Quite some time ago I started to investigate methods for creating realistic fur. Finally I have something that works pretty well: it's a c++ program that utilizes the OpenSceneGraph library and generates fur-meshes based on multiple uv-mapped "guideline"-images to determine density and length of the fur - also thickness, color and curlyness of the individual hairs.
But the program has no frontend or UI and can only be run from within the development environment - all adjustments are done at source code level.
Of course my very first serious attempt to use it was with: Yet Another Cute Cat!
Here is one more early attempt, a squirrel. But a lot of things are wrong with this poor little fella...
It's getting better. Some major improvement on both, the squirrels anatomy and the fur.
But here comes the hunter...
...up close and ready for a meal!