HAIR STRAND DESIGNER - STANDALONE TOOL FOR PC ONLY
A tool for generating 4k texture maps for game ready characters.
Demo version will only receive updates every major release (less frequent updates).
The SIMPLEST solution for generating hair textures at a one off cost, perpetual license. Buy it now, UPDATES FREE FOREVER! (no price hiking! Price will only increase by a very small amount at the end of the Financial Year to cope with inflation).
Added Heart icon so you can see the 'pulse' of the software. If it is still, be patient, don't click as it can upset the intense rendering or file saving.
Windowed mode - window moved so there is only a slither of the top bar for grabbing and moving - this means you don't have to maximize manually as doing that would affect the texture memory and give you grey renders. If you get grey renders F6 or restart.
Press F6 if you do resize or minimize or maximize the window at any point in time to refresh the texture memory.
Latest Version 1.62.2 updated on the 18th June, 2021 - Improved normal map pass.
Recently in V 1.581 - 5th Feb - Highlighting:
Preview of version 1.5 (demo included)
GENERAL FEATURES and UPDATES of Version 1.5(Current)
Full set control and repositioning, mixer control. Much improved usability and overall tuning. Improved normal map pass. Multi and single strand mode. Improved compatibility. Slow, Medium and Fast modes to improve UX.
Progressive display mode (DyanMode) to increase performance, plus solo mode (Click twice on a a set number)
Hair preview is now a little more accurate estimate to the final render but still not 1:1 due to performance limitations, always generate a colour or depth map which are good for checking.
Algorithm refinements (Will affect older files, load and regenerate then save the new HSD).
Blur button now blurs as you hold the button down, or press B, it works on the currently active map being viewed (must have been generated before).
Memory leak has been investigated and needs to be worked around manually (currently due to a bug in the IDE). Save your HSD file after generating a map for checking. Restart HSD to clear the memory and reload the file. HSD will memory leak if you are constantly asking for many renders of many hairs. This will only be fixed when it is fixed at the IDE end (Gamemaker Studio 2) - This may be down to large texture sizes and bad Graphics Memory management.
If there is a crash, you should be able to press F11 to recover the 'state' of HSD before it crashed, the best option is to simply reload your HSD file and re-generate (this will basically give you all the memory capacity needed). A good tip is to leave the AO map to the end as it is particularly prone to the issue perhaps due to the multi-pass nature of higher RGB content in that texture (not certain).
Save your files to a folder outside of the HSD folder or it will be moved to the folder: C:\Users\*username*\AppData\Local
Previous videos (may be useful)
LATEST VIDEO (In depth): (18th April 2020)
QUICK GUIDE: Press Enter or Click Generate to Generate rendered strands of enabled texture types. Save the HSD file (Bottom right) after making edits. Save your files to a separate folder from the program to avoid them being moved to local appdata folders. Play with the sliders, get used to them!
Hair Strand Designer creates hair strands in the form of 4k texture maps ready for placing onto your hair cards. It produces an RGB Masking system for Color Variation(red channel), Root Mask(green channel) and Tip Mask(Blue channel) This masking system is designed for shaders where you want to control the colors directly in a game engine or even via Photoshop. It does produce a Color Map which uses the RGB masking technique just mentioned, it also creates a Normal Map, Depth Map, ID Map and Mask Map, New: AO map and Flow map. You have control of waviness, tapering, scale, variation, coloring, spacing, thickness, length and number of strands in 8 possible sets.
Initial Release : 14th APRIL, 2019
Latest Version: June 2020
New Features (V1.287): Load and Save HSD file (all your settings are saved, not textures, use export maps for that).
UV or Image overlay, right clicking to pick colors from entire document.
Extensive (V1.284): Offset and algorithm-influence overrides.
Quick Video: V1.284:
Other Videos for previous versions:
Latest Video with the New UI updates:
Previous video for any file issues: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZvhl3UQd98
Please Note, If you have bought the Unreal Hair Shader pack, then there is no need to buy this pack separately as it comes with that pack and is updated at the same time for no extra cost. For anyone who has bought both packs you are entitled to a refund for this pack, just send me a PM and I'll be happy to do so.
Processing your textures created in Hair Strand Designer using Photoshop (optional):
Polycount Forum Topic: https://polycount.com/discussion/210862/hair-strand-designer-dev-thread
Functions: F1 - View/Enter custom seed value (Randomization ON creates a new seed number, enter your own seed number then disable Randomization, then click generate to see your own seed value represented).
Once generated, save out your maps and recombine them however you like in Photoshop/Gimp.
* UE4 + UNITY Shader Pack *
These textures work well with the Hair Shader Pack for UE4 and UNITY, available here: https://artstn.co/m/lrwl
Potentially you could also use these generated hairs as brushes or for other nice painting effects!
Hair Textures Generated with this tool can be used either personally or commercially based on the purchase tier, if it's just for hobby/folio work, the standard licence will be fine for you. If you are doing freelance work or if you are part of a company and using this at work, you should by the extended commercial licence. Many thanks!
Memory Crash is cause by asking HSD to render too many textures in one go. Try to limit things to just a few textures if you are using more than 400 strands at full length. Typically you should think of each texture pass as having a memory allocated to it. The calculations are intensive, so try to generate map-by-map. You can do all at once if you are only using about 200 strands or less (depends on your machine), however the AO pass is very memory hungry, so keep that to last or on its own. If you are trying to generate about 1000 hair-strands, definitely just go one-by-one.
Performance varies from machine to machine, it was tested on a Medium Spec PC with 16gb Ram, Nvidia 970GTX, i7.
If you are having issue with the Windows version losing focus / restarting itself. Try the Fullscreen version, it is much more stable.
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Improved normal map pass with 4x rendering passes for a softer result. Will take longer to render but look better.