Siggraph 2015 Rewind - Chris Schmidt: Advanced and Unusual ways of using C4D’s HAIR

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Using Hair to render grass, splines, particles, flames, frost and abstract geometry.

Learn outstanding techniques for (mis-)using Hair in Cinema 4D from Chris Schmidt of GreyscaleGorilla.

Chris shows how hair can be used as a flexible instancing engine to render grass, splines, particles, flames, frost, and abstract geometry.

00:49Basic Hair
13:32Render Splines with Hair
16:11Rendering Particles with Hair (Hair Render Tag)
19:10Rocket Flames with Hair
28:10Hair Material Order of Operations
30:04Frost via Hair
32:503D Topographies with Hair
40:39Instancing Geometry with Hair
43:25Hair Brush / Grooming Tools
45:25Instancing Multiple Objects with Hair



- 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 looks like. 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.
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