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Low poly hair tutorial pt 1
By toneloperu   |   Watch
78 30 13K (1 Today)
Published: January 27, 2011
© 2011 - 2019 toneloperu
This is the first part of a tutorial to make low poly hair in 3ds max using the opacity map-scatter method. This method allows for fast and easy hair placement (although for more fancy hairstyles manual placement of hair sections would still be required). For this tutorial, an intermediate knowledge of 3ds max would be needed as well as some basic skills in photoshop (or equivalent) to make the opacity and diffuse maps. Comments, questions and suggestions will be very appreciated.

For the second part of the tutorial:
[link]

For a compilation of hairstyles made with this technique:
[link]
Image size
535x4941px 619.3 KB
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Comments (22)
IonChirita's avatar
IonChirita| Digital Artist
i'm sorry but this has to be the ugliest head model i've ever seen, no offense
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toneloperu's avatar
toneloperu|Hobbyist General Artist
none taken. It was made long ago and I agree it's not a good model. That's why It was used only for the tutorial. 
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SherieB's avatar
Thank you so much for making this, totally appreciated!
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MPKaboose's avatar
MPKaboose|Hobbyist Digital Artist
that face kinda creeps me out xD, nice tutorial
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toneloperu's avatar
toneloperu|Hobbyist General Artist
thanks.
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Arcane2-0's avatar
Arcane2-0|Hobbyist General Artist
A little off topic and no offense meant but you really need to fix the topology of that head.
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toneloperu's avatar
toneloperu|Hobbyist General Artist
Yes, you're right. The head has that problem and many others due to my lack of experience at the moment I made it but at least it was useful for the making of this tutorial. Thanks for the interest.
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hobojoe2013's avatar
hobojoe2013|Student Digital Artist
How do you get to the create/compound objects setting?
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toneloperu's avatar
toneloperu|Hobbyist General Artist
the create panel is the first icon in the menu window at the right of the screen. Then select geometry (first icon just below the create icon) and select compound objects from the drop down list. You can also access compound object from the program main menu by clicking on create and selecting compound from the drop down list. Remember that to enable the scatter button you must select the hair object first. Hope this helps. If you have any more questions I'll be glad to help. Regards.
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hobojoe2013's avatar
hobojoe2013|Student Digital Artist
Thank you that helped a lot! So ive been modeling this character at about medium poly count and i was wondering on how you do full body characters? Everything looks great (body, hands, all the limbs) but im having major trouble trying to attach the head. Is there any chance you can shed some light on your process of character modeling? Any knowledge will be greatly appreciated :).
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toneloperu's avatar
toneloperu|Hobbyist General Artist
Well, there are many different techniques you can use to model a character. However, the most recommendable method is to use geometry (I.E. start to model from a plane or box)since it results in he best topology. Once you have your base mesh the standard procedure is to use a dedicated sculpting software like zbrush, mudbox or scuptris to add organic shapes, details, texturing, posing, etc. You can also do all these things in max alone but it's somewhat inefficient when it comes to organic modeling (unless you have the latest versions of max which come with some basic freeform and painting tools). There are also some unorthodox methods for making characters and modeling organic shapes in 3dsmax that would need a more detailed explaination. I'm planning on making some character modeling tutorials in the future showing many different traditional and experimental techniques I have learned through the years but for now let's try to solve the problem with your character's head. If the junction of the head and torso is very differentiated (I.E. if the character has a sweater with a tight or high neck opening) simply place the head where you want and use the attach option if you want to have only one object to work with. Now if the character has a wide neck opening (I.E. a cleavage) or is naked you may want a seamless junction to make it look natural. To achieve this, you can either bridge the hollow borders of the neck and top of torso or use a boolean compound object and make a union. Then you can apply a relax modifier to the junction section if you want a better blending. If possible, make a capture of your character WIP and send me the link to the image so I can have a better reference. If you have any trouble with these hints please let me know. Regards.
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hobojoe2013's avatar
hobojoe2013|Student Digital Artist
Thank you soooo much for this tutorial!!!!!
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toneloperu's avatar
toneloperu|Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome, glad you like it. Thanks for the comments and favs. Regards.
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hobojoe2013's avatar
hobojoe2013|Student Digital Artist
My pleasure :). Keep up the good work!
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Handepsilon's avatar
Handepsilon|Professional Filmographer
Thanks for the tutorial! This really helps!
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toneloperu's avatar
toneloperu|Hobbyist General Artist
you're welcome, glad you like it. Thanks for the fav.
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Handepsilon's avatar
Handepsilon|Professional Filmographer
Okay, I've followed the tutorial and tried to apply it for my makehuman model, but there's kinda a problem : The hair seemed to be minimized and it can't fit in because it's smaller than it should be. Can you solve this?
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toneloperu's avatar
toneloperu|Hobbyist General Artist
If the scalp is too small you must scale it up and adapt it to your character's head as shown in the tutorial. If the hair particles are too small you must scale up the plane and reset xform before applying the scatter modifier. To better understand the problem, please upload an image and send me the link so I can check it out. This way it's easier for me to help you.
Regards.
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VidGameDude's avatar
from one max user to another this is truly appreciated!
although i am looking to make another hair design, regardless, this was nice of you to take the time as well as effort.

l8s
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toneloperu's avatar
toneloperu|Hobbyist General Artist
thanks. What kind of hair design are you trying to make?.
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VidGameDude's avatar
o just regular decending bowl cut black with pinched tips.
like a skate boarders hair style.
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toneloperu's avatar
toneloperu|Hobbyist General Artist
I see. If you want to make a more elaborate hairstyle you'd still have to do some sections manually (the fringes, for instance). You can make the pinched tips with the scatter method though (by using the selected faces only option in the scatter menu). And for the bowl cut you can use a sphere and paint the hair on it in a dedicated software (i.e. mudbox or zbrush), or you can use the meshsmooth and spherify mods on the scatter-made hair to make it look more like a bowl. These would be my suggestions for this particular hair design. Any doubts, I'll be glad to help.
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