Grooming fur with gFur PRO in Unreal Engine

We continue with our mesh setup from the previous guide. Before we start grooming, it may be good idea to turn off the gravity in gFur component by setting it to zero. This makes it easier to see effects of the brushes we are using. Grooming tools can be found in the “Modes” section of the Unreal Editor, next to “Geometry Editing”. If you are using large buttons, you will have to click on the arrow to see gFur grooming tools.

If our mesh with fur is selected, we can start using brushes right away. If not, we first have to select the mesh with the first click of a brush. Brushes and the settings have useful tooltips. Effect of a brush can be inverted by holding Shift on the keyboard.

Brushes

  • Length – changes the length of the fur, left mouse button makes the fur longer, shift + left mouse button makes it shorter.
  • Average Length – averages the length of the fur in affected area, making the shorter fur longer and longer fur shorter. Shift + left mouse button makes the difference between short and long fur more pronounced, making short fur shorter and long fur longer.
  • Bend – bends the fur in the direction of mouse movement. Here Shift, doesn’t make that much sense because it just bends the fur in opposite direction to the mouse movement.
  • Clump – pulls fur together, towards the path the brush/mouse travels. Shift + left mouse button push the fur away from the path of the brush.
  • Twist – twists the fur in clockwise direction along the path the brush travels. Shift + left mouse button twist the fur anticlockwise direction along the path the brush travels.
  • Noise – adds random noise to the position or shape of the fur. Shift inverts the noise.
  • Relax – straightens the fur, effectively reseting the grooming to default state. Fur length is no affected. Shift + left mouse button pronounce all the effects of the grooming brushes except the length.
  • Add/Remove – adds or removes the fur splines completely. Left mouse button alone adds fur splines (so this will have no effect if fur is already in the area. Shift + left mouse click will remove the fur splines. Note if you remove fur splines and than add them back, they will not remember their original length and may appear very short.

Brush settings

  • Radius – radius of the brush and size of the affected area
  • Strength – how strong will be the effect of a brush
  • Falloff – allows to fade out the effect of a brush. With any value lower than 1.0, another “brush sphere” will appear. Only area inside this smaller sphere will receive the full effect of the brush.
  • Effect Height – Height of the fur spline where the effect is applied. 1.0 = spline tip and 0.0 = spline root.
  • Effect Distribution – Affects the distance at which the effect is applied or faded out in both directions from the “Effect Height” point. -1 = extremely short, mostly at the exact location defined by the “Effect Height” setting. 0 is pretty smooth distribution. 1 affects the whole fur spline the same way.
  • Enable Flow – If the flow is enabled, grooming tool will add more and more of it’s effect even if the mouse is not moved and only the left mouse button is hold (also applies to shift + left mouse button).
  • Mirror X, Y, Z – mirroring of the grooming along a desired axis. Very useful for objects with symetry, for example we can groom one side of an animal and the other side will be groomed the same way. We can always introduce asymetry on the other side turning of the mirroring and do a bit more grooming.
  • Show Splines – This will show the fur guides as red thin splines.

How exactly “Effect Height” and “Effect Distribution” affect the fur splines might be a bit hard to imagine, the following images showing different combinations of these settings might help. All images show effect of the bend brush.