Moov Physics is our in-house physics engine designed to provide the artist and TDs with different algorithms to simulate hair movement. This operator provides a simple interface to work with hair simulation in real-time and a set of Python scripts that offer different functionalities. TDs have the possibilities to expand MoovPhysics developing their own Python scripts to achieve even more complex and accurate simulation.

Moov Hair Simulation

Moov Simulation Parameters 

In Moov Physics all the parameters are divided in different groups related to its functionality. In this section we will define every parameter found in each group.


Solver Parameters 

This group includes the global parameters used for tuning up the particle solver. These global parameters influence the whole simulation and the behavior of all the other parameters.

Note: These parameters are temporarily exposed to the user for feedback and development but all tuning of the hair simulation should be done without tweaking the Solver Parameters. If these are changed the entire behavior of the simulation will change and the rest of the parameters would have to be adjusted from the start.

  • Substep Count
    Number of simulator steps within a single animation frame. Larger values lead to slower simulation, more accurate collisions, and stiffer constraints (except in compliant models, which are less affected by this parameter).
  • Iteration Count
    Number of iterations in constraint projections. The difference with the previous parameter is that this one only affects the constraint response (not collision detection). More iterations means slower simulation (although the effect is smaller than the previous parameter) and stiffer constraints (up to a certain number of iterations; after that the constraint response is saturated).
  • Velocity Limit
    Maximum speed of particles in the solver. Use to impose a speed limit on fast-moving hair simulations.
  • Collision Tolerance
    Defines the collision distance between the hair and the mesh objects in the Collision Meshes list. This parameter affects all collisions in the simulation uniformly. Using values that are too low could give unpredictable results, the default values should be enough in most cases.

Hair Model 

  • Lattice Count
    Number of simulation particles corresponding to each hair vertex. Lattice Count = 1 corresponds to simple longitudinal particle chains. A lattice can be used to simulate some twist response in models with only distance and bending constraints (i.e., non-Cosserat and non-elaston models). Cosserat models are preferred for applications where twist is important (e.g. propagated strands).
  • Lattice Size
    Distances between the particles of a lattice node (corresponding to a single hair vertex). To have meaningful lattice twist, the Lattice Size value has to be comparable to the distance between neighbour strand vertices.
  • Lattice Stiffness
    Stiffness parameter of lattice nodes (used for constraints within a single lattice node).
  • Use Compliant Constraints
    Uses compliant versions of the constraints needed by the hair model. Compliant constraints have a slight computational overhead, but are more stable, so their use is recommended when simulation stability is a concern. There are several important differences in the behaviour of compliant vs. non-compliant constraints:
    compliant constraints have unbounded stiffness (i.e. the stiffness can be arbitrarily large). The stiffness response is limited, however, so increasing the stiffness beyond a certain value will have no further effect. The stiffness response of compliant constraints depends on particle mass.
  • Limit Stretch
    Creates Long-Range-Attachment (LRA) constraints to limit strand stretching. LRA constraints are distance constraints linking all strand particles to the root. They react only to stretching (not compression) and allow for a 10% length increase before they kick in. The constraint stiffness is taken from the Stretching Stiffness parameter.

Hair Properties 

  • Stretching Stiffness
    Stiffness parameter controlling longitudinal strand stretching. Should be between 0 and 1.
  • Bending Stiffness
    Stiffness parameter controlling strand bending. This is applied to any constraints that serve to limit strand bending, depending on the model. In Cosserat models, this is also the twisting stiffness.

Forces and Fields 

  • Gravity
    Vertical gravitational acceleration. Use to impose appropriate length units in the scene: e.g. if the scene units are centimeters, set this parameter to -981 (cm/s^2); if the scene units are meters, set it to -9.81 (m/s^2).
  • Gravity Scale
    Scales the gravitational field felt by the hair. Use this parameter to modify the stiffness response when the StretchingStiffness and BendingStiffness do not allow sufficient flexibility in hair setup. For example, if the hair is too stretchy even at maximum stiffness, increasing this parameter will lead to stiffer strands. Note that this parameter affects only the stretch of free-falling hair. Inertial stretch (i.e. stretch due to a fast-moving base mesh) is not affected.
  • Drag
    Multiplies the velocity of each particle at each simulation step. Should be smaller than 1 to avoid instabilities. Use to introduce damping (energy loss) in the system; the smaller the value, the larger the damping.
  • Attract To Initial Shape
    Creates springs that attract each strand to its initial shape.
  • Attract To Initial Shape Stiffness
    Determines the spring stiffness. Unlike constraint stiffness, this value can be arbitrarily large.
    For consistency with other stiffness parameters, internal scaling is applied to make sure that values of 0-1 are meaningful. The scaling constant can be changed to obtain satisfactory defaults.


  • Collide With Base Mesh
    Turns on collisions between hair particles and the base mesh.
  • Collide With Meshes
    Turns on collisions between hair particles and collision meshes added in the Collision Meshes box.
  • Collide With Hair
    Turns on hair-hair collisions. These are implemented by creating capsules for each hair segment. Capsules can only collide with each other.
  • Collide With Hair Radius
    Defines the radius of hair strands for hair-hair collisions.

Group Holder 

The group holder creates constraints to hold together each group of strands. The constraints are created between randomly selected particle pairs within a certain range of strand vertex indices (min and max position).

  • Group Channel
    Selects a channel containing strand groups.
  • Group Holder Pos Min
    First strand vertex index (from root to tip) of the group holder.
  • Group Holder Pos Max
    Last strand vertex index (from root to tip) of the group holder.
  • Group Stiffness
    Stiffness of the group holder constraints.
  • Group Random Seed
    Random seed for choosing the particle pairs for the group holder.
  • Group Max Constraints
    Maximum number of constraints per strand group.

Overview of hair model types 

Here is a basic benchmark for a hair simulation (rev. 13883) with the main hair models. The simulation has 300 guides with 10 points per guide and runs over 100 frames in the Maya GUI; all parameters are script defaults except the model type.

The total time difference between the fastest to the slowest model is about 13%; the difference in solver running time is more substantial (about 25%). The differences between compliant and non-compliant versions of different models are negligible; using the compliant versions is recommended.


Distance Only 

A model using only distance (spring) constraints. Constraints are created along each strand between first neighbours (to control stretching) and second neighbours (to control bending), with the corresponding stretching and bending stiffnesses.

This model is the fastest, but has somewhat unrealistic bending (strands tend to buckle). To add some degree of twisting response, it is necessary to create a lattice.


Distance Bending 

This model uses distance constraints between first neighbours to control stretching and three-particle bending constraints at each strand vertex for bending control.

Bending is more realistic than the DistanceOnly model, but hair tends to be too stretchy. Similar to the previous model, a lattice is needed for twisting response.



Uses two-particle stretch-shear and three-particle bend-twist Cosserat rod constraints, with the corresponding stretching and bending stiffnesses. Slower than the previous models, but the strands have full elastic response.


Cosserat Distance 

Like Cosserat, but creates additional first-neighbour distance constraints to control overstretching.

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