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By using the new Spline Deform feature on the Hair and Fur Modifier, you can now more easily style or animate your character's hair by having it conform to the shape of a spline. We'll start by first selecting the blue sphere, then applying the Hair and Fur Modifier. Now the Hair Deformation Controls can be found under the Tools tab. So open that up and then click on the None button directly below the words, Spline Deform. This now simply signals to Max that we're ready to pick a spline in our scene that we will then use to change the curvature of our hair. With the button down, go ahead and click on the yellow line. Notice how each hair is now conforming to the general overall curvature of the yellow spline. Let's take a look at how that would look if we would render it out.
If you would like to experiment with a different line, or would simply like to remove the one that we are using; you can simply click on the X button to the right of the spline's name. To return the hair to its original layout, we'll now click Regrow Hair. The Spline Deform can even be used on a series of selected ploys. Let's go to a four-way view. We'll activate the Front View. Open up the Hair and Fur Modifier going down to the Poly level and now window select the top of the sphere. We can now return to the Perspective view full screen. We'll now need to go a little bit above the Tools tab, open up Selection and then click on Update Selection. Now we can go back and select our yellow spline. Click on None and then the spline itself.
Let's take a look at how this will render out. Why don't we now see if we can lighten up the hair a little bit by changing the Glossiness setting on the hair material. To do that, we'll put our mouse inside the Command Panel, right-click and then drop-down to the Material Parameters. Let's now change the Glossiness from 99 to 25 and we can render that.
What makes the spline deform even more versatile is that you can animate vertices along the spline to make the hairs move from side to side. Let's first turn off the Hair and Fur Modifier by clicking on the light bulb inside the stack. We'll now hit H to open up our Select By Name list and choose Line 1. In the stack, we can now drop down to the Vertex level, turn on our Auto Key and move the vertex from side to side. Let's grab the time slider and pull it to 50. We'll select that middle vert, activate our Move command and we'll slide it to the right. We'll now go to Frame 100 and we'll move that back to the left. Now if we click back on the top of the stack and type H, we can now go back and select our blue sphere. Let's now turn the Hair Modifier back on and we'll play things back.
To offer an even greater range of possibilities, you can even have the hairs conformed to not one, but a series of splines that have been connected together. We'll go back up to the top of the Hair and Fur settings. Remove the spline from controlling the hairs curvature and get out of the Polygon sub-object level. Let's now Regrow our hair. Select the old spline and hit Delete. Let's now right-click to Unhide All and we'll use this spline cage consisting of two lines to reform our hair. Let's first of all turn off the Auto Key and so we don't get in trouble with that. Now we can go back and select the ball. Click again on the None button under Spline Deform and this time click on one of the two green lines. If we render you can see how that looks.
Now to offer a greater level of accuracy as to where the hair bends. Let's increase the number of segments on each hair. To do that, we'll go a little farther down in the Modify column and change the Hair Segments from 5 to let's say 12. We can render again and that should smoothen things out just a bit. Now with just like working with one spline, we could change the shape of our two green curves, which would therefore reshape the hairs. I'll select the green lines, enter the Vertex level and as you can see, moving these up and down. Indeed that's the trick.
So the next time you're needing a little hair or fur on a character, consider whether the new Spline Deform feature will do the trick.
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