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PaintFX: The Ultimate Hair Designer

By Yinako Minako
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Date Added: 22nd June 2009
Software used:
Maya

984_tid_pfxtut10.jpg
Now first select the hair_side_stroke01 again(outliner), then shift select the all the main_control_curves on one side of the head,(i.e. either left or right), Paint Effects->Curve Utilities->Set Stroke Control Curves. The hair now may follow the shape of the hair a little. Bring attributes for hair_side_brush, then open up the tab tubes|Behavior|forces, set CurveFollow=1, now all the hair should follow exactly the main_control_curves. Set Length Flex=1, this will stretch the length of hair to the same as the main_control_curves. Also go to the hair_side_stroke01.shapeNode, and set the display quality to around 10 so its faster to up date. Now its a good time to test render the hair, make sure your background for the camera is white, so the hair shows up. Don't worry if it doesn't look like what you want yet, as long as the shape resembles...ok time for coffee, next I'll start the real thing.

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Part 4: Tweaking PFX

Now here comes the part where you'll spend most of your time doing, fine tune the exact look of your hair. 30% setup 70% tuning. Note we will still be working on one side of the hair first. You'll also need to do a lot of test renders, because viewPort hair doesn't reflect some settings you tweak. I suggest using below 320*240 res, as higher res will increase pfx render times, and of course hide everything else other than the hair strokes. Start off by open the hair_side_brush's tab tubes|creation adjust the tubes per Step, this will dramatically effect the speed of pfx renders and amount of hair you have. You don't need a lot actually, around 25 would be good enough.
Then set the Length Min=7 andLength Max=10 . These if you want more hair in between main_control_curves then have length Min higher or even same as Length Max.

Then set the Tube Width1=0.3 and Tube Width2=0.1, width2 is the tip of your hair, so if you want more sharp and realistic hair you need to have lower width1 and 2 more, but you also need to increase the tubes per Step for compensating thinner hair, because the hair don't look as full.

Adjust the Segment=64, the value here should be as little as possible while the hair still looks smooth, this will affect render time also, try to lower it.Also set the simplify Method to Tubes per Step, this speeds up the view port without losing to much details. Check for all the values below. Now do a test render you should get something like below. Spend some time test render the settings for your hair, if you don't know what each slider is contributing to the effects, try one by one and test render, and type in values out side of their range.

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Part 5: shading and texturing

Select the hair_side_brush Open up the tabs Shading|tube shading, change color1 to the root color of your hair, and color2 for the tip, I left it as defualt black and dark red. Set transparency1 to black, set the transparency2 to gray if you want softer hair, or black to take more shape like mine. Set tip Fade =0.2, set higher if you want more soft hair, just test render these settings until you are satisfied. Now if you want more realistic hair then you read below on texturing, or if you are just after anime/manga styles its good to leave it at that without texture, its actually pretty nice without textures. Just because textures looks realistic doesn't mean you'll always need to use it, try to suit the character. OK For the texture part, open shading|tubes shading|texturing for the previous brush. Select map Color, set Texcolorscale=0, this lets you use all the colors from your texture. Texture type = File, Map method = tube3D, and set both Tex Color1 and TexColor2 to a white, to take all color from the texture. Now for the image Name you'll need to load a texture, (below) I have my texture sample, you shouldn't make this hires, its only a few color information that will contribute to the effect, and the more random the pattern the better. What I did was use the same hairRed1.mel brush to paint in the 2D canvas viewport, painting vertical lines and then bring to photoshop to scale and touch up. If you have even lower width for your hair then make the texture for the hair as if more zoomed in to the hair strand. If the texture is not showing up then probably you have the hair width too thin and texture res too high.


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