The Paula Sanders Report:
Working with Poser 5 or 6 and Dynamic Hair in Vue 5 Infinite

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I decided to update this tutorial which has been on my personal web site. I only use Dynamic hair in Poser 5 and 6 that I have created. I have tried to import Poser figures with Dynamic hair into various 3D programs. In some programs, a lot more expensive than Vue 5 Infinite, the models came in bald, even when changed to OBJ files. However, ever since I found what to manipulate in Vue 5 Infinite, I can import Poser 5 and 6 figures with hair created in the Hair room and have control of the Dynamic hair. I found manipulating the hair settings to be no different than manipulating any material setting in Vue 5 Infinite. I do not expect them to look exactly as they do in Poser.

I normally use a Poser 5 or 6 figure with blond hair that I have created in the Hair room and, then, change the hair color in Vue for mood. When I create a figure in Poser 5 or 6, I create it especially for a scene in Vue. I do not plan to use the hair as it appears in Poser as I do not plan to use the body textures either. I light the figure in Poser with as even and flat a lighting as possible so it will minimally affect highlights and shadows especially since the lights are not imported into Vue. I light the figure in Vue and plan the hair color, highlights, etc., as if I am fashioning new hair except for the style. I will normally bring the scene I have created in Vue 5 Infinite into Photoshop after it has rendered for additions, more than changes (birds that I don't want to use as Alpha images, etc.). I do not have to rework the hair nor do I have any artifacts to clean up. I have used all the Vue 5 Infinite releases up through the last 5.09 full release and the beta 10.

In this tutorial, I am not trying to duplicate the look of Poser hair; what I am, hopefully, demonstrating is that Dynamic hair can look good in Vue 5 Infinite. I treat Dynamic hair as I do any other material on an object or a terrain in Vue 5. I use all the tools available to me to make it look the way I envision it.

Step 1 - I bring the Poser figure into Vue through Import Object.

The screen capture is of the controls I choose. You will notice the Animated mesh options chosen are different on the two screens. I have found occasions where only the Dynamic hair imported, and not the body in Poser 6, if I used the controls I normally do (those on the left). Changing them to import a single frame and then, stating that the frame is frame 1 has cleared up this problem. I cannot take credit for this solution, but it has worked perfectly for me on the few occasions that this has happened.

I will end up with a body group and as many hair groups as I had created in Poser.

Step 2- The major difference on how the hair looks takes place on the Material screen, and has to do with whether the box for [Material] Cast Shadows or Receive Shadows for that particular hair group was checked or unchecked. UNCHECK cast shadows and receive shadows for all the hair groups. That eliminates the majority of the black, and the hair will look much lighter.

Step 3 - Darken the gradient. Double click on any one of the materials to bring up the Material Editor. To the right of Color production, you will see a gradient. For hair groups 2-5, darken both ends of the gradient. For hair group 1 (bangs) only darken the lighter side. To accomplish this, right click on the Gradient; this will open Edit Color map. Then, left click on Edit Color map to open the pane on the right. Sometimes I eliminate the gradient altogether and just use a solid color. The steps to accomplish this are the same.

 

Step 4 - If you look at the original Poser hair import, you will see that the color of the material is irregular (noise has been added to the color). First, I right click on the Color production black and white object on the lower left and then left click on Edit Function. This will take you into the Function Editor.

Delete all the noise in the Color channel. You will be left with the smooth sphere pictured below left.

Step 5 - Another setting I found useful was the Reflection setting. It seemed to add some depth to the hair. Just access the Reflection tab. Some of these settings are a matter of choice.

I have modified my render settings and use different ones for each render. Some times I use Ultra, but normally, if the scene involves Poser figures, I use User Defined settings. I am not an expert by any means on render settings. My settings have evolved from some knowledge and from trial and error. Below are the settings I have found to work well when the image has a Poser figure in it.

I have also found that if I render at 600 x 800 at 300 dpi, I have enough information to use Genuine Fractals 4 Print Pro and higher versions to enlarge the images to work with my Epson Photo R 2400 printer using 13" x 19" paper at 300 dpi.

Below is a screen capture of the final rendered image.

Shown side by side are the first render of the original import and the final render after the hair has been modified.

There are other areas in the Material Editor that can be controlled such as the size and color of the highlights (both under Highlights and Effects).

While I do not like to add something new at the end of an article or tutorial that is perhaps out of context, I felt this was significant enough. I stumbled upon this by accident. Below is the hair strand width I basically used for the 5 hair divisions in this tutorial. I made sure that the hair looked good in Poser. That is not necessary.

The hair looks thicker in Vue than it does in Poser. Below is a comparison of hair strand widths. I kept the root and the tip the same for the examples below. Notice how thin and unacceptable the hair is in Poser. One can always create hair so it looks good in Poser and then thin it out.

I am including these for basic information and to give additional ideas for manipulating dynamic hair outside of Poser.

If you want to create dynamic hair and don't know how, you might find my previous tutorials helpful:

  • Working with Poser 6 Dynamic Hair Part I
  • Working with Poser 6 Dynamic Hair Part II
  • Working with Poser 6 Dynamic Hair Part III

    Other tutorials can also be accessed from Training Curious Labs.

    Note: You need to remember that, due to the composition of strand based hair, when imported into many applications, it will not look the same as it does in Poser.

  • As always, I invite you to visit my web site, Perpetual Visions
    All supporting images are copyright, and cannot be
    copied, printed, or reproduced in any manner without written permission from the artist.

  • The Paula Sanders 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.
  • June 12, 2006


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    Member Opinions:
    By: Wombat on 6/15/06
    As great as all of your reviews and tutorials. I really love them ;-)

    By: fabriced on 6/16/06
    thank you Paula it's very clear :)


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