Fibermesh "hair cards"? And UI questions

I’ve been trying to create Fibermesh hair that doesn’t use as many polygons for export to Daz 3D, to make rendering hair there less resource-intensive than with full-on Fibermesh. Essentially I’m trying to use Fibermesh to make hair cards, following this tutorial: https://magazine.renderosity.com/article/6145/zbrush-hair-card-basics . I’ve been aiming for, say, 50,000 polys. Some questions:

  1. First, there seems to be only one place to insert a texture or opacity map. The Fibermesh UI does let one adjust for transparency, so I’ve tried putting my opacity map there. But then only one side of each “card” gets textured. I actually have better luck putting in a diffuse texture and not messing with transparency at all; this seems to texture both sides of the cards. Am I doing this right?

  2. Either way, my textures don’t look great. Can anyone advise me on how to make good “hair card” textures for use with Fibermesh? The tutorial I linked above completely glosses over texturing. (ZBrush classroom has a somewhat more helpful “butterflies and grass” fibermesh-texturing video, but it’s not about hair.)

  3. Also, once I “accept” a Fibermesh, can I go back and adjust the settings (and groom hair) later? The UI seems to let me, but when I start trying to groom, ZBrush thinks I’m sculpting on the model’s skin, not the hair. Also, when I return to adjust settings, the hair starts to go haywire, spiking out in random directions. Maybe this is buggy? Does one have to start from scratch every time one wants to try a new hair design? Clear the canvas, re-mask the model’s head, etc?

  4. An unrelated UI question. At some point I accidentally hid the line of buttons down the right side of the main window, the ones with “frame” and “zoom” etc. I mostly can get by without those buttons, but it’s nice to have them there. Of course I could restore the default UI, and I did that. But it frustrated me that I couldn’t get the buttons to come back. Clicking and double-clicking on the arrows separating the right shelf from the main window didn’t help.

  5. Finally, is this a fool’s errand? Should I just suck it up and use Fibermesh the way it’s intended to be used, with many hundreds of thousands of polygons?

Many thanks in advance!

I’ve been dabbling with Fibermesh recently and found this video ZBrush 2021 Hair Fibermesh Dynamic Simulation by Michael Pavlovich useful. Covers some of the things you’re looking at as I recall. Good Luck.

Thanks for your reply. That video was helpful, if a bit advanced for me. It prompted me to start watching his more introductory videos, which are great! So I’m very grateful for the link.

Does anyone have thoughts on how best to use ZBrush to render hair for use in Daz Studio? Hair cards, or Fibermesh?