Latest in Gear

Image credit: Disney Research

Disney reduces the chances of CG hair disasters

You can realistically simulate hair before you produce a final scene.
420 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save
Disney Research

Sponsored Links

Movie studios often want computer-generated hair to have a specific effect, whether it's a seductive toss or a careless flick that knocks something over. But there's a problem: most rough-cut simulations don't realistically simulate hair, leading to a lot of guesswork and time-consuming edits. Disney (no stranger to hair-centric movies) has a solution, though. It developed a new system that can produce more authentic-looking simulations without an impractical boost to computation power. The trick, it turns out, was to use just a few cleverly controlled sample hairs.

The team first extracted central "guide" hairs to use for complex simulations, with the remaining "detail" hair following suit under one main rule: the centers of mass for each subset of detail hair had to maintain their positions relative to dynamic reference points on the guide hairs. Those realistically simulated guide hairs effectively "tug" the rest of the hair along, giving animators an idea as to whether a character's hair fling will have the intended results.

This is more difficult than it might seem. Disney noted that it had to bend over backwards to prevent unusual behavior between the guide and detail hairs, and that the detail hairs tend to clump around the guide hairs. However, the creative appeal is obvious, and not just limited to Disney's own productions. Animators might be more likely to include long, flowing hair knowing it'll require less editing time. This could also be helpful for video games, where complex hair simulation might not be a realistic option in the first place -- you could produce "close enough" hair that passes muster without bogging down frame rates.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
420 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's 2019 Back-to-School Guide

Engadget's 2019 Back-to-School Guide

View
NASA confirms mission to Jupiter's moon Europa

NASA confirms mission to Jupiter's moon Europa

View
Ford will reportedly make two more electric SUVs by 2023

Ford will reportedly make two more electric SUVs by 2023

View
The dream of flying taxis may not be too far off

The dream of flying taxis may not be too far off

View
Watch Dan Aykroyd hype up the 'Ghostbusters' remaster for Switch

Watch Dan Aykroyd hype up the 'Ghostbusters' remaster for Switch

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr