Tutorial on Working with Hair in Poser 6 - Making Beards and Various Hair Styles

An Update to Working with Hair in Poser 5

By Paula Sanders

This tutorial is a sequel to my tutorials on Poser 5 hair. Poser 6

has added some new features to the Hair Room and improved some

others. In Poser 6, one can see which hairs have been selected

regardless of the view.

Other new features can cut down on rendering time by not making it necessary to populate the hair group too heavily. To do this, go into the Material Room, and

using the hair node, check the Opaque_In_Shadow box. This will make

the hair appear denser toward the roots while needing fewer strands of hair.

Hair DensityOpaque In Shadow

In Poser 6 there are good tutorials on many topics. They are automatically installed on the full install and can be found under File>Open>Poser6>Tutorials>HairRoom.

I suggest that if you are wanting to do hair, you do the hair tutorials. The necessary files are included.

The second hair tutorial included with Poser 6 gave me

the idea to try to create a beard for James. Before I outline how to

do it, I need to state that you cannot use meshes created using Poser's Group Editor for

commercial purposes. If you are unsure, see page 243 of the Tutorial


Creating a Beard in Poser 6

This tutorial will give the directions for creating a

small beard for James. The principals can be used to create side burns

and any hair anyplace on any figure, object, etc. directly from Poser

without needing any other 3D modeling program. This, of course, can

be done using other programs and then bringing the newly created mesh into Poser 6.

1 - It is very useful to become familiar with all of the Editing Tools. These tools are usually found above the stage in the Pose Room. Select the Grouping tool which will open the Group Editor, which allows you to select or create polygons.

2 - Select James's face in wireframe mode On the main tool bar choose:. Display>Document

Style>Wireframe. You will be alternating between Wireframe, Smooth

Shaded, and Smooth Shaded Lined.

3 - Choose the Face Camera. Also, choose the Right Camera

and left Camera enlarging the face only. Put the magnifier on the face

and click as many times as needed to enlarge the face. Save your work with the three faces


4 - With the Group Editor open, select the head of

the person. If there is a problem, navigate to body parts, and select


Then select New Group and rename the new group Smallbeard and click OK . You now should have two names in the top window of the Group Editor - Head and Smallbeard. Select Smallbeard so it shows in the window.

5 - Now that there is a new group, the new group has to be delineated.

Here is where you will start to work with the three enlarged faces. Look at the two

top buttons in the Group Editor. One has a plus sign and is an add polygon button; the other has a substract sign and is a delete polygon button. To add or select a polygon, you click on it with the "add" button. To delete a polygon, you click on it with the "subtract" button. When selected, each polygon will appear red.

6 - Look in the Group Editor above and notice the three

boxes: Hide other objects, Show multigrouped faces, Show non grouped

faces. When you first start to work with the head as you are forming

the beard, you can check the Hide other objects and you will

only have the head visible as above.

7 - After you have created the beard, you need to save

it as a prop.

8 - As a prop, it can then stand alone. Now, after it has become a prop, when you check

Hide other objects, all that should show is the beard. If it doesn't change from the initial head shot, uncheck the box and recheck it. This is like

a "skull cap" for the chin.

9 - However, it is easier to work if the face is visible,

so uncheck this box. Since the smallbeard is a prop, it will not show up unless the cursor comes near it. It will also not show up red.

10- Move to the Hair Room.

11 -Click on New Growth Group. Call it Hair_1 or anything else. It will

be the only hair group.

12 - Click on Edit Growth Group if the Group

Editor is closed. Since you are still using it, it is probably still open.

13 - With Hair_1 selected, marquee over the polygons that form

the smallbeard.

14 - Go to the Growth Controls and set up the length for

the Grow Guide Hairs.

15 - When you click on Grow Guide Hairs, hair will

appear. It might be hard to see in wireframe mode, so switch to smooth shaded display. You are now finished with the Group Editor, so close it.

Wireframed ViewSmooth View

16 - Open the Hair Style Tools by clicking on the tool, the one

in the Hair Room on the tool bar shaped like a head of hair.

17 - Arrange the hairs so that you have three levels. Lengthen the

top two levels similar to the picture below. This helps prevent bare

spots. You can accomplish this by rotating the dial to the left. Keep

the length constrained. To see the difference, try it both ways.

To select the top two rows, select the top left tool and marquee abound all the hairs.Then, with the bottom left tool selected (the Deselect Hairs tool), click on the hairs you do not want in order to deselect them.

18 - In the Hair Style Tool Palette, take the tool on

the top row on the right and highlight it to select it. It is the Scale

Hair Tool. When dragged to the left, it will draw the hairs to the center.

19 - Select all the hairs with the Select Hairs tool. Move the Scale Hairs tool to the proximity of the beard and draw it to

the left. Keep the blue dot, under the word "Falloff," near the root.

This will start the movement of the hairs from the root of the hair.

20 - Each hair style requires certain settings. Sometimes they mirror

reality and sometimes they don't. Since beard hair is coarser than most

head hair, I initially made the root and tip a lot heavier. However,

I found that made the image look too coarse. By making the beard wavy,

it filled in bare spots and looked fuller. Look at Kink Strength

and Kink Scale.

21 - Move into the Material Room to set up the Material

settings. Under Object, choose Hair_1. This is important. Even though I could reduce the time for rendering by reducing

the number of populated hairs by using Opaque_In_Shadow, that

setting did not look good. Also, keep the root, tip, and specular color

fairly constant unless your desire is to have a very multicolored beard.

Try to use fewer than 20,000 hairs. The fewer, the better the rendering


Shadow PreviewFire Fly Rendered (mid level)