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Hair Guides

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Much like the sculpt and painting tools, MODO offers a variety of tools meant specifically for styling fur and for creating and editing guides used in longer hairstyles. Located in the 'Paint' layout, the 'Hair Tools' subtab (along the edge of the toolbox) gives users everything needed for combing and sculpting fur into the proper do. With Fur Vector Maps and the settings of the Fur item, a lot of control is afforded for getting specific looks, but for longer hair styles, guides are necessary to really control the direction and length of the fur. Before any guides can be styled and combed though, they must be created. In this regard MODO offers several tools specific to this task.

Initial guides can be easily generated using the 'Create Guides' tool. This tool automatically generates the polyline segment type guides necessary for Fur, by virtually growing them from selected polygons. Simply LMB+click on the appropriate button to enable any of the following functions.

Create Guides

Hair Toolbox

When using the 'Create Guides' tool, the generated curves inherit the material tag from the selected surface, so it is best to name the target Fur surface with a proper material before activating it. If the polygons aren't already selected, highlight the polygons that the fur should grow from and keep them highlighted. LMB+click the 'Create Guides' button in the toolbox to activate the tool. Next, LMB+clicking in the 3D viewport initiates the interactive growing process, spawning one guide per vertex for all selected polygons up to the 'Max Number of Guides' value. Clicking and hauling left of right will grow or shrink the guides in length. Users can also manually set the length directly in the tool properties. When the tool is active, there are additional attributes users can use to adjust in the tools properties panel--

Hair Guides Tool PanelHair Guide Create Tool--

Mode: Hair Guides can be creates two ways, either by growing from selected polygons in the 'Generate' mode, or using 'Interpolate' to generate new guides from existing ones.
Generate- Guide Curves are created parametrically with the various settings of the the tool. LMB+clicking and hauling in the viewport interactively adjusts the 'Length' value, other values are adjusted numerically in each input field.
Interpolate- Guides are created one at a time on the target surface where users click. Interpolation generates a new guide curve based off of existing curves. LMB+clicking on surface will generate the curve as an interpolation (in-between morph) of nearby guides. LMB+click and drag will move the curve over the surface (note how its shape changes to match those of nearby curves as it slides around, cool!) Holding 'Shift' while LMB+clicking will add new guides. When in interpolation mode, no numeric inputs are available.

Number of Segments: This setting is independent of the fur segments, specifying the number of segments used to create the guides themselves. Increasing the number of guides can allow for more detailed control, but watch out as manipulating them with too many segments can become slow and may produce less than satisfactory results. Add just as many as are needed.

Max Number of Guides: Generally, with this tool, a guide is created at each vertex position on the target selection/surface. If the surface has a lot of polygons, it may be desirable to control the number of guides created using the 'Max Number of Guides'. If the target has less than the max number of vertex points, only that many guides will be created.

Length: You can use this setting to manually set the guide length to a specific value. LMB+click and haul in the viewport will interactively adjust this value.

Bend Mode: With 'Bend Mode' users can choose how the generated guides will bend based on either the 'View Direction' or 'Gravity'. With 'View Direction', the guides will grow straight from the normal direction of the polygon, but bend based on the rotation of the currently active viewport, bending away from the camera. This is cool because its possible to select a few polygons from the fur surface and create the guides with the view rotated in one direction. Then select some other polygons and create the guides with a different rotation, which can help when devising guides for hair parting seams. 'Gravity' will bend all guides toward the negative 'Y' direction.

Bend Amount: The 'Bend Amount' controls the how far a guide will bend when it is created. A setting of 0% would grow guides perfectly straight in the direction of the vertex normal at its root, increasing this value will increase the intensity of the bend in the direction defined by the 'Bend Mode'.

Detect Collisions: When creating the guides, you might find some are intersecting with surrounding surfaces. Enabling 'Detect Collisions' will avoid this situation by detecting surrounding surfaces realistically drooping and bending the guides around them. Best example is generating guides for long hair, you don't want the hair to intersect the shoulders, so enable this setting to drape the guides over the shoulder for a more realistic look

Collision Radius: You still might find that fur generated from guides intersects with a surface. When 'Detect Collisions' is enabled, the collision radius allows the user to offset the guides from the surface by the specified amount to avoid the intersection. Quite often guides will be used in 'Range' mode, generating fur fibers within a certain range around the guide. It may be helpful to set the collision radius to half the range (as range is a diameter) to effectively avoid fibers intersecting the surfaces as well.


Sketch Guides

With the 'Sketch Guides' tool users can draw out guides directly in the 3D viewport with a pen tool. LMB+clicking on the target surface, the guide will be planted on the surface and will be drawn in a plane perpendicular to the view direction, going through the surface normal.

SketchHair Guide Sketch--

Precision: This value sets how finely MODO interpolates the drawn stroke, lower values produce strokes with greater numbers of points, higher values produce strokes with lower numbers of points. Think of it roughly like the distance in pixel the pointer travels before creating a new point.

Constrain to Surface: The 'Constrain to Surface' option, when enabled, will draw Hair Guides constrained directly over the target surface (like the background constraint does), the 'Offset' value can be used to push the drawn guides away form the surface when drawn.

Offset: The 'Offset' value works in conjunction with the 'Constrain to Surface' option to push the drawn curves away form the surface while drawn (the first, root vertex of the guide will always plant it self directly against the target surface still).


Edit Guides

Once Guides have been generated, the 'Edit Guides' tool can be used to easily modify guides over their length, creating effects that would be difficult if not impossible to style manually. Different controls are applied depending on the selected 'Mode'.

EditHair Guide Edit Tool--

Mode: The 'Mode' options determine what form the edits will take on the target hair guides. When the tool is invoked, it will modify all visible curves in the foreground layer(s). To target only specific curves, either select them prior to activating the tool or hide unwanted hair guides. Managing multiple groups of hair guides can be done with Hair Guide Management controls.
In general moving the mouse left and right control the 'Strength' of the effect and up and down movements controls the 'Falloff' amount. For 'Curls' and 'Waves', holding the 'Ctrl' key gives control to 'Frequency' and 'Radius' values, where Frequency controls the number of curls and Radius the amplitude. There are six types of Edit modes available-
Smooth- relaxes the guide
Straighten- transforms the guide back to its straight (linear) shape
Bend- bends the guide like it is affected by gravity
Size- changes the size of the entire guide while preserving the shape
Curls: creates curls along the guide
Waves: Another form of curling with more amplitude on one axis than the other.

Iterations: The Iterations value determines the number of times the edit function is applied to the target. Works with 'Smooth', 'Straighten' and 'Bend', and works in conjunction with the 'Strength' option to control the overall effectiveness of the selected edit.

Strength: Controls the amount of the selected edit that affects the target hair guides. LMB+clicking and dragging the cursor left and right on the screen interactively adjust this value.

Radius: The 'Radius' option controls the amplitude (size) of the resulting curls for both 'Curls' and 'Waves'. Interactively editable by holding the 'Ctrl' key while editing, dragging the cursor left and right.

Frequency: The 'Frequency' option controls the number of curls along the length of the guide. Interactively editable by holding the 'Ctrl' key while editing, dragging the cursor up and down

Falloff: The 'Falloff' value controls the root falloff, or to what degree the root of the Hair Guide is affected by the edit. Low values will affect more of the guide along it length while higher values will affect more of the guide. LMB+clicking and dragging the cursor up and down on the screen interactively adjust this value.


Tack Guides

Set Color

The Tack Guides tool can be used to position and rotate individually selected hair guides interactively. It works by the user first selecting a target guide. This is done using the 'Polygons' selection mode and LMB+click and drag over the target guide to select, highlighting it orange. Next activate the 'Tack Guides' tool in the 'Hair Tools' tab of the toolbox and LMB+click on the target surface to move the guide to the new position, this will move the guides origin to the intersection of the surface and the mouse's pointer, moving interactively while the mouse is moved. With the 'Align' option enabled the guide will remain oriented in the same angle relative to the underlying surface normal. Using the 'Ctrl' key as a modifier users can also interactively rotate the guide around the surface normal.

tack toolHair Tack Tool--

Align: When the 'Align' option is enabled the guide will retain its orientation angle relative to the underlying surface normal. When disabled the guide will retain its initial orientation.

Rot X/Y/Z: The 'Rotation input field allow uses to numerically enter specific rotation values for the edited guide. Users can also interactively rotate the guide by pressing the 'Ctrl' key as a modifier and LMB dragging in the 3D viewport.

Size: The 'Size' option controls the scaling of the edited hair guide.


Set Guide Color

Set Color

When styling fur, depending on the source surfaces coloration, it can be difficult to see the guides clearly. The 'Set Guide Color' function allows users to override the default guide color (temporarily if you wish) and set the guides color to any arbitrary value desired. To apply, simply press the 'Set Guide Color' button, located below the 'Hair Tools' subtab of the 'Paint' toolbox to open the 'Hair Guide Color' dialog.

Set Guide Colors

Enable the 'Override hair guides color' option, define a color and press 'OK'. All guides will use this color for display. To disable, open the 'Hair Guide Color' dialog again and disable the 'Override' option and press 'OK'. As the color override is system wide, this can also be useful when working with guides for other means as well. Users should note that the color display is only visible while in the Shaded and Advanced OpenGL display modes.

Hair Guide Default
Hair Guide set at default color.
  Hair Guide Override
Hair Guide Color Override enabled.

Managing Hair Guides

When working with many multiples of Hair Guides it can be handy to manage these guides with Hair Guide Selection Sets, this allow users to only work on specific guides, with the additional benefit of increasing performance for guide heavy setups. Take for instance all the hair on one side of a part would be styled in one way, while the hair on the other is styled a different way. Sets are simple way to group like guides together and easily manage their selection state and visibility for both sides of the part. The Selection Set controls are found directly under the Hair Guide edit and creation tools on the Hair Tools subtab of the painting toolbox.

Hair Guides Manager

Creating a set starts with selecting the target Hair Guides. Guides are selected in the 'Polygons' selection mode. Users can either lasso select around multiple guides at once, or paint select them by LMB+click and dragging the cursor over the guides to select. The default selection helpers work the same for hair guides as well, 'Ctrl' to remove items from a selection and 'Shift' to add to it. Once selected, LMB+click the 'Assign Set' button to open the selection set assignment dialog--


With the dialog open, users need only to specify a 'Name' and press 'OK'. to create the set. (There are also options to 'Remove' items from the set and to 'Rename' the set to a New Name) Once the first set is created additional buttons appear in the interface to clear an existing set and another to set the current set. LMB+click the 'Use Set' button to open the small popup menu to select from all available sets. LMB+click the target set to select all the associated guides. Now when editing is applied, only the selected guides will be affected. When the 'Auto Hide' toggle is enabled, only the currently selected set will be visible in the 3D viewport, hiding all other guides.

Users can also manually control visibility for any given guide set with the visibility buttons, for selected hair guides there are controls to 'Hide Selected Guides', 'Hide Unselected Guides' and to 'Unhide Guides' which will make all hidden guides visible. It should be noted that the visibility toggle buttons do not strictly require 'Sets', but merely work on selection, with the sets as an enhancement to the overall workflow.


comment balloon Comments (1) RSS Icon

genode February 21, 2016 at 4:53 AM

How does a person actually delete guides once they've been added, I can't seem to remove them from a base mesh once I've used them. clear does not seem to do it. Thanks


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