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Using Gaia Wind to move hair on characters


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Hi, Im wondering what connects the leaves material to the wind settings and how this is used to create the movement. 

I'm wondering if this is a good way to enable strands of hair as a material to move at the same rate defined by the Gaia wind object. 

I see assets in the asset store that focus on creating new bone structures for hair strands to then animate which doesn't seem the best approach. 

Any thoughts?


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Hi @Guidos, the wind movement in the vegetation is controlled by the shader: The shader gets information from the wind object in the scene, and deforms the tree / plant meshes when rendering.
This technique could be used on character hair in theory, but I assume you would need to have a special hair shader for that, the same kind of wind movement would most likely look weird on the hair mesh.
I'm not a specialist on this topic, but as far as I know when you set up hair with its own bones, you can hand-animate the hairs, but you can also simulate physics on those bones so that you do not need to animate the hairs yourself, but rather let the engine simulate the movement for you.
This method would have the advantage that the hair would adapt to the character movements better, and I think it is also possible to make the hairs collide with the rest of the character model if needed. But I believe doing this bone simulation is more costly on performance vs. just doing a wind effect in a shader.

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Thanks Peter. I've done a lot of research since my post but thank you, your thoughts confirm what I've found. 

I'd love to have a shader that worked with Gaia wind but it seems Unity doesn't really have a good solution for hair.

While not directly related to Gaia I thought Id add the following for those listening in to this; 

I've tried an asset in the asset store but it has a lot of issues, there are better ones but are focused on AAA / HDRP which unfortunately isn't on my plan as yet. 

I've decided the best way for me is to use the Hair Tool add on in Blender, making sure the character I am going to use is used to model the hair. From Blender you can import a character from Daz (not as easy as they suggest currently) or Mixamo. 

Then create the hair with bones as opposed to a shader, and animate. Using bones doesn't need to automatically look low poly, and since I'll likely be using this only on the user character and a few NPC's I don't expect the animation to cause me a processing issue. 


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  • 3 weeks later...

Theoretically, it should be faster to use a shader. I've not looked at Gaia's wind system yet, but I imagine there would be a vector value driving the whole thing, if that can be exposed you have something to work from.

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