About the Course

In this course I will take you through an easy method of creating game ready hair that can be used for your personal projects or a professional work place. We will be looking at traditional wig making techniques that we can use a guide in creating hair. In the course, we will be using XGen and Fibermesh to create the amazing hair textures. This course is aimed to give you the knowledge and the hair salon CG tools to aid you in creating stunning looking hair for a AAA game, using techniques that can be used in a working environment and for portfolios.

Learning Outcomes

  • Be able to use Next-gen pipelines to create real-time hair.

  • Be able to use Fibermesh with confidence to create amazing hair texture.

  • Be able to confidently use XGen in maya.

  • You will Know how to set up your hair for lighting and rendering

  • You will also have an understanding of creating Animal Fur for games.

  • You will have the knowledge of creating any hair style with the Wig technique theory.

What Exactly is This Course?

This course is to give you the tools a knowledge you need to create amazing looking hair. If you are wondering if this course is for you ask yourself these questions. Do you find it difficult creating high quality AAA hair for your game characters? Are you finding your characters are just having one of those bad hair days, and your frustrated that you can’t get the quilt game hair that you have seen in AAA games? What’s holding you back from creating high quality game hair?

Course curriculum

  • 1
  • 2

    Hair Theory

  • 3

    Hair Texture

    • Fiber Texture Creation

    • Texture Setup & Render Test

    • Homework

  • 4

    XGen Hair Placement

    • Hair Card Theory

    • Using XGen to Place the Hair Cards - Part 1

    • Using XGen to Place the Hair Cards - Part 2

    • Using XGen to Place the Hair Cards - Part 3

    • Using XGen to Place the Hair Cards - Part 4

    • Using XGen to Place the Hair Cards - Part 5

    • Homework

  • 5

    2nd and 3rd Layer of Hair Cards

    • Adding the Texture and Testing

    • Adding Second Layer of Hair - Part 1

    • Adding Second Layer of Hair - Part 2

    • Adding Second Layer of Hair - Part 3 - Timelapse

    • Fly Away's and Flow - Part 1

    • Fly Away's and Flow - Part 2

    • Blend Cards

    • Homework

  • 6

    Hair Cap

    • Hair Cap Theory

    • Hair Cap Re-Topo and UV

    • XGen Interactive Grooming

    • Setup and Rendering

    • Homework

  • 7

    Getting into Marmoset

    • Flow Maps

    • Marmoset Setup

    • Homework

  • 8

    Beard Creation

    • Beard Theory and Beard Template

    • Beard Placement

    • Setup and Rendering the Beard

    • Homework

  • 9

    Eyebrow Creation

    • Eyebrow Theory and Eyebrow Placement

    • Homework

  • 10


    • Eyelash Theory

    • Eyelash Texture

    • Eyelash Placement

    • Homework

  • 11

    Bonus: Animal Fur - Werewolf for Games

    • Animal Fur Introduction

    • ZBrush Blockout - Part 1

    • ZBrush Blockout - Part 2

    • Retopo

    • UVing

    • Fur Placement - Part 1

    • Fur Placement - Part 2

    • Plane Cards

    • Fur to Planes

    • Planes Placement - Part 1

    • Planes Placement - Part 2

    • Flyaways

What Students are Saying

“Ashley's course is one of the best that I have taken. I learned a lot through this class and even more from his live sessions. He is very patient and will explain to you as many times as you need to understand. I cannot recommend this class enough.”

Philipe Azevedo

“Before taking Ashley’s course I struggled with hair textures, material creation, hair card placement, etc. This course really shed a lot of light on what it takes to make a proper hair mesh and material. I learned to create hair for AAA games with a method that is easy to use with and yields quick results. It is an approach to hair creation which leaves guesswork out and can be applied to any hairdo. No doubt about it, this is my best work so far. My capability and confidence has greatly improved as a result of Ashley’s course.”

Daniel Guzman Escobar

“Prior to taking Ashley’s course, I wasn’t as confident creating hair cards. I had taken some other courses in the past that covered hair texture and hair card creation but they didn’t seem to give me the control of the texture creation that I wanted. Ashley introduced me to a different method placing hair cards that I hadn’t considered before that allows me to easily manipulate my hair cards, making it easier to adjust them after looking them over in Marmoset. As an instructor you would be hard pressed to find better, the feedback is great and the lessons are clear. If you’re a beginner to hair creation for games or are looking to improve your workflow I recommend you take this course.”

Michael Griffin

“I'd previously used fibermesh to create hair but I wanted to produce hair that was low poly and suitable for games especially with the growing market in AR/VR. Throughout the course Ashley demonstrates his methods for creating not only hair but also beards, eyebrows, lashes, skullcaps and even animal fur. The range he covers is just incredible and he takes you through everything step by step in an easy to follow logical way. Having a live session every week allows constructive feedback as you progress and also enables you to ask any questions you may have about the process. I got so much invaluable information from the course and would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to create hair at a professional level.”

Lorraine Berry

“This course is great for people who want to learn the process of making real time hair! Ashley does a fantastic job explaining each step. His feedback in live video sessions are also very helpful if you are unsure how to push it further. And having him as a teacher was super fun and encouraging”

Yinbei Zhu

Software Requirements

  • Zbrush 
  • Maya 2018 will be used for this lecture but you can use any version from 2017 and upwards. Although I will only be teaching Maya, you can use these techniques in other software, such as 3D max.  (Trial and Educational Versions Available)
  • XGen will play a big part in our hair creation.
  • Bonus tools. This technique could be transferred over to other software.  
  • Graphics Tablet.
  • Photoshop  (Trial and Educational Versions Available)
  • Substance Painter  (Trial and Educational Versions Available)  
  • Marmoset Toolbag

 For this course I will be using Zbrush, Maya, Photoshop, Substance Painter and Marmoset. If there is any other software you would like to use instead of these, you are more than welcome to.   

 You must have a beginners knowledge and understanding of how to use Zbrush, Maya and Photoshop to be able to participate in this course.   

 Don’t let the Software, maya scare you. We have had previous students in the past never having used Maya before and they still produced some amazing results.   

Bonus! Animal Fur Creation

1.5 Hours of Incredible Bonus Content

Have you ever wanted to learn how to create amazing animal fur? With over and hour and a half of extra bonus content, I will go through my complete pipeline in creating a Werewolf. Through explanations and time-lapse, I will show you from start to finish how to get hairy!

Meet Your Instructor

Ashley Sparling


I am a Lead/Senior Character artist at Ubisoft. I have over 10 years Experiences in the games industry. I first started my career at Rare Microsoft, working on the Xbox avatars, the little characters that you can make into yourself and by clothing for yep them. I then proceeded to work at travels tales and work on the pirates of the Caribbean Lego as an environment artist, I decided environment art really wasn’t for me and proceeded to go back working as a character artist for a company called Lockwood were I worked on Playstation home. I continued working on PlayStation home for about a year for Lockwood and another company called Ndreams. I felt like I wanted to work on a game again working on clothing for characters was fun, but I really wanted to work on a full production again. So, I landed a job as a character artist at National Motion where I worked on the mobile game Dawn of Titans. This was a fun project to work on and I learnt a lot on this project. I then got the opportunity to work for a company that did 3d printing and shop window displays for Louis Vuitton. I thought this was an amazing opportunity. I was here for about 6 months and although it was fun seeing my creations come to life, I really missed working in the games industry. So, I got contacted for a Job at Lionhead Studios. I couldn’t believe it this was a company I have always wanted to work for. So, I started my new role as a senior Character artist, yes, a senior getting old now by this point. I loved it at Lionhead I got to work on Fabel legends. The one day we got the horrible news that Microsoft was going to be closing the studio and cancel the project. This was a very sad day for me as I Loved it at Lionhead. I then got approached by Ubisoft asking me would I be interested in relocating to Canada. Hell yeah this was an amazing opportunity so I jumped at it and I got to work on the amazing Assassins Creed Odyssey. 3 years later and I am Still at Ubisoft and am now leading a new project, it's been an awesome opportunity to take this role and develop my skills. So, if you liked my blurb please come and join me in this adventure of creating AAA hair for Games.

Course Features

  • Unlimited Life-Time Access to the course!

    As an XMD Academy member, you get unlimited Life-Time access to the course. Every time the course is updated with new content, it is yours to keep!

  • Join an Evergrowing Community

    Join 1000s of artists in an online massive community where you can show your work, get insight, and critiques from fellow industry professionals.

  • Login 24/7

    All content is digital and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to feed your continuous learning appetite.

  • XMDSource.com Included!

    A FREE Membership to XMDSource.com is included with your course purchase.

  • 10 Complete Modules

    There are 10 action packed modules for several weeks worth of learning.

Users of XMD

Some of the Amazing Companies that use XMD

The Mill
Cloud Imperium

Amazing Student Work