Hair & Fur is out! This is the new name of the Hair Clump Tool, in its 2.0 version. Same code base, but many things have been added and updated. This is a free upgrade to current users of the Hair Clump Tool. This update adds many new features, in particular support for waves/curls, braids, colorization and a new tiling component (Global Tiler) which greatly simplifies the tiling graph. Things have also been improved for accessibility: samples, templates, presets, 3 user interface display levels so users can learn new parameters at their own pace, a major User Manual overhaul with illustrations, Getting Started section covering typical modifications to a sample design, tips on creating various hair styles and a review of all components and parameters.
Hair & Fur is available at the following stores:
For a list of the overall features, check the main page. Here is a list of what’s new in this version:
Main new features
- Three parameter display modes, Basic, Limited and Full Controls enabling users to progressively get familiar with the functionalities.
- Samples (full example designs), Templates (start-up files) and Presets (set of parameters to start up on various designs) to ease learning and start quickly on a given design.
- A powerful Modulation section enabling creation of various types of curly hair. Sine and triangle based modulations are available, frequency and amplitude settings including randomization options, frequency modulation, amplitude fade, multiple types of sine-based modulation, low modulation strands etc.
- Related Strands, a sub-section of Modulation, used to correlate hair strand groups in a predefined way. This enables the creation of braids and cordage.
- Subdivision strands: a new type of strand generation enabling to thicken and group hair strands. Stray strands can also be generated going out of the subdivision group for more realism.
- Colorization: two colorization modes, Group and Length which can be used independently or combined using various blend modes. Group Colorization assigns colors per hair groups (multiple grouping organizations are available) while Length Colorization colorizes strands from root to tip. Colorization and transparency can also be driven by depth.
- Depth Profile management is now handled as an independent Substance, leaving users the possibility to modify depth profile textures before passing them to Hair & Fur.
- Four default patterns and dynamic pattern sizing enabling to reduce the iteration count and drive various effects such as fluff.
- Global Tiler, a tiling Substance enabling to tile every map of all hair clumps at once.
- The ID map is now a color output and supports both grayscale and color ID maps.
- The Gradient Ramp map has now a dedicated output, it is not necessary to derive it from the Mask output anymore.
- The Utility output can now display any map with an optional overlay showing control point locations (control point overlay requires usage of a single parent strand).
- User Manual update, easier to get into for new users with Getting Started section, design guides and illustrations.
Changes and fixes
- Many areas of code have been refactored, simplified or improved. In particular the pattern drawing code is more respectful of pattern iteration count and the first drawn pattern is properly orientated in all cases.
- Parameters are now organized by groups and subgroups, this lowers the size of the parameter list and improves readability.
- Substance inputs and outputs have been assigned groups, so it is now possible to use the Compact Material display mode of Substance Designer to reduce the number of connections shown on screen. Inputs or outputs belonging to the same group will be represented by a single connection line. This is especially useful in the case of the tiling graph, which, combined to the addition of the Global Tiler, is now much simpler to read.
- Hair & Fur is to be used with square textures now by convention. A new series of tools called AutoCrop have been added in order to bring the square textures to a rectangular form factor if needed. Hair & Fur instances can specify an aspect ratio for cropping, or and external aspect ratio Value can be used (AutoCropSettings) then the new AutoCrop Substance does the crop according to these settings. Cropping is optional for the tiling process, the tiling tools being able to properly handle square textures without prior crop.
- New Pattern parameter section where all pattern related information are gathered. The pattern size scaling has been changed so a mid value represents a typical pattern size for hair strands.
- Pattern depth flattening enables to modify the pattern depth to adapt it to the overall clump depth.
- Four default patterns: Beam (redesigned since earlier versions), Flatter Beam, Hemisphere and Flatter Hemisphere. The Hemisphere pattern is a round pattern especially suited to usage of modulation.
- Dynamic pattern size with size modulator: the pattern is sized dynamically function of its position into the hair strand attempting to fill in gaps between patterns. The size modulator is a multiplier which can be used to emphasize the bridging effect and create special effects such as fluff.
- Strand length can be controlled either globally or using random factors.
- Root grouping enables to group hair strand roots with variable proximity.
- The Fade effect can now be optionally applied to the Depth and ID maps.
- The ID map is now a color output, both grayscale and color ID maps can be generated. The grayscale ID map generation has been improved so hair strands do not brighten when a large number of them is being displayed. The ID map can now use either the regular pattern or a masked version.
- Parent strands and their associated strands (children and subdivisions) can now be shown/hidden independently.
- Depth profile management has been moved to an independent Substance which contains depth profile parameters, so these are not available in the Hair & Fur instance anymore. The latter is however using a default, non-configurable internal Depth Profile instance so using an external one is not required, but recommended to have depth controls.
- The new Depth Profile Substance supports a frequency random parameter. Child strands profiles can also now be controlled globally. Those global settings may apply to parent strands too or parent strands may have custom generation settings.
- New helper Substances have been added: MapViewer gets all map outputs of a given Hair & Fur instance, sends them to pass-through outputs and lets users to select one map type to visualize. This way, it is no more needed to add intermediary viewers for each output before sending them to tiling, the MapViewer does this as a single node, and coupled with the Compact Material mode display, shows a single connection between entities. The new Identity Substance is a simple output viewer and a pass-through also. The AutoCrop and AutoCropSettings enable cropping textures according to a given aspect ratio.