Panel Cloth in 3DS Max Part 2/2

by Adnan Hussain

In the previous lesson, I showed how to create flat cloth panels. Now I will show you how to stitch those panels into a garment and sim it into cloth. Start with the scene from where we left off.

1. Go into Garment Maker, Sub-object Panel and select, move and rotate panels around the character’s body. Use a clean, low res stand in for your body.

Tip: With cloth sims, it is best to use a lower res, cleaner model based on your character’s body that is specifically for cloth sim collisions.

Arrange the Cloth Panels as if you were going to sew the clothes on the standing character’s body. Placement position and angle as well as relationship to other panels is crucial to creating a proper garment for cloth simulation. Again, it can take a good deal of back and forth depending on how complex the garment is.

For things like sleeves and collars, you’ll want to curve them by adjusting curvature.

2. Next Create Seams between panels. This defines how the cloth panels are sewn together. First seam panels on each individual section before connecting them. For exampl, the back of the Kameez is two panels, so in Sub Object Seam, I selected the two edges of the panels where I wished to create a seam and then clicked Create Seam. Likewise the cuffs on the sleeve were seamed to the sleeve before the shoulder area of the arm was seamed to the front of and back of the Kameez.

The green lines are seams. Notice how the panels are arranged so that seams don’t generally go through the body. When it is simmed into shape, the cloth panels will be pulled together along these green seams. Make it easier on the cloth solver and you’ll have less crumpled up mess and more properly simmed cloth. Likewise, when running the Local Sim, at first the shoulders had large bumps on them. I moved the sleeve panels away from the torso a bit and it had enough room to sim down cleanly. Likewise, this is where I adjusted fitting, based on simmed down results. Some areas needed more cloth and some needed less cloth, so I resized the original cloth splines in the top view then clicked Mesh It! in Garment Maker on the Reference object. This maintains the panel position (unless you move the splines around, which will shift it a bit or change the number of panels, which starts off flat again).

3. Next apply the Cloth Modifier to your Garment (Reference Object that has Garment Maker). This makes it Cloth. Click on Object Properties and click Add Objects to add the body. Assign the Kameez as a cloth object. You can load preset cloth properties from the drop down menu. These parameters can and should be adjusted based on simulation results.

Select the body in the Objects in Simulation list and click Collision Object below. Adjust Offset to specify how far cloth stays away from the body during simulation. Hit OK to apply changes in the Object Properties dialogue.

4. Scroll down to the Simulation Parameters rollout in the Cloth Modifier.

Make sure Use Sewing Springs is checked as that will pull the panels closer together based on the seams you created when we run the Local Sim next. Set Self Collusion if you want Cloth to collide with itself and Check Intersections etc as needed. If you have trouble with cloth crumpling up when simming down, these are some options that can be tried on or off to help it.

5. Scroll back up to the Object rollout and click Simulate Local (Damped).

This sims the cloth down on the local frame. Simulate Local does the same, but faster and Simulate goes frame by frame (what we use to simulate cloth on animated characters later). It can be good to slow it down a little with damped when you are simming the clothes down on the character.

Watch in the viewport as the cloth panels come closer to each other. At any time, click Simulate Local (damped) again to stop the simulation if it isn’t the way you want it is as you want it.

If you don’t like the results, or you have changed things earlier in the stack (adjusted panels etc) hit Reset State to prepare to sim local again.

Sim Local or Sim Local (Damped) can be stopped when the cloth panels are closer together and the shapes starts to drape on the body properly. The panels won’t connect yet as seen below.

6. Now that the panels are close together, we need them to connect. For this, scroll down and uncheck Use Sewing Springs, then scroll up and click Simulate Local (Damped) again.

It should usually closes the gaps very quickly and you don’t want to run it too long or the ship could start to get messy.

Generally any complex clothes will require a good deal of back and forth, adjusting the shape and size of the panels, then adjusting panel positions and adjusting simulation parameters and cloth properties to get the cloth draped. Remember, when draping cloth, you can use different cloth settings or add collision objects and animated locaters that move cloth etc as needed to get the cloth the way you want. You can later change the cloth properties etc for running shot simulations.

Below you can see how the Shalwar panels were arranged. In this case I had large cloth panels (on the legs) seamed into a smaller panel for the waist. Shalwars have naalas in them (like a draw string in the waist). So you have a large volume of cloth, scrunched up at the waist.

Here, because the bottom opening of each leg is quite narrow, placement of the panels was really tricky. I need to to rotate them and give space for the pieces to slowly come together and also wrap around each leg properly. For the waist panels, I did something a little odd. I’m not sure if there is a better way, but I created a group out of the waist panel vertices by going to Sub Object Group, selecting the verts and clicking Create Group. Then I clicked Sim Node and chose the body, collision object for those points to stay with.

I scrolled down and adjusted the constraint options on the group to make it soft. This way when I ran a Local Sim (Damped) to drape the Shalwar, the waist panels slowly came down and when they came to the right spot on the waist, I stopped the simulation. I unchecked the soft check box, then ran the Local Sim (Damped) with Use Sewing Springs off to finish the drape. In this case, the cloth puffed out a lot initially and I had to increase the density in under cloth properties to get it to rest closer to the body, without flaring out like a balloon.

There you have it. A quick look at creating panel cloth with 3DS Max’s Cloth Modifier. There’s a lot more to cloth than this. Definately check out the help file in max and read up on the Cloth Modifier and Garment Maker modifiers to get lots of in depth info on the parameters. This has been more of a practical look at how I have applied some of that for these clothes. If any of you have experience or suggestions you’d like to share, I too would love to learn.

Draped Render of the Shalwar Kameez.

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