Hamlet has an article about Damien Fate’s latest project, a fuzzy tail on pajamas. Damein also has a free friendship bear that uses the technique too. You have to see this to understand what Damein has accomplished. It is pretty awesome. This is going to be great for fur collars and similar stuff.
The Pajama’s tail is awesome. See New World Notes: Fluff Piece: Here’s How An SL Designer Is Using Materials To Tackle One of The Biggest Challenges In 3D Modeling. Check out the images on Hamlet’s site. Damien explained how he does it; layered normal maps.
Sorry but this method is really OLD. I’ve made myself a lot of things using this technique (without normal maps by them of course) and also saw some sheeps avatars using it. And I am talking about 2008 or so…
In Second Life?
Yes, in second life. In fact the technique is quite easy to do, I even did an animated grass as test by them. This just only requires a several layers of mesh/prims with a bit of separation between them. Then just use the same texture with transparency on every layer except the bottom one that should be opaque (but this also depends of what you want to achieve).
In my case, I did balls of fur for a xmas hat (you can find it for free on my marketplace store if yo want to see. Is included with the “bunny” like one). To make it looks ok in a ball, I simply used a noise texture inside of 3D Max on a sphere. This kind of noise is a 3D noise so doesnt get affected by the UVs and hence doesnt get stretched in the top and bottom of the sphere. I tweaked the parameters of the noise to get some high contrast little white dots over a dark black baground. This texture was later used as alpha mask in a plain white color in Photoshop. And thats all, you can sure guess the next steps :P.
Sorry for the mini tutorial lol, but I think people may find it useful and is also funny to do even directly into Photoshop 🙂
Thanks for the mini-tutorial. 🙂
Oh, I forget to mention, for those that are curious, that this kind of technique what it really does is to imitate a real time shader for fur used in some games. The shaders does the same but without the cost of using several layers of the same mesh, making it faster and also better looking. Probably one of the best examples is Shadow of The Colossus from PlayStation 2 where the colossus have big amount of nice fur. Would be cool to see this implemented in SL hu? The furry community is big here but honestly I doubt it :P.