Creating Darth Tranquillity – The Hair Piece

Hair: in Lego the bane of my existence. Geometrical shapes like bricks I can create easily, head pieces like hair and hats I find a bit more difficult due to their more organic shapes. With that out there, let’s see what I’ve done:

TranHairComplete(Front) TranHairComplete(Back)

It’s not perfect, nor totally how I wanted it, but I’m happy enough with it for the moment. If you go back to my collage of pictures from the previous article you might see where it differs.

It’s created with what know as a subsurface modifier which are it basically a great way to add more detail without having to add lots of vertices by hand. A simple way to think about it is if you add a subsurface modifier to a cube, you get a sphere. The modifier adds in the extra vertices. It’s great for ‘organic’ shapes like hair pieces.

HairModNotApplied HairModApplied

One the left is the hair piece with the subsurface modifier. On the right is same shape, but with the modifier applied. It’s added all those additional vertices automatically.

And if you’re interested in my work flow, read on.

First I created a rough framework based on drawing I did earlier.


The fringe at the front I got rid off a bit later and did it separately.

Once it was shaped I then filled in the gaps:

TranHair1(Front) TranHair1(Back)

That’s not good! As you can see filling in the gaps has distorted the shape. As this point it a matter of moving the vertices that are there until the shape is back as I wanted it:


That’s better. The next image shows the evolution of the piece:


From left to right:

* The first is an earlier framework which I ditched before I did the one above.

* The next shows the hair folds I place in to get more volume and to get the hair look more hair like and less like a helmet. At this point I had a mirror modifier on the hair so that I had only to work on one side and it would be copied over the other. The final designed would have some asymmetry and I knew that I would have to remove it at some point. I was debating removing now or a bit later once I had some more detail. I decided to do it now. If I did it later I’d have more vertices to move about which is more for me to muck up when I move the centre parting over.

* The third shows the centre parting moved over with the mirror modifier removed.

* The next three show how I started adding internal detail to make the piece more solid and how I added the fringe.

In theory I should apply the subsurface modifier to create all the additional vertices. If it was going to anything other than solid colour, then I probably would apply the modifier. But since it’s not I’m going to leave it as it is.

Like I said earlier, it’s not perfect. I should have created the fringe from these highlighted vertices rather than from a separate piece:


Also the back I should have created from these rather than separate piece again. I would have got the folds to line up a bit better. I might go back a redo that (I save copies of complex piece like this at various stages in case a completely muck something up). But I’m not in the mood at the moment.

And that’s it. Next we might go into making Tranquillity’s face.


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