Creating Different Hairstyles with XGen

A 3D Character Artist Danieli Stephanie shares some knowledge about making different hairstyles using Maya XGen.

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Hello, my name is Danieli, I am a 3D Character Artist. I currently work as a freelancer and do some work for some animation studios.

I entered the world of 3D when I decided to skip a lecture at my Biomedicine college to watch a Digital Games lecture given by professor Renato de Medeiros, who was the first person who inspired me to go to the world of 3D. After that day I decided to quit college and start the course on Digital Games, that's where I started with 3D. The first project that I worked with in XGen was over a year ago, and I almost thought about giving up back then, it was very difficult, then I continued to persist and understand how the software worked. I watched countless tutorials that repeated the same things over and over again, so I decided to start playing on my own. I was making a lot of mistakes and crashing my computer many times — that is how I mastered XGen.

Starting with Hairstyles

Right after I finished my last project, which was Frida Kahlo, I really liked doing her striking hairstyle, I decided to start studying different types of hair and hairstyles. I want to feel comfortable doing any type of hair so I started these studies. I'm just beginning the series, I still intend to do some more cool ones to put in the portfolio.


The first step in making hairstyles in XGen is knowing how to work well with the guides. Firstly, I spend a lot of time analyzing the hairstyle I want to create, looking carefully at the loose strands, then I usually scribble over the hairstyle as I would mold the guides. Starting with the model, I add them one by one and comb with enough patience until I get the hairstyle view only with the guides. After all the styled guides I go to the modifiers which, if you use the guides well, you won't need to configure so much. Finally, there are the final details, loose threads, fine interpolated hair, and the baby bangs that give a special touch to the final result.

To make the dreadlocks I used the same technique that I use on curly hair, only increasing the number of turns extremely, soon afterward I increased a lot of noise. I used only two modifiers — Clumping and Noise.

Advice for Beginners

When you understand how XGen works, I believe that you can create any hairstyle. The most important thing is to know how to comb the guides and the hair will follow. If you are a beginner I believe that the main thing is to be calm with yourself, mistakes are very common in the beginning. But remember, you do not want a quick result, the more time you dedicate to combing and paying attention to details the better your final result will be.

I would also recommend checking out great tutorials from Jesus Fernandez and Vinicius Tokue.

Danieli Stephanie, 3D Character Artist

Interview conducted by Arti Sergeev

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