Making Hair with the Ring Primitive


Here’s an interesting method to create 3D hair in Zbrush without the need for transparency maps or post render painting.

This method was devised in Zbrush 1.55b, so I’m assuming it’ll work in Z2.

It simply uses the Ring primitive-

  1. With the ring active, go to the selection menu, mask all and select Row at setting 1.
  2. Inflate this selection so you have a ribbed effect. Deselect selection.
  3. To vary the thickness of the hairs, select Row 2. Inflate again.
  4. Add a material with a fairly high specular to get a shine to the hair.
  5. Add whatever texture you want. I used the woodgrain texture rotated once.
  6. Save the new Hair Ring tool.(So you can reload it for each new hair mass.)
  7. Use the Move tool on a large setting to warp the ring into your desired shape.
  8. Use Scale in the Transform menu to get tapered ends.
  9. You can also experiment with any of the deform tools to acheive desired results. e.g Twist is good for getting curled hair.

There you go. If I’ve left out any steps, or if you have any questions, let me know. :slight_smile:

what a cool idea.

:slight_smile: never done it this way, great tip :+1: Thanks.

thats a really elegant hair technique cwahl!
thanks for posting it!
looks great!

Another great hairdresser :cool:

i had to steal one of your wigs cwahl to see what it would look like. thanks again for the tip!

cool, thanks

Hey, nice use of the wig, Ron. :+1:

Here’s another hairdo with the above method.
Played with a few shadow settings to see if the forms of the hair behaved themselves.

…and because I like playing with shadows.

A lovely tip. Many thanks.

From the image it looks like the ring has been split apart rather than remaining circular - is this the case?

g’day cwahl,
i had the same question as bf, have you used a portion of a ring or a whole one? there doesnt seem to be a loop on the end of your pieces

also - i wasnt able to taper the pieces
using ‘size’ the way you suggested- the only way i could do it was to make a ring into one of those horn shaped thingy’s by reducing its coverage and then scaling the end- just how do you do it?

those new hair shots look ace

nice characters guys !

cwah :cool: tut.

Newbie question- After looking at the circle with banding in your image tut I think you could also make a 3d model with the DecoBrush tool by filling canvas with a Plane3d and fill with black and select alpha one that is fiberious and create an b/w texture from it use DecoBrush and draw a circle grab with mrgb zgrabber and make 3d then do the deforming you list

Boozy, Ron- You use the whole ring. Just keep pushing and pulling until it becomes flat.

I’ll record a zscript when I get a chance to show you what I mean…

Spaceman- Since I’m still using 1.55b, you’ll have to experiment with that theory.

Thanks everyone. :slight_smile:

After unsuccessfully trying to put together a zscript workthrough I instead went with a step-by-step guide.

Hope this helps explain the process.

hey cwahl,
so simple and so perfect :+1: :+1:
You zbrush-guyzz are so inovative and friendly – thank you for sharing :smiley:

The ZBrush community is the best I ever seen,
I appreciate it very much…

thanks for the further pointers cwahl!
i get it now ! i was trying to use ‘size’ from the deformation menu for the tips - when its the scale/size button in transformation you were using! its a really neat system- thanks again!! :+1:

cwahl! thanks again! i was trying to use size from the deformation menu - its obviously scale(size) from the transform palette! -doh!
what a very neat system! :+1:
thanks again

oops i posted this twice- didnt realise we were on page two :o

Hey Ron. Sorry about the Scale/Size error. My mistake…

I’ll edit the posts and pics to avoid the confusion for anyone else.

cwahl , many thanks for the reply and the pic update. I thought perhaps at first you’d used a mask to hide geometry from the ring that you didn’t want. Now all is clear - many thanks indeed.

Some further questions:
1,Are you also cloning variations of the tool to build up differing hair masses?
2, Do you mark these and polymesh to make a complete wig and re-model/re-shape it over a head shape as a template or are you working intuitively in 2.5D?

Anyone interested in this further technique should check out Bonecradle’s - Masking polymesh’s for modelling and

Monkeyfarm’s - tutorial on editing multi-marker objects.

Boozy- I usually clone and flip for the symmentry of the hairstyle. I also try reusing pieces wherever possible.

At the moment I haven’t polymeshed or markered together any wigs yet. Mostly I just place each individual hair mass in 2.5d mode. But I’ve definitely considered the possibility of building polymeshed wigs, because eventually I’ll get sick of having to build every wig from scratch each time. It would be good to build a basic template wig, which could then be styled whichever way you want.

Anyway here’s an attempt at a man’s hairdo. The blending at the hairline was done with the smudge tool in Photoshop, but could easily be done in Zbrush.