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I'm working on detailing a character which has short fur particles. The detail consists of a bump map I've been painting, which I use to give more depth to details such as muscles. As it requires increasing the level of subdivisions / vertices whereas the hair starts acting up if I change the geometry before its modifier, I'm trying to go the route of using it as a displacement texture in the material nodes (bump only, no micro-displacement for the reasons mentioned).

My problem is that I'd like to simulate the hair particles bending in the direction of the normals as well. If I were to offset the real geometry this would happen on its own: Hairs would point more outward in inflated areas and inward in deflated ones. Given I'm going for textured bump instead, I'm curious if there's a way to fake this effect too from the texture.

I couldn't find any particle settings that let me use a grayscale texture to exaggerate the velocity in a given direction. Let alone one to convert a normal map to hair direction... the normal option under velocity settings doesn't account for the texture plugged into the displacement output of the material either.

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