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Creating a Male Groom With XGen

An Introduction to Hair Grooming in Maya & Mari With Crystal Bretz


Discover how to create eyelashes, eyebrows, and coarse and fine facial hair, plus pick up tips and tricks to speed up your grooming workflow in Maya. This workshop by Crystal Bretz, Senior Character/Creature Modeler at Framestore, takes you through the process of efficiently creating a realistic male groom using XGen. The tutorial is designed for beginners to XGen but some experience of working in Maya will be expected. 

All of the starter content needed to follow along with this workshop is provided, including the base head geometry and exclusive photo references. Crystal begins with the base head (supplied) and demonstrates how to use it effectively, and teaches the correct ways to set your project up and get things started using XGen. She then dives into the grooming process, covering modifiers, painting density maps in Mari, and stray hair expressions. The tutorial concludes with a section on basic procedural hair look development and rendering your groom using Arnold in Maya.

The goal of this workshop is to help you understand the complete step-by-step process of creating a male groom with XGen while giving you the tools and knowledge needed to create your own styles later with ease.

Duration: 3h 55m

Format: HD 1920x1080

Crystal Bretz

Senior Modeler at Framestore

Crystal Bretz is a Senior Character/Creature Modeller working in Canada. She has worked for many companies over the years such as Digital Domain, Method Studios, DNEG, and BRON. Crystal is currently working as a Senior Modeler at Framestore and her background as a generalist saw her work on many different types of media, including episodic TVC, short films, feature films, VR, and animated features. She is most well known for her work on Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Marvel’s Black Panther, and Netflix Original: The Willoughbys.

Crystal has had work published by 3D Artist magazine, Artstation Magazine, and has been credited in Cinefex along with her fellow colleagues on Black Panther. Crystal has a passion for 3D characters and loves to help and mentor others. She writes blogs, shares advice on her online platforms, and regularly streams live on Twitch to inspire other artists towards successful careers in the VFX industry.

  • Crystal is an incredibly talented artist. I have hired her twice (Method Studios Van and Method Studios Montreal formally Atomic Fiction). She not only has a strong artistic aptitude for both organic and hard surface modeling, but she also produces technically clean meshes and UVs. Crystal is a team player who is always happy to help when things get a bit crazy and her versatility is a tremendous asset for any team.

    - Justin Holt
    Senior Texture Artist at Epic Games

  • Crystal has been a fantastic artist to work with. She receives direction well, she cares about the quality of her work, and is effective at a range of disciplines from props and environments to character modeling and texturing.

    - Caleb Ashmore
    Model/Texture Lead at Method Studios

  • I worked with Crystal as a supervisor and a colleague. Her drive and passion is contagious. She was always helpful in our never-ending quest for the perfect reference and is a great team player.

    - Robin Lamontage
    CG Supervisor at Rodeo FX