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Creating a Stylized Groom in Maya & XGen

Tube Geometry Workflow with Bhavika Bajpai


Creating a hair groom can be simple with the right workflow. Lead Groom TD, Bhavika Bajpai, shares her professional workflow for creating a stylized groom using proxy tube geometry with XGen, Maya’s interactive grooming tool, to create hairstyles quickly and efficiently.

In this 3-hour workshop, Bhavika runs through a complete workflow, beginning with analyzing photographic references and explaining how to plan out the structure of a groom, and covering all the basics of XGen in Maya using a sphere example to get you started. The XGen interface is discussed in detail along with how to create and move guides, how to set up clumps and cutoffs, as well as what the basic XGen expressions are.

The next phase of the workshop is a compare and contrast demonstration, to highlight the main features of a tube-grooming process versus the traditional guide-groom process, and show just how effective it is for creating efficient stylized hairstyles, whether you’re working with characters or creatures.

With all the foundations covered, Bhavika showcases how to apply the knowledge and techniques to a simple character model, with the process explained in a way that can be applied to any 3D model. You’ll see how to set up the tubes, how to ingest them into XGen, and then take a look at the XGen modifiers and maps that are needed to create the final hairstyle.

With everything in place, she moves on to setting up the basic shaders in Arnold, detailing how the aiStandardHair shader works and what the various parameters do. As the final step, she’ll demonstrate how to set up the lights and camera in a simple scene for a final render.

Duration: 3h 22m

Format: HD 1920x1080

Bhavika Bajpai

Lead Groom TD

Bhavika Bajpai has over 16 years of experience in VFX and has worked on over 35 films for some of the world’s most prestigious visual effects studios doing surfacing, texturing, lighting, and fur grooming. She started her career as a surfacing artist at Rhythm & Hues before moving into texturing and fur grooming — and then leading a team of over 20 artists. At R&H, she worked on many films including the Academy Award-winning Life of Pi and The Golden Compass. She later moved to London where she worked at Framestore and more recently at The Moving Picture Company as Fur Groom Lead. At MPC, she focussed solely on fur grooming for almost 6 years, working on photorealistic creatures on films including The Lion King and Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge.