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Using Cycles' Hair BSDF

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  • Software:Blender 2.66  ·
  • Difficulty:Intermediate

Hair shading with Cycles just got better!

In case you're either new to Blender or you've been living under a rock, hair rendering with Blender via Cycles is improving by leaps and bounds! As of the latest 2.70 release Cycles hair has seen a tremendous increase in speed as well as the addition of a dedicated Hair BSDF shader node. We will be focusing on the latter in this video.

Hair BSDF

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This dedicated BSDF shader node is unique in that it contains two separate hair characteristics: Reflection and Transmission (Translucency).

  • Reflection: As you can imagine, this property controls the way hair reflects specular light. Being long and thin, hair follicles have an anisotropic-type reflection.
  • Transmission: This property controls the way light penetrates our hair follicles. It's an important factor in making hair believable and "soft".

Combining both characteristics can produce very believable results quite easily. Below you can see a few different hair styles all using the Hair BSDF shader: 

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