Demo version features no export options, however you can manually print-screen the renders at 1024 x 1024 px. Full version allows exports and are 4096 x 4096 px.
FREE full 4k Sample Textures included.
The SIMPLEST solution for generating hair textures at a one off cost, perpetual license. Buy it now, UPDATES FREE FOREVER!
Minimal Memory Usage (Works on 4GB machines)
Pixel based strand generation (no 3D strip-based cut-through issues)
Works great for any hair-card workflows and renderers such as Unreal Engine, Unity, Marmoset Toolbag, Blender to name a few.
Frequent updates with planned features and future versions made free to current buyers, no extra costs.
Can render up to 1100 strands. Please render each pass individually and export each map thereafter if you see crashing due to memory overloading, this can also happen if you have extra Ram.
Move window around by dragging the top area or Alt-Tab to switch applications. Minimise function was causing textures to be cleared, something I have not managed to resolve.
After changing a slider or a colour, please wait a few seconds for the previewer to update. You can use the Fast, Medium or Slow mode buttons to improve this speed as it will show less preview strands. Fast mode will be the fastest but less strands previewed. Always do a test render with Color Map enabled.
HSD will auto save after you release the mouse-button, this will be the file it may ask for when you launch it.
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.
Latest Version 1.67.5 updated on the November 25th 2021 - Fixed issues with Selecting.
Workflow best practice:
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.
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):
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.
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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FIXED - Grab Bar in larger monitor resolutions.
FIXED - Thickness maximum going to 0 which causes nothing to be rendered.
For personal or hobby use only (non-profit, folio based)
One installation by a single user.
All Updates are Free. (will include free access to future versions)
It can be installed on any machines owned by one single user. (example 1 home pc, 1 laptop, 1 family pc but not work PC, for work PC's please purchase an extended license below).Read MoreRead Less
For use for profit based work or part of your company who you might work for. (commercial, profit or funded game development based, also includes personal use.)
All updates are Free, (will include free access to future versions)
You can install it on : Your home PC, Work PC or Laptop, Family device. (One machine per department / used at home for when working from home or on the move).Read MoreRead Less
Can be used in a single Educational Course E.G VFX. One purchase per Course of Education any number of machines. Perpetual Licence with free updates. Updates must be installed manually. Can be used on a students own home or laptop machine while in education, after this a new licence should be purchased for their own personal use or commercial use if applicable.Read MoreRead Less
00| Release v.1.673 | Indie / Hobbyist use - For Folio work | 11 months ago
Great little tool for making hair strands, very tweakable. The resolution on the generated maps I found to be excellent. Ideal for my hair cards in Blender.
One thing I would like to see is the option to have the strands generated to a transparent background if possible. Still it gets my 5 stars, keep up the good work.
02| Release v.1.673 | Indie / Hobbyist use - For Folio work | 11 months ago
Worked the first few times now it wont even generate hair strands and when I try to it straight up quits out of the application. This software doesn't even seem legit as windows has to verify that you even want to run it. Doesn't even run stable on my system and I have a solid PC. Can't minimize the application.
Save to a folder outside of the application folder or it will be locally saved to %appdata% HSD_Version. The documentation also explains this. Minimizing the app caused a memory issue so it was removed, you can drag the app from the top of its window for now.