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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Introducing Hair Farm (Plug-in for 3ds Max)


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(image by Lee Perry-Smith)
+ Hair Farm is a complete hair solution for 3ds Max. It is specifically designed for CG professionals who wish to create gorgeous hair quickly and precisely. Hair Farm comes with over 40 different tools for hair modeling, animation, and rendering. It is fully integrated into 3ds Max and even allows you to use many existing features of 3ds Max with hair objects. Hair Farm was designed and developed by Cem Yuksel, a Computer Graphics researcher at Texas A&M University, over the course of more than 6 years. Hair Farm is not just another tool for producing hair on virtual characters. It is a completely new design that combines state-of-the-art technologies with an artist-friendly user interface and a flexible workflow. Hair Farm's revolutionary hair modeling pipeline gives you precise control over the shape of your hair model. Hair Farm comes with various tools which make modeling all hair from fur to medium and long hair exceptionally simple. Even very long hair, which has been extraordinarily difficult with all previous hair 3d modeling tools, is as simple as modeling any other object. The variety of modeling tools permits choosing your own way of modeling hair depending on your target hairstyle. Hair Farm comes with two separate hair materials, one of which is intended for cartoon-like or stylized characters, while the other one is physically-based and designed for realistic looking hair. Both of these materials are exceptionally easy to use. Hair Farm comes with an incredibly fast hair renderer. After you use this hair renderer once, you won't have the patience to use any other. Hair Farm Renderer can render millions of hairs within seconds. Hair Farm is better integrated into 3ds Max than its built-in hair system! Modifiers, materials, maps, shadows, utility tools, etc.--everything is exactly where you would expect it to be. Furthermore, Hair Farm uses the standard 3ds Max plug-in interface for most tasks. Therefore, it permits the use of many existing tools and third party plug-ins in 3ds Max on hair generated by Hair Farm.
Some of the novel technologies in Hair Farm are the following:
- A whole new hair modeling pipeline combining the best ideas both the industry and the academia, including hair mesh modeling,
- An artist-friendly realistic hair material that can efficiently handle complicated light behavior like multiple scattering in hair volume to produce physically-based realism,
- A highly optimized high-quality ray tracer for hair that automatically handles anti-aliasing without the need to specify the number of samples,
- A whole new hair simulation technique that can robustly handle complicated 3d models and advanced physical behavior like hair-hair interaction,
- Technologies in curve representations for modeling and rendering.

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