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DAZ dynamic cloth hair, defeated!


So I upgraded to Windows 10, and it took my external hard drive with it. I lost a lot of important stuff, including the remapped working of Bunny Girl I was gonna share with her creator. It also took my dynamic hair project, which I've been working on a for a long while. Lucky for me I remembered what I'd learned. And with someone recently posting about hair creation here in the forum, I thought this would be a good place to share that I'd finally managed to do it. Huzzah.

Of course I know someone a long time ago had successfully made an Optitex dynamic cloth hair but it's gone and Optitex has... uh... withdrawn mostly. (Rumor has it that someone has bought the rights and it's only a matter of time to see what happens.) I also noticed while trying to make dynamic hair in Poser that essentially a dynamic cloth hair that would work in DAZ would also be great in Poser. And I need dynamic hair - and since no one makes them it's up to me.

So here's my final proof of concept. I now have a work flow that will work and have the hair behave as I need. IN OPTITEX.

The point to my project is *not* to use VWD at all. Not even a little bit. Not an iota. Newp.

I gotta give a nod to... I'm sorry I don't remember who... but the person who told me that the dyncreator script won't find obj files with spaces in the name. That has saved some trouble.

Without further ado.

*Singing* Give me a head of hair. Long beautiful hair...


Yes... mwahhahaha... YES.... Create... make me hair! HAIR!!!

This is gonna take me a while to type. Oh, I know. I'll copy and paste from where I shared it with someone already. I was only going to tell them. I also wasn't expecting anyone to rightfully be interested.

My end goal is to make toon hair, but some of the theorem behind it should apply to more realistic hair. When draping in optitex, things tend to go flat. However there's this option to tell the object to have internal pressure. Then things fluff up. This doesn't work if the item is a single plane, but if you have two planes, one over each other, they will create pressure between them. The skirt in the animation is a converted Aiko Maid skirt, which is 3 layers. So I had to struggle with it wanting to be TOO fluffy.

When making a hair object, I prefer hair that is made of tubes. (I also prefer how that looks.) The older pieces by Littlefox are prime, and I love them to bits. So it's my goal to convert the ones I have over bit by bit. However the one in the animation is created using the anime doll kit.

I had been doing a quick and dirty meld method and needed a clean mesh for this last run. I would have modeled from scratch but 1. I'm lazy. 2. UV mapping is for the birds. 3. I'm better at 2D than 3D unless I'm morphing something for 2D.

To create I went through the following steps:

I loaded Kioki into DAZ and the hair bits how I wanted them. I turned off all the bits I didn't want to keep like eyelashes, arms, legs, etc. When done I had an eyeless, mouthless shell with only the chest, shoulders, neck and head. This is the mask. It also had the bangs, side flippy thingies, and ponytail. It did not have a skullcap.

Exported from DAZ into Blender, telling the program to ignore invisible nodes. I then had a mask with hair bits obj.

In Blender I removed the ears from the mask. I don't like those pieces on there, but I didn't figure out until yesterday that this was my subconscious telling me we needed those holes. So your mask needs holes in it. This is to pin the mask down with.

From there I attached the hair to the shell by merging vertices one at a time (siiiiigh....) so that I had a clean mesh with the bits coming off of it. I had to make sure the hair bits had closed ends and stayed tubular, so had to merge faces from time to time. Either way, I really needed a clean mesh especially around the ponytail.

I could bridge loops here, but that actually messes with the uv mapping. I also admit that when it came to attaching the bangs I cheated and used merge vertices. Like I said. I'm lazy.

When the object was finished I did your usual clean mesh, delete loose vertices, etc. I also will sometimes decimate the geometry a bit. This is because too many vertices makes the computer think too hard. Another thing to note is I had to tweak the object twice because the faces on the loopy thingies were too long at one spot and vertices were melting to the floor. So it's important that your faces not be too long and too wide. Also I've noticed that triangular meshes make better dynamic drapes.

Import back into DAZ. You can go ahead and use dyncreator and convert it to see if it's gonna behave if you want. I might do that. Either way when I'm sure this is the object of my dreams, I move the obj to my runtime geometries folder, import that, then use the geometry editor to get the material zones straight. You want those straight BEFORE you convert.

To make the hair work I had to do the following:

To keep the hair's shape, it needed a skeleton of sorts. Also, you can't tell cloth in Optitex to have rigid or constrained areas. Instead, there's a method called pinning that was recommended by Optitex way back. To get the hair to behave you gotta do both. It's complicated, but in the end it's easier because once you have your dynamic hair together you can save all of that as a wearable and Bob's your uncle.

There are other bits to the rig here. The skull there is a static skull cap. The hair has been told to ignore it. You want your hair draping onto your figure under something like that, because it's big and bubbly. I imagine a flat skullcap could be used for draping.

So. Here is what you add piece by piece.

1. Pins. Kioki's eyes and mouth are pierced by primitives, rods to be precise. It's painful, but you know the things we do for beauty. This is how I pinned the mask in place, by putting the rods through the holes. I didn't need to put rods in the ear holes because typically the character's ears do that for me. And I'm working on converting over the Penny Hair (which is one of my favorites), so on that mask I've added a hole in the forehead and one by each of the tails. Pin placement is important here, so if you can get away with a pin in the top of the head I'd say do it. Three in a triangle pattern if you can. With a hair do like this one it would work because the dynamic bits are not at the top.

The beauty of having the mask is aside from using it for pinning in DAZ, you can select it as a rigid constrained group in Poser.

2. Internal shaper. The hair is gonna fall unless something stops it, no matter how curly or bubbly it's modeled to be. The way to stop it is to add an object. So I created a ponytail shape prop from the top of the ponytail. It extends down into Kioki's skull and tapes into a round end for the hair to drape around. You don't want sharp edges on these things: spheres are the best. Elsewise the hair will snag.

I parented the shaper to Kioki's head so that when she moved, it would go to the place the ponytail would be. When draping the ponytail shaped around it (and it being a tube helped secure it). Then the shaper had an added benefit of not only keeping the ponytail buoyant, but held the hair in it's place. Win-win.

I imagine poser may also use this method, but I also know you can tell Poser to constrain that area. Same same.... but if the hair prop loads with the shaper in place, well, win-win.

Converting and Draping settings:

When converting the object over, Dyncreator asks if you want to include the default UV mapping. Say no. For the glory of Bast, say no. Click that button several times. You do not want that map. Your hair will melt. It will become a surreal painting if you do that. Do not take the blue pill.

Once converted, my panel settings are usually:

Bend resistance: 3500.
Shear resistance: 5000
Weight: 5000
Friction: Next to zero on the hair, as high as possible for the mask.
Thickness: That's up to you, dear. I usually just set it in the middle somewhere.
Internal pressure: Whatever. But use it.

I'm still playing with these settings, because it seems to differ from hair to hair. I had to set Weight to 5000 on this piece because it wanted to fly to the moon. I've had other pieces where 450 was a good setting. Internal pressure also differs from hair to hair, but seems to really be the trick to getting hair to look good. This hair's setting is 40. I had a curly hair I'd converted - a realistic hair - that worked very well because all the pieces were bouncing against each other. But I had to set it to maximum.

And finally, when draping using the animated technique you will need to tell the iterations no less than 8 or so. Otherwise the object forgets to inflate.

What I plan to do next:

Cry to the folks here about not being able to easily weld objects!!!!! There has to be a way! I tried using the boulean function in Blender, but my computer couldn't handle it when I tried to give it settings that would (maybe) have worked.

I have plans for the hair - comic book/cartooning/Mohegan for my tribe plans - and need need need dynamic toon hair. 99% of the toon hairs out there are gorgeous, but they're made up of overlapping pieces. And they have so many bits it's near impossible to work with them, even when you hide things. Cries.


I also should note I had to add a sphere to the middle low back of her head to keep the hair from going into the scalp piece.


Busy Bee
Yikes. Sounds like a LOT of work! I do like the "internal pressure" option that Optitex has, though. Dyncreator has been giving me trouble ever since I updated to a newer version of DS. Go figure...


Yikes. Sounds like a LOT of work! I do like the "internal pressure" option that Optitex has, though. Dyncreator has been giving me trouble ever since I updated to a newer version of DS. Go figure...

Well, yes and no on the loads of work. I had started out doing this with Littlefox's dreads for A3. I've got a test render 'round here somewhere. Anyway, I remade it just to see if the workflow produced a better prop. It did, in under an hour. But because the dreads are built a certain way I had to rely on merge vertices, which is your friend in this.

One shortcut I will do if the prop is built right is to select the areas I want to connect and use merge vertices, smooth, merge vertices, etc until I have a smooth and tight mesh. This doesn't always work, and the otherwork flow is usually what I look at first. The trick is to carefully pick your prop. The more complicated ones are right out for this, to my dismay.

I did end up spending all day working on converting Sadie pigtails, which I have decided is what I want for my next animation project. My mistake was trying to force it to shape a certain way. It wanted to slide off the shaper instead, and I was forced to find another way.

I haven't had any trouble with dyncreator with the latest update. In fact it seems like it works even better. Instead DAZ likes to crash constantly and really really really hates VWD. Really hates it.


Just an extra ping. I went to follow your instructions but I use Poser rather than DAZ, am still learning Blender, and look up a lot of terms listed here. But still, I need to learn even if it's the "throw 'em in the deep end of the pool" type of lesson.


Just an extra ping. I went to follow your instructions but I use Poser rather than DAZ, am still learning Blender, and look up a lot of terms listed here. But still, I need to learn even if it's the "throw 'em in the deep end of the pool" type of lesson.

Woops, sorry about that! If it's any comfort, I only know how to do in blender what I described. And when it comes to something else I end up looking it up for hours trying to figure it out.

In poser, I'd assemble the objects as I described for DAZ then export. Sometimes I actually will run things through Poser and export them again simply because doing that can make a mesh easier for DAZ to read. I don't know why.

I don't know if Poser will ignore vertices and only export the parts you see. If it doesn't, then you can delete them in Blender.

When you import into Blender, it doesn't matter how but I always make sure polygroups and keep vertices together are checked. (It's a good habit to learn as you need it that way to make a morph.) Then in edit mode I'll select where I want by hitting C, or shift and clicking the mouse, etc. The I hit delete. You can grow your selection by hitting ctrl and then +. I think. Or maybe just +.

To select only areas I want to merge there's several ways. If I'm lucky hitting shift, then alt, and clicking will work. This selects an entire connected edge. But that doesn't always work.

To merge vertices, in edit mode there's an option to the left hand side. Or click mesh -> clean up.

Decimate geometry is also under mesh -> clean up. I suggest you play with that one because there is no single perfect setting. In the decimate geometry dialogue that will pop up to the left you will find you can also decimate by groups.

To merge two vertices I select them both by hitting shift when I use the mouse. Then I hit alt M for merge.

I probably confused you further.