Creating Characters with Hair for Video Games in Blender

Guillaume Chichmanov
April 29, 2024

In the world of Video Game development, creating compelling characters is a complex and rewarding process. From initial concept to final animation, every step in the pipeline plays a crucial role in bringing characters to life. In this guide, we'll take you through the character development pipeline, with a focus on the process of creating characters with hair for video games.

1. Concept, reference gathering and design

The character development process begins with the creation of a concept. This involves gathering reference material to help define the character's look, personality, and style.

Reference material can include images, sketches, and descriptions that capture the essence of the character. Once the concept is established, the next step is to create a detailed design of the character. This includes defining the character's features, proportions, and costume.

For characters with hair, this stage also involves designing the hairstyle and overall hair aesthetics.

The concept art of the character we did for this example was generated with AI (Midjourney). The client is TCG World

AI Concept Art (Midjourney)

2. Modeling

With the design finalized, the character is then modeled in a 3D software. This process involves creating a 3D mesh that accurately represents the character's proportions and features. The initial modeling includes blocking out the basic shapes and volumes of the model. After the initial modeling is finished, the character is sculpted to add finer details and realism in a high poly model


High Poly

3. Retopology

This process consists of creating a new, clean surface (or "topology") for a 3D model. It's often done to improve the model's geometry, so it can be used for animation, and in this case, for gaming too.

4. Texturing

Once the retopology is complete, textures are applied to the character to add color, detail, and realism.

Base Color



Full Material

5. Hair Creation

After the base model is complete, the next step is to create the hair. This involves using specialized software to model, texture, and animate the character's hair. The hair is designed to interact realistically with the character's movements and the game environment.

This guide is specifically with a Blender Workflow. We’ll need to have the version 4.0 or higher.

  • Before starting, it’s better to make a Weight map painting in a Vertex Group, which is going to be used later to control the areas that you want the hair to grow from. Go to → Object Data Properties → Vertex Groups → Add new → Paint in “Weight Paint” mode
  • Select the model in which the Hair is going to be located.
  • F3 → Search for “Quick Fur” and add it
  • To display it adequately, go to “Render Properties” → Curves → Viewport Display → Strip
  • You can add additional subdivisions if needed.
  • With the groom selected, go to “Sculpt mode”, and remove the guides.
  • It’s better to “Symmetry X” turned on to add the hair guides.
  • We add the basic guides and groom the hair.
  • Go to “Modifier Properties” and start adjusting the settings and parameters depending on the hair properties you are trying to achieve.
  • Te strand width can be set in “Set Hair Curve Profile” → Radius
  • The amount of hair can be controlled with the “Interpolate Hair Curves” Node, and changing the “Density” value.
  • The hair growth can be controlled in the “Density Mask” Output → Click “Input Attribute Toggle” → Select the Vertex Group with the Weight map done previously
  • You can also select a bitmap texture in the “Mask Texture” output to control the areas in which you want the hair to grow from.
  • You can adjust the Noise, Frizz and Surface Deform based on your preferences.
  • To adjust the length go to “Trim Hair Curves” → Length factor
  • You’ll probably need some Clumps in your groom. Open the “Asset browser” tab, and in the hair section, drag the “Clump Hair Curves” to the hair in the viewport. Here you can adjust the clumping with the “Factor” and “Tip spread” values.
  • Once you have your Groom completed, it’s time to convert it to Hair Cards. Make sure to save the current version as a Back Up, and work in a new one.
  • In your project, go to File → Append → Search for the downloaded .blend → Node Tree → Curves to Cards
  • In the Groom’s “Modifiers Properties” → Add Modifier → Geometry Nodes → Search for “Curves to Cards”
  • The groom is going to be converted into Hair Cards. Here you can adjust the colors and/or textures of the instanced Cards to properly match your groom.
  • Once it’s finished, we are going to bake the textures. Select the Cards → Create a new 2048px texture with Alpha channel → Select it → Go to Render properties → Bake → Bake Type → Diffuse → Uncheck “Direct” and “Indirect” → Bake texture → Save it once it’s finished
  • Set the new baked texture to the material’s color and alpha channel.
  • Shift + A → Apply “Visual Geometry to Mesh”
  • Add modifier → Decimate → Collapse → Reduce the polycount to a reasonable amount without losing too much detail

6. Rigging

Once the previous steps are finished, the character is ready to be rigged. Rigging involves creating a skeleton for the character and defining how it should move in response to animation controls.

7. Animation

Finally, the character is animated. This involves creating movement sequences that bring the character to life.

By following this pipeline, game developers can create characters with hair that are not only visually appealing but also believable and immersive. Each step in the process plays a crucial role in ensuring that characters come to life in the game world, creating memorable experiences for players.


In conclusion, character creation for video games is a finely balanced blend of art and precision. This guide has highlighted how using Blender can help manage intricate hair dynamics, making the process from concept to animation both efficient and effective. Developers following these steps can produce characters that are not only visually impressive but also optimized for real-time interaction. As technology advances, so do the opportunities to push the boundaries of creativity and realism in game design, promising ever more immersive experiences for players.

If you are building a game and looking for an efficient and cost effective outsourcing partner, Cominted Labs is at your service. We are a leading game art outsourcing platform that has collaborated with over 50 leading game publishers and developers. Our clients include TCG World, Perp Games, Ethereum Towers, Baby Doge, Crossmint, MadWorld, and many more.

Contact us today and book a demo with an intro call.

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