Tuesday, October 27th, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

Master hair grooming in Maya’s XGen toolset

The Gnomon Workshop has released Creating a Stylized Groom in Maya and XGen, a guide to hair grooming workflows for production recorded by former MPC lead groom TD Bhavika Bajpai.

The workshop, which comprises over three hours of video training, reveals how to create a professional digital hair groom using Maya’s built-in XGen toolset.

Master efficient hair grooming workflows based on tube proxy geometry in Maya’s XGen toolset
During the training, Bajpai reveals her complete grooming workflow, beginning by analysing photographic references and deciding how to plan out the groom.

She then introduces the key aspects of the XGen toolset using a sphere as a ‘character’, covering how to create and move hair guides, how to set up clumps and cutoffs, and discussing basic XGen expressions.

Bajpai then contrasts a traditional guide-based grooming process with her own workflow, which is based on proxy tube geometry, demonstrating how efficient it is for creating stylised looks.

She then moves on to illustrate the workflow using a character model, covering setting up the tubes, ingesting them into XGen, and the XGen modifiers and maps required to create the final hairstyle.

The workshop concludes by looking at how to set up basic shading using the aiStandardHair shader in Maya’s bundled Arnold renderer, and how to set up lights and a camera for a final render.

About the artist
Bhavika Bajpai is fur groom lead at animation studio Sunrise Productions, having previously been lead groom TD at leading visual effects facility MPC, where she worked on The Lion King.

She began her career as a surfacing artist at Rhythm & Hues before moving into texturing and fur grooming, eventually leading a team of over 20 artists and working on movies including The Life of Pi.

Pricing and availability
Creating a Stylized Groom in Maya and XGen is available via a subscription to The Gnomon Workshop, providing access to over 300 tutorials. Subscriptions cost $49/month or $490/year. Free trials are available.

Read more about Creating a Stylized Groom in Maya and XGen on The Gnomon Workshop’s website

Full disclosure: CG Channel is owned by Gnomon.