Thursday, April 9th, 2015 Posted by Jim Thacker

Project Groomboy calls for beta testers

The developers of Groomboy, an interesting-looking new Maya plugin for grooming hair and fur, have put out a call for beta testers for the software.

Intended as an alternative to traditional brush-based grooming tools, Groomboy generates guide curves that can be used by Maya’s nHair or XGen systems, or by third-party tools like Yeti or Shave and a Haircut.

According to the developers’ blog, the result is “super-fast, procedural and highly art-directable hair and fur”.

So how does it work?
There isn’t a lot of technical detail on the Groomboy blog or the call for beta testers on CGTalk, but the demo video above shows what we assume is the basic workflow.

In it, a user draws a small number of guide curves across the base geometry, which Groomboy then interpolates to create a much denser set of curves.

The interpolated curves can then be manipulated globally by editing a control graph, or directly manipulating the ‘volume mesh’ surrounding them; and new source curves can be drawn manually.

The workflow is described as fully non-linear, enabling users to make changes at any point without losing previous edits, and the results shown in the rendered images created with the alpha look good.

Pricing and availability
The Project Groomboy team are offering beta testers an “exclusive pre-release demo version” in exchange for submitting grooming samples created using the software, for possible use in an online demo gallery.

You can find more details via the links below. No commercial release date or pricing details have yet been announced for the software.

Read more about Groomboy on the development blog
(Includes contact details for the beta testing program)