Hair Factory v1.0

  • July 10, 2012
  • Blender 2.6x
  • Render: Blender Internal
  • Creator: MajorNightmare
  • License: CC-0
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Here's an easy way convert Blender's pretty particle hair into a Low Poly version Unity can use. The idea is to create an RGBA(w/alpha) TGA file that can be UV wrapped to a mesh object, and an FBX export to Unity. Essentially 3D to 2D hair. There are enough tuts on FBX export to Unity, so google it. 2 example rigs. One method is a simple spine like rig that controls the entire mesh. The second example has a spine like rig for each mesh that makes up the entire head of hair for more control. Using Unity's image compression, you should be able to get the image fils size down to a couple of Kb. Stop Low Poly Character Baldness Today! Enjoy.

Blender 2.8 addon This is a close to Nvidia Hairworks for 3DMax as it gets...

Contact info: enter your email address in the "subscribe" section to get in touch with me for any freelance or game dev projects.


  • graphix profile picture

    F'ING Genius! This is absolutely beautiful.

    Edited July 11, 2012
  • MajorNightmare profile picture

    Yay! Feed back! Makes it all worth while. Glad you F"ing like it! Cheers

    Edited July 11, 2012
  • daxior profile picture

    Kinda saved up my day... Had cute hair fox like creature for my tamagootchi game ready and was kinda.. how the heck dont waste hair ;]. Noob says : TYSM

    Written June 10, 2016
  • Cliffw1977 profile picture

    your Hair factory was recommended for use with UE4, I'd seen it before and was interested but I'm a complete noob, do you have a tutorial on how to use this?

    Written November 09, 2016
  • MajorNightmare profile picture

    Posted further down... here's the link cheers

    Edited November 17, 2016
  • duststorm profile picture

    This is incredible! Thanks for this awesome contribution. We at will have a look whether we can use it to create some hairs for our hair library.

    Edited July 12, 2012
  • MajorNightmare profile picture

    Wow! Thanks Duststorm! Nothing like positve feedback from the pros. Hope you use it, show us example if you do.


    Written July 15, 2012
  • banex profile picture

    Thanks !!!

    Written July 12, 2012
  • tapape2002 profile picture

    Thanks a bunch, can never have enough hair.

    Written July 12, 2012
  • Daniel1984 profile picture

    Fantastic work. Incredibly useful! Thank very much!

    Written July 12, 2012
  • animeman profile picture

    Grazie amico mio

    Edited July 12, 2012
  • dreammelter profile picture

    [[(OAO ) Where were you when I needed this?? Life was hard trying to paint multiple UVs for hair in a short amount of time...]] Thank you~ I'm really excited and can't wait to build something now! :D

    Written July 13, 2012
  • IMValle profile picture

    Excelente trabajo.

    Written July 13, 2012
  • contmike profile picture

    I finally got time to check this out. Great stuff! Thank you for sharing this. :)

    Written July 13, 2012
  • dcgod profile picture

    Thank you!

    Written July 15, 2012
  • MajorNightmare profile picture

    Thanks for the kind words everyone!

    Written July 15, 2012
  • turboyoyo profile picture

    Awesome dude,simply awesome

    Written July 16, 2012
  • v141 profile picture

    Nice dude...I wonder if it's curly

    Written July 18, 2012
  • Furlow profile picture

    Would this work with a fur system as well? Because wow this could be nice for makin lower poly furred characters as well if so

    Written July 29, 2012
  • Hangout profile picture

    Anybody knows how to use this, i only see a scene with so premade hair but how do i do it with my own particle hair??

    Written September 10, 2012
  • MajorNightmare profile picture

    Hi Hangout,

    The particles are on layer 1. Read the text file if you haven't already. You can modify them or replace them. The idea is the particles are lined up in straight row so you take a snap shot of them to make the TGA file. You can't make some 3D head of hair, they need layed out flat infront of the camera.

    PS. I tried to make the particles an array but they pattilce sys and araay modifier don't seem to play together nicely. So they are just duplicates of eachother in a row.


    Written September 12, 2012
  • Renaud profile picture

    Great, i was looking for this since a long time and im sick because its so simple ! A lot of game use this technic while i was thinking that they were painting with photoshop. For the duplicated hair, it would be better to make a single emitter to avoid having the same pattern multiple times but for a proof of concept its perfect. I find the look better when the uv is scaled on x axis to 0.5 to avoid the compressed vertical lines.

    Edited November 12, 2012
  • SalemSaberhagen profile picture

    Hrm I have some major problems getting it to do anything useable, even if I use the file as is activate 1 and 11 and render is .. the output is black and white only o.o the hair strains on 1 also are completely black in the viewport. Any idea whats going on?

    Written March 11, 2013
  • MajorNightmare profile picture

    Hi Salem,

    Something with the new blender. I just ran it on 2.66 and got the same output as you B/W. No luck tracking it down. Given all the attention to silly cycles, they must have broke it. I say silly because as far I can tell it useless for game asset creation. Not too mention slow and the materials are even harder to create. Use 2.63 or reverse engineer it for 2.66. The principles are the same, render a sheet of hair onto an image with alpha, wrap the output to a mesh. Cheers

    Written March 15, 2013
  • RenderedHistory profile picture

    looks cool

    Written May 19, 2013
  • BlendEyes profile picture

    Such a useful tool! Thank you so much for sharing this, MajorNightmare.

    Written July 09, 2013
  • LightsDemon profile picture

    Genial gracias por el aporte !

    Written August 08, 2013
  • MajorNightmare profile picture

    Found the bug for 2.6x rendering out Black and White instead of the silky brunet that it is supposed to be.

    To fix it, select one of the particles/hair objects on Layer 1, and change the material index in the Particles section to 1 instead of 2. Since all objects refer to the same particle instance, they all get updated. Enable Layer 1 and 2, render out the RGBA TGA and you're back in business.

    Sometimes you just need to step way back to see how easy the fix is.


    Edited August 30, 2013
  • Valrik profile picture

    Genius. Absolute genius. Been looking for a long time for a solution to low poly hair for my game then I found the only real answer. Thanks

    Did I mention this is genius work?

    Written October 12, 2013
  • sloana profile picture

    you are genius

    Written October 23, 2013
  • alcor profile picture

    Great. Just one question: any specific guidelins or even tutorials about how to use it?

    Written October 28, 2013
  • MajorNightmare profile picture

    Hi alcor,

    Read the accompanying text file in the blender for more details... It's very simple, enable layer 1 and 11, NB: Blender versions higher than 2.66, select a particle object, go to particles property and change the material index back to 1, or you will get greyscale output only!!! press F12 to render. Save the results as a TIF or TGA with alpha. Use the image on an uv unwrapped mesh like examples on layers 2, 3, 4, 5 and 15. To change the hair color, select a particle object on layer 1, select the material tab, then the texture tab, edit the color Col2.001 textures color ramp. Press F12 to re-render, save rgba image etc...


    Written October 30, 2013
  • alcor profile picture

    Ok, thank you very much. I'm preparing a character and I dld your plugin preventively, searching for some ways in order to convert a procedural hair (such as zbrush's one) to a Billboard: no one of the major modeling apps crew ever figured such a plugin, you did it. Bravo. This plugin deserves anyway some operative tutorial videos; if it mantains what it would promise, a txt doesn't make justice to it.

    Written December 22, 2013
  • BitoDark profile picture


    Written November 05, 2013
  • andrewwalker12 profile picture

    Dude how to edit the hair? add me on fb mark buhay dse

    Written January 22, 2014
  • Hardukk profile picture

    AW_SOMMME ! Im not in the Hairstage already ..but Thank you very much ! Looking foward to use (People like you should be considered Heros)

    Written February 23, 2014
  • Styrwirld profile picture

    Looks great man, but I dont have any idea on how to use it :( any help or tutorial?

    Written April 04, 2014
  • xtomiii profile picture

    Edited June 25, 2014
  • hairfactoryplz profile picture

    So... I tried my first hair-mesh in blender with the particle system. I added some hair to just a sphere and the vertex count went from ~400 to ~17,000. I may use this site for other things eventually, but THANK YOU for this!

    Written April 06, 2014
  • xtomiii profile picture

    I put together a video tutorial on how to use this cool tool.

    Edited June 25, 2014
  • MajorNightmare profile picture

    Awesome tut! I love it when people get it. Even the fix for higher version of blender. The doubled side shader in Unity is just icing on the cake. Cheers

    Written June 27, 2014
  • MajorNightmare profile picture

    Here's a great tutorial on the technique. Different apps, but the idea is the same. Project an image with a alpha on a mesh to give the illusion of strands. . The key difference is we are using Blender to generate the brush with the hair particles, instead of hand drawing and coloring them in Photoshop. You can use a UV layout export image as a background in Blender, then arrange the particles in the camera window based on the background, render, save image and it fits the uv! Remember to save out as RGBA.

    Written August 10, 2014
  • andraste99 profile picture

    thanks man this is great!

    Written September 14, 2014
  • thohuhu profile picture

    Sounds complicated to me :( So I must have Unity to do perform this technique?

    Written June 10, 2015
  • MajorNightmare profile picture

    No Unity is not required. It is just the end goal for low poly hair. Game engines, whether it is Unity or BGE, don't like particle hair for the moment. Unless of course you have Hairworks...

    Written June 23, 2015
  • carpetvr profile picture

    Works very well. As MajorNightmare mentioned you need to select the hair material from the in the particles tab, otherwise the hair will be pure white.

    Written July 12, 2015
  • lucreid profile picture

    Please fix this The zip file is corrupted

    Written November 04, 2015
  • MajorNightmare profile picture

    Sorry you are having issues, but it worked for 6700 other users. Try using Winzip or WinRAR on PC.

    Edited November 05, 2015
  • PaulRich profile picture

    I guess I'm not getting it. I have a character that I've made in Blender with a full head of particle hair. I was hoping this would help me create a low poly mesh version of the hair so that I can take it over to Unity. Does this not help do that? Thanks.

    Written January 06, 2016
  • MajorNightmare profile picture

    Hey PR, To get a copy on to low poly, you'll need to make a single poly plane. Add you previously created particle system to the plane and grow the hair off the plane vertically like the hair was hanging straight down. Make a couple copies of the plane in a row, that fill up the camera with them about 90%. Press render, tweak and save image. Think of it as you just taking a picture of a bunch of strands head on. Use the image on a low poly uv unwrapped object that approximates the shape of where the hair would be, or make multiple smaller objects to get volume. Also watch this video from xtomiii

    Written January 09, 2016
  • MajorNightmare profile picture


    Written March 26, 2016
  • MajorNightmare profile picture

    Working on new female character that requires hair, found these great videos on the way. Twist on Hair Factory by Terra Melior Another on making hair Geo with Zbrush fibermesh by Arnab Roy and finally might be interested in the Blender add-on, to make particle hair from Geo, i.e. working backwards...


    Written March 26, 2016
  • MajorNightmare profile picture

    This is where high and low poly hair is going, Hairworks by nvdia. It used to be exclusively a plugin for ,Max and Maya, well it's coming to blender . check it out [Emile Greyling] ( sound quality is poor, but who cares, it Blender to Hairworks!!! cheers

    Written May 26, 2016
  • nepemex profile picture

    exelenttt thanks sr

    Written July 21, 2016
  • alcor profile picture

    Hi Major. Any chances for braids?

    Written November 07, 2016
  • MajorNightmare profile picture

    Hi Alcor... made this for you... took less time to make than explain. Cheers

    Written November 08, 2016
  • alcor profile picture

    TY, I feel honoured. How does this work w/ your HF? Regards.

    Written November 08, 2016
  • alcor profile picture

    Practically... Plz let me recap: the metod is like a "baking" of particle hair upon a polygon, normals/ao/texture included...

    Written November 08, 2016
  • MajorNightmare profile picture

    Hi Alcor, you aren't baking the hair particles to a polygon, this the common misconception of the process. You are just doing a screencap/screen render of the particles as the diffuse map, with the goal of having a bitmap to apply to an unwrapped mesh which can alter be converted to a normal etc... I did some testing with Dr. Tomas Trescak from the Western Sydney University on aboriginal studies. Naturally making dreadlocks and coarse, kinky, curly hair was required. To make coarse looking hair bitmaps, you must play with the particles settings kink and curl modifying the frequency of the curl. This makes lining up in the bitmap for the UV more difficult, but careful seem placement will help.

    For the braid I made you, all I did was straighten the particle out a bit by removing kink/curl, thicken the particles to avoid alpha*, which gave a more tileable bitmap from the render. Working with a tileable version makes it much re-usable. All depends how much time you want to put into hair. It easy to spend more time on the hair than building the character, which is what we are trying to avoid in the first place.

    • Alpha is not a bad thing but requires more work to get it right. Alpha works well for bangs, lashes and eyebrows, when you want the skin to show through but may not be needed, for ponytails and braids. The other issue with Alpha especially in blender is draw priority in the editor, it may make underlying objects look transparent, however may they render ok. Cheers
    Written November 09, 2016
  • alcor profile picture

    Hi MN. I said "baking" 'cause I wasn't able to figure another way to texture a complex structure like a tress (which is more complex than a simple polygonal plate) than transferring first the physical strands (either sculpted or particled) from a hipoly base to a lowpoly receiver. Btw, I asked this also 'cause by chance I stumbled upon a video where particles was converted or baked as lowpoly meshes or onto lowpoly meshes. Thus I asked myself whether it hadn't been "easier" to code some script in order to make that systematically and automatically.

    Edited November 18, 2016
  • Makaraw profile picture


    Written November 16, 2016
  • MajorNightmare profile picture

    New blend to make low poly hair mesh... Cheers

    Written November 17, 2016
  • Al3112 profile picture

    Is this only for hair ? Cant i use it for the leafs of a tree ?

    Written November 26, 2016
  • MajorNightmare profile picture

    Hi AI, not really, since the technique is based on strands particles rendered as a tileable planar surface texture. That said, you can use the particle system with an object instead of strands, which works using the tree add-on, but it is for a full 3D model, not a 2D representation or a branch or tree, like what you would need in Unity Tree creator. Don't let that stop you from trying. I didn't know hair could be done this way until I tried. This video shows how to apply leaves via particle system. Cheers

    Edited November 29, 2016
  • MajorNightmare profile picture

    Check out this tutorial by Littlemisshorror x, she's got the technique down youtube video

    Edited November 30, 2016
  • raksa profile picture

    Thanks ...this very helpul

    Written November 28, 2017
  • WatcherMagic profile picture

    A bit of a noob here, this looks absolutely amazing but I can't see a .py file in the download to put in addons. How do you get this working?

    Written December 16, 2017
  • MajorNightmare profile picture

    Hi Watcher, there is no .py for this to work. This is not an add-on, just a Blender file... You don't need to install it, just open it in Blender. People are mistakenly calling it an add-on. Cheers

    Edited January 30, 2018
  • tesla06 profile picture

    Thank you BLENDSWAP TEAM

    Written December 20, 2017
  • exe666 profile picture

    Looks suspiciously like the pay Hair Tool:

    Written January 15, 2018
  • MajorNightmare profile picture

    Not really, I'm just pulling back the curtain on part of the process to create game ready hair. My Blend simply lets you capture 3D hair placed in front of the camera and save it out as an RGBA image. You still need to make the mesh etc...

    Edited January 30, 2018
  • Tutterzoid profile picture

    Thanks for sharing, plus as CC0 license :)

    Written August 17, 2018
  • SpAiK profile picture

    Hi MajorNightmare, this is awesome! Thank you for the time and work put here. With a bit of work one can even create different strand sections with variations for a complete texture.

    Just one question, do you think it could also be possible to take a specular map out from this? it would be great in combination with the diffuse texture.

    Written October 09, 2018
  • MajorNightmare profile picture

    Ok all you hair freaks... Super cool new way to make game hair by Rodesqa. His method bypasses particles altogether. However since his technique still requires a bitmap, it could be combined with the technique I used to make the initial bitmap.

    PS. Blender 2.8 hair is even more insane. Check out the 2.8 Tiger breakdown.


    Written June 28, 2019
  • MajorNightmare profile picture

    Stop wasting time and get this addon!

    Written December 11, 2019
  • alcor profile picture

    Excuse me, but still no updates for blender 2.80?

    Written March 29, 2020
  • Saint profile picture

    They can be a pretty decent helpful hints most definitely to make sure you many a new comers to blogosphere, transient and additionally specific information… Regards just for stating this tool. Recommended look at page.professional draft review services

    Written November 05, 2023