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blastframe

Advice for Rigging Character Clothing

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Hi!

I'm starting to think more about clothing for my character and I could really use some advice from more experienced users.

 

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Here are some of the questions I have. Answers to any of these would be greatly appreciated. ūüėĬ†Thank you!

  • What's a good rule of thumb for when to model the clothing into the character and when to¬†simulate cloth dynamics?
  • In the case of¬†cloth dynamics, are any of you using Marvelous Designer? It's pretty expensive for me at the moment. Can Cinema 4D's Dress-O-Matic & Cloth Dynamics get similar results?
  • In the case of modeling the clothing into the character, how do you typically¬†handle the body geometry? i.e. if the body¬†is covered by clothing¬†do you keep the underlying geometry and weight both the body & clothing or delete the covered geometry?
  • In the case of modeling the clothing into the character, How would you mimic the bunching of the fabric in the elbows and knees? Pose Morphs? Displacement maps?
  • How do you typically handle ornamental geometry like buttons, patches, badges? So far I have tried Skin Deformers (copying the weights tags with VAMP), the Surface Deformer, and Constraints. I would like to hear others' approaches to this.

 

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Hey there, there is a bunch of questions! Not sure I can answer them all but I will do my best according to my personal experience.

What's a good rule of thumb for when to model the clothing into the character and when to simulate cloth dynamics?
This depends a lot on what are you going to use your character for. I avoid as much as I can cloth dynamics since you cant predict exactly where things are going to go, how it will bend, etc...  requires so many tests and interations, and the result, can vary. For me personally, if it is not a long dress, that needs to 100% behave like a cloth around the legs, etc...  I keep it as normal polygons, under the influence of the main rig. if there are specific folds or parts of the cloth that needs a bit of bouncing, like a cape, etc.. I solve it with extra bones and make their IK dynamic, so you can predict a lot better how it will behave. 


In the case of cloth dynamics, are any of you using Marvelous Designer? It's pretty expensive for me at the moment. Can Cinema 4D's Dress-O-Matic & Cloth Dynamics get similar results?

I'm not experience with marveleous designer to be honest ūüė쬆 But it is one of the top industry choices for cloth designing for a reason. But I am a firmly believer, that even though the process might take longer, it can be done inside C4D too, with more experience, etc.¬† If you want to create folds in a surface, like a piece of cloth shrinked together, it can be done smoothing modifier and magnet tool with some specific settings, given you have lots of polygons to work on the cloth surface.

 

In the case of modeling the clothing into the character, how do you typically handle the body geometry? i.e. if the body is covered by clothing do you keep the underlying geometry and weight both the body & clothing or delete the covered geometry?
If it will be used in animation, and you want to be free with any movement, for sure, hide the geometry that will be covered by the cloth, so you avoid the geometry underneath to pop out when you bend the elbow for example. If you use the hide polygons command in C4D, it will hide it on your viewport, but will still render it out. The trick I use is to create a transparent material, with zero refraction, and create polygon selections of the parts of the model you wish to hide... and apply these materials for those parts. Never delete geometry from a character since you want to have freedom to do whatever with it afterwards (maybe one day he/she decides to skinny diving one evening ūüôā )¬†

In the case of modeling the clothing into the character, How would you mimic the bunching of the fabric in the elbows and knees? Pose Morphs? Displacement maps?
Pose morphs can for sure help to define how it will behave, once you bend the knee or elbos, etc...  This wlll depend a lot on the effect you want to achieve. For a lot of things I do, I paint the folds and wrinkles on my clothes inside the texture painting software, and export a normal map from those, so I can still keep my low poly flexibility inside C4D, but when I render it out, it has nicer details. If you want physical changes, folds, etc.. you will need to increase the number of polygons, and use a trick I saw the other day, with the  smoothing deformer and paint the folds, by pushing polygons using the magnet tool brush. I will try to find the tutorial and post it here (I only discovered this 2 weeks ago!) 

How do you typically handle ornamental geometry like buttons, patches, badges? So far I have tried Skin Deformers (copying the weights tags with VAMP), the Surface Deformer, and Constraints. I would like to hear others' approaches to this.
This can vary a lot, and it depends on a series of factors: how big is the object you want to attach, how it will behave, etc.
For me, generally, I always try to skin things together, so I dont have to worry about forgetting one thing, etc...    if it is a patch that will go alongside of a shoulder, it needs to be under the same influence of the rig. You want it to fold it following the arm movement and the distance it has to the elbow, etc..     so the skin deformer is usually the best solution.

If it is something that the character has on its hair, but it is sticking out.. or the chracter is holding, like a gun or a lollypop, the constraints is your best friend. Just make sure to place it properly on the hierarchy, and give it the right priority for calculations, so you dont get weird delays, when the character moves its hand, the gun will need to calculate some extra time... 

So yeah, in summary, when I rig my characters, I like to think I am working more like a game developer. I want to have control of thing things my character will do and where it will interact, so I can easily loop and pick appart animations. Dynamic bones for me all the way ‚̧ԳŹ¬†


Hope that helped! 




 

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Hi.

 

With FLima rather comprehensive excellent reply Il try not to repeat the same points if possible.  I mainly produce content for animation for others to use, or stills, and hardly for games.  I use my own made content for animations within C4D, but use other software to aid the process.  C4D the workhorse, Vray, or Redshift for rendering, Zbrush, sculpting, Marvelous Designer clothes and dynamics, Unfold 4D, UVs, Substance Painter, texturing.  Photoshop, Post work. Natron, compositing.

 

What's a good rule of thumb for when to model the clothing into the character and when to simulate cloth dynamics?

For games you make the cloths as the body,  this avoids intersecting geometry issues, and extra work.  for animations such as video game cinematics, film then cloth simulation is used but this is when you would rely more on Marvelous Designer.

 

In the case of cloth dynamics, are any of you using Marvelous Designer? It's pretty expensive for me at the moment. Can Cinema 4D's Dress-O-Matic & Cloth Dynamics get similar results?

Iv used Marvelous Designer since V4, although Im not a expert with it, No C4D can't match the same or even similar results, but that's not to say you can't get usable results.  MD simulation is much more accurate, its way faster, but the huge factor is that its an actual clothing designer not just a simulator.  It has buttons, zips, and allows for real time interaction while it simulates.  To be fair they are not to be compared, and while it may seem expensive its not for what it does so well.  Not such for simulation but it gets used to make the clothes that then get retopologized for in game models too.

 

In the case of modeling the clothing into the character, how do you typically handle the body geometry? i.e. if the body is covered by clothing do you keep the underlying geometry and weight both the body & clothing or delete the covered geometry?

Typically you would do one or the other clothes as the body or simulation on the body.  If you have both yes you can do like DAZ3D figures have clothes conform to body but its way more work as mentioned already. 

 

In the case of modeling the clothing into the character, How would you mimic the bunching of the fabric in the elbows and knees?

One of the thing about having tools such as MD is that it can make some complacent in thinking they dont need to¬†understand cloth folds and dont home their sculpting skills in.¬† I would sculpt the folds in and add normal map with good topology to hold the forms putting animation topology as a priority.¬† I attended Zack Petroc Master  Class class when his classes where interactive and live¬†for understanding drapery, its a must, and now as its not live and interactive like when I did it,¬†its now crazy cheap but dose not contain everything I had on the course but the main parts, I paid alot at the time but it was worth it.¬† Zack Petroc works for Dysney, he knows his stuff.

 

Pose Morphs? Displacement maps?

Normal maps for games, Displacement maps for stills and some animations sequences.  Pose morphs for animations or JCM Joint controlled morphs or as in C4D PSD morphs.  

 

How do you typically handle ornamental geometry like buttons, patches, badges? So far I have tried Skin Deformers (copying the weights tags with VAMP), the Surface Deformer, and Constraints. I would like to hear others' approaches to this.

Surface deformer is good for objects that must conform,  Collision deformer is good for somethings, and constraints.  Of course simply weighting 100% hard objects .  You use the one thats right for the job.

 

Dan

 

 

 

 


My Web Site -  ArtStation

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3 minutes ago, Rectro said:

Iv used Marvelous Designer since V4, although Im not a expert with it, No C4D can't match the same or even similar results, but that's not to say you can't get usable results.  MD simulation is much more accurate, its way faster, but the hige factor is that its an actual clothing designer not just a simulator.  It has buttons, zips, and allows for real time iteraction while it simulates.  T

Oh, I clearly dont know well marvelous designer then hehe ūüôā
But something tells me I should give a try? I saw they have a license for freelancer... 

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18 minutes ago, FLima said:

Oh, I clearly dont know well marvelous designer then hehe ūüôā
But something tells me I should give a try? I saw they have a license for freelancer... 

Yea try it out, its just a awesome bit of software, plenty to learn but with its GPU simuation, sculpting, resmeshing, Uv editing, and 3d sewing its crazy good.

 

Dan


My Web Site -  ArtStation

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Wow, @FLima¬†and @Rectro, those are some very thorough responses. A very sincere thank you!!!¬†ūüôŹ

 

Cloth seems much less scary to me now. I'm going to try all that was suggested and find what works best for me in different situations.

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