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..::microscopic hair::..

Enlarge Screenshot Starting out with a basic Cylinder primitive with several length iterations, select all ring edges, give them a selection name and chamfer them slightly. Load back in the selection from the Named Selection drop-down and uniformly scale up and offset the edges as illustrated. Next, chamfer these edges lightly to create a bit of a ledge. Add a Smooth modifier to the stack, enable Auto Smooth and set the Threshold value to 30.
Enlarge Screenshot To add more detail, add a Meshsmooth modifier and enable Smoothing Groups in its Parameters rollout. Next, using a Volume Select modifier set to Vertex, scale down its Gizmo sub-object and reposition to select the first chamfered wedge as illustrated. Next, add a Noise modifier, set its Scale to 50, enable Fractal and set the Roughness to 0.5. Finally set the Z strength value to about 5, depending on the scale of your scene.
Enlarge Screenshot Finally, we have to replicate this method for all of the wedges as before. To make life easier you can copy & paste the Volume Select modifiers on the stack, tweaking the Volume Select’s Gizmo position and amending the Seed value of the Noise modifier so you get different patterns. We use this non-destructive modelling method so that we can tweak values if needs be later on.
Download the max file! Zip file to accompany.

..::quick tip::..

The hair in the final scene was extended by cloning the original hair object, removing the bottom end cap and welding it to the original object using an Edit Poly modifier.

Initially published: 3D World magazine, Issue 86, January 2007.

Copyright Pete Draper, January 2007. Reproduction without permission prohibited.