This is a "mini-tutorial" I wrote a few years ago on CG-Talk when I was creating my goblin character (view the thread here). Although real hair and fur is pretty common place now-a-days, this method could help you achieve an look similar to anime, where you want to have something that looks very sculpted. I used this method on the character below to create his hair (the brows used fur), and it can give you a pretty convincing result. So, give it a read and let me know if it was helpful. Enjoy....


Creating Hair With Procedural Textures


Ok... some of you have asked how I did the hair on my goblin character, and, as promised I wrote up a mini-tutorial.
Here we go... Start out by modeling your nurbs planes (nurbs are great because they give you free uv mapping and they are easy to sculpt into hair patches). Make that they are rounded at the sides sothat they catch light correctly (fig. A).


Next create an anisotropic shader and assign it to the plane. Then connect a ramp texture into the transperency channel of the shader. Create a balck and white pattern on the ramp (fig. B). I usually like to make it a little uneven so the hair looks organic and it is less likely that you will see repeating patterns.


The black sections will end up being transperent and white will be opaque. Add a little noise to the ramp and adjust the frequency to give it a wavy feel to it. Next go to your 2d placement node (connected to the ramp texture) and repeat it a few times in the V direction so it will look like a lot of hair. Do a test render. It should look similarto fig. C.


Notice that although the transperency is broken up, the specular is not. To fix this connect the output of your ramp into the specular color as well. If you do a test render you'll notice that the spec is the exact opposite of what you want (fig. D).


The specular color is applied to the transperent areas, but the opaque areas appear dull and flat.. To fix this all you have to do is create a reverse node and pump the out color of the ramp into the input of the reverse note then pump the output ofthe reverse node into the transperency of your anisotropic shader (fig. E).


Now kick off a new test render and your texture should now look somethong like fig. F.


The next thing to do is make the ends less perfect and more scraggled. To do this you will need to create another ramp texture, but instead of a V ramp change it into a U ramp in the ramp attributes section. Make it black at both ends and white in the middle (similar to fig.G).


Then pump it into the color gain of your other ramp. This will control the transperencyat the ends and you can lengthen or shorten your hair depending on where you place the whiteon this ramp. Give it a test render, it should look something like fig. H.


From here try playing around with the noise attributes on both ramps to get the look you want (fig. I). Subtle variations at this step can go a long way to giving you a natural look. Notice how the U ramp noise makes the ends less perfect, and the V ramp noise makes the strands look wavy as they run down the length of the plane.


The only thing you did so far is the trans and spec, try applying the same technique to both the color and bump. It will take a lot of tweaking to get just the right look... but thereyou have it... procedural texture based hair in maya.