Friday, October 17, 2014

Good Hair Everywhere

I am taking a moment to appreciate 3D animated hair and fur.

Take Sully’s fur from Monsters Inc., for example. Just from looking at it, we are able to imagine what it feels like. We have a good idea of what Sully would feel like if we were able to pat him. The fact that we can compare a real textural feeling to something animated by a cold, hard computer is pretty amazing.

Hair is pretty cool too. Merida’s hair from Brave is probably the most beautiful hair in the entire animated world, as far as I’m concerned. It’s wild and big and out of control and probably took so much memory to create. But every curl behaves like we would expect hair to behave. It moves so naturally in relation to Merida and adds character to her character. It must’ve taken a lot of work to control every curl in order to make her hair look uncontrollable.
Another set of good hair is Rapunzel from Tangled. What’s really amazing about that animation is the sheer amount of hair that had to be considered. The hair at least 10 times longer than Rapunzel herself and it’s used as a prop throughout the movie—it’s a lasso, it’s a rope, it’s a ladder… In animating this hair, utility had to be taken into consideration all the while keeping things silky, shiny, and smooth.

This video showing a variety of hair related goofs with Rapunzel’s hair gives a little bit of insight into the physics of good hair.

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