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'Poser 7 Revealed:' Grow Hair

In the latest excerpt of Poser 7 Revealed, Kelly L. Murdock teaches you how to grow and set hair.

All images from Poser 7 Revealed: The e frontier Official Guide by Kelly L. Murdock.

This is the next in a new series of excerpts from the Thomson Course Technology book Poser 7 Revealed: The e frontier Official Guide. In the next few months, VFXWorld readers will develop the skills needed to create, render and animate scenes and projects using the amazing tools offered by Poser 7. We will offer step-by-step tutorials for each task, followed by projects that allow readers to apply each new skill.

What You'll Do

In this lesson, you learn how to grow guide hairs and set the hair's length and initial position.

After you define a hair growth group, the buttons in the Growth Controls become active. These buttons let you grow guide hairs and define the hair's initial parameters.

Growing Guide Hairs

Clicking the Grow Guide Hairs button will add hairs to the selected hair group and these hairs become visible in the Document Window, as shown in Figure 1. Don't be alarmed if the new hairs stick straight out or if they appear to be too thin; you can relax and thicken them during the styling phase.

[Figure 1] Guide hairs. 

Setting Hair Length

Once the guide hairs are visible (or even before they are visible), you can change their length using the Hair Length parameter. If you change the Hair Length parameter after the guide hairs have been created, the hairs displayed in the Document Window will change as the parameter is changed.

[Figure 2] Messy hair. [Figure 3] Hair pulled back. 

Setting Hair Variance

The Length Variance parameter changes the range of different hair lengths that are possible. Setting this value to 0.0 results in a hairstyle where every hair strand is equal in length. Increasing this value causes the hair to become more wild, messy and shaggy, as shown in Figure 2.

Moving Hair

Although most of the hair movement is accomplished during the styling phase, you can use the Pull Back, Pull Down and Pull Side parameters to move all the hairs a given direction. You can set these parameters to positive and negative values. The Pull Back parameter can move hairs toward the back of the head, as shown in Figure 3, or forward with a negative value. The Pull Down parameter can move the hairs vertically straight up with a negative value, as shown in Figure 4, or straight down with a positive value. The Pull Side parameter will move the hairs to the figure's left with a negative value and to the figure's right with a positive value, as shown in Figure 5.

[Figure 4] Hair straight up. [Figure 5] Hair pulled to the side. 

Quicktip: The parameters in the Growth Controls section provide an effective way to accomplish major hair styling. The Styling Controls can then be used for minor improvements.

Using Hair on Props

Hair groups aren't limited to only figure elements; you can also create and add hair to prop objects. Figure 6 shows a hair growth group added to the chair prop.

[Figure 6] Hair applied to a prop.

Create Guide Hairs

1. Select File, Open and open the Mustache group.pz3 file.

2. Click the Hair tab at the top of the interface to open the Hair Room.

3. Click the Head element in the Document Window and select the Mustache group from the Current Group controls.

4. Click the Grow Guide Hairs button. Several long hairs are displayed for the mustache group in the Document Window.

5. Set the Hair Length parameter to 0.0183, the Length Variance, Pull Back, and Pull Side parameters to 0.0 and the Pull Down parameter to 0.0015.

6. Select the Texture Shaded button in the Display Style controls. The short guide hairs are displayed in the Document Window, as shown in Figure 7.

[Figure 7] Mustache guide hairs.

7. Select File, Save As and save the file as Mustache guide hairs.pz3.

Find out more about how to put the power of Poser 7 to work as you learn how to use the new Talk Designer to automatically sync facial animations to an audio track, combine the power of Poser 7 with other software packages, create new motions using the new animation layers feature and much more. Check back to VFXWorld frequently to read new excerpts.

Poser 7 Revealed: The e frontier Official Guide by Kelly L. Murdock. Boston, MA: Thomson Course Technology, 2007. 592 pages with illustrations. ISBN 13: 978-1-59863-296-5; ISBN 10: 1-59863-296-5 ($29.99).

Kelly L. Murdock has a background in engineering, specializing in computer graphics. He has worked on several large-scale visualization projects, created 3D models for several blockbuster movies and has worked as a freelance 3D artist and designer. Murdock is the author or co-author of several books, including seven editions of the 3ds Max Bible, two editions of the Illustrator Bible, Adobe Creative Suite Bible, Maya 7 Revealed, LightWave 3D 8 Revealed and Poser 6 Revealed. He works with his brother at his co-founded design company, Logical Paradox Design.