- Hi everybody. I'm Chris Schmidt. You might know me from Greyscalegorilla.
I've been over there for a few years, making tutorials and helping put products
together. And mostly just playing around with Cinema 4D all day. I was racking my
brain, trying to figure out what I want to talk about. I always like cramming in a
bunch of different tips and tricks, not just walking through a project. I thought
I'd go old school a little bit. We'll be spending some time talking about hair, and
a bunch of unusual ways you might use it. The big thing that I've been learning,
especially while thinking about this presentation, is how much the hair object
is like a cloner tool. It's kind of a MoGraph tool you can use to generate
a lot of objects and have a lot of fun overall.
My presentation is, Hair: Not Just for Making Fuzzy Spheres.
With that in mind, if you haven't tinkered around too much with hair,
what you've probably done in the past is created a sphere, and then you go to the
simulate menu and you add some hair. You're like, "Oh, okay. That was cool."
You render it, and it's like, "Oh. Hair. That was easy." Then you hit play, and it
wiggles. If you're getting fancy, you might have taken the sphere and moved it
around. You're like, "Oh. Okay, cool. That's dynamic." If you got really fancy,
you might have made a floor and then put a dynamics tag on each of these.
Simulation, rigid body. Oh, there we go. Now we've got a dynamic sphere with hair.
That might be as far as you got. I want to spend some time talking about... Actually,
let's check the notes and see exactly what I'm talking about. You have hair, if you
have Visualize or Studio. With that said, let's talk tinkering with some alternative
uses for hair, and maybe some details you didn't know about it.
First up, something that I only just learned recently is, you don't
necessarily have to add a hair object to render hair. You probably know you can
render on splines. But if you make a hair material, you can apply it directly to
geometry with no hair object whatsoever. As soon as I render, I've got hair.
With this in mind, the first alternative use we'll talk about for hair will be...
Let's make a nice field of grass. Which is probably the first thing that comes to
mind for you if you're thinking about alternative uses for hair. Let's talk
about some basics. Let me open up a file and tell you exactly what we're going to
be tinkering with. We're going to try to generate this from scratch. It's all about
creating some density and some variation, and we're using both some hair objects and
applying some hair directly to the ground. Let's see what we can do as far as making
something like that. I've already got this hair applied to the ground. First thing we
want to do is change the color. Let's keep it simple and go through this
pretty quick. I'm not going to look at any reference.
Let's have a nice middle green, there. You can add variation in your hue.
We can add just a little bit. A little goes a long way on hue.
Saturation, we'll go a little further on that one. The big one that usually
looks really good is values. We're adding some white, adding in some black, and
getting some variation there. We can probably push that even just a little bit
further. We've got a little variation and one color for our hair. We're going to
make it a little darker. Immediately these are all lined up, and they don't look
terribly interesting. The first thing you'll do is click something like frizz,
but as soon as you hit frizz, you're going to see it blown out. That's because of the
specular. Now we're seeing that because each hair is at a different random angle.
So it's catching speculars in more interesting ways. But before we mess
around with specular, it's really important when you're tinkering in hair
this way, actually if you're using hair at all, to place a light. I'm not a lighting
guy, so we're going to do this as simple and generic as possible. I'm making a
single light, I'm pulling it up out of the way, and I'm turning on a shadow. The
reason that's so important is because hair looks dramatically different as soon as
there's lighting. Primarily because it's casting shadow on the ground and on other
hairs, so it gives you a lot more volume. It'd be silly to begin lighting and
tweaking and trying to get everything perfect if you're not seeing the context
that it's going to be in.
As I said, this is a single light. Super generic and not terribly
interesting as far as lighting is concerned. But you can already see that
the hair is looking a lot more interesting. With that in mind, we can now
go into our color. Actually, we're going to go into our specular. We can do things
like pull the strength way back down on the secondary and the main one. That's
going to start pulling back how sharp that is, or how strong it is. If we pull up the
sharpness those will become a little bit more distinct. You can tweak, and tweak,
and tweak. It's a really good idea to go get some photographic reference and get
everything on the spot. But that's not the interesting details. Let's move on to the
next step. Let's get a hair object in here. I'm going to grab our plane and go
to hair objects, add hair. That appears automatically. We can talk about a couple
different things here. One of the most interesting things that I like to do with
hair is mess with the density; how many hairs are going to be in a particular
spot. Everything always ends up looking so uniform. If I turn that off, it's just one
flat field of grass. We want to see exactly where we're putting these, but
it's really hard to do that if all we're seeing is the guides and we have to hit
render to see it. Something I do pretty often as long as I don't have a million
hairs is, I immediately go into my editor tab. And instead of showing the guidelines
I'm going to tell it to show the hair lines. What we're seeing is actually the
final hairs. Because it's a simple scene, I'm going to crank up the detail all the
way. We're seeing absolutely every hair. One last thing I'm going to do just
because it's distracting. We always see the guides, so I'm going to lock my
attribute manager here, and then deselect it. Now all we're seeing is the hairs
directly. What's great about this is we're getting feedback immediately from it. If I
grab that hair material and turn on frizz, in my viewport I'm seeing how the frizz is
applied, how that looks. That's not what I want to mess with yet, though. We're going
to start by controlling the density. You do that in the actual hair object.
A mistake I used to always make is I would try to control the density via the guides
tabs, but that's actually not where you want to put it. You want to go into the
hairs tab. Now we can go into growth. In growth, we can put different images. Let's
keep it simple. I'm going to create a gradient, and immediately you're going to
see we get a nice fall off here, where the black has no hairs, and it's fading up to
having a whole bunch. Really straightforward. We have how many levels
there are, so this just cuts off. We can ramp it up and get more and more nice
subdivisions on that transition. Let's make this a little bit fancier. We can
start layering things up. My favorite shader, the layer shader. Now I can add
multiple images on here. I can create a noise. Let's do something with a little
more variation. I've been liking the FBM noise, lately. I'm going to crank up the
scale on that. Let's crank up the contrast just so we can see it really well. I'm
going to go over here, and I'm going to set this to multiply. Something I've
noticed is when we're doing this kind of texture, it doesn't necessarily refresh,
but that's really simple. I just frame forward, frame backward, G, and then F
on the keyboard. It's immediately going to refresh. The instant it refreshes, now you
see we're starting to get this a little bit more patchy. I want less of this
overall, so I'm going to keep pulling this back. Now you see we're starting to fade
out a little bit more, there. Let's see. We got the gradient. I think I'm going to
change our gradient type to linear. I'm going to have it fade a little bit more
smoothly. I think I want it to pull back. Let's grab our gray and pull that over
more. There we go. That's more along the lines of what I wanted. Now we see how
that's getting placed really well. Pretty simple. I'm going to back up out of that,
and I'm going to copy this texture.
Now we've got the density exactly the way we want it. We have a lot of
control there. Now I'm going to copy that. Right there, copy channel. I'm going to
jump into that hair's material, which is this one. I'm going to go to scale, and
I'm going to paste that into here. Immediately we're going to see it's going
to now scale all of those same hairs based on that same image, so we get nice fall
off. I did crank that contrast up really high. I might pull that back for this
particular channel. These should grow up a little bit more. This one does refresh
without me needing to trigger it in the viewport. Let's see. What should we do
with it from here? This is already layering on top of the other object that
we put together. We have the grass and now we have these taller ones. Let's do
something a little bit different here. Instead of creating taller grass or weeds,
let's create some quick flowers. I'm going to increase the overall length of this
hair object, set it to 55. You can see all of them jump up to be a little bit taller
than they currently are. Let's start messing with material, get something a
little fancier going. Something I really like doing while I'm controlling hair is
going to thickness and controlling it via not having the root and tip be different
scales, but by making these exactly equal and then controlling it via my spline.
If I were to fade this out, I could have a very clean curve and control exactly how
that's fading out. I want to check the overall scale. Okay. The scene file's at a
larger scale than I'm usually used to, so I'm going to set this down to one.
Let's do three. I'm going to set to three. You see, it gets nice and skinny at the
top. I don't like my lights placement, so I'm going to scoot that a little bit more
forward. That's a little better. Okay, cool. Now, let's try to make these look a
little bit like flowers. I'm going to put my spline way down here, and I'm going to
add a midpoint. Pull that down. I'm going to grab this and pull it way out.
Actually, we don't want to go too far. Think of this as the profile, lying down,
of what the hairs will look like. If I hit render now... Let's see how that's scaling
up. Each individual one is scaling really fat up towards the top. I don't want it
anywhere near as big there, so I'm going to pull that more over here.
An important thing to note is that those scales are determined by how many
subdivisions, how many segments are in each individual hair. I'm going to crank
that up to something higher. Let's go overboard, because it's a simple scene,
and set 42. Now we're going to get very clean control over where that's happening.
It will be a very smooth, one to one translation of what I'm tinkering with
here. That's fine for that bit, but let's make it a little bit more interesting. I'm
going to turn on frizz, and let's mess with color. Color's gonna be super
important on this one. I'm going to create a nice bright pink over here. Let's make
this fade over to a lighter pink. We need the stem, so we'll go to some nice dark
green. Let's crank that way up. I'm just eyeballing, but that should get to the
same height that I made the flowers' head get wider. I didn't go quite far enough
there. I'll pull this a little bit higher. The flower bit's a little big, so I'm
going to scoot that a little bit further over. Let's see what we're ending up with.
Immediately, we're starting to get... That's too big, let's scale this down.
These aren't going to hold up up close, but if you were trying to make a whole
field of flowers and you're doing a camera fly-through, you see how incredibly quick
it was to put that together. Hair renders super fast and super fun and easy to use.
There's so much variation we can add on top of this. I could keep adding more and
more and more hair objects, have different kinds of flowers, different colors. All of
this with no geometry. Just a straight-up hair render. It's super quick and really
fun. I think you get some really nice looks going on this.
Let's see what we're moving on to next. Let's talk about some details,
because I actually read through all the help on hair. I learned some things I
didn't realize. One thing I found really interesting is, and this is going to
render really quick so you might not see it, but as soon as I render, down here
you're going to see, "Preparing hair, " and it disappears. When it's rendering,
it's using all your different processors at the same time. But when it's processing
your hair, it's a single thread. It can only use one of your processors. But say
you were making a giant field of flowers. It's gonna have to process a lot of
hairs. It's gonna take a long time, and if you're rendering out a long animation it
starts adding up. But if instead, I were to take my hair object, copy and paste it,
and then give each of these half the number of hairs, then it... Oh, yeah, it
got locked, so I have to grab both of them. I'm going to grab both of these
guys, and I can drop that down to half the number. It's going to end up looking the
same, but now each hair object can go to a different core and process.
You can keep cutting that time in half for how many processors you have. That's kind
of on the margins, but an important detail to note to speed up your renders when
you're tinkering around with hair. Another little detail is prior to R-16, the sketch
and tune renderer and the hair renderer were separate engines, but they combined
them in 16. In a single scene file you can do sketch and tune and hair at the same
time. I didn't prepare anything for that, but I just thought it's an interesting
thing. Previous to 16 you might have been like, "Well, I can't do it." But now you
can. Let's move on. The next thing we're going to tinker with, I was already
mentioning this a little bit, is you can render by applying things directly to
splines. I've prepared this file, really simple. It's just a buckyball with a
tracer object on it and an Atom Array. Really straightforward. We can take any
hair material and apply it to directly to any spline object, and it will render.
A lot of people know that already. It's a really neat way of quickly rendering
out some splines and getting some really abstract, cool looking things.
But in addition to that, I put three different looks together. Here's the first
one. I want to talk about some of the settings I threw in here. You'll see on
the tracer that each of these tails is doing its own thing. It's existing exactly
in space, and there's not a lot of different ways of manipulating that. Let's
say you want to pull together and be a little pointy tail. In the hair material
if you go to clump, and you crank it up, and I cranked up all the settings and
whatnot. As soon as I hit render, in spite of all of those curving off in their own
direction, you can pull them all together. In addition to that, I went to
transparency, I put a gradient in here. It's kind of fuzzing out the edges so you
don't get those hard... It's not so sharp. It's a nice fuzzy, ethereal look. Let's
jump onto the next one. This one, really straightforward, but kind of the opposite
idea. Instead of clumping it in, you turn on frizz, and we can actually have all the
lines shoot out and go in crazy directions. A cool way of manipulating
your splines after the fact. They'd be very static here. Really straightforward,
neat there. I'm going to throw the last one on here. This one doesn't have
anything special, I just thought it was kind of cool. It's this weird squid thing.
Inside of the transparency, I went and I made a whole bunch of these different
knots, and that's what's repeating the transparency to make them look all jagged.
A little note on that, just because I didn't know for a long time, I think it's
incredibly useful. If you right-click on a gradient, you get a couple different
options. They're really straightforward, but super useful. Right now I could just
say, "Reset." There's distribute, which will even them all out. It's great that
all I did was make these two knots, one white, one black, and you right-click and
say, double, double, double, double. Back in the day I'd do that manually,
because I had no idea you could do it. I used to go and make my material editor as
big as I could so I could get in there and really mess with them. Couple cool little
settings in there that really speed up dealing with gradients like that.
That's a couple notes on rendering on splines. Let me make sure I'm
not skipping something. I had no idea about this. I'm gonna open up a new
file. You can actually render particles directly. Let's set something up really
quick. I'm gonna use the basic Cinema emitter. I'm also going to need a
turbulence object. Let's go to our emitter. I'm going to crank it up a
hundred particles. I'm going to go to my emitter, I'm going to scale it down to
zero, zero. Let's crank up the angle to go all over the place so they'll be shooting
in every direction. I'm going to grab my turbulence and... Oh, the universal scale,
somebody changed the scale here. Centimeters, is that the default? The
scale's throwing me off, but we'll just keep estimating. I'm going to crank up to
55. That might be too much, because the scale's throwing me off. Now you see that
these guys are flying all over the place, wiggling around and whatnot. Of course,
they're not going to render by themselves. Usually you'd trace it, or there's a bunch
of different ways of rendering. A really cool way that I had no idea about is you
can apply hair material directly onto that emitter. I'm going to want even more
particles, I think. Let's crank it up to 1,000. We've got a bunch of these guys.
I'm going to hit play. And when I render you'll see, it's tiny and it's subtle, but
you can start getting some really nice looking particles. I just had no idea that
you could do that. Let's scale these guys up, maybe taper it down and get a more
interesting color than this brown. Actually, let's leave the gradient in
there. Hit render, and you see we get all these cool little particles rendered
directly. But if you right-click on your emitter, you can go to hair tags and add
the hair render tag. As soon as you do that, you can change this to different
modes. You can do the velocity of the particle. When I render based on the
direction it's flying and how fast it's going, it's going to automatically
generate an entire line.
The one I had no idea about was trail. You can turn on trail, and you won't see it in
the viewport. But when you hit render, it's actually tracing them automatically.
No tracer object or spline involved, whatsoever.
You can turn on different limits on here. You can have it remain or run out
over time. You can limit it to a certain number of frames. There you go. Rendering
particles directly. I guess that's backwards. There's no reverse spline
direction, so you'd go back into your thickness and just invert the spline.
Now it's going to be fatter on the end, and getting skinnier as it fades away.
Render directly on particles. It's important to note, I know I'm jumping
around a little bit, but when you apply hair directly to the plane object,
you can also add a render tag on here.
This is where you'd start controlling how many hairs are generated on it, and how
long it is with no hair object involved. It's an interesting detail. Let's see,
what is next? Okay. Let's start talking about some more unusual uses for the hair
module. This is a space ship I modeled a little while ago. We're probably going to
include it in the next update to the free Greyscalegorilla model pack. I'll do a
quick render. I kind of like it. Let's say we want to get a nice cartoon rocket-like
flame coming out from here. I've already prepared one, but I talk really fast, so I
think I can actually make this from scratch. Let's just walk through it, and
if I screw it up, we can go back to the good one.
I've got this disc object, and I've already placed it. It's just a disc.
Somewhere for me to put the hair object. I'm going to say, Simulate, and Add Hair.
I've got hair. It's a little bit short. Scale's still throwing me off.
Let's make that a lot longer. Let's say 200. Maybe a little longer. Let's go
with that. We've got those hairs, and I want to see exactly where they are, so I
already switched this over to hair lines and cranked that up. Once again I'm going
to lock that object so I can deselect it and see exactly my hairs. That's 5,000
hairs, that's way too many for our purposes here. I'm going to drop this
count to something real small. Let's say 50. All we want is 50 hairs there. Maybe
we'll put a few more in. Let's start with 200 and start messing with it from there.
I've got my hair material. Let's start moving to the next step. I want to scale
these hairs, and I want to scale them based on a gradient. I'm going to create a
gradient. I'm going to set it to circular. That's working great, except it's
backwards. I'm going to right-click on this and say, Invert knots, which will
mirror it. You see we get this really nice taper where it's nice and pointy on the
end, moves up to the top. Immediately, I'm going to turn off specular, because these
should be self-illuminating. There's no lighting that we'd be worried about here,
but you can actually, in your illumination, stop it from receiving any
shadow. No self-shadow, no back-shadow, none of that. It shouldn't, because it's
going to be a rocket engine. Let's go to color, and let's make it nice and
cartoon-y. Let's get a nice, rich red-orange and a nice bright yellow. We
get that fading out. The primary thing we're going to be dealing with is the
thickness. I have no idea what number we need to jump this to. I'm going to set it
to five and hit render. It's not going to be super huge. Actually, nowhere
near as big we need. Let's jump that up to 55, try that. We're starting to get there.
What do I want this to look like, shape-wise? I want it to get nice and
skinny on the tip, but I think I also want it to fade out. I'm going to make another
point right there, pull it down. Here's our profile. Hit render, and see what that
Already, that's a nice, cool cartoon-y look. We can keep pushing this
further and further. First of all, I think I want some more orange, so we'll push
this even further into red. Render. There we go. That's immediately pretty fun.
Let's go to our thickness again. We can add variation here, but I think we want to
get some motion out of this thing. We can go and add a procedural noise in.
Immediately, let's just hit render and see what it looks like. We're starting to get
some variation in there. I think I want to run a bunch of segments like we did last
time, so I'm going to crank these segments up to 36, so we'll be able to see the
detail really well. If I render you'll see that we're getting some variation. You
never quite know how big your scale is until you push it too far. I'm going to
keep scaling this up and up and up until we hit the correct scale. I'm going to say
1,000. Not big enough. We still see all of these tiny little wiggly lines. Let me
zoom in on that. Let's go to 10,000. Hit render. Still little, tiny wiggly lines.
Let's try 100,000 on our global scale. Now you see that all of the little, squiggly
lines went. Something I do all the time is don't make tiny little tweaks. Always
crank it. I always do another zero, because you don't know where it's going to
fall. It was 100,000 that we needed for this number. If we started at the 100, and
I was like, "Oh, it's not quite big enough. Let's go a little bigger, " and I
render, "Oh, it's not quite big enough. A little bigger." No, no. You gotta do
big numbers, and then you know when you went too far. The 100,000 seemed
to be pretty good. At least we know that went beyond the point. Let's try half that
amount, 50,000. Now we're starting to see some nice variation without it becoming
overwhelming. Now we can crank the contrast up a little bit more so we get
some more variation. Nice and smooth, nice and cartoony. That's actually pulling back
the thickness overall, so we could make it a little bit thicker. Let's go 65.
Just makes it a little bit bigger.
Now you can start tinkering around and even making that animate. We can turn
on some movement speed. Let's not be subtle. Movement multiplies by the speed,
so let's set the speed to 55% moving at five. I'm going to set up a render really
quick. All frames. Don't save. I'm going to tell the rocket not to render just so
it goes super fast. Hair renders very quickly, so we can see this right away.
My guess seems pretty good. You can feel the motion coming down without it becoming
overwhelming. But until we play it at speed, we're going to have no idea what
that looks like. Let's go ahead and hit play. Actually, that's feeling pretty
good. I just randomly guessed that number, but it's working not too bad. Let's leave
it at that for now. We might want to crank up the speed a little bit more. You want
the rocket to be a little bit more violent. Let's go, maybe make that 10, but
I'm going to leave it that. For the most part, there we go. Now we have this nice,
cartoon rocket. Fire coming out from this guy. A couple other things you might do, I
like adding forces to this as well. We can get some animation happening on the actual
hairs, not just super static. What I might do with that is go to simulate, and
particles. Any of these affectors, any of these forces can be applied to any hair
objects. I'm going to add a wind, and I'm also going to add a turbulence. Good old
turbulence. I'm going to start out with just turbulence and I'm going to tell it
to open turbulence. Unlock that. I'm going to crank this up to 55, hit play, see what
that does. We're starting to get a little bit of wiggling here. I'm probably going
to crank that up. Let's say 555. It's going to start going all over the place.
We don't want that. It's going to look really weird. It might be kind of cool,
but I don't think we want that. That's going to give us the violence we want.
We might even crank up our frequency so it's constantly changing.
We're going to get a lot of wiggling around, all over the place.
Now I'm going to counteract that a little bit via our wind. The reason I'm
using wind and not the internal gravity of hair is that I want it to move with the
ship, always pointing downward. I'm going to use my wind, which we have to make sure
is pointing downward. Negative 90. It's automatically applied, so we can make the
wind 55. Hit play. Not having too much of an effect. Let's go up to 555. Now you see
the wind is actually keeping it there. We're getting that nice little wiggle
going on. That's a good spot to do another test render. Let's see. I'm going to turn
the rocket off again, just so we can focus in on the hair. Now instead of these guys
being perfectly straight, we're getting that bit of variation. Of course, you
can go back and tweak it, tweak it, tweak it, tweak it, change everything all the
time. But that's working pretty well. From that point, stylistically, think of
all the things you can do. Anything I'm clicking here, it's just me playing around
with it. You could do whatever you want. We could turn on transparency. Let's give
it a lot of variation. I'm gonna hit render, and it's going to fade out.
Completely different look. We can add a gradient. Let's pull the black to the
center and grab white on both sides so we get that fall off. Let's hit render on
that. Look. Completely different stylistic look. So much we can tweak. This is a
rocket engine, but flip that upside down, you could have a campfire. Nice and
cartoon-y. It could be Sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal's hair going all nuts.
That's just tinkering with this as fire. Let's see how close we got to my original.
I guess I had a cleaner spot, but that was the original example. Fewer
hairs, little bit cleaner, little bit more Illustrator-type look.
Let's move on. Now we get to talk about some very specific details, but I
thought it was really interesting. This is just a plane, an object applied. We've got
some hair. I've prepped two different materials. I've got one hair, that the
only thing turned on is kink. I've got another material, and the only thing
that's turned on is clump. You have all these different effects you can do in
hair, where we got color, and frizz, and kink. All those have to be mathematically
applied in a particular order. There's an order of operations. What's a little weird
is that the order of operations is not the same order that they're in here. Well, I
guess that makes sense. The actual order is thickness, then curl, bend, displace,
kink, frizz, wave, twist, tighten, straighten, clump, length, and then scale.
So what does that mean? How does this apply? Most people will probably never
need to do this, but it's really important to note for the 1% of people who might end
up having to do it sometime, is you can apply multiple hair materials and change
the natural order that those are calculated in. I'm going to throw the kink
hair on there, and then I'm going to throw the clump on there. The left-most one is
overriding everything, now we're just seeing the clumpiness. If I turn off "Use
Available, " you'll see what's happening is the hair is clumping together and then
it's getting kinked afterward. If I just take these two hair tags and switch the
order, it's going to look completely different. Now you see it's all kinked up,
and then the clumping is grabbing it and pulling it together. The exact same two
effects applied in different orders, getting two completely different looks out
of it. That's kind of a very super specific detail, but I thought this was
the most blatant example of the order of operations changing the way
that this will look.
Moving on. Let's open up another file. This one I'm pulling from a tutorial
that I did on Greyscalegorilla. The actual tutorial is called
"The Freezing Ice Effect in Cinema 4D."
You can find that on Greyscalegorilla, and see a super-detailed tutorial on that.
I'm not going to get too into the minutiae here. This was my proof of concept
file that I did before that tutorial. I thought it was kinda cool.
Once again, weird uses for hair. It's funny, because this time we're
actually putting it on the top of a head. If I jump into the middle of this timeline
and I hit render, what I'm doing in this scene file is using hair to put frost on
the statue head. I cut Meg's head off, slapped it in. This is an animation I put
together. This never went on the website. Like I said, it's a proof of concept.
You'll see that the frost is transitioning over the entire face and freezing.
Again, it's hair. It renders incredibly fast. It was really quick to put together.
I had been racking my brain trying to figure out how to do this effect
where I was creating a cloner and trying to put a plane in it.
Then you start dealing with hundreds of layers of alphas and it doesn't want to
process them. Hair is just like frame, frame, frame.
I think the effect is really nice. This one is like, "Oh, it's working.
Let me try to go work on the tutorial specifically." Things I might have done a
little bit differently here is I could have applied multiple hair objects.
You'll see here on the short ones that we get all of this tiny little detail,
noise-wise. Then the big ones things are getting really stretched.
The stretched ones could have been a different hair object with more
sub-divisions and smaller noise. Then these wouldn't be all pinchy.
I'm not going to get too specific into the details of this one,
but all that animation, this entire animation transitioning from one side
to the other, is just this gradient with one key frame on one side
and another key frame on the other side. That does all of that
animation. Of course, that's layered up with a whole bunch of these noises. The
noises aren't animated, they're just there to add that variation. There's less of it
here, more of it there. I think there's a couple fall-offs here that makes it
so there's more frost on top of the head or on the underside.
You can really, really layer up all your noises and gradients, whatever you
need to have it appear exactly where you want it to. A bit of fun creating frost
with hair. Then you add just a little bit of transparency so you can see through it.
You get that translucency going. The specular was very important on this one.
Really fun stuff, and it came together really quickly. I can't fathom any other
way I could have done that. Let's jump to the last main one. I've got to slow down.
I can go into more detail here, because I still have plenty of time.
I did a tutorial on Greyscalegorilla. I think it's my favorite tutorial.
It's called, "Fast 3D Topographies in Cinema 4D." The inspiration for that
completely came from Lee Griggs, who did these beautiful renders, and I was like,
"I gotta figure out how to do that in Cinema 4D." I want to talk about some of
those techniques in case you haven't seen that tutorial, and some different details
that I put on the one on the site. First of all, I want to pop open a couple
renders. If any of you guys watch the site, you know I'm not a pretty renders
kind of guy. I'm more the technical, behind-the-scenes. I don't really care the
way it looks in the end. Nick is constantly telling me, "No, no, we can't
just put gray pre-vis stuff up there. We have to make it look all pretty." Of all
the tutorials, this is the one that I was getting renders that I thought looked
pretty cool. I'll go through these. This was my first proof of concept.
That's just a picture of a hurricane. This is a nebula. By the way,
a really cool resource is NASA .gov for beautiful imagery. It's all in the public
domain. A great place to go to grab stuff and tinker around. A couple different
renders of that one. This one was generated entirely with procedural noises
instead of having an image as a base. You see we get all the nice hills, but over
here you get some very geometric sections. Of course, the noises could be animated.
A lot of crazy stuff you could do layering up noises. Lots of depths of field. When I
was playing with this technique, it was hard to get a bad-looking render.
Everything was like, "Wow, that's cool! Wow, that's amazing! This is great! I love
that one!" This was a picture of a bowl of cereal. You get this epic Grand Canyon
vibe, but it's a bowl of cereal. This is just a random image, but I put some frizz
variation on there and then through a transparent material I got this. This one
was my favorite. This was my Atlantis one. You get all these nice pillars sinking off
in the water. I put a little boat in the background. The actual reason why this is
my favorite one is the photo that this one is based off of was my grandmother's floor
tile, just applied. Look, this is a terrible old, iPhone photo, and it's super
bright, blown out over here, dark over there. There's all this terrible
variation. You could never use this as a texture. But you put it over here, and now
that bright blown-out part becomes these tall pillars. Those darker areas that fall
in the shadows start sinking more into the water. Accidentally, that image... As you
throw different images in, you're like, "Oh wow! That looks amazing! I want to
tinker with that." Just throw away the other details and make it look good. This
one, this is the file that we're going to open up. Let's jump into the file and talk
a little bit about the technique, and one of the coolest things about hair.
I'm going to go ahead and open this up.
Let me open up the texture so you can see it. The texture that's showing is this
rusty pipe that I found. That's translating to what I think is this really
cool-looking swampy area. Here's the first thing I want to mention. This particular
scene file, on the hair object you can see that we have guides. We have 160,000 hairs
on this. That is a lot. The cloner starts slowing down after you start getting to
any kind of a large number. But I've got 160,000 pillars here, all geometry. Look
at the refresh I'm getting on my viewport. It's insane. I have a slightly simpler one
open here, only at 100,000. Some of those renders you saw were a million pillars,
and you still get really good refresh on your viewport. If you start thinking of
the hair object a little bit as a cloner tool, as a MoGraph tool, you can start
generating so much geometry. Let me explain why this is so fast. The hair
object is generating... Actually, let's back up another step. The way I'm
generating this is I go to the generate tab, and I tell it, "Don't render hairs,
create a triangle." What's happening is the hair object becomes a single spline
object. You get a single sweep object. Instead of having 100,000 hairs here, it's
one spline object, one sweep. It's only two objects. Cinema 4D can handle a lot of
polygons, but it doesn't like a lot of objects. As far as Cinema 4D's concerned,
this is just two objects. That's why it's running so incredibly fast. As soon as it
does that first refresh, then it just flies. As an example, I'm going to change
this over to a square shape. I give it a second, and boom, it popped in a square.
Now, after that little processing, now we're super fast again. We can go to
our alignment and set this to free. So we're going to be all randomly rotated.
Now they're all going to line up super perfectly, nice and clean. If we were to
look at this image directly from the top, you see the image. As soon as you pull
down, you start getting crazy alien landscapes. It's hard not to make
something pretty with this. I've barely, barely, even in my tutorial, I've barely
scratch the surface of all the potential you could do tinkering around with this.
All you have to do is change two textures and you can get something completely new.
Right now I've got my actual texture, which is what's applying the color. I have
it in a pixel shader so it's exactly 400 by 400 resolution. I'm going to go in
here, and let's put a different image in. Let's go into the pillars, let's go in
here. I've got that new picture of Pluto that we got. That's recoloring it but it's
still the height from the other image, from the rusty pipe. Now we go into the
hair object as well. Where is that? I don't remember. Is it under guides?
Sorry, it's actually in the hair object. In the hair material, we're going to go to
length, and we're going to load that same image in. We pull it by going to bitmaps
and then showing all of the different images we have in here already. We grab
Pluto. It's going to take that split second to look at the new image, and now,
boom, it's using the height map from that new image and the color from that image.
Now we've got this new, literally alien world on here.
When you think about the possibilities of revealing a client's logo
from the top, you can be flying through here, you get all of this amazing detail.
It's so much fun. That's not even to talk about... We can go into here and have all
this variation on all the scale, we can turn frizz on, give it that second again,
now we're getting all these crazy pillars flying all over the place. When I saw this
one, that's why I did that render of the green crystals. I was like, "Wow. That's
really easy. " Once again, we're just flying around. We could have a million of
these guys, literally, and still be flying. So much fun to tinker with this.
I highly recommend you check out the Fast 3D Topographies in Cinema 4D. That's
the second worst name of one of my tutorials. The first worst is The Goo Rock
Tutorial. I just call this one The Pillar Tutorial. Really fun. I've got a couple
minutes left so let's talk about other interesting, weird things about hair.
Let's talk about generating geometry a little bit more specifically.
I prepared this file, just in case I had extra time. What do I have here? I have a
sphere, and I have a model of a hammer. This comes in the content browser, and the
only thing I did to modify it is I added in some cuts across so it's an even amount
of subdivisions. What are we going to do with this? We're going to add hair onto
our sphere, boom. Really straightforward. And now, inside our hair object, which I
have to lock, I'm going to tell it to not generate hairs. It's not going to render
any hairs. As soon as I hit that check box, there's no render. Now what do we
want to do with those hairs? First of all, we probably have a bazillion of these.
Let's pull back on that before I create too much geometry. Let's have 100 hairs,
eventually. Let's go to generate tab. What do we want it to be? I could set that to
any of the presets, like triangle or square or anything, but let's set this to
instance. Now that we're set to instance we get our little instance swirl down,
and I can throw in our hammer model. It's going to take a second to calculate, and
boom. That did work, but we have a problem. These are each that hammer model,
but they're super, duper, duper skinny. Let's fix that. How do we fix that? We do
that via the hair material. We go here, and we start cranking up the size. I'm not
sure how big we're going to want, so let's try 55. As soon as I change the size, give
it that a second to refresh. Boom. You see these hammers have got that thickness.
That was too much, so let's try 35. Getting there. Let's try 25, and that
should do it. It doesn't have to be precise. There. Now we've got hammers all
over the place. It's kind of weird controlling the size of the hammers via
the thickness of this material, but think of the stuff you can control here. If I
were to grab my spline and pull it down, we can actually control how thick and thin
the hammer is on top or bottom. That could be key framed. That could have a noise in
there and be undulating. Who knows. The possibilities are insane. Let's scale that
back up. I'm going to go back to the hair object. We can hit this check box, keep
textures, and the textures will pop in. Let's decrease the number of hairs here so
it runs a little faster. This is still a hair object. I can hit play... I guess we
are cloning a lot of geometry on this one. The point being... these are all being
swept along, each individual hair, each individual guide. We're getting all this
animation for free. We could make these frizzy. We could do so much stuff. Another
thing I want to note, and let's stop cloning these guys. Let's go to something
straightforward, like a square. We've got that turned on. Here's where we can turn
on our endcap. The hair object has a thong tag, which we can kill off. Now we
get this nice and smooth. I'm going to go ahead and crank up our hairs a little bit
more. Let's get some more of these guys. I feel like most people, including me, just
open up hair, it's like, "Okay. It does hair. It's fine." But there's all those
brush tools. I'm not going to go through all of them, but keep in mind you have a
whole collection of brush tools, here.
If we go to brush, I can start brushing these in whatever place I want.
If you think of this like a cloner tool, we've got all these placed, but now
I can paint exactly how these are supposed to go. Keep rotating our camera. It's very
Zen, doing this. You go and start painting everything exactly where you want it to
be. These are one-to-one, but you can start adding guides. You can paint those
directly on the surface. That's a bald spot, I can drop another guide, now we've
got more hairs in that particular spot. If you open up a new object entirely, let's
make a plane. If you go to Add Guides, you don't even need a hair object. You have to
make it editable. If you go to Add Guides, you can start painting guides in exactly
where you want them. You could be instancing trees right now, and every time
I paint this on, I'm getting more trees. More trees clustered over here, more trees
clustered over there. I'm going to undo all those. You can get really specific,
you can change your radius down to tiny, and the step and the count, and I'm just
placing individual hairs. You can change the length. If you have your whack on,
you can have the pressure sensitivity control the length. You can be creating
all these different ones very specifically. Cloning one tree per.
So much control. Play with it. There's a lot here. So much you can tinker with.
I think there's one more thing that I didn't know, I thought was neat. I guess
I'll just make another sphere. Always start with a sphere. Shiny spheres, that's
Greyscalegorilla. Boom. We've got our basic hairs. You just saw I can clone
geometry onto the surface. Let's set that up again, an instance and not the hairs.
If I were to create a cube. Oh, right away let's give this a thickness, 25 was good.
I've got this cube. Let's make a pyramid. Let's also make a cylinder.
I'm going to drop polys a little bit so it runs nice and quick. These need to be
made editable. If we go into hair, we can throw in something like a cube.
Immediately we're going to get a ton. Let's pull back on that. Let's do 55.
We're going to get those cubes. We can make another hair object and apply the
pillar, we can make a different hair object and apply the cylinder. But what we
can do is, under generate, we've got this hierarchy. The way the hierarchy works is
a little unintuitive. You have to make them children of the primary geometry.
Then if we go to random, what is happening now is it is randomly generating one of
these three different objects. We can use one hair object and generate as many
different pieces of geometry with variation as we want. You could be using
the comb object and combing these guys over wherever you want. There's a bunch of
other options that are pretty crazy. We can do repeat, and we can make a whole
stack of these guys. I don't know the specifics of what you might use this for.
You can do something like take this pyramid, put it in there. Then you've got
a whole stack of those guys pointing out. I don't know what you'd do with it, but
it's neat. Let's go down to 15 so we have all these nice points going. It's still
hair, you can still comb it. You can still play dynamics and have them move all
over the place. Nice low geometry here, so it's running super quick. There are so
many possibilities and so many neat things you can do with it that aren't just hair,
and aren't even the grass. The grass was fun, but then making those super quick
flowers. Really easy and stylized work up close, and far away it can look pretty
convincing. I think that covered everything I wanted to talk about.