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Animating cloth conveyor

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I need to create and animate some kind of cloth conveyor, similar to what you find at dry cleaners. Object (pieces of clothing) need to be spread out evenly on the path (conveyor) as well as move and stop simultaneously. Also, objects can be different from each other and I need to be able to animate them separately. Any idea how can this be done? 



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Well, the actual railing bit itself is as simple as making a spline in the shape of the rail, sweeping that with a suitable profile to get the geo, cloning finished shirts / hangers / attachment to rail / clips / whatever else you need on to it, and animating the Rate control in the cloner to make them travel around / and or stop. You don't say what you want to animate about each shirt, but obviously they will be under cloner control, so you'll need to put each part of each thing in a series of nulls so that you retain some control over the hierarchy and the things in it. Because of the swinging nature of this sort of thing you could even use dynamic connectors at key points in that hierarchy which will give you some of that movement for free as the rate control moves them along the spline.


What will be massively impractical here, maybe to the point of impossibility, will be making the clothes out of actual cloth and expecting them all to move as such and collide with others - I would speculate that simply ain't gonna happen - far too much calculation for a single scene if there are more than 3 items on the rack... So to get round that I suggest you use something like the mesh deformer so you can use low poly proxy objects for any dynamic collisions you need going on, which then get mesh deformed onto the actual clothes meshes.




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Ha! I went through the logistics of a clothes conveyor recently and didn't make it based on similar things To what @Cerbera is describing.


the c4d cloth engine is fine, but it simulates on a single core so seems very slow compared to other similar software.

Having said that i am currently producing some garments in marvellous designer for use in c4d and haven't quite found the right balance to then reanimate them. Marvellous designer loves you to have an avatar to collide with the cloth. Which, in my experience means producing an animated volume (in c4d) and then importing to MD. although if you already have the garment geometry made (not in MD) then it is not possible to add a tag like you can in c4d.


I think this is one of the underdeveloped areas of 3D solvers: cloth interactions without a hard body. 


For your needs I would suggest rigging the garments using character tools. You could theoretically remove the need to have any cloth dynamics with that.




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  • Topic Author
  • Actually, the conveyor is carrying empty plastic bags. I'm using a bend deformer to animate them swinging when the conveyor stops and goes. Also, when the bags reach the filling station, they are being filled up. I'm animating this with morph deformer. My biggest problem is that all this can't be done when everything is under a cloner. 


    Alo, I'm using User Data to control and animate the filling of the bags. The problem is, it's filling all the bags simultaneously. Since I duplicated the first bag several times, my controls are controlling all the bags. How can I easily duplicate my controls and tell each one of them to control a particular bag? 5ace0e8e5cc54_ScreenShot2018-04-11at9_32_41AM.thumb.png.563ce296267999e2201ef03ec6a176eb.png 


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