Tutorial: Creating realistic Carrara hair for animations and still renders

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Comments

  • magaremotomagaremoto Posts: 1,022
    edited December 1969

    Jonstark you made my day, thank you :-)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606
    edited March 2015

    Hi Jon,
    To make it easier for myself to follow through the whole series as one, I have created a playlist entitled,
    "Jon Stark's Carrara Dynamic Hair course", with the following description:
    In the DAZ 3D Carrara Discussion forum, member Jon Stark has done a beautiful job of de-mystifying the process of creating consistent dynamic hair for animation and still shots alike. The thread can be found here:
    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/51604/

    It then occurred to me that I probably should have asked permission first, since it is now available for public viewing.
    So if you are opposed to this playlist, please let me know and I'll take it down ;)
    Sorry about that!

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

    Totally cool, Dart :) Thanks!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606
    edited December 1969

    Jonstark said:
    Totally cool, Dart :) Thanks!
    Whew! Glad you're not annoyed that I've taken such liberties! :ahhh:
    After all, they are YOUR videos! ;)

    Now, I'm going to set out to watch all of them and see if I can get my Rosie's hair to look more like MY Rosie's hair ;)
    Thank you SO much for this! I'll be posting some of my results - good or bad - fairly soon... I hope.

  • Headwax_CarraraHeadwax_Carrara Posts: 7,645
    edited December 1969

    thanks Dart, thanks John! Cant wait to get some time to play,

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606
    edited December 1969

    I truly hope that it's just a matter of 'me still doing something wrong' here.
    Granted, I was intending to start from scratch following your workflow but instead tried to salvage something I've already started.
    I was under the impression that these glitches are due to kinks in the shader. I hope I'm wrong.

    CurlGlitchF.gif
    640 x 360 - 8M
  • argus1000argus1000 Posts: 701
    edited December 1969

    Hi Jon,
    To make it easier for myself to follow through the whole series as one, I have created a playlist entitled,
    "Jon Stark's Carrara Dynamic Hair course",

    Dart, I think you forgot to add the whole second part of the tutorial, which addresses more complex hairs
    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/52022/
  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited December 1969

    Whoa Dart, something is seriously far amiss there. Almost looks like you are running into the glitch that PhilW was referencing earlier, but which I couldn't replicate.

    First off, to eliminate the obvious, check to make sure you've got collisions unchecked for your haircap (if you have one in that scene) and the only collisions checked on anything should be the proxy object. Check to make sure clothing and other stuff has collisions unchecked too).

    Do you have any volumetric lighting enabled for that scene? Carrara hair doesn't do well with volumetrics. Do you have a directional force pointing downwards enabled? That can help steady the hair so it doesn't drag too much when the character is walking forward, though this doesn't seem to be the problem here.

    I haven't been able to get anything like that kind of effect myself, hopefully we can figure this out. A couple of pages back I put up some links to a pretty basic hair rig that I put up on sharecg; try slapping that on your V4 and having her walk the same cycle, see if we get identical effects or not, if not we can rule out something else in the scene and maybe start checking what's going on in the hair itself.

    PhilW mentioned a few pages back he was running into a glitch in the hair shaders themselves, but I haven't been able to replicate it in any of my testing so far.

    There is a single frame where the hair 'disappears' for a moment, I have seen that happen for me, extremely rarely, but I've done a lot of rendering of hair lately, so I know that happens from time to time, though I don't know why. It's rare enough that I've only encountered the problem a couple of times, and would just re-render the animation when it did. But while that happens in a single frame once, I know that's not the overall problem, something else is going on. For your hair shader, you've got wave and kink shaders both going on? Not that that should be a problem, but just to make sure what I'm seeing.

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 4,909
    edited December 1969

    Hi Dart - try removing the kink and wave shaders, also remove any length variation, and if you have clump, make sure it is set to Local Space. Then re-render and see if you get a smooth animation (yes, I know it will look less like Rosie but this is just a test!). If so, the issue is down to the shader issues that I was seeing and not the hair simulation per se. I have submitted a ticket on this to DAZ but the chances of any improvements in the near term are pretty thin, I think.

  • argus1000argus1000 Posts: 701
    edited March 2015

    PhilW said:
    Hi Dart - try removing the kink and wave shaders, also remove any length variation, and if you have clump, make sure it is set to Local Space. Then re-render and see if you get a smooth animation (yes, I know it will look less like Rosie but this is just a test!). If so, the issue is down to the shader issues that I was seeing and not the hair simulation per se. I have submitted a ticket on this to DAZ but the chances of any improvements in the near term are pretty thin, I think.

    Hi PhilW,
    For me, there is no problems anymore. The hair you see in this clip has both wave and kink applied, albeit subtly, and it flows perfectly. Granted, it's not the perfect hairstyle, but I'm not a hairdresser. I had a little wind from a directional force applied from her left. I do dynamic hair as a matter of routine now, all all my scenes. Thanks to Jonstark, Carrara dynamic hair works flawlessly for me. You just have to do your homework.
    Liz_(That._That_thing)_.gif
    640 x 360 - 9M
    Post edited by argus1000 on
  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited December 1969

    Nice one Argus! Looks very natural.

    Dart, I kinda like that hairstyle (if it weren't flickering/flying, I mean). Maybe I'll take a crack at emulating it later today. I've been working on trying to make some simple hairstyles to donate to the community for use, got a couple ready to go but struggling with making various shaders. It's hard to make a good shader for any light situation, since the highlight on hair is so reactive to light, and what looks good in a scene with skylight only won't necessarily look good in a scene with a lot of lights (such as the faking GI method Rashad was developing in another thread, which I actually love btw). Also I got stuck on trying to make a ponytail style, as the guide hairs don't like the torus I was trying to use to contain them, seems to find ways to slide through it (weird). But I can get the right effect using a couple off cylinders grouped together in a circle... again, not sure why but looks like dynamic hair doesn't play well with toruses (tori? whatever the plural of torus might be...)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606
    edited December 1969

    I think that it might be the kink in the shader. But I have already decided that I'm going to build the hair myself from scratch all over again.

    Notes:
    In that animation there is nothing in the scene except for Rosie, her clothes, her hair, and lights. But it does have a replicated surrounding light rig that I no longer use - this is, very much, a legacy file for me from long ago.

    I've gone as far as to remove collision from lights and anything else that I could find a collision option in.

    I started to try it with the kink turned off. I should have let it run its course - but I couldn't stand it! LOL

    So here's my next step on my next day off:
    Build a new dynamic hair onto a fresh Rosie without the light rig or anything unnecessary and go ahead with a straight style at first - make sure I've got a good starting point at the length I need - leaving the shader shaping completely off.

    Once I've got a good, running straight hair style sim, I want to try adding curls in the hair room, now that I've figured out how to do that - and try running it with shape setting turned up, but hair stiffness turned off. But also use that test-bed straight hair to see if I can make the shape-shaders work as well. I know it's possible - I think that my old CAR file that I used had too many test settings messed with as far as the scene physics and such. I need to just start over freshly - perhaps even using my new Genesis 2 Female version of Rosie.

    Funny thing is that, right now, the Real Rosie's hair is straight! LOL
    Funny thing, those hair straighteners! :ahhh:

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 4,909
    edited December 1969

    Funny thing is that, right now, the Real Rosie's hair is straight! LOL
    Funny thing, those hair straighteners! :ahhh:

    WHAT?!!!
  • SadKitty_CarraraSadKitty_Carrara Posts: 21,002
    edited December 1969

    PhilW said:
    Funny thing is that, right now, the Real Rosie's hair is straight! LOL
    Funny thing, those hair straighteners! :ahhh:

    WHAT?!!!
    you know Phil, the lovechild of the iron and the salad tongs
  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 4,909
    edited December 1969

    No, I know what hair straighteners are, I was just shocked by the thought of Rosie with straight hair! It's just not how I picture her. (Dart - we need a photo!).

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,606
    edited December 1969

    Yeah!
    She looks fantastic no matter how she wears her hair. I even really love it when she's running around doing chores with her hair up in a bun... Love It! Seventeen blissful year of being married to such a doll is certainly a joy to behold. Some guys have their fun little hobbies that drag them away from home... not me. I like being home with my Rose when ever I can. Our local grocery store sells quart deli containers filled with rose pedals. People buy them for various reasons - I buy them for Rosie's bath water - I like her to feel like the princess that she is to me! I know... blah blah... but I truly look upon my beautiful, wonderful wife as the true hero of my heart, which is why I place her as the main hero of my animations.
    The time has come, however, where I'm realizing that her attire must become much less revealing. So much for the hours I've spent on all of those skin shaders, eh? I've never really seen them as anything above a "G" rating, but others have pointed out the idea that such a costume can make someone feel a bit awkward watching such things when other family members are present - as one of the many example situations. So I will be addressing the issue. No problem - I never really wanted it to be one of 'those' kind of video projects anyways... I just always loved the costume I've made for her, is all.

    Back to dynamic hair, though...
    I really feel a strong need to get the hair curly, even if I have to make my own conforming hair, which I believe I could pull off in Carrara really well if I have to. But if I can make it a reality using Carrara's dynamic hair... now That's the stuff!!! I agree with Jon in that it is some of the Best 3D hair I've ever seen... anywhere!

    After seeing Jon's wonderful results from however long he's spent finding these great settings, I have a good feeling that we can all use dynamic hair for our needs. It will still require a good deal of patience and practice with the system, but that's true with anything we want to turn out just right in our 3D animation endeavors. But the refreshing fact that his suggested changes from default values can always create a working test-bed from which to begin, is very powerful to have on our side, and I hope to see more and more of this awesome hair being used in more and more animations now. This will (I feel) be yet another great asset towards Carrara from the rest of the 3D render/animation tool marketplace. Something that I am going to try and push quite heavily with an up-and-coming campaign I've been planning. With a high enough user base and overall software choice popularity and demand, Carrara will have no choice but to remain on the map of software truly worthy of further development.

  • mmoirmmoir Posts: 806
    edited March 2015

    Hey Guys,
    A question on trying to reduce the "jitter" on the hair when rendering out an animation. What is the best way to minimize the jittery hair in the rendered animation? Reduce Highlights and shininess? Any thoughts on this. Right now the hair in my animation is a little too distracting with all that jitter.

    Thanks

    Post edited by mmoir on
  • argus1000argus1000 Posts: 701
    edited December 1969

    mmoir said:
    Right now the hair in my animation is a little too distracting with all that jitter.

    Much has to do with the way you design the hair. Jon stark is a good hair designer. Did you try the pre-made hair that he has kindly posted?
    http://www.sharecg.com/v/79903/view/5/3D-Model/Basic-Dynamic-Hair-for-Animation-Testing
    Don't forget the chest collider:
    http://www.sharecg.com/v/79904/view/5/3D-Model/Carrara-Chest-Collider-for-dynamic-hair-sims

    For me, his pre-made "kinked" hair doesn't jitter at all. It's a dream come true.

  • mmoirmmoir Posts: 806
    edited December 1969

    Argus, it needs to be a boys short hair cut. I can download Jon's file and see how it works.
    Thanks

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited March 2015

    Jitter can come from several different places.

    Mainly though you can knock most of it out from using a high 'Air Damping' setting; I like to use around 80% for most loose hair situations. However this also creates a good deal of air 'drag' when a character is walking forward for example, you don't want it to look like he's underwater :) You can keep the air damping setting high to avoid jitters and counter it with a scene force pushing straight down slightly (like .5 strength or so) or you can increase the 'shape stiffness' too (but that will mean a lot less natural hair sway in the wind too if you go that route, so you just kinda have to eyeball it in the course of an animation to see what the sweet spot is).

    Other jitter factors can be based on the highlights of the hair, it's more of a 'glitter' problem then jitter, but can be distracting. Hiking up the antialiasing settings in the render room can address some of this if you still need very shiny hair, but mostly it's a matter of knocking that highlight way way down, and raising the shininess level. I've got a few more hairstyles ready to put out for community use (not a short hair yet, sorry) but before I put them up I also wanted to include some useable texture settings, so I've spent a good deal of time trying to find decent shininess and highlight levels. Using a perfectly straight, jet black hairstyle so I can see what I'm doing, I've slowly arrived at the conclusion that you have be pretty extreme with this, currently I'm drifting towards using less than 1% in the highlight setting (more than .5% though) and around 200% in the shininess, pretty extreme settings for both I'd say. Bear in mind though I've been testing using the gamma correction 2.2 scene settings for rendering, and if you don't use that the settings will vary some more (again, just eyeball til you get something that looks right, or at least that's the only method I can think of lol). What might look like good shiny healthy hair in a still render may be distractingly glittery in an animation, so I recommend setting up a short quick animation like 4 seconds so you can see what it looks like in motion and retexture as appears best.

    Another jitter factor can be if you accidentally have the hair bumping into something in your scene. The main reason I can get such quick hair simulation calculations is that I grow my hair on a low poly object, and the only things in my scene my hair ever collides with are the low poly objects I want it to collide with, so it's always worth rechecking to make sure you've got 'hair collisions' unchecked (in the effects tab of the 'model') for every item of clothing your character is wearing or anything else in the scene, especially the character himself, who is likely to be quite high-poly. I want my hair to bump into my invisible low poly head, my invisible face shield (if I'm using one to keep the face relatively free of falling hair), my low poly chest collider invisible object (only useful for long hairs, not needed for short of course) and if I want something to bump into my hair in the animation, like if someone is brushing their hair back with their hands as one example, I usually use a simple vertex room cylinder and insert it in the animation so it collides with the hair the way I want.

    One thing I very often forget to uncheck collisions on is the daz hair cap, if I'm using it (which I often do). I usually end up adding it to the scene last, and popping it onto my character's head, and since the hair is growing out of the invisible head object and right *through* the hair cap, yikes that can make things go crazy if I've forgotten to make the hair cap so that it doesn't collide with hairs.

    One other possibility is the effect PhilW mentioned a couple of pages back, which some sort of error/bug with the hair on certain shaders. I have not been able to replicate this problem though, and it may only be something that affects short hair settings like fur, instead of human hairs. But since it's a possibility I thought I would mention it.

    Post edited by Jonstark on
  • argus1000argus1000 Posts: 701
    edited December 1969

    Jonstark said:
    I've got a few more hairstyles ready to put out for community use (not a short hair yet, sorry)

    I hope there is some male hairstyles. Otherwise, us males might feel neglected. >:-(
    Doesn't have to be necessarily short.
  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,994
    edited December 1969

    mmoir said:
    Argus, it needs to be a boys short hair cut. I can download Jon's file and see how it works.
    Thanks

    Because of this thread, I've been closely watching how real hair behaves very closely. Even hair without hair spray doesn't move as much as we think it does in the course of normal activity. Especially short hair.

    Even in a breezy environment, the hair is fairly stiff, especially curly hair. Believe me, I have curly hair, and when it is curled, it want to stay that way. Most of the movement I get is nearer to the root. Which isn't to say there isn't a slight spring to the loops, but it is still relatively stiff.

    How does this solve the problem? It doesn't really I guess. It's just something that occurred to me as I read the post. I guess I think if the hair is short and it is not supposed to be windy, I wonder if it really needs a simulation?

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited December 1969

    I guess I think if the hair is short and it is not supposed to be windy, I wonder if it really needs a simulation?

    There's definitely some truth to this perspective. I think Carrara dynamic hair eclipses prop hair for realism for nearly all cases, but as I mentioned in the tutorial vids themselves, the main exception would be for very short hairstyles, in which I think prop hair can work just fine, because just like Evil mentioned there isn't a lot of movement going on with short hairstyles anyway, unless there is a very strong wind or something.

    I do think even short hairs look better when it's carrara dynamic, but a lot of times you might not need a hair simulation at all, though hair calcs are so fast on low poly characters it's not like it's a big time sacrifice. If you want subtle movement and reaction to scene forces, a high shape stiffness settings might be pretty appropriate for short hairstyles.

    Anything above a military buzz cut (or maybe a short spikey hairsprayed stiff hairstyle) should still have the capability for some subtle movement though, but you could certainly probably get away with no dynamic reaction at all to many scenes and not impact hair realism much, probably not noticeable at all in most situations if there's no subtle movement.

  • mmoirmmoir Posts: 806
    edited December 1969

    Evilproducer,

    For my short hair character I am not worried at all about dynamic hair, like you say short hair really doesn't move much so I agree totally with what you are saying.


    mmoir said:
    Argus, it needs to be a boys short hair cut. I can download Jon's file and see how it works.
    Thanks

    Because of this thread, I've been closely watching how real hair behaves very closely. Even hair without hair spray doesn't move as much as we think it does in the course of normal activity. Especially short hair.

    Even in a breezy environment, the hair is fairly stiff, especially curly hair. Believe me, I have curly hair, and when it is curled, it want to stay that way. Most of the movement I get is nearer to the root. Which isn't to say there isn't a slight spring to the loops, but it is still relatively stiff.

    How does this solve the problem? It doesn't really I guess. It's just something that occurred to me as I read the post. I guess I think if the hair is short and it is not supposed to be windy, I wonder if it really needs a simulation?

  • mmoirmmoir Posts: 806
    edited December 1969

    Hey Jon,
    Thanks for the informative post , I did arrive at the highlight/shininess to remove some of the jitter(glitter). I will try the air damping and your other suggestions
    Thanks again.

    Jonstark said:
    Jitter can come from several different places.

    Mainly though you can knock most of it out from using a high 'Air Damping' setting; I like to use around 80% for most loose hair situations. However this also creates a good deal of air 'drag' when a character is walking forward for example, you don't want it to look like he's underwater :) You can keep the air damping setting high to avoid jitters and counter it with a scene force pushing straight down slightly (like .5 strength or so) or you can increase the 'shape stiffness' too (but that will mean a lot less natural hair sway in the wind too if you go that route, so you just kinda have to eyeball it in the course of an animation to see what the sweet spot is).

    Other jitter factors can be based on the highlights of the hair, it's more of a 'glitter' problem then jitter, but can be distracting. Hiking up the antialiasing settings in the render room can address some of this if you still need very shiny hair, but mostly it's a matter of knocking that highlight way way down, and raising the shininess level. I've got a few more hairstyles ready to put out for community use (not a short hair yet, sorry) but before I put them up I also wanted to include some useable texture settings, so I've spent a good deal of time trying to find decent shininess and highlight levels. Using a perfectly straight, jet black hairstyle so I can see what I'm doing, I've slowly arrived at the conclusion that you have be pretty extreme with this, currently I'm drifting towards using less than 1% in the highlight setting (more than .5% though) and around 200% in the shininess, pretty extreme settings for both I'd say. Bear in mind though I've been testing using the gamma correction 2.2 scene settings for rendering, and if you don't use that the settings will vary some more (again, just eyeball til you get something that looks right, or at least that's the only method I can think of lol). What might look like good shiny healthy hair in a still render may be distractingly glittery in an animation, so I recommend setting up a short quick animation like 4 seconds so you can see what it looks like in motion and retexture as appears best.

    Another jitter factor can be if you accidentally have the hair bumping into something in your scene. The main reason I can get such quick hair simulation calculations is that I grow my hair on a low poly object, and the only things in my scene my hair ever collides with are the low poly objects I want it to collide with, so it's always worth rechecking to make sure you've got 'hair collisions' unchecked (in the effects tab of the 'model') for every item of clothing your character is wearing or anything else in the scene, especially the character himself, who is likely to be quite high-poly. I want my hair to bump into my invisible low poly head, my invisible face shield (if I'm using one to keep the face relatively free of falling hair), my low poly chest collider invisible object (only useful for long hairs, not needed for short of course) and if I want something to bump into my hair in the animation, like if someone is brushing their hair back with their hands as one example, I usually use a simple vertex room cylinder and insert it in the animation so it collides with the hair the way I want.

    One thing I very often forget to uncheck collisions on is the daz hair cap, if I'm using it (which I often do). I usually end up adding it to the scene last, and popping it onto my character's head, and since the hair is growing out of the invisible head object and right *through* the hair cap, yikes that can make things go crazy if I've forgotten to make the hair cap so that it doesn't collide with hairs.

    One other possibility is the effect PhilW mentioned a couple of pages back, which some sort of error/bug with the hair on certain shaders. I have not been able to replicate this problem though, and it may only be something that affects short hair settings like fur, instead of human hairs. But since it's a possibility I thought I would mention it.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,994
    edited December 1969

    Could some of the jitter be due to lower AA settings?

    Jon, I wasn't suggesting not to use dynamic hair for short hair. What I was suggesting was that maybe short dynamic hair didn't need a simulation. I think even without a simulation, it looks far superior to trans-mapped hair. Sorry for the confusion.

  • mmoirmmoir Posts: 806
    edited December 1969

    Ramping up the AA settings helped for sure but I think just rendering at the current AA settings and rendering at a larger size and then downsampling the animation back to my final size gives better results and is faster to render. At least this was the case in my tests.

  • DondecDondec Posts: 241
    edited December 1969

    I just spotted this. Awesome tutorial Jonstark, thanks so much. Additionally, not being that good of a speaker myself, I was pretty impressed with your ad-lib narration. Are you a professional voice talent or in the Toastmaster class? Bits of humor, very clear, well organized, nice job!

    Thanks again

    - Don

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited December 1969

    I just spotted this. Awesome tutorial Jonstark, thanks so much. Additionally, not being that good of a speaker myself, I was pretty impressed with your ad-lib narration. Are you a professional voice talent or in the Toastmaster class? Bits of humor, very clear, well organized, nice job!

    Thanks again

    - Don

    Thanks Don! In my wasted youth I was professional actor (mostly theatre) but that's about the extent of it. I had to look Toastmaster up on google, hadn't heard of that before. Funny that it came off as organized, I felt I have a bad tendency to wander and blabber on a bit (I cringe a little listening back and hearing myself repeat something for the 3rd time.. :) )

    I only hope it's of use. Oh and hopefully I'll have some more free hairstyles for universal use very soon, just keep getting distracted with this and that.

    I got a pm asking me what it would take to put together a Shiva hairstyle (google it if you're curious, it involves bun at the top and loose flowing hair in the back) and I started playing around the other night messing with what I thought would probably be a pretty simple concept, but then nothing is ever as easy as you think at first :) Maybe I should put up a few renders in the thread here to solicit opinions on how to best proceed/refine a hairstyle like that...

  • Darth RraraDarth Rrara Posts: 9,275

    Just happy to be able to track down the first part of the tutorial.

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