HairTG – Hair & Fur 2.5 released!

HairTG – Hair & Fur version 2.5 consolidates the procedural hair/fur texture generation functions and expands in new directions with a Substance Designer plugin to handle automation tasks and a Blender add-on covering many aspects of the real-time hair card based generation and composition. It also comes with 3D hair models and two new tutorial videos, one for the 2.5 features and another for the Blender add-on. Please check this blog post for details on this update.

HairTG – Hair & Fur is now composed of three categories of components:

  • Substance Designer Substances to generate hair/fur textures
  • a new Substance Designer plugin to handle automation tasks
  • a new Blender add-on to handle 3D hair card management

Substance Designer 2019.3 or above is required. The Blender add-on is built for Blender 2.81a.

Here are the main new features in HairTG – Hair & Fur 2.5:

Package

  • Three 3D hair samples with tiling graphs, textures, 3D models and Toolbag scenes.
  • Updated templates and samples.

Substance Designer Substances

  • Freestyle and Regular operation modes are now merged into a single Hair & Fur Substance, the Freestyle sbsar variant has been removed. A Mode parameter is used to choose the mode of operation. This functionality is possible only since Substance Designer 2019.3, this is why this version (or above) is required.
  • Infinite Hair in Freestyle mode: joins the last and first control points to create a continuous curve, ideal to make hair bun cards. The Depth Profile Substance has also been upgraded to support vertical tiling in order to prevent any issue with depth continuity when Infinite Hair is being used.
  • Combiner is a new Substance used to combine the maps of multiple hair clumps (up to 5). This way you may design a clump with multiple Hair & Fur instances and combine them afterwards, the Combiner Substance will handle the proper map blending automatically. Combiners can also be combined together.
  • The new Hair Clump parameter section enables to position the whole clump within the texture and resize it. Resizing is made without changing the hair strand thickness, enabling to design an initial clump and resize it later function of other clumps into a tiling graph for instance.
  • New Depth Separation parameters (in Outputs/Depth) enable to offset hair strands from each other in depth space. This is a bit like combining an ID map with a Depth map, but operated while the strand is being drawn. This results in depth maps having more contrast.
  • Various small changes and fixed, see the Release Notes for details.

Substance Designer plugin

Once installed, the plugin adds a new menu in the Substance Designer menu bar with the following functionalities:

  • Copy of tiling parameters between Tiler instances: this helps with the fast tiling scenario where a single map type is first being tiled with a Tiler instance then its parameters are reported into the Global Tiler. Parameters can now be easily transferred between Tiler instances without the need to copy them over manually.
  • Tiling graph creation: a dialog box lets users define the size of a tiling graph (row, columns) and various other parameters such as resolution, maps to include, intermediary nodes etc. A tiling graph is then automatically created based on these parameters.

Blender add-on

The Blender 2.81a add-on provides several utilities to facilitate hair card creation, UV unwrapping and composition. It has the following features:

  • Automatic hair card UV unwrapping based on their position relatively to a reference mesh.
  • Random UV horizontal offsets can be generated in order to quickly produce a variety of textured cards using an underlying texture created to that attention.
  • Card folding with 3 folding types, Random, Fixed and Curved to provide cards with thickness. Folding can be operated from a flat state or the current folding state enabling combination of folding types. Folding can be reversed and canceled.
  • Card combination: sets of 2 or 3 cards can be combined to provide them a better appearance when viewed from different angles. Four combination types are available for 2-card and 3-card sets. Once combined, cards can still be moved/rotated until they are joined into a single mesh.
  • Card origin can be set to the card root automatically, either on a single card or a card combination, enabling to create longer or shorter hair with a simple sizing operation.
  • Hair card association to particle hair grooming: this powerful feature enables usage of the native Blender 3D hair grooming system to generate hair curves which are then associated to hair cards. Curves can then be edited independently with cards following their paths.
  • The Replace Cards function enables to replace a set of cards with another card, even when associated to curves.
  • A Finalize tool generates a hair model (single mesh or multiple hair cards meshes) from the card/curve associations.
  • A Utility section provides convenience functions to assign/remove materials, duplicate cards without duplicating their material and rename objects in various ways.

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