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Making Windblown Hair

For use in Poser 7 as well as Poser 5 or 6

Poser's strand-based hair can produce very realistic images and animations- here's how to use Poser's wind force fields to give strand-based hair a windblown look. Windblown Hair In Poser

Poser's strand-based hair allows a great deal of realism in animated scenes- it bounces and drapes quite nicely- but it can also add a great deal of realism to still images.

In this tutorial we'll apply a wind force field to a strand-based hair set for a realistic windblown look in a still image (although this could certainly also be used in an animation.)

The first thing to do is to set up your figure and give them a set of strand-based hair. For purposes of the tutorial, we can use the casual Jessi figure; from the Jessi strand-based hair sets, we can use the Jessi_Long hair (select Jessi and double-click the Jessi_Long item; the hair will appear on her head.)

Now, we can create a wind force field to blow her hair around. From the Object menu, choose Create Wind Force; a little wireframe object that looks like a turbine will appear at Jessi's feet. Use the Parameter dials to position the "turbine" next to Jessi's head as shown-

Note that the hair doesn't change, for two reasons. First, to get the wind to affect the hair, we'll need to do a hair calculation, so that Poser can do the math and move the hair around; second, in the current setup, the wind isn't "strong" enough to get to the hair- we'll need to increase its range setting in the Parameters palette. Now, to keep Jessi's hair from blowing "through" her head and neck, we'll want to turn collision detection on for Jessi's head and neck- from the little drop-down menu at the right of the Preview window, choose Collisions On from the Collisions submenu, then turn on collision detection for Jessi's head and neck in the Properties palette.

When we do that, we might also want to pose Jessi, to make the scene a bit more interesting. Since wind, hair and cloth calculations are dynamic and take place over time, we'll pose Jessi in frame #30, at the "end" of the scene, so she'll gradually move into her pose and her hair will have a chance to blow around a bit. However, we should set the Range to a higher value- in this case 0.4 or 0.5 should do- early in the scene, so that the wind will immediately affect the hair.

OK, with Jessi posed and the wind force set properly, it's time to make Poser calculate just how that wind will affect Jessi's hair. We'll need to select the FollicleSurface (or Skullcap) used for the hair, to allow us to work with Jessi's hair groups. We select a hair group, then click in the "Do Collisions" checkbox, and click the Calculate Dynamics button to have Poser step through the scene and apply the wind force to that group of hair, frame by frame, until it gets to the end of the scene.

We repeat the process for each other hair group as shown-

- until we get our final result, which should have Jessi in frame 30, standing heroically with windblown hair. If we want to render this out, there are two things to be aware of.

First, we'll need to make the forcefield "turbine" invisible, or it'll show up in the rendered image. We can select it and uncheck its "Visible" and "Visible in Raytracing" checkboxes in the Properties palette; it'll disappear until we mouse over it.

Second, the Jessi_Long hair set has tens of thousands of strands- unless we're doing a closeup of Jessi's face this is more than we need, and it'll slow down the render. With the JessiFollicleSurface selected, we can go back to the Hair Room, where we can select the hair groups and turn the Hair Density setting down to around 2000 for each group. This should be quite sufficient, as long as the material for the hair is set properly. By default, the Opaque in Shadow option is turned on for hair, but we can verify this by going into the Advanced Material Room and selscting a hair group as shown below-

Now, after playing around with the lighting a bit, we can render out the image (note again that we're rendering out frame #30, in which all the calculations have been applied), to see Jessi in all her glory-