I'm working on a model that has 3D cartoon hair (think Coco from Crash bandicoot or Lily from Psychonauts; if you don't know them, google them and you'll get an idea). My question is: how do I add physics to this style of hair?

I know with clothes you can add physics so that they move without having to worry about animating it to look realistic, but I have no idea how to do this with cartoon hair. I tried a similar approach with clothes physics (which I'm definitely not a pro at) and immediately their hair lost its shape and fell flat.

The hair is very curly and wavy and is hanging loose (so not ponytails or braids or the sort), so it's really important to keep this shape while allowing movement, which is why I'd like to apply physics if I can. I'm not new to Blender, but I'm definitely not a pro, so screenshots to help explain would be greatly appreciated.

Also, due to copyright, I am not allowed to upload any part of the model because of the unique style.

  • $\begingroup$ try the surfacedeform modifier on the hair with a flat hair mesh with the cloth modifier on it. Then your hair will not collapse $\endgroup$
    – HenrikD
    Apr 24, 2018 at 6:57
  • $\begingroup$ Can you take a screenshot to help explain this? The hair still falls flat. $\endgroup$ Apr 24, 2018 at 7:52

1 Answer 1


You have to create a flat hair mesh and apply the physics on it. Then you need to add a Surface Deform Modifier on your hair model to take the transformation information from the flat hair mesh. This method works especially well on long hair. The setup would look like this: enter image description here

When working with Surface Deform keep in mind to cover your entire hair model with that flat hair mesh. And also do me a favor and make a better flat hair mesh that I did here. It was just a really quick prove of concept.

  • $\begingroup$ Do I shape the mesh to be same as the general shape of the hair or do I leave the plane flat then add the modifier? I left my plane flat with a few vertices pinned and the hair ended up flattening again P: $\endgroup$ Sep 10, 2018 at 11:26
  • $\begingroup$ you can see my physicsmesh in the picture. Its the Wireframe mesh. It is one-sided and therefore has no volume. Just like a normal cloth. Also make sure you didnt leave the physics on the actual hair. $\endgroup$
    – HenrikD
    Sep 10, 2018 at 12:47
  • $\begingroup$ Okay now I see what you mean. I got it working but when I tried to bind it, I got an out of memory error and I haven't been able to find any answers after googling it either P: $\endgroup$ Sep 10, 2018 at 14:30
  • $\begingroup$ well I guess you mesh is to complex then to be handled by your computer. And also make sure you have your Surface Deform before your Subsur Modifier $\endgroup$
    – HenrikD
    Sep 10, 2018 at 14:54

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