Using Maya Hair

Maya Hair is a dynamic system that helps you create hair that looks and moves realistically. Hair feature lets you grow hair from a base surface, modify various attributes and regulate hair flow. Using Hair Presets is a good way of starting to know the capabilities of this application, and to make it even easier it comes with the model of a skull so that you need not construct one for this purpose. Here are the initial steps which will familiarize you in using Maya Hair.

Step 1 - Go to Hair Examples

You will need to go to the Dynamics Menu and select Hair and then click on Get Hair Example. This will open up a Visor window and you will get a tiled display of different hair presets under the tab of Hair Examples.  

Step 2 - Select and Import a Hair Preset to a Scene

Each of the hair presets you see is a file of complete hair system with the base surface that will be hosting the hair temporarily. Certain presets will also have a collision sphere for hair constraint if required for that particular style. Select a hair preset you want and right-click on it. From the menu which opens select Import.

Step 3 - Info about the Selected Hair Preset

If you want to know about the major aspects of the construction of the hair preset you have selected go to the Attribute Editor which has a Notes section that displays all the key points.

Step 4 - Transplant the Hair Preset to a Surface

Once you have imported the hair preset to a scene it is ready for transplanting on to the surface. You should remember that hair systems can be transplanted only on to polygon or NURBS surfaces.

Step 5 - Scaling the Hair preset

Before you transplant the hair preset or wig you will need to scale it, so that it will fit onto the destination surface.

Step 6 - Selecting Part of the Wig for Transplant

Get the wig near the destination surface and select a part of the wig you want to transplant. This could be a few follicles. On the destination surface select the area by pressing the Shift key and clicking your mouse.

Step 7 - Selecting Transplant Hair Options

On the top menu click on "Hair" and then select Transplant Hair. Here you can select several options for the hair you are going to transplant. For our example, you will see the option Copy Follicles and you need to turn this off, as you need to only move the follicles you have selected onto the destination surface. Turning this option on will create new follicles on the destination surface. The other option is Match UV, by which you can transplant hair correctly between similar shaped objects. The Nearest Point option is used when you want to be geometrically correct in selecting a point nearest the selection in the target area.

Step 8 - Completing the Transplant

Once you have transplanted the wig onto the target area, you can delete the base object of the wig.