Blender – Modeling character clothes using cloth simulation

Software:
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.

cloth_study

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

Blender_Cloth

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

Blender_Cloth_B2

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

cf

cb

Cloth Settings:

Cloth simulation settings for the undershirt:

cloth_undershirt

Cloth simulation settings for the pants:

cloth_pants.jpg

Related posts:
Blender 2.8 Character Project

Blender 2.8 character project – Part 3 – Modeling proxy clothes and props

Software:
Blender 2.8

This is the third part of a personal project I began working on,
Development of a realistic character in Blender 2.8 for games and animation.

<– Go to the project home
<– Go to the first part of the project
<– Go to the second part of the project

The third part of the project was a ~7 hour modeling session in which the focus was mainly on proxy-quality (rough) modeling of clothing and props.
In this stage of the project, I decided that the creative theme for character will be a tough detective. a sort of an Asian ‘Dirty harry’ character, and this concept was the drive behind the styling of the characters clothes and and props.


Result after part 3:

> Total accumulated work time: ~17.5 hours

 

Some tips and settings for modeling the clothes

 

Basic Cloth Material in Arnold for Maya

Software:
Maya 2018 | Arnold 5

An example of a basic traditional (not scanned) cloth material setup in Arnold 5 for Maya using an aiStandardSurface shader.

Untitled-1.jpg

The shading network uses a classic angle dependent color blend to simulate the color of the cloth being washed out at grazing angle of view.

Explanation of the node graph:

Untitled-2.jpg

  1. A black and white fabric weave texture that will serve as input for multiple shading channels.
    * This is actually not the best example of such a pattern, and could be replaced with a much better texture.
    cotton grey bump
  2. A remapValue node is used to set contrast to the fabric pattern (reduce contrast in this case) prior to it being multiplied with the fabric colors.
    * Note that only one of the textures RGB channels is connected to the remapValue node since it’s a float (mono) processor and not RGB.
    Untitled-3
    * Note that depending on the fabric texture, you may have to design different curves to achieve the right effect.
  3. Two colors are defined with colorConstant nodes:
    A deep color as the main fabric color, and a washed out color for grazing angle view (“side color”).
  4. An aiFacingRatio node is used as an input for incident angle info.
    * Note that in this case I checked the node’s invert option to make it behave more like other systems I’m used to (if you don’t use invert, the angle blend curve in 5 will be different..)
  5.  A remapValue node used to set the angle blend curve or in other words, how much does the color appears washed out per change of view angle of the cloth surface.
    * The longer it take the curve to become steep from left to right, the more the main color will be dominant before the washed out color will appear.
    Untitled-4
  6. A colorCorrect node is used in this example just as a way to convert the remapped float value back to RGB for being multiplied with the cloth colors.
    * We could also connect it directly to the individual float components of the RGB colors but this way the node graph is cleaner.
  7. A multiplyDivide node is used to multiply the processed fabric texture with the 2 fabric colors “baking” the pattern into the color.
  8. A blendColors node is used to blend the 2 processed fabric colors together according to the processed facingRatio angle input.
    The result is the final cloth color that is connected to the aiStandardSurface shader.
  9. An aiBump2d node is used to convert the fabric pattern to normal data that will be connected to the aiStandardSurface shader to produce bumps.
  10. An aiStandartSurface shader serving as the main shading node for this material.
    * Note that under Geometry the Thin Walled option is checked so that the Subsurface layer of the shader will act as a Paper Shader rather than SSS.
    * The main cloth color is connected to the SubSurface Color input.
    Untitled-5

 

More Arnold shading posts

Blender Cloth animation to Shape Keys

Software:
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.
    Untitled-1.jpg
  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.