Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Day 142: Creating Prim Hair Part 4 (Flexi)

This is Part 4 of the creating prim hair tutorial. Like the prim shoe series, I promise not to mention hair for a while (at least as a tutorial) :P



In this tutorial, we are going to create a flexi hair texture. We will then add the texture to the prim hair we have been working on.

You will need Photoshop, the "Tutorial Prim Hair" from Creating Prim Hair Part 3, and a "Full Transparent" texture to complete this part of the tutorial.

The Prim Hair Texture folder at Sirena Hair has been updated for this tutorial. In other words, there are more things in it now :)

If you dont have Photoshop, you can pick up the updated Prim Hair Texture folder for free from Sirena Hair. The updated Prim Hair Texture folder contains a ready-to-use flexi hair texture (so you wont need Photoshop). You can then skip the Photoshop section.



If you dont have the "Tutorial Prim Hair" from Part 3, there is also a ready-to-use version in the updated Prim Hair Texture folder at Sirena Hair. Its called "Tutorial Prim Hair - Part 3".

Finally, you will need a fully transparent texture file. You can pick this up as well in the updated Prim Hair Texture folder.

OK...here we go :)

1. Creating Flexi Hair Texture



So far, we have been using the "Tutorial Hair Texture" we created in Part 1 of this prim hair series. This is a completely opaque hair texture (no transparent areas). We can use this hair texture for flexi hair, but it would look like a wall of pointy flapping hair.

So we are going to add a bit of transparency to the bottom of this hair. And we will roughen up the ends as well.

Start Photoshop and open the "Tutorial Hair Texture" you created in Part 1. Click File/Save As..., and save the file as "Flexi Hair Texture". This way, you wont write over the original by accident :)



The first thing we need to do is to merge all the visible layers into 1 layer. Your Layers palette should look something like this at the moment.

Click on the "Layer" menu on the main Photoshop menu bar at the top of the screen. Select the "Merge Visible" option.








You should now see only a single layer in the Layers palette.

Click on the "Layer" menu on the main Photoshop menu bar at the top of the screen. Select the "Duplicate Layer..." option. And click "OK" in the Duplicate Layer window.







You should now see 2 identical layers in your Layers palette.











Click on the "Eye" on the left side of the layer on the bottom (thats "Layer 2" in this case). This will hide "Layer 2" for now.

Then click on the layer on top (thats "Layer 2 copy" in this case) to make sure its active.







Now click on the Rectangular Marquee Tool (the rectangle with dotted lines at the upper left of the toolbar). Draw a box to select the bottom 1/4 of the hair texture.












Click on the "Edit" menu on the main Photoshop menu bar at the top of the screen. Select the "Clear" option. There goes the bottom!

Click on the "Select" menu on the main Photoshop menu bar at the top of the screen. Select the "Deselect" option.










Click on the Smudge Tool (the finger pointing down on the left side of the toolbar).

Click on the Down arrow next to the word "Brush" to open the Brush selection window. Select the "Spatter 24 pixel" brush (its about half way down the default brush palette).








Make the following settings on the Smudge Tool palette:

     Mode: Normal
     Strength: 80%

And make sure that "Sample All Layers" and "Finger Painting" are both unchecked.

OK, its time to do some smudging :)



This is a bit tricky and takes a little getting used to. So do it slowly til you get the hang of it.

Left-click where the "X" is. Hold the Left mouse button down. Now press and hold the Shift key. Then, follow the red arrow and drag the mouse up into the hair, stopping short of the highlighted area. Now let go of the Shift key and the mouse. Its IMPORTANT that you let both go!










Now repeat the same steps slightly to the right. Continue doing so all the way across. You should start seeing "hair" appear :)














When you have gone across, you should go back and touch up some areas until it mostly stop short of the highlighted area. Remember this is hair, so it doesnt have to be exact! :) Also, the cool thing about Photoshop is that you can undo just about any mistakes you make. So experiment a bit!








Now its time to build the Alpha Channel. Right-click on the picture of the top layer in the Layers palette (where the red circle is). Selec the "Select Layer Transparency" option from the popup menu.









Only the top half or so of the hair texture should be selected.















Select the Channels palette. This is typically behind the Layers palette, although your layout may vary.

Now click on the "Save selection as channel" button (the white circle in a square box) at the bottom of the Channels palette. This will create a new channel called "Alpha 1".

(In case you have Photoshop Elements, please see Marliny's helpful comments for this entry :D)





Go back to the Layers palette. Click on the "Eye" on the left side of the bottom layer ("Layer 2" in this case). This will make "Layer 2" visible again.










The final hair should look like you didnt do anything at all! Dont worry, all the changes you made are still there :) We just added a copy of the layer back so we dont get a white edge around the texture.

The last step is to save everything.

Click on the "File" menu on the main Photoshop menu bar at the top of the screen. Select the "Save" option.

Again, click on the "File" menu on the main Photoshop menu bar at the top of the screen. Select the "Save As..." option. In the "Format:" box, select "Targa (*.TGA;*.VDA;*.ICT;*.VST)". Make sure the name is "Flexi Hair Texture". Click the "Save" button.

When the "Targa Options" window appears, select "32 bits/pixel" and make sure that "Compress (RLE)" is unchecked. Click the "OK" button to create the Targa file.

Finally, upload this texture to Second Life (File/Upload... in the SL Client). This step will cost $10L (hey, thats like 4 US cents :P).


2. Adding Flexi Prims

Go ahead and rez the "Tutorial Prim Hair" from Part 3 (or the "Tutorial Prim Hair - Part 3" if you skipped that part). In other words, drag-and-drop the "Tutorial Prim Hair" from your Inventory to the ground. Sorry, but you cant add prims to an attached hair. We have to do this on the ground.

Edit the prim hair while it is on the ground. Enter the following Rotation settings:

     Rotation X: 0
     Rotation Y: 90
     Rotation Z: 0

This way, we are all facing in the same direction :)

Now, lets start creating flexi hair.

Rez a Cylinder on the ground. Enter the following settings:

     Size X: 0.080
     Size Y: 0.080
     Size Z: 0.400

     Rotation X: 180.00
     Rotation Y: 24.00
     Rotation Z: 180.00

     Taper X: 0.70
     Taper Y: 0.70

Select the Features tab. Click on the "Flexible Path" checkbox to check it. Enter the following settings:

     Softness: 2.00
     Gravity: 2.00
     Drag: 3.00
     Wind: 0.00
     Tension: 1.00

Select the Texture tab. We want to make the Cylinder transparent, except for the outside "tube" part of the Cylinder. We will apply the Flexi Hair Texture to this outside "tube" part only.

Click on the square above the word "Texture". This will open the Pick: Texture window. Select the "Full Transparent" texture from the Prim Hair Texture folder you picked up at Sirena Hair & Fashion (or use any 100% transparent texture you may have). The Cylinder you just created will disappear (become transparent).

Click on the "Select Texture" button at the top of the Edit window. Click on just the outside face of the Cylinder (the outside "tube" part of the Cylinder). Again, click on the square above the word "Texture". This will open the Pick: Texture window. Now select the "Flexi Hair Texture" you created in Step 1 above (or the file from the Prim Hair Texture folder you picked up from Sirena Hair & Fashion).

Enter the following settings:

     Repeats Per Face Verticle (V): 0.900

Click on the "Flip" checkbox next to "Repeats Per Face Verticle (V):" to check it.



When you are done, the Flexi Cylinder should look like this.







Now position the Flexi Cylinder directly against the Back Center Lock of the Tutorial Prim Hair. Do not rotate the Flexi Cylinder. Some of the hair should poke out at the bottom. The top of the Flexi Cylinder should not be visible.







Make sure that the Flexi Cylinder is selected in Edit mode. Press and hold the Shift key. Now click and drag on the Green arrow to make a copy of the Flexi Cylinder. Move this new Flexi Cylinder to the right. You would need to use the Red arrow to tuck it in slightly. Just make sure the top of the new Flexi Cylinder is not visible.

Make sure the new Flexi Cylinder is selected in Edit mode. Press and hold the Shift key. Now click and drag on the Green arrow to make a copy of the Flexi Cylinder. Move this new Flexi Cylinder to the left. Just make sure the top of this new Flexi Cylinder is not visible.

When you are done, there should be 3 Flexi Cylinders at the back of the head.



Now go to the left side of the Tutorial Prim Hair.

Edit the nearest Flexi Cylinder. Press and hold the Shift key. Now click and drag on the Red arrow to make a copy of the Flexi Cylinder. Enter the following settings:

     Size X: 0.080
     Size Y: 0.080
     Size Z: 0.300

     Rotation X: 160.00
     Rotation Y: 0.00
     Rotation Z: 180.00

Use all 3 Red/Green/Blue arrows to position the Flexi Cylinder. You will need to use the Blue arrow to move the hair up a bit. Again, ensure that the bottom pokes out a bit, and the top is not visible.



Edit the Flexi Cylinder you just created. Press and hold the Shift key. Now click and drag on the Red arrow to make a copy of the Flexi Cylinder. Go ahead and position the 2 Flexi Cylinders.






We need to the same thing to the right side of the Tutorial Prim Hair. Edit one of the Flexi Cylinder you just created. Press and hold the Shift key. Now click and drag on the Green arrow to make a copy of the Flexi Cylinder to the right side.

Enter the following settings:

     Rotation X: 200.00
     Rotation Y: 0.00
     Rotation Z: 180.00




Press and hold the Shift key. Now click and drag on the Red arrow to make a copy of the Flexi Cylinder.

Now go ahead and position the 2 Flexi Cylinders on the right side.


3. New Bangs

We are going to add a couple new bangs using the Flexi Hair Texture.

Rez a Torus on the ground, and enter these settings:

     Size X: 0.185
     Size Y: 0.150
     Size Z: 0.100

     Rotation X: 158.00
     Rotation Y: 36.00
     Rotation Z: 89.00

     Path Cut B: 0.350
     Path Cut E: 1.000

     Hole Size X: 0.30
     Hole Size Y: 0.35

     Taper X: 0.70
     Taper Y: 1.00



Select the Texture tab. Click on the square above the word "Texture". This will open the Pick: Texture window. Select the "Flexi Hair Texture" you created in Step 1 above (or the file from the Prim Hair Texture folder you picked up from Sirena Hair & Fashion).

Check the "Flip" checkbox next to the "Repeats Per Face Vertical (V):" setting.

Change the "Offset Vertical (V):" to 0.200.



This is what it should look like when done.










Go ahead and put a couple of these bangs at the front of the Tutorial Prim Hair. (I added the white "head" to make them easier to see in this pix). Remember to press and hold Shift while dragging on a color arrow to make a copy.


4. Linking

The last step is to link everything together, making sure that the Tutorial Prim Hair is the Root Prim (specifically the center ball inside the Tutorial Prim Hair). You already know how to do that, dont you?

Hint: Select everything, de-select the Root Prim, re-select the Root Prim, then Tools/Link.



Edit any part of the hair. Now, click outside the prim hair and draw a box all the way around all the hair, including all the Flexi Cylinders. Be careful, since most of the Flexi Cylinders are transparent, so you should draw a large box just in case.

Press and hold the Shift key. Click on the main Tutorial Prim Hair to de-select it. Click on the main Tutorial Prim Hair to select it again to make it the Root Prim.

Now click on the Tools menu option at the top menu bar and select Link.

Right-click on your new hair, and select Take!

Congratulations, you just completed one of the hardest-to-make prim attachments in SL! :)



So feel free to add more curls, flexi cylinders, and bangs. Add some torus to make it an updo, or stretch the back to make it a longer hair style. And dont forget to make some different hair colors :)




numly esn 22051-071006-137642-92

© 2007 All Rights Reserved.

43 comments:

Euterpe Zagoskin said...

Whether or not you win the competition I will always think of you as "the" Miss SL anyway, but of course I will be there to vote for you. You should send all your friends in world a IM on Sunday to remind us to come and vote for you!

Euterpe

Anonymous said...

Your link does not work! to the Miss SL gallery!

Taimi Valeeva said...

Dear Natalia,
Do you plan these Miss SL events just so I can't see you ever in person!!!! that will be the last Sunday I wor at my current job :(

Love Taimi

Pyxel Courier said...

Nat, you hair tutorial (all parts) have been an absolute godsend! I don't know how you got to be so smart , but I am totally impressed and very grateful!

- Pyx

SLNatalia said...

Euterpe, thank you so much :) Im so glad to have have friends like you, and your support! See you on Sunday! :)

Dear Anonymous, thank you so much for letting me know! Ill fix it right away *Yikes*!

Taimi, I didnt pick this time... the pageant admin just started assigning people (guess he got tired of asking :P). Please dont go out of your way to vote! If you happen to be around a computer, then just hit the website. Ill have a full report of what happens :) Thank you so much for your support! :)

Pyxel, I learned most of these from other tutorials and reading on the web. I just wanted to put it together in 1 place to make it SL specific. Im so glad you found it useful :)

Anonymous said...

they wont link, grrrrrr the flexi hair and the main hair root prim. I give up I've tried seven times

SLNatalia said...

Dear Anonymous, I dont know if theres an SL issue recently, but Ive had problem linking stuff as well. Maybe its just high lag or something. I know its frustrating when that happens. But dont give up!

Camilla Dyrssen said...

Dear Natalia .. The most amazing Blog u got .. And your ability to teach and explain difficult stuff are tremendous.
Got my hair "fixed" in minutes .. tx to u!
LUV :)

SLNatalia said...

Camilla, thank you :) I found out (yesterday) that its great to know how to make hair, even if its just to fix up hair for yourself! Have fun with your new hair :)

Marliny Valeeva said...

Great Tutorial, Thank you!

I just wanted to point out that I was able to get the same effect using Photoshop Elements. PE doesn't have a "channels" toolbar, but you can create the same effect by following your step-by-step advice, then when you indicate the "channels" toolbar, simply go to the select menu>save selection. Then you flip to the other layer, and select>load selection. It overlays the first right on top of the second almost identically to your channels method.

Hope this helps someone,

Thanks again!

Marliny

SLNatalia said...

Marliny, thank you so much for your tip on Photoshop Elements! This would be great help to people with that program. I will add an update to the tutorial to let people know about your comment :)

Ekio Locatiare said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anne said...

Hi Natalia!

Thanks for the tutorial. Very useful!

But I have a question. In the earlier parts of the primhair tutorial you mentioned that it might be a good idea to make a copy of the hair in different colours.

Thats not to hard when the primhair is using the same texture all over... But when half of it uses transparent texture... Hmm..

How is that done?

Thanks again!

Anne

SLNatalia said...

Anne, flexis do make things complicated :P You can "tag" all the flexi prims by changing their color (not texture) to red, re-texture everything with the non-flexi texture. Go back and pick just the red flexi prims, and change them to the new flexi texture. Then remove the red color. This is prob the simpliest/quickest way to do it...

Anne said...

Oh My God!

Thanks for the tip! :), :/

Anne

SLNatalia said...

Anne, you are welcome. Good luck with your project! :)

Anonymous said...

Natalia!! =))))))))) My little Av is walking around sporting new hair I made thanks to you. This has got to be my best moment ever in SL.... Ty so much! You are too awesome for words!

SLNatalia said...

Dear Anonymous, you are welcome :) Isnt it cool to wear stuff that you made?

Pico Sirbu said...

Hi Natalia!! ^^"

Thank you, thank you, thank you dear! I've search long time before to find my perfect short hair without succes... Now I have it! Ty! ... It's dull, i can't add picture... ^.~

Maybe see ya in a sim somewhere, or under the sea!

Ciao & ty again!!
Pico Sirbu xXx

Pico Sirbu said...

HI again! Look at this! It' ain't better? That's the result for a fantastic tuto!!

Ciao! xXx

Pico Sirbu

SLNatalia said...

Pico, congrats on your new hair! Its such a cool messy-hair look thats popular right now :) Perfect for the Neko crowd! (You're not one of those big cats, are you? ;P)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Natalia.. your blog has been my guide now a long time and I have learnt a lot from it!!

One question: when i make fles hair, it's always (of course) cylinder shape. If I change it in edit mode for example for torus, the texture of course stays, but the "flexibility" disappears..
How can I make "flex curls"..?

SLNatalia said...

Dear Anonymous, you cant really make flexi curls...at least not with prims. Currently, only Boxes and Cylinders can be flexi :(

However, you CAN draw a picture of curly hair against a transparent background, then apply it to a flat Box. You can also draw a strand of hair and wrap it around a cylinder. You can see both of these designs inworld, but unfortunately they both have display issues (they flicker)...

Anonymous said...

Hallo Natalia,

this tutorial is really great!!
Thank you!!
Hanni

SLNatalia said...

Hanni, you are very welcome :)

Oratikk said...

I just wanna say How Nice of a tutorial this is, easy to understand and written well enough that I am able to see how the differnt number sets come together enough to make my own designs and patters and ect. witout getting to far away from the tutorial. Its nice to be learning how to make the hair in 5 mins that people charge a billion L$ for :-) and i like the funny quips in the texts as well lol. Also you wrote it so it sounds like a nice person is telling you in stead of a rude stuffy set of women who feeds their six kids off the L$ they earn and turn back into US$ thx again *smilies*

SLNatalia said...

Oratikk, thanks :) Have fun with your hair projects!

Shea Bleac said...

OMG! TYTYTY! Now i cant wait to get on TSL tommorow after school to build hair skirts and hats and about everything i can!!! this helped out a whole lot!!!!!! TY for all the help you give every1!!!!!!!! Can you give me any tips?? Plz and THANK YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH! Much <3!

Natalia Zelmanov said...

Shea, heehee have fun :) Thats prob the most important thing...do something that you like. Cause thats the only way you would keep going on those long nights!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Finally found what I have been looking for. A very well explained tutorial for SL hair! It took me several hours and a nap in between but I have finally finished your hair tutorial and completed a hairstyle I'm actually satisfied with. Thanks for being so kind enough to share your knowledge!

Natalia Zelmanov said...

Dear Anonymous, congratulations on your first hair :) Have fun, and good luck!

Steven said...

Thanks for all the help! I was however just wondering, if you were to simply save the texture after it's smudged as a PNG instead of using alpha channels would it work the same?

GeorgieBoy Juliesse said...

I agree with everyone here. A simply wonderful tutorial! Thanks to you and the Loop-Rez generator I was able to make the kind of hair that I've been searching for but couldn't find, which is an early Beatles type style. I didn't think it would be that hard to make but maybe that's not what's "in style". *shrug* I found some that come close, but I had an itch to make one exactly what I wanted. I don't think I'll be opening a hair store any time soon though, lol.

Natalia Zelmanov said...

Steven, yes, the PNG should work the same (this tutorial was written before PNG :P).

GeorgieBoy, congrats on your hair project :) Heehee the hair that comes straight out of LoopRez does look like the Beatles :P

Anonymous said...

To create the alpha channel in PS CS4, you must choose "Select Pixels" from the drop down menu to get your selection.

Natalia Zelmanov said...

Dear Anonymous, thank you so much for the tip! Lol how many CS's are there? ;P

Anonymous said...

hi nat , i have come across a problem in creating flexi bangs in part 4 - i followed all instructions - but just by adding the flexi hair texture does not make it flexi. I tried going threw the same set up for the torus as with the cylinder but it does not allow me to create a flexi ( greyed out) am i doing something wrong or is there part of the tutorial missing! Wud love to hear from you your tutorials are fantastic!! Geo

Natalia Zelmanov said...

Dear Anonymous, only Boxes and Cylinders can be made flexi (Tori, unfortunately, cannot be flexi). So be sure you are using a Cylinder :)

Cyne Christenson said...

An incredibly ease and precice tutorial, even an SL-dumby like me can make sence of it!! Thank you so very much and I will most certainly be looking up your other tuts here soon. ~ Cyne

Natalia Zelmanov said...

Cyne, have fun, and good luck with your projects ;)

StarLord said...

Stumbled across your tutorial while I was looking for some hair textures with alpha transparency -- found none, but your article was great and helped me to create my own hair textures (with alpha transparency) in Photoshop from scratch! Thanks so much! Truly this helps your prim hair look better than the SL freebie newbie stuff out there -- and I can use it across grids on OpenSim as well! Woot!

crofoot said...

I have Elements 8..at the point where I'm directed to "Select Layer Transparency" option from the popup menu." I get stuck, since no such option exists. I'm hoping Marliny's helpful comments will be a workaround for the lack of a Channels palette. Also, following the tutorial from the beginning, I end up with layer names "Background" and "Background copy", and I hope there's nothing intrinsically difficult about this...Thanks for any help.

crofoot said...

Never mind...musta done something wrong along the way...lol. I went beck to Elements 3 and everything worked as advertised...good tutorial! It inspired me to download GIMP and start to get familiar with that program too, but it doesn't have the motion blur length of 999 - only goes to 256 or something which isn't nearly enough.