giovedì 20 dicembre 2012

New blog site available at

Hi guys and gals, the new official Look at my Hair blog is available at:

Be sure to bookmark this address and visit it often!

sabato 22 settembre 2012

Lycan: furred!

Had finally some time to play with Look at my Hair, taking a break from programming sessions.
Here are two renders, postworked with some glow effect and enhanced contrast, and the original figure.
750000 hair, 1 UberEnvironment light, medium render settings. Render time about 4 minutes.

Glow effect and enhanced contrast

Standard render and glow effect

Original figure

sabato 11 agosto 2012

A new test render out of the new 1.02beta

After so many weeks programming, today I took a break and made this pretty lady here.
It’s only that I forgot to trigger shadows on, but that’s it. Used about 100K hair, the standard LAMH shader, mid-high render settings. Photoshopped the eyes (made those green) and added a mild glow around the head. Hope you like it.
On a side note, I was finally able to code frizz effects for roots and tips independently. That allows to frizz hair so that they look more natural and random.

martedì 19 giugno 2012


A mandrill, created out of the Genesis Gorilla. Exported the head and neck in ZBrush, morphed it, made a very basic texture and imported in LAMH. Created the hair, styled, rendered. Made some adjustments and a little bit of HDR toning in second image.
Hair are way too thick (visible especially near the mouth), anyway is a good result.

The final result

Some HDR toning on this

domenica 17 giugno 2012

Mammoth from .obj file

For a change I decided to export the Mammoth hair model into one single .obj file and render the model in KeyShot.
The geometry consists of almost 1.875.232 quads, file size 335Mbytes (see image below); as explained in a previous post, LAMH also generates the texture, so you have all the necessary to render the hair model with an external application.

This was really a quick render (less than 2 minutes), just to show how geometry generated by LAMH can be used with a wide range of applications.

venerdì 15 giugno 2012

Entering Beta phase

Finally, after months of development, I decided Look at my Hair it's mature enough to enter the beta testing phase.
The team has been established and will start its work in a few days.
Here is a simple screenshot showing the current interface: as you can see we have a left viewport where you can style and model hair (you can easily trigger the comb, scissor, scale tool and use the mouse to style hair), and a tool widget on the right subdivided in four main sections:

- the Global controls (import, export, load and save projects, resync objects, create/delete shave groups, brush controls, clipping controls);
- the Follicles section (add/remove single follicles, through the marquee rectangular tool or inheriting surface configuration)
- the Styling section (grow guide hair and apply different deformers to get the proper shape)
- the Full Hair section (grow full hair with different densities, randomize roots, randomize lengths, razor tool, tuft tool)

There are also several dialogs that allow to setup program options (can choose your own background, in this case I used a blackboard one), setup materials and properties for each shave group and lot more.
Stay tuned for more information incoming next days...

venerdì 8 giugno 2012

Grizzly cub: furred!

Look at my Hair beta 1.0 is ready and will be dispatched to beta testers next week.
So I have some spare time to play with it and today I decided to do a test render on a Poser/DAZ figure I started some time ago: the Grizzly Cub.
Here are two renders and two screenshots showing Look at my Hair in action.
Hope you like it!

giovedì 7 giugno 2012

Exporting to .obj: cool news

I finished working on the "Export to .obj" section, and I was glad I could achieve the same "texture transfer" feature as with the "Export to RenderMan" section.
This means that when exporting to the Wavefront .obj file format (which you can use with your preferred external render application like Lux/Reality, Indigo, Octane etc.), you can optionally have Look at my Hair create a fur texture for you, gathering colors directly from the underlying model and assigning those properly to each hair strand. This is just cool and I wanted to share this information.
Here are two images showing the result of the texture transfer to .obj, and a third image showing the texture created automatically during the export process.


the .obj furred mesh

the fur texture generated during the export process

lunedì 4 giugno 2012

Making of the Mammoth: part 1

This is the first part of the "Making of the Mammoth" video tutorial.
As you'll see from the movie, using deformers is such a cool way to develop and model a basic fur model very quickly. And combing, scaling and cutting hairs is just straightforward...
The movie has been encoded at 3X the normal speed, so the part where I use the shave groups material editor happens too fast: don't worry, I'm going to show how that works in Part 2.
So I hope you'll enjoy this movie and stay tuned because part 2 is due very soon!

PS: please head up here and watch the video HD:

domenica 3 giugno 2012

More work on the Mammuth

I had to make new movies for the "Making the Mammuth" tutorial movies, and so I decided to do some renders.
Here is a new render done in Studio 4.5 and a "ice age" composition.
I think tomorrow I'll be able to upload the movies, in my opinion are really worth a look.

PS: the background used has been made by kip0130 at deviantart: be sure to check out all the amazing stuff this guy has:

Fluffy caiman? Yes we can!

There you go with a couple of fluffy caimans…
First one with fur colors transferred from underlying body texture, second one with a punk fur, violet blending to orange/yellow!

venerdì 1 giugno 2012

Mammoth: furred!

Finally also the Mammoth get some fur! I recorded the whole process and will also make a Youtube movie to show how easily did that in Look at my Hair.
For now, just take a look at the renders and enjoy!

DAZ Studio render
Mild HDR effect to enhance specular and contrast

The un-furred version: yes he looks sad!

domenica 27 maggio 2012

Arctic fox: furred!

I cheated on this because I used a red fox model (arctic foxes look a little bit different, more compact and less skinny, slightly different head shape.
The process of creating fur was straightforward and, believe it or not, I didn't need to comb hair at all.
The whole fur has been accomplished using the taper, spherize and length deformers, and the randomize roots and randomize length on full hair.
Used the scale tool a little bit just to balance some fur spots, and rendered in 22 minutes using the advanced shader provided with LAMH.
Added a subtle HDR toning to enhance contrast a bit.
Hope you like it...

The arctic fox: furred!

The un-furred version

venerdì 25 maggio 2012

Density maps: quick overview

"Quick and dirty" example showing how you can assign a density map to a surface, and how that will affect hair population.
As explained in the movie, hair density will be calculated gathering grey scale values, where white pixels is full density, black pixels account for no hair, and grey values will be used to calculate interpolated densities.

Deformers and selection controls

In this movie I'm giving a quick overview of the available deformers and how those can be combined to quickly shape hair. I'm also showing how to use selection controls to mask some areas so that deformers and styling will only apply to those.
Notice how some of the deformers can be applied to one or more axis simultaneously (see that small xyz mini widget along the deformer slider), and how you can combine deformers to produce different results.

As a side note, as explained earlier in this blog, preview hair may have some sharp corners but those will be "smoothed" during the render, producing nice spline curves.

Please watch the movie HD and full screen to appreciate all the details.

giovedì 24 maggio 2012

New feature: the Scene Explorer

I worked very hard during last two weeks and so now it's time to start showing some of the new features.
The first one is the Scene Explorer, which allows to easily add a figure or a prop available in the Studio scene directly to the Look at my Hair framework.
With figures, it's even possible to choose specific nodes to load.

As usual, here is a brief movie to demonstrate the new feature:

giovedì 10 maggio 2012

African woman hair

Continuing experiments with crispy hair: here is anAfrican female test render, and two versions with some HDR filters applied.
Click to see full size.

Afro look on the way...

In this example, I didn't even have to comb hair: I used the spherize and the curl deformers to get a very basic shape, and scaled hairs on front a little bit.
Yet not a real afro hair with extremely crispy hairs, but that will come in time...

sabato 5 maggio 2012

Meerkat: larger render

Hi think this looks better, it's a render with higher quality. I added the background manually in postwork.
Click it to see full size.

venerdì 4 maggio 2012

giovedì 3 maggio 2012

Symmetric editing

Since somebody asked if it is possible to edit hair symmetrically, here comes a video that demonstrates it.

mercoledì 2 maggio 2012

Spherize and Taper effects

I don't recall ever demonstrating these two effects: they are very important to quickly shape guide hairs.
The spherize effect nicely round all the hairs down, a bit like gravity.
The taper effect will evenly taper hairs down along the vertical axes.
Well,  I'm sure the video will clearly show those effects better than my words...

martedì 1 maggio 2012

Quick setup for follicle areas

Besides using the follicle brush to add or remove follicles, or the marquee tool on larger areas, another cool feature is the possibility to add or remove the follicles belonging to a specific surface. So for example you'll be able to discard hidden or unwanted parts like eyes, nails, mouth and else.

Windows porting: OK

One of my biggest concerns was the amount of time needed to port Look at my Hair to Windows (I work on Mac). While Qt libraries should (and do) guarantee portability, I was worried about the openGL code and multi-thread support routines.
Instead, I was able to complete the port in one afternoon only: good news, this will speed times for good.
Nothing exciting, but here is a screenshot to "prove" that LAMH Windows version is "alive"!

domenica 29 aprile 2012

Multi-threading support enabled!

I finally added support for multi-threading, which allows to use all the processor cores available and allow concurrent operations, with a huge benefit in terms of speed.
Incredible how moving a large amount of hairs is now so fast!
I will apply multi-threading to all those routines that require lot of calculations, and this will be a HUGE asset to be used in the future with dynamics and physics applied to hairs.