Finally the comments work. At least they should. And I'd really like to hear your opinion about all this stuff. So... leave a comment!
I also added a poll on the right side. :)
And a small update on the project. Here's a preview of the hair shader with a nice anisotropic specular:
I still got some difficulties with the depth-sorting of the hair (you can see some borders of the hair popping up and down). But more on this next week I think.
[update: included a short demo video]
Normal maps are standard. It's a great and simple technique to simulate three-dimensional surface structure and details on low polygon object.
Often it's enough to have a static texture for that, but sometimes the surface changes in a way that can't be represented by joint moments or blendshapes, for example fine creases in cloth, wrinkles in skin and so on. For these things it would be nice, to have different normal maps which could be blended together at runtime. But how to do that?
With my project progressing, I finally have to take care about the hair.
All the rendering is based on polygons. But polygon edges are hard lines and hair is highly detailed and irregular. To get nice borders, some kind of transparency is needed. And here I ran into a problem, which I realized is well known, but has no real solution...
"...strong negative response humans have to an entity that is nearly human"
"...may stem from an ability to identify - and avoid - people suffering from an infectious disease."
"Part of the problem is fiction being held to higher standards of realism than reality itself is."