DVD review: Hair 3ds Max… out of the box
‘Hair 3ds Max… out of the box’ is a downloadable set of DVD-based tutorials from Joe Gunn that takes you through the workflow of Max’s native Hair Modifier.
The main part of the disc lasts just over five hours, during which Joe Gunn shows how to set up and style several haircuts for rigged characters.
He suggests work pipelines that he has used on various jobs, talks about shading, use of texture maps for setting Hair Density, applying Physics and Disk Caching to speed up solving, all with a nice, clear and easy-to-follow narration.
On top of this are some bonus tutorials showing how to drive a ponytail with Cloth Dynamics and a runthrough of the creation of the hair on the disc’s cover image.
Gunn has clearly used hair a lot and likes the way his chosen pipeline works, his demonstration also suggests that he gets a lot of joy from hairdressing, twisting and tweaking the style until he is happy with it.
Despite the decent delivery and passion, for the subject matter it’s a bit repetitive and lacking in variation, quite a bit of time is spent going back and forth with the same tools. Once the tools were covered there could have been less fine tuning and more examples of variation – short, long, spiky, afro etc.
At the start, it seems that the tutorials are to be pitched at quite an advanced level as the immediate introduction of scripts, Custom UI’s and so forth would probably baffle a new user. But once the hair tutorials get going the lack of advanced techniques or solutions to various issues found when using these Modifiers is a little frustrating.
The main gripe is the use of cartoon characters throughout the tutorials; glowing skinned puppets do not really provide a suitable base for everyday hair use.
The major issues of blending hair in to the scalp and solving shadow issues couldn’t be visualised against such a canvas. Also, the cartoony look doesn’t lend itself to creating realistic hair: if the hair was bright blue it would have looked just as good but again, without a believable face, you can’t judge whether the hair colours, specularity, frizzyness and so forth are right.
On top of this the suggestion that you just use one spotlight is incredibly impractical in terms of matching hair to a scene. Greater depth in rendering realism, lighting and perhaps some examples of fur would really improve this DVD.
If you’re new to the Hair modifier and not scared of customising Max first, then this is a good place to start, but you’ll need to look elsewhere or experiment yourself if you want to tackle more realistic hairdressing.
An interesting look at a professional hair pipeline, but the training could benefit from more variation and realistic results.
- Intermediate level DVD training
- Runtime: 5 hours 12 minutes
- Price: $69.95 / €51 / £45
- UI Setup Maxscripts Workflow
- Modifier Overview
- Grooming pipeline
- Styling 1 & 2
- Materials and Maps
- Dynamics and Collision objects
- Lighting and Rendering
- Bonus – Cloth Driven Dynamics
- Making the cover image
on Monday, March 1st, 2010 at 12:19 pm under Reviews, Training.
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Tags: 3ds Max, DVD, hair, Training