40 Must See Cloth Sim Tips



This article has been around for a little while, but in case you haven’t seen it, there it is. 40 tips for how to improve your cloth workflow. I especially like tip #31,#32 by Malcolm Thomas-Gustave and (David Knight).

31 Mix simulation and skinning to cup set-up time

Even a simple clothing set-up can take a long time to create – but, using the rig given to you, you can reduce your simulation set-up time dramatically. Let’s say you have a female character with an old-school skinning set-up in which the geometry of her skirt is skinned to her legs and hips. In Maya, start by applying nCloth to the mesh. nCloth looks at the construction history of the scene, so you can use the basic deformations off the skinned skirt’s animation rig to take care of all the complex setting up: no constraints and no worrying about intersection around the hips. In your nCloth node, turn the Input Attract slider all the way up. Then, via Edit nCloth > Paint Vertex Properties > Input Attract, start painting the Input Attract value onto the mesh. White means follow the skinned skirt; black means normal cloth simulation. Paint white around the character’s waist and flood the rest of the mesh with five per cent white to make the rest of the skirt follow the skinned version just a little. The skirt will now stick nicely to your character’s waist, while the simulation will make the rest of the fabric behave realistically.

32 Mix multiple set-ups

Sometimes, a character’s animation will definitely not result in the cloth movements you need. For a shot in which a dancing character’s scarf was supposed to wrap around her neck, I created four separate set-ups. The first was the loose scarf flapping around while she danced. The second was the scarf in its final pose, wrapped around her neck from frame one, also flapping away. For the third, I scrubbed the animation of the loose scarf until I reached the point where I wanted it to start wrapping around the character’s neck. Here, I created a duplicate, adding bones along the long loose part of the scarf, then skinned the scarf to the bones. Over the next few frames, I keyed a few poses of the scarf with the bones wrapping around the neck. The fourth was just a Blend Shape of all three previous set-ups. By simply keying the Blend Shape to morph from one to the next as the animation dictated meant I did not have to deal with a single overly complex set-up.MAYA

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