Making a simple hair texture using #Photoshop or #GIMP or #Paint.Net

Making a simple hair texture using #Photoshop or #GIMP or #Paint.Net

Purpose

The purpose of this post is to show how (more-or-less) the same hair texture can be made using any of the following: Photoshop, GIMP, or Paint.Net. Note that I have not been that particular in selecting the same base colors and I also recommend that you experiment a lot with what I give you.

Background

As per my last post, mastering hair in Blender (for use in DAZ Studio) is one of my 2018 goals. I started researching this and found a number of different ways to create hair.  One way is to essentially make 3D ribbons, place hair textures on them, and style them around a model head. I’ll detail this in another post, but just want to say that this is the part about creating the hair textures.

The reason I am addressing these three applications is that before my wife bought me the Photoshop subscription I was a huge user of both GIMP and Paint.NET.

Sources

I’ve read and viewed a lot of Photoshop tutorials by others and much of my instructions are based on a combination of those tutorials. The GIMP and Paint.NET instructions are my own, but obviously based on the Photoshop tutorials.

The Photoshop tutorials that influenced me the most are referenced at the bottom of this post.

PhotoShop

Create a new image, 256 x 256, with 72 resolution.

Set the two color swatches to the major colors you want in the hair.

Paint the top half one color and the bottom half another.

Add some highlights in the form of two painted horizontal stripes.

In Filters, add some Noise.

Some vertical motion blur to create strands of hair.

And that’s it.

 

GIMP

Create a new image, 256 x 256, with 72 resolution.

Set the two color swatches to the major colors you want in the hair.

Paint the top half one color and the bottom half another.

Add some highlights in the form of two horizontal stripes.

In Filters, add some RGB Noise.

Some vertical motion blur to create strands of hair.

Personally I did not like the bottom of the image, so I stretched it a bit using Scale, stretching the bad bits beyond the bottom boundary..

And here was the outcome.

 

Paint.NET

Create a new image, 256 x 256, with 72 resolution. Set up the color swatches.

Paint the top half one color and the bottom half another.

Add some highlights in the form of two horizontal stripes.

Under Effects, add some Noise.

Some vertical motion blur to create strands of hair.

I then sharpened the image to make the strands more distinct.

Result:

 

Conclusion

All three applications can create great hair textures, at least at this simple level.

 

References

 

7 Comments


  1. Very interesting post Greg. the Photoshop files looks clearest but is the sharpness a plus when you turn the texture into a model?


    1. I’ve been experimenting with low-poly hair a lot in the last two years, and so far haven’t found a perfect solution. As far as I can tell at this point, sharpness of the hair texture itself matters less than what you do with normals and shading. And alphas.


      1. Thanks for the info. I’ll play around with the normals, alphas etc in future posts. I’m going to try whatever techniques I can find including particle system hair. :)


    2. Yep – Photoshop definitely does the best job, but then I did each one in about 2-3 minutes. I reckon that with some experimentation it may be possible to improve the Paint.NET and GIMP textures. Jasne seems experienced in this, so I will take his word in respect to normals and alphas etc. :)


  2. I’d add that if your strands are UV-mapped so that the top is the root, the darker colours should be closer to the root for a natural effect.


    1. Excellent point that I had not thought about :) Thanks :)


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