The Paula Sanders Report: Review of Maxon's HAIR module

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The Paula Sanders Report: Review of Maxon's HAIR module

Maxon's new hair module, HAIR, says it all. It is a day to celebrate for owners of Cinema 4D R9.5 who want to create hair, fur, feathers, and even blades of grass. This hair module does it all. Also, according to Maxon, it does this with the use of very limited memory!


The module comes as a set of two CDs. One of which is the application, and the other contains four excellent tutorials in .mov format. While I watched all the tutorials, I wanted to try the hair on a head immediately. Guess what? The learning curve allowed me to do just that! I brought a Jessi figure from Poser 6 into Cinema 4D R9.52 without hair, and was able to style the hair in fairly quick order. I just used the quick render and did not pay attention to lighting, etc. Below are the same basic cuts styled two different ways.



It is really easy to use the tools. When I first saw the tutorial, I thought I would never quickly remember all the steps, but the second time in use they became natural.



Basically, one designates an area for the hair, then through the use of guides, populates that area. Once the area is populated and the guide hairs are set up, one can begin the styling. The hair was incredibly easy to style. There are built in safeguards that can be activated to keep the hair from entering the body parts, such as Hair tags. These can be attached to parts of the body to prevent this from happening. If some hairs do get by, the HAIR module contains the ability to select only the pertinent hairs and brush them out of the head.


The program worked extremely fast. I had a high number of guide hairs, almost three times the number of the tutorial, and I thought that it might not respond as quickly as did the tutorial hair. However, it responded fast, and the updates in the Editor View were realtime updates. There was no lag time.


Hair, fur, and feathers can be made as simple or complex as one wishes. The Material Editor allows for endless combinations, including textures, gradients, and channels specific to hair, such as frizz, etc.



The hair or fur can be assigned dynamic properties so that it will move within its environment. One uses some of these "animation" dynamics when creating the hair itself. Below are two spheres with straight hair (left) and curly hair (right).



Feathers are created a little differently than are hair and fur, although the Material Editor is used in the same manner. Below, splines were set up according to directions for making feathers. Of course, the directions were altered to give them a different shape. However, had one end been pointed and the material mottled, they would have looked like feathers.



Since HAIR is a module of Cinema 4D, all of the lighting and rendering aspects come into play, and different settings can be utilized as they are for other scenic objects.


A 220 page Manual is included as a PDF. It is from there that I read the directions on making feathers.


The HAIR module is for both the PC and the Mac, and requires Cinema 4D R9.5x. It costs US $395.00. More information can be found on Maxon's web site at www.maxon.net.


If you would like more information on Cinema 4D R9.5 XL or BodyPaint 3D R2.5 click the links to see the reviews in the Renderosity Front Page News Archives.


  • As always, I invite you to visit my web site, Perpetual Visions


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  • The Paula Sander's Report
    is a regular Renderosity Front Page featured column,
    where Paula investigates and comments on
    graphic software, techniques, and other relevant material
    through her reviews, tutorials, and general articles.
  • March 20, 2006
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    Member Opinions:
    By: bruno021 on 3/24/06
    Very interesting Paula, I'm trying the demo at the moment, and it really is so easy to create realistic looking hair with this module. Maxon has really come up with a fantastic product.
    It's amazing how fast the hair renders, even with 100000+ guide hair, Cinema renders happily.


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