You can use the particle instance modifier to stretch a mesh object onto a particle hair strand, as discussed here: Hook/parent/constrain to particle hair?

However, every strand within the same system gets the same mesh. I am looking for a way to vary the size of the strands without making multiple particle systems. Is there some way to non-destructively modify or distort the object so that every strand isn't so uniform?

UPDATE: Starting bounty. As mentioned in old comment, i'm looking to vary the thickness. The length can be varied within the modifier settings.

  • $\begingroup$ If you work with an object, at first you can lock the two scale dimensions that you don't want to be modified. you can "duplicate linked" it multiple time with different scale, make them into a group. Then juste use that group with your particle system. I don't know that can work for you, if you want I can make a full answer with a little python script that automatise the whole thing. $\endgroup$ – lucblender Aug 24 '17 at 5:55
  • $\begingroup$ @lucblender As far as I know, using the mesh as the particle object/group does not map the mesh down the hair strand the way that Particle Instance does. So that would work for regular particles, but I'm looking for it to work with Hair. $\endgroup$ – Drudge Aug 24 '17 at 5:59
  • $\begingroup$ Oh right, forgot about the ParticleInstance ... my bad $\endgroup$ – lucblender Aug 24 '17 at 6:11
  • $\begingroup$ I would have a look here : blender.stackexchange.com/a/46589/16265. I couldn't make the nodetree work with A.N 2.0 but you should try with the previous version. From there you can try to loop through the particle splines and if it works you can certainly randomize the thickness. $\endgroup$ – ChameleonScales Aug 28 '17 at 14:31

To give the instanced strands a random lenght increase the Random value in the Particle Instance modifier settings. enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I can already vary their length by varying the length of the particles or their children. I want to vary their thickness. $\endgroup$ – Drudge Sep 1 '15 at 4:24

this is an interesting question. I did a little digging and think I found a solution to your problem. You can edit the size of the particle instanced object not in the modifier stack as Paul Gonet suggests, but instead in the particle system itself. Go to particles>physics>size. You can then edit your particles not only in the Z axis, but in X and Y as well.

Hope this helps.

  • $\begingroup$ I am testing this but it does not seem to work. Can you clarify your setup? The size field under physics does not change my particle instanced objects using either Hair or Emitter particle systems. $\endgroup$ – Drudge Oct 10 '18 at 19:28

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