Bald Spot Bunny

I’ve run into a challenge with hair that I’ve been unable to solve. It looks like the particle edit mode has problems with the “Deflect emitter” feature.

Here’s the basic model of my bunny ear. It has 57 vertices and 46 faces:

When I add hair to it and render it immediately, without ever going into particle edit mode first, it looks like this:

Not too bad, but all the hairs are sticking straight out and don’t look natural.

If I then go into particle edit mode and immediately back to object mode without using the comb or any other tools, then render, this is the result:

This only happens if “Deflect emitter” is checked. As soon as I enter particle edit mode, Blender moves the hairs, putting many of them under the surface and pointing the opposite direction of the normal.

I’ve tried every setting in the particle properties and I’ve found only two things that make a difference. The first is turning off “Deflect emitter”. But if I do that, as soon as I comb the hair, it pushes it right into the mesh which buries it and makes it useless.

The second is to subdivide the mesh. Subdividing it twice, going into particle edit and right back to object mode, then rendering, produces this:

Further subdivisions create more but narrower on/off rows.

After several subdivisions, I can get pretty good results, like this, but you can still see the problem right at the edge. This one has some combing.

The problem is now my simple ear mesh has more than 47,000 vertices!

Has anyone else run into this? Any thoughts on how to make good-looking, combed hair on a model like this without going crazy with the subdivisions?

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