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ACouple of Questions
show user profile  Handelo
Hey guys!
I'm still working on a long animation project, and it's progressing ever-so slowly (because it's just for fun), and I have a couple of questions related to animation of clothes.

1. Well, my character's wearing a trench coat. It's kind of a signature look of his, so I can't really discard it. So I'm trying to use cloth simulation on it during animation. The problems with this method are several:
a. It gets over-stretched really easily during movement, no matter what settings I set to the cloth type.
b. It takes a ton of polygons to look good that way, and it's really hammering down on my system performance.
c. It's not acting the way I want it to - for example, the sleeves, instead of bending with the arm, just sort of slide over the elbow (a little hard to describe this).

Anyway, I've though of a solution, but need help in finding out how to do this - I'd like to add a skin modifier to just part of the trench coat, while the other part (the lower back downwards) retains cloth properties. Adding the skin modifier to just a part of the model is easy enough, the problem I'm faced with is how do I later apply a cloth modifier and make it affect only that one part? Breaking the model into two separate ones is one method but that would break the lighting continuity on the coat (it's leather, so it'd show easily). Any thoughts on how I could do this?

* I could just use bones to animate the moving coat parts but that's too bothersome - the animation itself is pretty long and complex as it is, so I'd rather not resort to that.

2. My character also has zippers and such on his outfit. I was wondering if it's possible to create a "jigglebone" of sorts that would make those things move without being manually animated. I've scoured the internet for days now but found nothing... I know it's just a small detail but as you all probably know, perfection is in the little details :)

I'd greatly appreciate your help!

Edit: BTW, I'm still far from being a pro in max so I might have overlooked some simple step to get to these results, so if I did, please excuse me! :P
read 828 times
2/1/2011 5:18:40 PM (last edit: 2/1/2011 5:24:09 PM)
show user profile  Mr_Stabby
after skinning the upper part just add cloth on top of it, group the skinned vertices and set a preserve constraint in cloth vertex mode

as for your general cloth issues, make sure the cloth is in a realistic scale (coz scale affects how fabrics behave alot) if not you can modify a scale slider somewhere in cloth modifier, cant recall where exactly it is atm. Otherwise under cloth properties u/v stretch affects how resistant it will be to stretching(the higher the more resistant) and static/dynamic friction affect how easy the cloth will slide, ofc you can always just nail the ends of sleeves in place with surface constraint(again groups in vertex mode) and dampen the effect so for example it will slide only a little etc.

as for um "jigglebones" you can add a single bone at the base, constrain it to a bone or surface or whatever (so it moves with the character), create an end for it and set a spring position constraint to it in motion tab. then if you wanna make it more realistic you can also add gravity and fiddle with its mass/drag parameters to get it "jiggling" right. Or for even more realism (including collisions with cloth and such) you can use cloth for these too, you just have to make the jiggling parts really solid and highly resistant to deformation via cloth parameters and/or vertex constraints

read 813 times
2/1/2011 6:48:07 PM (last edit: 2/1/2011 7:07:49 PM)
show user profile  Handelo
Thanks for the swift reply, stabby. About the preserve constraint, I'll give it a try (have to re-skin the damn thing so it'll take some time). I'll also give the stretch parameters a shot while I'm at it (though I did try that before).

As for the zippers and such, I've considered using cloth, especially since they're actually ON the cloth object (coat) so collisions are a must there, but that's a bit problematic - As far as I know you can only node cloth vertex groups to an object, but not to specific vertexes of the object. That's an issue because the zipper that's, say, on the neck portion of the shirt/coat needs to move along with the neck as well as have that cloth simulation.

Of course, I could be extremely wrong here - like I said, I'm no pro, and I'd be thrilled to be enlightened :D
read 805 times
2/1/2011 7:35:00 PM (last edit: 2/1/2011 7:35:00 PM)
show user profile  Mr_Stabby
you can and have several options to do so
surface constraint constrains to whatever its closes to on selected object (sorta like skin wrap)
group constrains to other group

either way you dont wanna do that coz constraint limits movement, instead id just use group constraint to cross constrain the vertices of the jiggly bit with themselves and same for the thing thats supposed to hold the jiggly bit so you have 2 riggid-ish thingys, one attatched to the coat by polys or constraint or whatever suits u best, other floating free. cloth to cloth collision physics should take care of the rest

read 792 times
2/1/2011 8:47:49 PM (last edit: 2/1/2011 8:47:49 PM)
show user profile  Handelo
Kinda confused me with that last part o.O
Anyways, thanks for the help so far! I've managed to get pretty good results with the preserve constraint, both with the coat and the zipper (which I eventually just skinned it's top part along with the shirt and coat and let the cloth sim do the rest).

Now here's another one for ya - like I said, the trench coat is made of leather. It also has a collar. This means I need the collar part of the cloth to react to movement and wind but still retain rigidity and return to it's original state when unmoving. I've been unable to get such results regardless of the cloth parameters - the moment it's affect by movement or wind, it stays that way when the effect ends. Is there a way to make it retain it's original form?

If I'm being unclear, tell me and I'll upload a couple of pics to show you what I mean.
read 773 times
2/2/2011 11:36:31 PM (last edit: 2/2/2011 11:36:31 PM)
show user profile  Mr_Stabby
just group the collar verts and ramp up the u/v bend values and by up i mean UP like 100000000+ or you could use soft preserve on the collar so after you group and constrain them tick the soft box in constrain options and adjust the strength/dampening to get desired effect

read 747 times
2/3/2011 12:10:17 PM (last edit: 2/3/2011 12:10:17 PM)
show user profile  Handelo
I'll give this a shot when I get home, but won't ramping up the u/v bend values simply make it that much less affected by movement/wind?
read 740 times
2/3/2011 3:39:50 PM (last edit: 2/3/2011 3:39:50 PM)
show user profile  Mr_Stabby
technically yes but its a bit more complicated, when further deformations to mesh are considered 2 paths are considered 1 - deform using current configuration as baseline 2 - deform using original shape as baseline. the difference being that depending on the current deformation further bend/stretch/whatever inhibiting properties of the fabric kick in sooner when using original shape. This is what the "keep shape" property is all about, by default its at 100 which means it only considers original bend between the vertices which on one hand means that they are harder to deform but also means that they are more inclined to return to original shape, or rather are harder to deform because they are more inclined to return to original shape.

read 727 times
2/3/2011 5:06:12 PM (last edit: 2/3/2011 5:06:12 PM)
show user profile  Handelo
Alright, well that pretty much solved all my cloth problems. Thanks a lot for all your help, Stabby! You seem to be the only one knowledgeable about the cloth modifier (or the only one kind enough to help me with it). I wouldn't have made it without you! :D
read 706 times
2/4/2011 11:54:42 AM (last edit: 2/4/2011 11:54:42 AM)
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