How to create braided hair in Blender

Braided hair created in Blender
(Image credit: Paul Hatton)

Getting hair right is tricky, and the challenge becomes even greater when that hair needs to be animated. Hair grooming tools in the likes of Houdini have become so advanced that the only limit seems to be an artist’s abilities. Blender contains an improving set of grooming functionality as well, but as the question focuses on braids we’ll take a more specific approach.

To help answer this one I’m indebted to Nino (AKA DefoQ) for Braidify, a free tool developed alongside some incredibly helpful training videos. The first iteration was impressive, great for creating braids and animating them, but was highly processor-intensive. Making changes to the output was, at times, rather slow and sucked some of the life out of the creative process. Nino listened to artist’s feedback and introduced a second, far quicker and more responsive iteration. It integrates well into Blender’s existing tools but isn’t quite as effective at animating braids.

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Paul Hatton

Paul is a digital expert. In the 20 years since he graduated with a first-class honours degree in Computer Science, Paul has been actively involved in a variety of different tech and creative industries that make him the go-to guy for reviews, opinion pieces, and featured articles. With a particular love of all things visual, including photography, videography, and 3D visualisation Paul is never far from a camera or other piece of tech that gets his creative juices going. You'll also find his writing in other places, including Creative Bloq, Digital Camera World, and 3D World Magazine.