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Before we get started, we always need to study and analyze the case. Except for the basic things such as the direction of hair, the outline, shape, etc, what’s more important is to grab the characteristics of hair, so as to determine the workflow and method.
Take this hairstyle case as example, the hairs are separated into two areas: short and long, so we can create two layers for changing the direction and shape.
Short hairs are simple, we’ll skip this part.Let’s focus on the long hairs. From the final result, we can see the hair is fluffy with slight randomness. The long hair forms clumps, and there is parting and randomness. The clumps are apparent, while the separation and randomness are weaker, so we can be sure the characteristics of this hairstyle is clump.
After we find the characteristics, now it’s time to do a deeper and more detailed analysis: the quantity of clumps, the size, the density, etc.
We can see the large clumps of long hairs consist of more small clumps, mingled with random clumps. When we are creating clumps, we can shape them by changing the direction and the options in the clump modifier.
In addition, when we are analyzing the direction of hairs, we can do it in two steps: To analyze the overall direction, and then the details. This will make our later viewing and creation easier. When we are analyzing the overall direction, we just need to mark the general direction of hairs, and the details can be marked separately.
Direction of Hairs
Before we start creating the hairs, I’d like to share my best practices with you.
2. Work on the characteristics
After the overall direction is completed, we can add some details. First step is to emphasize the characteristics of the hairs, now we can see it’s the clumps, and the direction also varies, and parting is obvious, too. So we can get started.
Clumps: Use Attract brush of 3D Hair Brush, we can select a strand of hair, and use Attract brush, we can soon get a fine effect and this saves us a lot of time.
Tip: Enable Hide Guide Lines in N-panel, and hold H to hide the unwanted guidelines, this is useful when we are sculpting only a strand of hairs.
Parting: To achieve what we want, I just use Part brush of 3D Hair Brush to create a parting effect, and then use Comb brush to adjust the details.
Spiral: I use Orient brush, and enable Repel to create this ray-shape effect, and then use Twist brush to change the direction. Finally, we get a smooth transition between spiral shapes and other parts.
When we are finished with the direction, we can start to add details. Add some random long hairs to break the edge of other hairs, we add these hairs with Draw brush, and then sculpt them slightly. Besides, we can also tweak the existing guidelines, use Noise brush to add some noises to each guideline.
4. Post Modification
Now the directions of all hairs are done, I notice that the hairs on the top are heading upwards too much, they are too fluffy which breaks what we decided in the beginning. So I decided to lower the direction to improve this. But we have a problem now, the direction is done, if we sculpt the hairs with Comb brush, it will break all the details we just added, then our previous efforts will be wasted. So I choose Orient brush of 3D Hair Brush to deal with it, the Orient brush doesn’t break any detail while changing the direction of the hair, so we can fix this quickly. Kind reminder here, we really should be careful with the overall direction, avoid any change in later steps.
After the direction is done, we can start with the shape. When adjusting the shape, 3D Hair Brush offers some modifiers which really helped me a lot. And I choose Simple as the children of hairs.
According to our previous analysis, we need to first adjust the overall effect of clumps. We can use modifiers of 3D Hair Brush, add a clump modifier to control all the clumps.
After the overall effect is done, we need to tweak each clump further. The large clumps consist of more small clumps, so we can add another clump modifier with more clumps than the previous one. Below is a screenshot of the options.
After clumps are done, let’s add randomness. We can do this with two layers, one with weaker randomness of all hairs, the other with stronger randomness, but less hairs
Next, I want to add some even smaller clumps, add a clump modifier and change the subdivision to a higher value, then set the amplitude and frequency of the curve, and we can enable Random of amplitude and frequency to make the hairs random. At last, we can set a larger threshold. Now the detailed clumps are done.
Short hairs are easier to create, here I add clump modifier and noise modifier, set proper values of options. I also use the expression here, we can make the hairs have different values according to their different lengths, so as to quickly add smooth transition between short hairs and long hairs.
I use Transparent and Light Paths nodes to adjust the white material. Basic nodes can be adjusted with principled hairs and diffuse reflection, principled hairs take the most part and make the color warm.
Now the highlight is not ideal, we can mix hair nodes, and the coefficient of hair nodes can be less, the color of the hair highlight will be cold.
After adding highlight, the material seems hard, now we need Light Paths and transparent nodes, Light Paths reduces shadow of hair, and transparent makes the hair softer.
Tip: If you are using a transparent node, you should increase “Render Properties->Light Paths->Max Bounces->transmission” where there are a lot of hairs. Render speed can be affected by this value.