With the pre-release of Blender 2.74rc4 (yes, number four) I was excited to try out some of the new hair particle system features that were added to 2.74. Normally I wait until the actual full release of blender before I go off exploring it, but when I saw some of the new cool features you can do with hair, well, I just had to have a copy! I was not disappointed.
Some of the particle system’s new features has a “spiral” in the Kink hair setting that cam mimic curly fur/hair, for example, a sheep’s fleece, or curly hair on a stuffed animal. Also, you can create wet looking fur, like what I did above using the new interface in the Partial System.
These images were created very fast. Actually, I was impressed with how easy the work flow with Blender has gotten now. Even the render time seems to have been speeded up; however, all of these images were rendered at 350 samples, and the more hair particles you use, the longer the render time. The last image (bottom) took the longest, nearly 30 minutes becuase of the heavy use of six different particle systems using their own separate mesh.
UPDATE: April 1st, 2015
The Blender Foundation finally released 2.74 as of today. The first thing I did when I got home was tried it out.
More or less the same parameters as the images above, all rendered at 350 samples in Blender Cycles. Hard to tell if there were any significant changes from the release candidates, but I did notice that when I set the hair particles to over 5000, Blender did not crash on my machine!