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Do you need help rendering Xgen hair?


PxrMarschner Hair

PxrMarschner is a material designed to render realistic hair, fur, and fibers.

This is the same material and design used in many of Pixar's animated features provided to users rendering their own scenes. The controls are minimal and artist friendly. The material is also physically plausible so that artists can begin with a realistic result and refine their options based on art direction.

If you would like to dive into the technical details of the material you can see the Pixar Technical Memo 15-02 "A Data-Driven Light Scattering Model for Hair" by Leonid Pekelis, Christophe Hery, Ryusuke Villemin, Junyi Ling for more information. This document will describe the parameters with examples so that artists can begin creating immediately!

If you would like to follow along, you can download the example Autodesk Maya scene file using Xgen hair. This scene requires Maya 2016 SP5 and above and the latest RenderMan installation. Avoid renaming items as this may cause Xgen to fail to export hair.

The examples below will illustrate how changing parameters affects the look of the hair.

PxrMarschner Hair Example



PxrMarschner Blond Hair

PxrMarschner Dark Red hair




Diffuse Parameters

There are two choices of diffuse models: Zinke and Kajiya. By default, it is set to Zinke diffuse model which is for bidirectional scattering. See Importance Sampling for Physically-Based Hair Fiber Models.


Diffuse Gain

This parameter is a multiplier to the Diffuse Color. 0.0 means no diffuse color while 1.0 is the full affect. The default is 0.0 which provides a very realistic hair but with potentially higher rendering cost.


Diffuse Color

This is the diffuse color of the hair itself. Even for blond hair this is a darker shade than other color parameters for most realistic hair. The default is middle grey.




Specular Parameters

The bulk of your controls can be found under the Specular Parameters. Each of these relates in some way to the description below.

Marschner Specular Model

The Marschner specular model consists of three specular lobes using multiple specular transport paths shown above as directional arrows:

  • Primary Specular: R is for "reflect" where light hits the surface of the hair and reflects. This is the strong primary colorless specular.
  • Secondary Specular: TRT is for "transmit", "reflect", and "transmit" where light transmits through the hair surface, then it reflects from inside the hair and exits the front of the hair. This is the secondary colored specular.
  • Transmit Specular: TT is for "transmit" and "transmit" where light transmits into the hair surface and then exits through the other side. This is the colored transmission that responds to rim lighting.