This part of the course is what I was looking forward to the most! I enjoyed every step of the process and realised that character creation is definitely the niche that I want to focus on in the near future. So here’s my very first sculpt! Rendered in Eevee.
I decided to make an elf. I experimented a lot with various nodes and realised that I will not be able to add pores and texture with such complex dense geometry. And I absolutely hated this “waxy” looking smooth perfect sculpt that I ended up with. That’s how I found out what retopology is! lol I got a free addon RetopoFlow and did my first retopology. It was very satisfying and fun to do. I have no idea if my retopology is bad but it did the job. I was able to unwrap it, bake procedural textures, hand paint the face to make it look more realistic and add some skin imperfections and freckles with a stencil brush. My original retopology was around 2500 tris but then I changed it to 10k to regain the details of the original sculpt with the Multiresolution modifier. I am satisfied with the result as it is my first sculpt and I hope the next one will be better.
Ok, this long part is for those who really struggled with hair particle system! I had to redo the hair 6 times as I couldn’t groom it properly. In case there are other people like me, here’s what really helped:
- make hair root diameter thin enough as that what makes it look way more realistic (for me it was from 0.2 to 0.4 depending on what part of the scalp I was working on);
- work in sections (!!), for me personally it was easier to split the scalp into a few parts as I needed different particle systems for certain areas (for example baby hair that frame the face had to be much shorter and thinner). or just hide sections that you already groomed before adding new ones;
- don’t be afraid to toggle Deflect Emitter on and off to place hair strands exactly where you need them to be;
- I think that for more complex hairstyles where you need hair strands to be in a very particular position it’s better to have a lot more particles than children as you can’t really control the placement of children. At first I had a lot of children and they all just went through the ears and shoulders.
- in the upper right corner, in the options, you can uncheck Root Positions and it will allow you to move roots. It’s very useful to create loose hairs, face framing strands etc
- to spread out a lot of already groomed particles or shape them I scaled them on the X axis (or Y depending on your set up) with Proportional Editing on (Connected Only checked). Just select a row of keys that you need to scale and choose the area of effect with a mouse wheel.
- the more keys you have the easier it is to mess up your hair especially if it’s straight! Instead just subdivide the roots a couple of times so the hair “hugs” the scalp nicely. Rightclick → select roots-> Ctrl + Numpad plus ->Rightclick-> Subdivide->Ctrl + Numpad minus-> Rightclick → Subdivide.
- if you don’t have a powerful machine or don’t want to wait for Cycles to render for a long time (it takes ages if you have complex procedural textures on other objects in the scene), it is possible to make Eevee hair look somewhat realistic. There’s no Hair BSDF in Eevee so you can just use a Diffuse BSDF, Add Shader and Glossy BSDF. I’ll share my set up just in case. And the most important step is to go to Render Properties tab, find Hair and change it from Strand to Strip.
I am really sorry if I mentioned some very obvious things, just hope it helps others like me. It took me 4 days of experimentation and watching YouTube to come up with these tips.
My hair is far from perfect but it is 1000000% better than my first 5 attempts! haha