So it’ been awhile. Almost a month.
My last post had a treat enclosed, this one however has a more of a sour note for those who follow this blog. Although that isn’t many, everyone counts. I have decided to cut down on the amount of posts I make as you can already tell. It was a good experiment to do weekly updates (3 months was a good run) but I either became a slave to them and I was going to be reaching that point of quantity over quality. So from here on in, no more weekly updates. Just updates when it feels right with the right amount of content. At the very least Iwill try to keep it at one post a month but even I feel that might be a bit low so we will see how it goes from here on in, no more set deadlines for sure.
Final (Low Rez) Renders
The difference with this beard from the old one is it is control via custom sculpted guide curves (around 500). Not only is it easier to sculpt but also when it dealing with to penetrations. The curves were sculpted in Blender.
Render times kept to a minimum with the shadow volume technique that i described in my tutorial. The body hair, is pure PBR with no volume based shadows.
These pics are low rez but i am currently rendering HD turntables and camera moves, posing. Also i have been uploading all work-in-progress pictures of this character to my Google account so if you would like to view those images in the future you can do so from one place soon. It includes all images featured in the blog along with some others that have not been published.
Tutorials Response with Q/A
After the tutorial i posted i was very surprised at the response. I hope everyone who watched it gained something from it. I have decided to respond to the questions in this post, continue if you would like to see the questions and answers.
Q by Modo: Hi! Thanks for your masterclass in Houdini, Houdini fur. I would want to ask you if its possible to apply this tecnique in Houdini with splines from geometry like the plugin GMH2 Plugin in Maya or C4D…
A: No problem. I have no idea unfortunately. You will have to check out the features and possibilities in the documentation. I use Blender only for the guide curve creation and nothing else.
Q by Noodles: Hey, Great work thanks for sharing. But in your fur volume render. How did put your volume based shadow onto the fur geometry?
Would you mind explain it a bit more? Many thanks
A: Thank you. You ask how i put the volume on the fur geometry. The fur volume, once created is set to cast shadows with the light linker. But the visibility of the object is set to phantom so you cannot see the volume in the render (it would look like a cloud). In a ROP i make sure the volume is set to forced objects so it has an effect. So it is an object that cast shadows but the volume itself is not seen.
Q by Alfro:
my question would be, how would you proceed to edit “single” parts of the fur that might create problems ?
assuming that the guide curves are fine, but you have a group of fur clumps in the final render that gives you trouble on some animation shots?(example spiky in the wrong direction)
Also assuming that i want to fix the Fur and not the deformation..
Would you act on the clumped spline by adding an edit node and moving the vertices ?
or would you act on the final fur out ?
Im having trouble to understand which is the best way to actually “edit” the fur at these different stages, so if i run into an issue, i can understand where is best to act” ( which node in the fur setup )
I have thought about this and done some tests. If there is a single strand that is affecting a small clump of rendered fur in a way i dont like i would simply edit that guide curve in blender. But say there is an area of fur like the head that i want to be floppy and then the beard to be stiff (assuming they are in the same object). There are wire parameters like blend stiffness that you can paint on the geoemtry to help here. If it is a grooming problem, that you want clumps to be tighter in one area than another, again you can paint surface attributes like clump intensity and clump radius. Obviously this can take ore time and in my opinion should only be used if needed. The goal should alwasy be to get your fur to the style you want by using the fewest amount of parameters as possible. The more you have to tweak the longer it will take to develop. This is why in the tutorial i mention that density, direction, length are the main paramters that i paint. Obviously if the need arises other attributes can be utilized. Hope that answers your questions.
Q by Alfro:
I forgot to say, 100000 Thank you for this awesome tutorial. It is what most people starting in houdini, where waiting for!
You are very welcome. I am very happy that you and other have found the tutorial as a door into Houdini’s artistic friendly side. I might do another one in the future.