6th Venom@Posted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 5:10 pm :
After some google searches, it's like there are not so much tutorials about "how to make low poly hairs for 'next-gen' games".
This one is the only good one i found.

I'd like to know what are your ways/techniques to make various sorts of hairs?

6th Venom@Posted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 6:13 pm :
Mmmh... Don't Phobos, Hexen:Edges of Chaos, Ruiner, The Dark Mod or any other actual wip project got some new characters with hairs?!? :mrgreen:

rich_is_bored@Posted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 5:44 am :
The technique in the tutorial you linked produces good results. But it's going to be hard to apply to idTech 4 based games largely for the same reason it's difficult to make good looking foliage. Proper illumination and smooth alpha transparency aren't compatible.

Alphatested materials will illuminate properly but you'll lose smooth alpha transparency. Blending will give you smooth alpha transparency but the material won't react to lights. Either you employ the technique in the tutorial using alphatest and make due with the sub par results, you give all your characters black hair, or you forgo transparency altogether with "ken doll" hairstyles.

6th Venom@Posted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 12:28 pm :
Yep, i know about this technical incompatibilities, and many thanks to you rich to try to help me! :)

But many MMOs, or Mass Effect (UE3) for exemple, use the "ken doll hairstyles" (rich_is_bored copyrights) combined with alphatested transparency,
and show 'good' results:
http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x10/M0MMY_DEAREST/Picture008.jpg (many more on this page)

That's why i ask for some aternate techniques, or some advices to optimize the way to create those hair layers over characters heads.
Also, what's the best way, or YOUR way, to create hair textures, and normal maps?

Basicly, i generally render an hair layer of MAX' hair & fur, to texture, then i rework the texture in Photoshop,
but i don't think it's the fastest/best way to do that...

I'm a bit surpise about the lack of infos/tutos about this, since 9/10 virtual characters got hairs! :lol:

BloodRayne@Posted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:58 am :
All I can say is that we use a similar technique for our foliage in maps, and with trees. It's just flat sprites (polygons) with textures that sport layers of transparency, it's not really rocket-science. We flap together some polies (either in a circle like the above technique or modelled) then the artists need to do their work.

One of the hardest thing was to think up of techniques for trees that actually animate, and sway in the wind and all that jazz; we're still working on making that work right, but we know the techniques are sound so we'll make it work in the end.

More and more I've come to believe that it's not so much the techniques itself that you use, as it is the amount of time you wish to spend on the artwork while implementing those techniques. For instance, I've heard many complaints about alpha transparency in Idtech 4 and while I agree that using it does pose some unique problems, in the end it's all about how you want it to look.

We use some pretty dirty tricks to make foliage work, e.g. an additive stage to push out the all-black issue, animated material shaders etc..etc.. but in the end stuff didn't look good, until our texture artist Razorbladder got his hand on them.

I see the same applies for many other games that are accepted in the industry as 'looking very good'. Take Gears of War, many of the techniques and tricks they use are tried and true (e.g. flat sprites, particles very similar to D3 etc..etc..). In fact, what makes GOW look so damned amazing is not the techniques used, but the hard work that the artists put into it.

6th Venom@Posted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:41 am :
First, thank you for taking time to reply. :wink:

Personnally, i used the same technique for foliage, many layers/quad polygons in semi 'random orientations', and a shearing material applied on it, with diffusemap, normalmap, an extra add pass, and an ambient pass.
I worked a lot on textures, and finally this gives good results (since i don't plan to have 'real' wind coded).

About Gears (or UT3), i'm 100% with you about the incredible epic's artists work.

What i'm looking for is more a "how to effectively do hairs like this, or hairs like that".
For exemple, i downloaded GOW's Marcus model (from the epic dev site), and his short hairs on the neck, next to ears, and under the mouth are made with a lot of little sheets.
That's how they did short hairs, and i read over the net that they placed, rotated and scaled each sheet by hand. :shock:

Hairs had always been a problem for me... :roll: