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Never Have a Bad Hair Day Again with CINEMA 4D's Powerful Hair System

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When you're working on a character, chances are you need to create some hair for the top of their head, unless of course they're bald, or it's a animal or creature, then their whole body may need to be covered in a thick coat. Whatever the case may be, hair is an inevitable roadblock you must overcome. For all you CINEMA 4D artists out there, this article will walk you through the basics of CINEMA 4D's hair tools, and go over the basics of setting up nice-looking hair for your characters as well as give you a run-down of some of the grooming tools in C4D so you can spend some time being a 3D hairstylist. CINEMA 4D has a robust hair system that's not only great for setting up flowing locks for your character, but also grass, and more ruff and course hair, like a bear, or even a Werewolf, which should basically look like Wolf hair. Let's run through how to setup the hair system as well as some of the basic parameters to adjust to get closer to the hair you want. For this particular tutorial, we're going to create some hair for our singer character. You can learn step-by-step how to model him in this tutorial. The first thing you want to do is make sure that the model you're working with is the right size. If it's extremely small the hair results can look very strange, alternatively if the character is extremely large, you can get unexpected results. To test this out, drop in a simple sphere, and see the size of it in relation to the model you're going to be adding the hair to. In my case, the singer model I imported into C4D was, oh, about the size of a flea, so I obviously had to scale him up quite a bit. We only want our hair to appear on the top of our characters head, like where hair typically grows. If we were to select the head, and apply the hair system, it would create the hair from all the polygons on the mesh, from his nose, eyelids, neck, all the places you don't really want hair. Unless your model is Bigfoot or a Werewolf...if that's the case then go ahead and select the entire model. For the rest of us, however, we need to select just the polygons that we want the hair to grow from. image_01 As you can see I've selected the polygons around the top of his head, covering the basic area of where I think the hair should grow from. With the polygons selected go to Simulate>Hair Objects>Add Hair. image_02 Okay, so our character now looks like he just got zapped by some serious electricity, or he's a punk rocker. Unless that's the look you're going for this is a very easy fix. image_03 With the Hair object selected, go into properties and under Guides shorten the length of the guides quite a bit. In my case, I've brought it down to around 360 cm. image_04 Since the hair is a simulation, press Play on the timeline, and you should see that your hair now falls flat. hair collider The only problem with this is that the hair is going through our character's mesh, which we don't want. So select the head mesh, and right click in the Object Outliner and go to Hair Tags>Hair Collider. Now when you play the simulation back, the hair will no longer go through the mesh. image_05 Alright, so next we need let the simulation play out until the hair is laying flat, so stop the simulation around frame 15 or so. Select the Hair object, go to Simulate>Hair Edit>Set as Dynamics. That way if you scrub the timeline again the hair will stay in place. image_06 I know what you might be thinking; the character's hair is looking pretty thin, and it certainly is! Although, it only appears thin in the viewport. What you're seeing in the viewport are the hair guides, which allows you to get a basic idea of how the hair is going to sit on the head, and the style of the hair, in actuality, the hair is going to be much thiner and each guide that you see in the viewport might represent 1,000 strands of hair. image_07 Now it's time to begin styling our character's hair! So go to Simulate>Hair Tools>Brush. You also have other styling tools you can experiment with like Comb, Cut, Curl, etc. image_08 I've done just some very basic shaping with the Brush tool, sticking the hair up a little in the front, and having the rest lay a little more flat. I also went back to the Guide and upped the length quite a bit, I realized I wanted the hair to be a little bit longer, luckily you're not lucked into any set length, so you can tweak the length as needed. image_09 Go ahead, run a test render in the viewport, and see the results you get. As you can see, the hair is thin, but we've got the style of the hair that we want, now it's time to tweak some of the hair parameters. image_10 Select the Hair object and under Hairs bump up the hair count from 5,000 to 20,000 so there will be 20,000 hair strands instead of just 5,000. image_11 Under Fill Hairs enable the Fill Hairs check box, and change the count from 40,000 to 10,000. Of course, my settings may differ than yours, depending on your model, 20,000 hair strands may not be close to enough, so play with these settings until you get the results you want. image_12 Finally, select the Hair Material. This will open the hair material options letting you really fine tune the hair, and adjust everything from transparency, to how clumpy the hair is and a whole lot more, this is where you can really get your hair looking how you want. image_13 By default, our hair is basically perfectly straight, so we want to mess things up a bit. So enable Length, Scale, and Frizz. Immediately you should see the hair material swatch change into a more messed up looking clump of hair. image_14 If you run a test render you should see more natural looking hair, once you do this you may notice some adjustments that need to be made. Now that the hair is messed up more, and not clumped together I'm noticing the hair is a little too thin, so you can go back in and adjust the amount of hair strands as needed. image_15 You can also go back into the Hair Material and tweak some of the parameters, for instance, I adjusted the Frizz because the default value was just a little too much, and so I brought the curve down slightly. Render_small You can see a quick test render above. By adjusting a few parameters you're able to get some nice-looking hair. I recommend spending time in the Hair object parameters, as well as the Hair Material and just play around with those settings, and experiment and see what different looks you can create. If you want to learn more about CINEMA 4D be sure to check out the extensive library of tutorials.