Texturing Grump’s Hair Using Selection Sets in Modo

Simon Hodgkiss, Technical Director.

Hi! Simon Hodgkiss here from Rockkiss DME and I wanted to take you through some of the techniques I use when creating hair and fur in Modo. We use Luxology’s Modo (www.luxology.com) as one of our 3D renderers. We use it for most of our rendering jobs whether it is a hairy Grump from our latest project ‘Grump’s Quest’, a scary bug in ‘Metamorphosis’ or a smiley Lego character. Its ease of use as well as it’s interactive rendering makes it the perfect tool for our pipeline. It’s also a very fast ray tracer, one of the fastest out there today. One of Modo’s other strengths is it’s lighting system which behaves as real world lights do so lighting material in Modo is very fast, powerful and accurate without the need in most cases for lots of passes and adjustment in comp.



And so to Grump…the base model was created inside XSI one of the 3D applications we use at the studio, we also use Maya too but we find we can work faster in XSI. Once the block modeling is done in XSI and the UV’s are laid out we then take the model into ZBrush where finer detail and sculpting can be done and from that model we spit out a set of displacement maps which we can use at final render time. 

Now we are rendering hair for different areas such as the moustache, the beard and the head hair but also do not want to inherit any settings from the skin shading, I have used selection sets. Selection sets are handy tools for isolating areas of geometry and I created a set for each area that I wanted to isolate. These act as layers on top of any existing shaders and are created using additional groups in Modo.



With these selection sets I can then go into the render tree and create individual groups for each selection set. This enables me to have an individual material for each of these areas of hair and full control over the individual looks. Each group has a material that controls the colour, a fur material for the actual hair and a gradient which controls the transparency of the hair from the root to the tip.


Having created the actual hair which we shall go into in a future tutorial, I can then adjust the look of each area of hair as I see fit. The great thing is this is a very easy to use setup and if you keep your render tree tidy with relevant naming conventions then it is also very easy to see what is what. In fact that is golden rule - KEEP IT TIDY! 

Hope this short blog has been of interest and check out the video for this tutorial plus updates on our Kickstarter of Grump’s Quest at www.rockkiss.co.uk/Projects_Grumps_Quest.html

Thanks and see you next time!