Hybrid fur rendering: combining volumetric fur with explicit hair strands

Tobias Grønbeck Andersen, Viggo Falster, Jeppe Revall Frisvad, Niels Jørgen Christensen

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Hair is typically modeled and rendered using either explicitly defined hair strand geometry or a volume texture of hair densities. Taken each on their own, these two hair representations have difficulties in the case of animal fur as it consists of very dense and thin undercoat hairs in combination with coarse guard hairs. Explicit hair strand geometry is not well-suited for the undercoat hairs, while volume textures are not well-suited for the guard hairs. To efficiently model and render both guard hairs and undercoat hairs, we present a hybrid technique that combines rasterization of explicitly defined guard hairs with ray marching of a prismatic shell volume with dynamic resolution. The latter is the key to practical combination of the two techniques, and it also enables a high degree of detail in the undercoat. We demonstrate that our hybrid technique creates a more detailed and soft fur appearance as compared with renderings that only use explicitly defined hair strands. Finally, our rasterization approach is based on order-independent transparency and renders high-quality fur images in seconds.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Visual Computer
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)739-749
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Fur
  • Hair strand
  • Rasterization
  • Ray marching
  • Photorealistic rendering
  • Order-independent transparency
  • Shell volume


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