Creating Fur in Maya
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating Fur in Maya

with Aaron F. Ross

Video: Creating nHair

Now we're ready to create dynamic nucleus hair, nHair. want to select the ground plain and go into the end dynamics menu set and choose nHair create hair. It's important that we go into the options here because a lot of the things in here are difficult to change after the fact. So we want to get this right, so, especially this one at the top output we need to set that correctly, we don't want to output to paint effects in this case. We don't want to render the hair itself.

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Watch the Online Video Course Creating Fur in Maya
1h 12m Intermediate Aug 09, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Hair and fur are vital details for realistic 3D models, and their texture can vary wildly—whether soft, prickly, tousled, matted, frizzy, spiky, or straight. This course, with animator Aaron F. Ross, shows you how to create, render, and customize all different types of fur in Maya. Fur starts in Maya with the Fur node, where you attach a fur description and define essential properties. Then you'll learn to map fur to your models with texture and style it with the Paint Fur Attributes tool. Plus, discover how to control shading and shadowing, render out your model in Maya or mental ray, and animate dynamic hair with the nHair system. In the end, you'll have textures you can use to create luxuriant heads of hair, fur of many stripes, and even other materials like grass.

Topics include:
  • Loading the Fur plugin
  • Understanding the Fur node structure
  • Optimizing viewport performance
  • Rendering in Maya and mental ray
  • Adding shadow and shading
  • Setting fur density and scale
  • Adding curl, scraggle, and clumping
  • Styling with the Paint Fur Attributes tool
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
Maya
Author:
Aaron F. Ross

Creating nHair

Now we're ready to create dynamic nucleus hair, nHair. want to select the ground plain and go into the end dynamics menu set and choose nHair create hair. It's important that we go into the options here because a lot of the things in here are difficult to change after the fact. So we want to get this right, so, especially this one at the top output we need to set that correctly, we don't want to output to paint effects in this case. We don't want to render the hair itself.

We just want it to be a dynamic curve that can drive the fur. So the output here should be nurbs curves. Then we come to the number of follicles or the number of dynamic curves. I'm going to increase that just a little bit to about ten and ten, and then we also need to increase the length. It's only five units currently, and of course our fur is 30 units, so we'll set that length to 30 units, go ahead and click Create. And now you'll see an even distribution of these follicles.

We can go and start adjusting some of the nucleus attributes now. So I want to select that hair system, and open up the attribute editor. Most importantly, we want to disable collisions. That collide switch is going to actually slow down our simulation. And, since these follicles are pretty far apart from one another, they're really not going to be able to collide anyway. So we'll turn collisions off. And then scroll down a little bit. Under dynamic properties here, the most important thing is bend resistance.

We don't want those follicles to flop around very much, we want them to just sort of bend in the wind. And so with a low bend resistance they're going to kind of flop around too much, so let's set that bend resistance to a value of 140. Also we could increase the stretch and compression resistance so that the follicles will stretch and compress less. But there is an easy way to do that, we can just turn on this switch that says no stretch. And now those follicles won't change length no matter how much force is applied to them.

Scroll down a little bit more into the forces section, we want to reduce drag down to nothing, drag is the, as the name implies, sort of a damping field so we want to set that down to zero to allow these follicles to blow around freely. We also want to disable this saw for gravity, nucleus have gravity built in to it, we don't want these follicles to actually to drop on to the force of gravity, we want to stand up straight. Okay, so those are the primary attributes that we need to set in order to make this particular nHair system work in our example.

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