Cinema 4D / BodyPaint 3D Program Documentation Tutorials Character Modeling Tutorial
Function available in CINEMA 4D Prime, Visualize, Broadcast, Studio & BodyPaint 3D

Modeling the Hair

Load the file from the previous section or click on the link below:

Hair can be created in many ways. You can create flat polygon strips and texture them with alpha masks; Splines can be used with Generator objects to create dreadlocks; Cinema 4D Studio’s HAIR can be used to create realistic hair simulations or to simply model hair. In this tutorial we will model the character’s hair.

First, hide all objects except for the head. Create a Empty Polygon from the Objects menu and use the Polygon Pen to model a strip of hair beginning where the hair is parted. Make sure the Quad Strip Mode parameter is enabled. A reference image should be used here as well in order to model the hair correctly. In the image below you will see that a gap has been left where the part is. This was done to leave room for the modeled hair.

Next, we will fill the gap using the Bridge tool and then use the Line Cut tool to cut a line down the center to create quadrangles (2 edges will need to be removed using the Dissolve command). Drag the newly created points down to the scalp to make the part more visible.

Add more polygon strips to the side of the head. Try to match the reference image as closely as possible (e.g., create two bangs of hair at the front of the left side).

Continue creating strips of hair until the left side of the head is covered (don’t forget to leave the ear free).

Mirror the hair on the left side of the head to the right side and use the Bridge tool to close the gap in-between.

Cut several new edges through the newly created polygons using the Loop/Path Cut tool in Loop mode and arrange them accordingly on the scalp.

Switch to the front view and adjust the position of the har to match the reference image. In the example below an additional cut was made near the ear, which is optional.

Add a few more polygon strips to model the front of the hair.

The right side of the hair is now roughly finished (we will add details later). We can now turn our attention to the left side and add more volume to better match the reference image.

We will begin modeling the hair at that back of the head by extruding the polygon shown below 5 times. This will match the subdivision of the hair on the left side of the head.

Use the Bridge tool to connect this new polygon strip with the polygons on the left side of the head. Add a cut line as shown below and shape the hair as desired. The gap at the top can also be closed using the Bridge tool.

Now extrude the polygon on the other side of the head 5 times as shown below and use the Bridge tool to connect this strip of polygons with those you created previously:

We will remove the resulting triangles by adding two cut lines and applying the Dissolve command. Use the Bridge tool to close the remaining hole.

Add an edge loop near the bottom of the hairline that runs from ear to ear, as shown below. In the example below, two polygon rows were extruded and the 3-sided polygons at each end were created using the Bridge tool. Complete the steps shown below and dissolve the resulting 4 superfluous edges to create quadrangles. Finally, arrange some of the points to make the polygons more recognizable.

Now that we have created the basic shape of the hair we can continue by softening the shape and making more exact. Then we will add more detail. Don’t forget that the greater the subdivision the more difficult it is to arrange individual points on the mesh.

We will begin by adjusting the transition between the bangs of hair and the strands of hair to make them less round. Add the cut lines shown below and dissolve the old edges to create quadrangles.

Do the same on the other side of the head, beginning with the large bang of hair. Cut with the Line Cut tool, dissolve superfluous edges and arrange the points accordingly:

Perform the same steps for the small bang of hair:

Now for the hair over the forehead. Add the cuts below, dissolve superfluous edges and arrange the points accordingly. Make sure you keep your mesh clearly arranged.

Modify the region around the part using the same methods as above.

Add a cut line at the bottom of each sideburn. This will keep them from being rounded off too much.

Add another cut line at the back of the head that runs from ear to ear (see below) will make the Subdivision Surfaces object more precise. Select the polygons as shown below and use the Loop/Path Cut tool in Path mode to add a cut line near the lower edge of the hair. Since Path Cut tool is suitable for cutting small polygons, create the last three points between the ear and sideburn with the Line Cut tool.

Use the Mesh | Commands menu’s Melt command to melt these points and arrange them accordingly. This will also remove the existing triangles.

If you look at the hair closely you will see that there are still some parts that look a little rough. This is because the mesh still contains several n-gons.

To more easily locate or select triangles or n-gons, select the Project Info from the Attribute Manager’s Mode. In the Structure tab you can select all triangles by clicking on the + button to the right of the Triangles field.

First we will correct the edge at the right temple where to cut lines are responsible for creating several n-gons. Select all edges from this point around the entire head and apply the Edge Cut command with a Subdivision value of 2. Afterwards, arrange the points of the mesh accordingly.

Next we will add a cut line to split the n-gon at the front into two quadrangles and subsequently arrange the points:

The remaining n-gons are located near the part. Melt the points shown in the first image below to create quadrangles. Then cut the remaining n-gons and arrange the points accordingly.

We still need to add volume to the hair. We will start at the sides, then the rear and finish at the front. Select and extrude the front left edge of the hair. Arrange the points so no gaps can be seen between the hairline and the scalp.

Enabling the X-Ray option when modifying overlapping points will make the selected object transparent, which in turn makes the points easier to discern. The X-Ray option is part of every object’s basic parameter options.

Select the edges from the left to the right ear and extrude them. Set the Edge Angle option to a value of -60.

Arrange the points to give the hair more volume.

The final step to adding thickness to the sideburns is to extrude the edge and sew it together with both outer points. Adjust the points and repeat this process for the second sideburn. Hiding the model of the head while doing so is recommended since the points should be positioned within the head itself.

We also want to give the bangs a little volume. Select the edges shown below, extrude them slightly and convert the selection to polygons (switch to Use Polygon Tool mode while pressing the Shift key). Use the Normal Move tool to move the selected polygons in the direction of the head so that they are angled slightly. Now delete the selected polygons and apply the Optimize command to remove the superfluous points. This method is very useful for aligning entire rows of points without having to move each point.

For the bottom of the bangs and the strand, select the polygons shown below and duplicate them using the Clone command. Use the Normal Move command to move these polygons to create the underside of the hair. The polygons can be connected with each other using the Bridge tool, which will complete the underside of the hair.

You will notice that the surfaces of these polygons face in the wrong direction. Therefore, apply the Align Normals command to correct this state (either all or no polygons should be selected, which will ensure that the entire model is included). Check your model for any irregularities or gaps between the hairline and head that need to be closed.

Now we will turn our attention to the remaining strands of hair. Select the outer edge as shown below and extrude it slightly. Convert the edge selection to Polygons and use the Normal Move function as you did previously to move the selected polygons in the direction of the scalp. Again, delete these polygons and Optimize your model to delete any superfluous points.

Select the polygons shown below, duplicate them using the Clone tool and move them accordingly using the Normal Move tool to create the underside of the bangs. Use the Bridge tool to connect these polygons with the other mesh.

The hair at the side needs to be connected with the underside of the bangs for a more natural look. Select the edge at the top end of the row of polygons as shown below, extrude it twice and stitch the points on the inner edge to the neighboring polygons.

If you look closely the tips of the bangs look a little distorted due to the long polygons. Use the Loop/Path Cut tool to place a cut line near the tip. This will add points that we can use to add more detail. Select the points at the tip and use the Dissolve command to remove them. This will create a large n-gon. Use the Remove N-gons command to create a quadrangle and 2 triangles. Add another cut line from the left side of the tip to the right as shown below:

Select both diagonal edges and dissolve them so that a quadrangle is created on each side. Arrange the points until the tip looks correct.

Add another cut line above the tip as shown below to make the mesh more uniform (polygons should not be too long). Using the added points you can add a little curvature to the bang of hair.

Perform the same steps with the other bang of hair. The image below shows the bang before and after modification:

This completes the modeling of our character. You now have a good basic mesh to which you can add detail, textures, a rig, etc.

Your finished character should look pretty much like this:

Click on the link below to open a file containing the finished character ready to animate. Take a look at the finished character to better understand its structure:

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