Rupurt gets furry!

So many new features are added to Blender, that it is often hard to keep up. These days I am doing good to keep an eye on posts about new features on blender.org, blendernation and blenderartists.org to see what is being worked on.

So while I haven’t been playing with test builds or new features, I was aware of the improvements to the particle system, especially the fur/hair aspect of it.

Falling prey to a rather overwhelmingly strong impulse to furify some of my models, I have been playing with fur ever since 2.46 released. There are an amazing amount of options to play with and so it took me a good long while to get some fur that I was happy with. I spent days playing with settings, Particle mode and the brushes and ended up with some really odd looking hair/fur. I also spent a lot of time poking around the BBB production files, trying to figure out how they got their great fur.

My first successful test involved two simple materials and two particle systems. I finally got a nice fuzzy furry monkey. Yay! Not beautiful by any means, but he was furry. Double YAY! And he looked so soft and squishable.

Here is a test render as well as screens of the settings used.

After achieving fur, I moved on to creating color variations in the fur with UV maps. Okay I’ll tell you right now, that wasn’t a lot of fun. But that was totally my fault, I didn’t have any problems with the fact that UV editing got merged into Edit mode. That was an easy enough adjustment. No my problem was because I have let my UV mapping skills go completely to crap. 😦 In fact I have avoided creating UV maps since the UV tools started getting better and easier to use. That’s right, several years and versions ago. Yeah I know, that makes little to no sense. But I had really gotten good at doing it the hard way and convinced myself that I was too busy learning other things, so I never got around to learning and getting comfortable with the now not so new options. 😛 Well now that the long, boring explanation is finally over, I can get back to my story.

I finally ended up with a really bad (translation: bad = as in very ugly and I should be slapped for using this UV map), which I proceeded to Texture Paint. Another tool I obviously need to study up on and practice more with as well. (I could have sworn it had some other options last time I played with it). My paint job ended up being every bit as bad as my UV map. And If I had planned on stopping there, the resulting image would never have seen the light of day. Luckily when used to generate fur, my ugly UV map ended up looking fairly decent.

Here is a test render as well as screens of the settings used.

LOL, I spent the better part of yesterday working on that ugly UV map and paint job, only to have both my husband and my oldest daughter tell me that they actually liked the version without the UV map that I did the day before.

Go figure! Dang critics! See if I show them all my ugly hard work again. 😛

Well I’m off to see what other models I can abuse with new features/tools. I’m thinking I might try that new Bone Heat thingy. Wish me luck!

P.S. The model I used for my fur tests is “Rupert” the evil monkey I created/modeled for a tutorial I wrote for BAM some time ago. If you want to play with Rupert, the blend file is included in the Issue 5 Download zip file. You could also follow the tutorial and model him yourself if you felt like it.

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