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Deforming Instances

Hi all,

I was wondering if it is possible to deform instances based on a curves shape..  Ultimately i would like to use it in conjunction with the hair tools so that i might use it for adding scales/spikes/feathers to characters.. or even if i want to say, add a bunch of plants or trees to a scene but have more control to deform their shape so they don't all look the same.

I know there are plugins for maya like  Yeti/Shave And Haircut that allow you to do this..... simply select the instance objects you want and add that instead of creating hairs... 

You get the benefits of using all the Hair grooming tools AND the benefits of using instances to speed up renders.

Does anyone know if this is possible?? I would like to use Houdini for this process but i'm not sure if it is possible to do without writing code??

I am using Arnold to render and I'm not sure if this is a issue linked to the rendering side? in fact i'm not really sure how one would even go about this??

any help or understanding about this method would be really appreciated.



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