Im trying to animate a mermaid. Im using wave warp to make the hair move a bit but what I want to do is when she moves from one position to another I want the hair to bend and flow like it would in a real situation. I hope Im making myself clear. Im not sure how to do this. Do I need an expression. Is it even possible in after effects?
The link you're referencing is a simulation in a 3D package, so you're never going to get as accurate as that in After Effects. However, if you use a combination of the Liquify and Displacement Map effects, you could get pretty close. The only things you'd be missing would be the actual 3D effect of the individual hairs interacting, clumping, and passing in front of each other. You'll find descriptions of the effects I'm talking about below:
[Joseph W. Bourke]"The only things you'd be missing would be the actual 3D effect of the individual hairs interacting, clumping, and passing in front of each other."
Doing a couple layers of different hair images with subtle and different distortions applied might help achieve some of this volume-changing effect, but I agree that this approach will not look like a real 3D hair simulation.
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If you have the time to work on learning Blender, then learning the hair simulator, you may be able to get close:
But bear in mind that anywhere you see realistic looking hair, you have to think about the amount of computer power that's needed to get it right - with millions of collisions of millions of strands, sub-surface scattering in the textures, and such. That's why even the biggest animation companies still punt when it comes to doing real looking hair which reacts to the physics of the scene. It's one of the last frontiers in making realistic looking people.