Experimenting with some compounds to convert hair strands into feathers. This opens up a lot of possibilities, showed in the video. Using melena as starting point, one can use the hair brushing tools to comb feathers. (*compounds free for FC TD Pack users)
This is a bit outdated preview of a pixar's harmonic coordinates deformer made with ICE.
It deforms target geometry by points of a closed triangular cage mesh with influence distributed in a volume of a cage.
First cage mesh is filled with grid of points. Then barycentric coordinates are calculated for boundary points. Later those coordinates are diffused in volume with fixed boundary values. The slice plane shows gradient representation of weight distribution in volume for corresponding point. In this example one frame makes one diffusion iteration. After desired iterations reached data is cached and then loaded to separate point cloud for binding. Binding is done dynamically with trilinear interpolation from 8 surrounding grid points.
This method can be used to calculate skin weights. In given example scene cage points are represented as envelope deformers with harmonic coordinates used as skin weights. With skinning results are the same as with harmonic coordinates deformer, but now target mesh can be exported to game engine with smooth deformations (deformer limit should be considered though).