Okay- I am done toying with A:M hair- it is what it is...(snip)
Were the solutions that you came up to address your earlier problems practical ones or do they seem to be more trouble than they are worth?
Hi Mack- well, no. I have been 'toying' with A:M hair for 16+(YIKES!) years now... trying for something big. I was a little disappointed in this test seeing the hair 'sink thru' the shoulders toward the end. It was way before its time once(the A:M hair feature) and is still timely. Even watching a Blender hair tutorial I see a guru lamenting after his failed demo that 'you just have to eventually 'live with' the hair penetration that will inevitably occur. https://youtu.be/2YCQLZMuvkE skip to 10min15secs to see the hair fail. Other programs have great looking hair, but don't really work whence animated.
Ultimately, I would like to see hair that reacts realisticly under animated conditions, yet will not sink thru geometry when collision-detection conditions occur.
My solutions were more scientific than anything... the 'mesh' approach is a reaction to the hair particle needing a dense geometry to react to (theory) so I hide a dense mesh within the character and have a pose that expands it out OVER the skin area while the hair simulation is happening... once simulated, the pose can be de-activated for render. I make the dense mesh by copying the CPs where I expect collision to occur, like the neck and shoulders(and cheekbones) and paste them into a MESH group. Then, I use the Plug-In/Wizards/Push CP's feature to expand the patches along their normal and make a new pose for the result... I then make that new pose a +100/-100 range and in the -100 I shrink the CPs to be out-of-sight gone.
There are other theories I chase as well. For instance- there are 2 places where the hair's density can be set in the material: One, in the 'Hair System' and the other, in the 'Hair Emitter'. One of those is for how dense the 'mimickers' or 'populators' should be, and the other for how dense the 'hair guides' should be. The hair-guides I believe are the ones that actually react to grooming and collision-detection while the 'populators' merely mimic the nearby hair guide and even if the hair guide is properly not passing thru geometry, it's populators will because they are just 'offsets' and the offset may place it thru the mesh.
Then- there is the hair's 'Control Points' value which can make a strand stiff like a piece of uncooked spaghetti or limp like a piece of cooked spaghetti (hey! this value should be called 'al-dente'!) I would have to consider those points along the hair's length are used by the collision-detection as well.
Then- there is the basic dynamic targeting modes, Constraint, Spring or none. Then, there is bounce and friction... I honestly can not say what these effect and have tried values from default...zero, 10,000 with no discernable differences.
And THEN- there mis the mysterious 'Cull'... seems to hold some big powers- but how, what...?
There is much to explore and many hours to be frittered, warning!
Thanks for your interest - let me know what you learn.