Fixing Poser's Hair Room....
Okay, we keep hearing about how Poser's hair room needs some improvements.
How would you improve the hair room, please be specific.
Having tools like a comb that works from end to tip rather than a fixed point and a scissors that cuts the hair to a desired length. Being able to grab points and move them would be nice too. A curl tool that will curl in all directions rather than just out. Base it on the direction of the mouse. There is a twist that works ok but a spiral curl would be nice too.
A mirror function that will copy a group to the other side of the head and create mirrored strands.
Draping that works with collisions properly, that will react with something being run through the hair or holding the hair.
And fix the hair fly away bug that has been there forever.
Since we are using a form of Cycles for rendering why not incorporate other features that Blender has?
Currently Poser hair is lines drawn from a base vertex. Between each pair of points a flat plane (billboard) is drawn and that billboard is programmed to point at the camera. The problem is that billboards have no volume so they have no angles to bend light which causes no highlights lowlights etc, which is why we use a bunch of cheats to try to make real looking hair. So my suggestions would be to:
1: Instead of making a billboard at each vertex point make an equilateral triangle. Each pair of points would be a triangle and the three faces would be connected making a triangle tube. Open at both ends. With the current Sub-division in Poser having open ends does not cause the tube shrink but becomes more rounded. See Attachment.
2: Make each hair segment a fixed length. I think 1/8 of an inch (~3mm) would make for a practical value as most hair would be less then 100 segments about 12" long. Really long hair would be 200 segments or about 24" long.
3: Each of the segments would be a bone with a maximum bend of 90 degrees. I would not recommend all those bones be placed into the hierarchy palette as there will probably be thousands of such bones.
4: For the styling we would need a 4 pane window with a Front to Back / Top to Bottom / Side to Side and a Preview pane. An adjustable size bar (comb) would placed in the windows and would allow for a 3 dimensional movement of the comb (although only in any two dimensions at a time). So you would place the comb in the three windows and press a start button, this would find each of the hairs and set what bone segment is being covered. Move the comb and press the update button and it will move the hair segments into place. It may have to a have a limiter to prevent movements being to large that would cause bad hair layering.
5: Since we can now move each hair and they are bones we should be able to adjust the last segment to be whatever length we want. Any 4 end points (corresponding to the 4 points on the scalp) would then form the plane to adjust the endings of the spawned hair density groups, thus being a pair of scissors.
From left to right we have a sub0 3 sides. sub1 6 sides sub2 12 sides and sub3 24 sides. At sub0 the tube looks and acts somewhat like the billboards that the current hair room produces. At a sub2 level to becomes very nice at bending and when you factor in the thousands of other strands to should look very nice.
The biggest problem I can foresee is the number of polygons that will be on the screen. But no one said real was fast.
I would rather provide more options to work with actual poly strips since most prop/figure hair works like that already, and can look pretty convincing if done right. So, considering most Poser customers are not rich production companies with powerful computers, instead of rendering millions of strands of hair, offer the option to grow planes of hair, like cloth hair, and ramp up the density to suit the system performance, incl styling and dynamics. Together with good old transmaps and SSS, you can get pretty ok results. I see plenty of opportunity to streamline this.
Oh and rather not work with growth groups but a little more flexible stuff, maybe weight maps to determine length groups, and something that allows the density to be adjusted at the root and such. Hair usually bends the most at the base when its getting caught by gravity, and the rest is relatively straight, even curly hair... unless its extremely curly.
Girls' hair in the pictures below are all based on polystrips. Looks ok, right?
I would love to have a module to create, style and simulate my own. They also don't really have to cover the whole scalp, but from predefined lines, or wherever you select an edge perhaps. Its just a combination of the Cloth and Hair Rooms basically.... I would recommend that they check out VwD because that seems to work better with vertices in close proximity.
@erogenesis Hmm, looks good. Can you show me one of these unrendered polystrips, please?
So, considering most Poser customers are not rich production companies with powerful computers, instead of rendering millions of strands of hair, offer the option to grow planes of hair, like cloth hair, and ramp up the density to suit the system performance, incl styling and dynamics.
The thing is, with superfly, strand hair actually renders faster than trasmapped hair so you don't need a powerhouse. It's getting to be I'm looking more and more at my dynamic hair when I create a new character just so the render gets done faster. I've even thought about trying to make some new styles but so I have more choices.
SM should take a sneak peek at the tools available in Carrara's hair room - much simpler and has appropriate tools as mentioned earlier in this thread, as well as symmetry.
@redphantom yep! here using your shader on the fur.
Looks good ghostship. Though either she's roasting in that of her feet are cold. lol sorry. The coat looks very good.
I think it would be a huge improvement if there was the option to calculate n-th frames instead of calculating every frame of an animation, with the ability to truncate the simulation make adjustments and resume from a specific time. The implications are boundless, not only would being able to calculate say every 4th frame with simple interpolation between keys cut calculation time by 3/4 but it would inherently smooth out the resulting animation. I'm sure everyone here, who does animations, has spent hours if not days waiting for a calculation to complete only to find the animation useless because it's overactive, strands jumping all over the place for no apparent reason.... too many keys too close together maybe?...
I could go on for hours, Ive seen these threads come and go so many times in the past, either nobody's really listening, or no-one wants to invest the capitol.......
Something else related to Jafo. To be able to drape frames 1-30 when there are 60 frames in the scene. Or to be able to add more frames to a scene without having the hair go back to default at the first new frame.
So I'm working on the HiveWire Housecat and I'm in the Hair Room. I'm using the grouping tool to define the hair groups for this figure. Would be nice if it were possible to combine several of the groups into one larger group. Would also be nice it we had symmetry so we could only do half as much work. And consarn it! there's no way to save your settings if you want to try and apply them to another figure.
There is a script cage wrote that can save the settings. Unfortunately, I no longer have a link for downloading it. It may have been something he uploaded to the rendo forums, which means it's no longer available. Or it may have been on his site if someone has the link to that. I do have a copy myself if he doesn't mind my sharing.
@redphantom I'll see if I can contact him. Thanks for letting me know.
@redphantom Is it here on this page, perhaps?
There is a hair script there, not sure it's the right one, but Cage mentions you.
That was where I was hoping it was, the one is just for styling hair. The one I was thinking of was called hairsettings1c. Someone requested to be able to do it in the forums at rendo and he just uploaded it there. I was hoping it was with his other scripts too since rendo deleted all non-picture files during one of their updates.
Philc had a script called curl up and dye that I think could also do it. It looks like he's retired from 3d but he still sells a few things at rendo. maybe you could try contacting him.
@redphantom I've got Cage's email address so I'll try that first.
We need something other than what we have.
Strip hair can be nice, but new hairs are in relatively short supply. They're also "canned", meaning what you get is what you get. That's fine, but users could benefit from something more. (I now routinely modify any strip hair that I buy, which is generally the only 3D asset I'll purchase, because making it is a pain... Very few hair products have every necessary, high-quality, feature covered. Somewhere, they have to be tweaked, more often than not, to give satisfactory results.)
Poser's Hair Room doesn't exist for me. I'd be happy taking a hatchet to it and cutting it out of my install, completely... It was fine, for its day - No, it wasn't. The evidence is easy to see, since any human hair created with it looks like a surprised chipmunk expired on someone's head. There are only two hair options - Long hair that looks like crap or an explosion of random shaggy crap that looks like crap... I'm serious. :)
OK, there's yet another consideration - What advantage can be gained by working to develop some sort of "better thing", either by increasing the quality of existing things or introducing a new thing?
The advantage here is obvious, for Poser and SM - You can natively incorporate that which is not easily available elsewhere, except in much more technical, less likely to be explored by your users, applications that have more professional hair simulation packages worked into them.
My most treasured wish is to see a good hair simulation system, especially one that works well with Firefly and Superfly. I want a hair simulation system that gives the user freedom to design and sculpt their hair, which can look great when rendered, and the ability for users to not only save that hair to a file... But, for vendors to be able to exploit this new product and widen its appeal, thus promoting Poser's capabilities even further.
What I think we'll get - A tacked-on materials system that works with the existing Hair Room that makes for better rendering in Cycles. We'll have all of one decent, vanilla, hair to choose from, painstakingly crafted by someone who won't really benefit from it, since nobody will buy it, since it's just "Poser Hair Room Hair" and... gack.
(No, I don''t like the Hair Room, the quality it produces, the tools it uses or anything at all about Poser's native hair system. It's the worst feature in the package and it's "dead to me.")