A LightWave 3D Plug-in for Modeling Long Hair on Virtual Humans
Multimedia applications today make use of virtual humans. Generating realistic virtual humans is a challenging problem owing to a number of factors, one being the simulation of realistic hair. The difficulty in simulating hair is due to the physical properties of hair. The average human head holds thousands of hairs, with the width of each hair often smaller than the size of a pixel. There are also complex lighting effects that occur within hair. This paper presents a LightWave 3D plug-in for modeling thousands of individual hairs on virtual humans. The plug-in allows the user to specify the length, thickness and distribution of the hair, as well as the number of segments a hair is made up of. The plug-in is able to add hairs to a head model, which the user then modifies to define a hairstyle. The hairs are then multiplied by the plug-in to produce many hairs. By providing a plug-in that does most of the work and produces realistic results, the user is able to produce a hairstyle without modeling each individual strand of hair. This greatly reduces the time spent on hair modeling, and makes the possibility of adding realistic long hair to virtual humans reasonable.
Conference Papers (peer reviewed)
 Deborah Patrick, Shaun Bangay, Adele Lobb, and George Wells. Modelling and rendering techniques for african hairstyles. In Afrigraph '04: Proceedings of the 3rd international conference on Computer graphics, virtual reality, visualisation and interaction in Africa, pages 115-124, Stellenbosch, South Africa, November 2004. ACM Press, New York, NY, USA. [PDF] [BibTeX]
 Deborah Patrick and Shaun Bangay. A lightwave 3d plug-in for modelling long hair on virtual humans. In Afrigraph '03: Proceedings of the 2nd international conference on Computer graphics, virtual Reality, visualisation and interaction in Africa, pages 161-187, Cape Town, South Africa, February 2003. ACM Press, New York, NY, USA. [PDF] [BibTeX]
 Deborah Patrick. An investigation of hair modelling and rendering techniques with emphasis on african hairstyles. Master's thesis, Computer Science Department, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa, February 2004. [PDF] [BibTeX]