As I want my alien to have fur I thought it would be best to try it out within Maya first before I went too far. By doing this I will get a better understanding of what I will need to do when it comes to the final model. The images below are just using the presets given, there are a range of different types all of which you can combine with one another by blending or having the preset just on it's own. I have just used a polygon sphere to test it out, but when it comes to my alien I will have to be careful when it comes to UV mapping as this can affect the way the fur is placed. By selecting the specific geometry all you need to do is add a new fur descriptor. Within each fur descriptor there are many attributes which you can edit, all of which will change the way the fur is, for example length, density, colour, baldness, roll, curl and others. Again for the sake of testing it out, I have just used a preset fur description and only altered the length of the fur when it came to experimenting with dynamics.
Below are some of the other presets available within Maya, the last few I have either adjusted the length or blended a couple of preset furs together. At the moment the preset, Polar Bear is looking quite promising and I think I will develop on this further by adjusting certain attributes to see what effects I can achieve. I have also began to think about my spaceship and after seeing what fur looks like rendered, I'm liking the idea of the ship to just be a big fur ball. I have been having trouble trying to come up with an idea as there was nothing that really correlated between my alien and just a normal spaceship. There needed to be some resemblance and I think fur will be the best bet.
The videos below are tests of animating the fur dynamically. I followed a tutorial which I found online (HERE) and decided to give it a go to see what could be achieved. The first video is with a longer hair length, set at 2 whereas the one below is set at one. By following the tutorial I had to adjust a couple of attributes and created a hair system to my polygon sphere, by making collide the hair system and the sphere it should stop the hairs from going through the sphere, but as you can see in the tests this doesn't seem to be the case. I will need to look into this further and possibly try out a different technique, but for now I just wanted to test it all out and from here I can develop it further.