Blender – Modeling character clothes using cloth simulation

Blender 2.8

This character project is the first one in which I’m using physical cloth simulation in Blender to model the character’s clothes at proxy quality (they will be detailed further manually). learning this approach to clothes modeling demanded a lot experiments, trials and errors to get it right, in this short article, I’ll try to provide some insights, tips, and settings that can speed up the process.

Watch the full modeling process here

General notes and tips:

  1. When modeling the basic shape of the cloth try to “cut” a realistic cloth pattern for your desired cloth model. if you’ll search images on the web for “trousers cutting pattern” or “coat cutting pattern” you’ll find many examples.
    * See images below
  2. Create proper UVs for the cloth mesh when its still flat (before the simulation)
  3. In Blender cloth simulation, isolated edges in the mesh (edges without polygons) are treated as sawing springs, and are an important part of the cloth setup.
  4. Use a low poly proxy model for your characters body mesh, it will speed up the cloth simulation.

Early experiments:

In this experiment I used a simple tubular pants-like mesh that I quickly modeled around the character’s legs and pelvis (not a realistic cloth cutting pattern), with the top (weist) vertices defined as a vertex group with shrinking cloth property.
The result looks like training suit pants. it wasn’t at all what I wanted for this character, but I actually like it and probably will use such pants on other characters or on this one as a secondary look.


In this experiment I started trying to model an actual man’s trousers cutting pattern, and as you see, it still needs tweaking.


This experiment is beginning to produce reasonable results, the undershirt initial shape is still cut too low at the back.
* Note that there is an animated belt collision object to bring the undershirt to it’s shape at the weist


Final Settings:

The final undershirt initial model:

Annotation 2019-12-08 120355

The final pants initial model:
* Note that the belt mesh is a vertex group defined a fixed in the cloth simulation, and that it’s split to parts corresponding to the edges of the pants shape that need to be sawed to it. (see the process here)

Annotation 2019-12-08 120618

The full final cloth setup for the character. the setup includes a low poly collision object of the whole character and shoes, undershirt mesh, pans mesh and animated (contracting) belt collision for the undershirt:

Annotation 2019-12-08 120941

The final cloth simulation:




Cloth Settings:

Cloth simulation settings for the undershirt:


Cloth simulation settings for the pants:


Related posts:
Blender 2.8 Character Project

Blender – Bake rigid body physics to Keyframes

Blender 2.82

  • I always forget this, try to do it through the regular animation baking option and get frustrated that it doesn’t work…

When you want to bake an object’s Rigid Body physics simulation to regular Keyframes:

  1. Select the wanted objects.
  2. Press F3 to open the command search floater,
    Begin typing: bake to keyframes to Locate the command:
    Rigid Body: Bake To Keyframes and select it.
    The command will appear only if objects with rigid body physics properties are selected.
    Annotation 2020-05-17 154351
  3. Set a frame range for the bake and press OK:
    Annotation 2020-05-17 154413
  4. The physically simulated motion is recorded to keyframes:
  5. Annotation 2020-05-17 154458



  1. Bake NLA animation
  2. Cloth to shape keys

Blender Cloth animation to Shape Keys

Blender 2.79

Steps for creating Shape Keys from cloth simulation: 

  1. Create an object with Cloth simulation.
  2. Give the Cloth Cache a name.
  3. Set Cloth cache to Disk Cache.
  4. Bake the Cloth animation.
  5. Move the time slider to wanted cloth state.
  6. Press the ‘Apply as Shape Key’ button on the Cloth modifier.
    * The cloth modifier will be deleted from the object.
  7. Apply new cloth settings to the object.
  8. Set Pinning to be the same Vertex Group if necessary.
  9. Give Cloth Cache the same name as before.
  10. Set Cloth cache to Disk Cache.
  11. Play the animation timeline so that the cache frames on disk will be loaded again.
  12. Repeat from step 5 for each cloth pose you want to turn to a shape key.


Convert particles to mesh in Blender

Blender 2.82

  1. Select the particle emitter object.
  2. In the particle system modifier, press the Convert button or press Ctrl Alt A.

The objects that will be created will all have their mesh data linked to the original Dupli-Object (they will be instances of the particle object chosen in the particle system Render Settings)

Annotation 2020-04-29 182344

Reuse volumetric (smoke) simulation data in Blender

Blender 2.79

  1. Create a smoke simulation
  2. Set the Smoke Cache File Format to OpenVDB.
    * File must be saved for caching to be accessible.
  3. Set the Smoke Cache to External and choose the folder location.
  4. Cache the simulation.
  5. Create a new box object and make sure it has the same proportions as the original Smoke Domain box object.
  6. In the Physics tab, a Smoke Modifier to the new box, and set it to be a Smoke Domain.
    * make sure is has the same Divisions value in Resolution.
  7. For the new Smoke Domain, Set the Smoke Cache File Format to OpenVDB.
  8. For the new Smoke Domain, Set the Smoke Cache to External and choose the same folder location as the cache for the original Smoke Domain.