Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 Posted by Jim Thacker

Joe Alter releases Shave and a Haircut 9.6

Originally posted on 16 December 2015. Scroll down for news of the 9.6 release.

Joe Alter has released Shave and a Haircut 9.0, the first major update to the veteran Maya hair and fur plugin for several years, improving the viewport performance and grooming tools and multithreading dynamics.

Version 9.0 is the first full-point update since Shave and a Haircut 8.0 in 2013, which added no new features.

Higher-quality viewport display, improved grooming and faster dynamics
In contrast, Shave and a Haircut 9.0 adds a fair amount of new functionality, including real-time OpenGL shading and integration with Maya’s Viewport 2.0 display.

Hair can be displayed at multiple resolutions in the viewport, at least in Shaded Preview mode, to further improve interactivity on complex scenes; and textures update interactively.

The grooming tools have also been improved, with the Brush Tool getting a new Strength slider, and support for pressure sensitivity on input devices that support it.

In addition, dynamics simulations are now multithreaded, improving performance on complex scenes. The update also brings support for compatible renderers up to date, including V-Ray 3.x and RenderMan 20.

GPU acceleration coming in version 10
And if you want to look one release further ahead, Alter has posted several tech previews of Shave and a Haircut 10, which will port all of the plugin’s hair generators to the GPU, on his Vimeo channel.

The update went on show at Siggraph 2016, and is finally due in alpha later this year.

Updated 17 April 2018: Shave and a Haircut 9.6 is out. The update adds support for Maya 2018 and updates support for V-Ray, Arnold and RenderMan, but doesn’t add any new features.

Pricing and availability
Shave and a Haircut 9.6 is out now for Maya 2014 and above on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. A perpetual node-locked or floating licence of the software costs $399.

Read more about the new features in Shave and a Haircut on Joe Alter’s website