be for now since you mentioned that a restart of Carrara erased the problem. Very weird, but I'm glad the restart cleared it and you are back in business again :)

  • argus1000argus1000 Posts: 701
    edited December 1969

    I couldn't resist posting another clip. Carrara dynamic hair is awesome The way it flows, obeying the laws of gravity... is divine.

    I still haven't begun to use any tools, like smoother, etc...

    P.S.: I wish I could have dressed the woman in the clip more, but all I could find that fit her was this tiny bikini. V4 clothes are are to fit in Carrara. But I know know people in this forum are way to serious to look at anything but her hair anyway...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zYTDNZva7I

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited December 1969

    Dang, looks like youtube won't show it to me, I think you may have locked the video as 'private' by mistake...

    I was looking forward to see it :)

  • argus1000argus1000 Posts: 701
    edited December 1969

    Sorry. I forgot to click on "publish".

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited December 1969

    Excellent work Argus :)

  • DustRiderDustRider Posts: 2,056
    edited December 1969

    @Jonstark - Just thought I'd pop in and say thanks for the tutorials and all your work on this - great stuff!!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606
    edited December 1969

    dustrider said:
    @Jonstark - Just thought I'd pop in and say thanks for the tutorials and all your work on this - great stuff!!
    Me too. It's so nice to have someone actually take the time to figure out how to get this working nicely. I still haven't been finding any decent Carrara time - so I'm still wondering if I'll find success with the curly hair vs the flickering I've been experiencing, which I believe came from the shaders?
    We'll see. After seeing these tutorials, I want to start over from scratch. It'll be fun.
  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited December 1969

    Thanks guys, I appreciate it and I hope no one mistakes me for an expert, just stumbled across some easy ways to make hair look pretty decent but I'm first to admit I don't have all the answers :) Ironically though, since I've been playing with this stuff intensively for a few weeks now I actually have figured out some answers/workarounds to some common issues, and probably should do another tutorial titled 'all the things I didn't know before and got wrong' :)

    The last week I've been kind of swallowed up with exploring creating and animating dynamic cloth for characters using the ingenius method that Stringtheory came up with, so I haven't done as much as I would have liked with hair (aside from using it in animations just for fun while I'm animating the cloth at the same time and as the main purpose). Now that I know dynamic cloth is viable (it really works btw, takes a bit to set up the invisible softbody underarmor rig, but after that the cloth sims are nearly realtime fast and giving very good results in animations with no pokethru), going to put some more time into hair this week, and hopefully by the end of the week I'll have some free hairstyles ready to go for use of the whole Carrara community and in such a way they can be used with any figure, even if the user has no knowledge of how to use the hair modeling room. Anyway that's the next goal, we'll see how much life conspires to interrupt and delay me... :)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606
    edited February 2015

    That's awesome!
    I look forward to your latest findings! :)
    You might not call yourself an expert, but that makes you Mighty! Humble is good!
    You know, the fact that you know exactly what changes to make to the default situation to turn out good animated(edit: or Still) results is expert enough for me. From there, it's up to the individual to realize how it will all work with what they're doing. Personally, I am very relieved to have this fine set of instructions to go by - I have spent a lot of time monkeying with a few minutes here, an hour or two there... messing with Dynamic Hair when I had some "Spare" time... which is something that I have very little of right now - so a HUGE thanks goes to you for doing all of this ground work and then to take the time to teach the rest of us! That's SO Cool!
    Thanks!

    I am also very thankful for the whole dynamic cloth thing, and will be getting into that as well. I am (right now) in the process of getting back into my previous profession as a Landscape/Custom Stone/Pond and Waterfall extraordinaire in such a way that should work hand-in-hand with my Carrara/DAZ 3D endeavors... so I'm very excited about that!

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,232
    edited December 1969

    Here’s a link to the 2nd tutorial (if you feel like boring yourself silly

    Au contrare :)

    I've finally managed to view them all and very happy I did. I like your chatty style and the level of detail you go to has answered every one of the challenges I've faced over the years. Where you found time to uncover all these secrets in such a short time is a mystery, but I'm glad you did:)

    Thank you for sharing - as my 4-year-old Granddaughter says; "Sharing is caring"

  • Headwax_CarraraHeadwax_Carrara Posts: 7,645
    edited December 1969

    thanks John, you rock :) Cant wait to watch them when I get a chance. Oddly enough I was screwing round with a beard and eyebrows and moustache the other day - should have come to the forum first! cheese from here :)

  • argus1000argus1000 Posts: 701
    edited February 2015

    Jonstark said:
    Actually, I think the universal solution is applicable right now. Cut the head off your v4 proxy that has the hair and get rid of the body, then you can drop that proxy head onto any figure (a little pushing and pulling of vertices and it will fit the head of whatever figure). Throw in a few primitives that you can also push/pull to get a closer shape match onto whatever body parts you need to collide (for example, a cylinder for the neck and a couple of cylinders on the collarbones) and you can take the hair you've created on the V4 proxy and put it on any other figure, including genesis.

    I've been trying very hard to make realistic dynamic hair with Genesis, following your advice, but without success. No problem with V4. But Genesis is another story. I've gotten two hundred more grey hairs lately worrying about that. Could you elaborate on the procedure you explain in the quote above? I am at a loss, and ready to throw myself off my 19th story balcony. TIA.
    Post edited by argus1000 on
  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited December 1969

    I really had hoped to have worked this all out the past weekend, but got swamped with other things.

    I'm finding that for some weird reason I can't seem to cut the head off the V4 proxy figure in the vertex room, but the same principle works fine with the Genesis envelope figure that Diomede created and put out for free. I cut the head off and delete everything but the neck and head of the Genesis envelope, and that's where I build and grow my hair. Then I drop it on my character (whatever character) on the 'head' section, so it moves with the head, and now we've got a hairstyle that can work on any character. It will still fall through the shoulders/chest, etc, so I've been playing with inserting low poly primitives in those locations and resting on those bones to provide something for the hairs to collide with so they don't appear to fall through the character mesh in renders.

    I really do think I'll be able to put together a quick example of this later on tonight when I'm off work, and will put it out there for testing to see if others such as yourself can get the same results. I'm on a quick break from work at the moment and don't have time to do it right now, but I think later tonight I can whip a rough one together for proof of concept.

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