View Full Version : nCloth Clothes on a Unicycle

03 March 2008, 11:54 PM
I started working with nCloth in Maya 8.5 a couple of weeks ago and used it to make clothes for a characater in an animation for a class. The assignment is to introduce a logo using an animated sequence. Here is a link to the current draft:

My focus right now is on the character. I feel pretty good about the results so far, but I have to fix the seat so it doesn't poke through the shorts and do something about the shirt tucking itself in. The character is the same one I'm using for the "Row Your Boat" animation, which hopefully I'll be able to update before it gets squeezed off the forum:

I'd love any criticism and advice about the nCloth work, rigging, animation or anything. I'd also be glad to talk about nCltoh troubles anyone else has come across. I haven't found very many resources that help with putting clothes on a moving character and it was a little tricky.

03 March 2008, 07:21 PM
Im about my feet wet with NCloth next week. I like what I see the clothes seem real which is good though I find some parts to really jerk around, and a cotton tshirt wouldnt do that.

What was your experience with NCloth in getting it onto a character?

03 March 2008, 01:22 AM
The thing with nCloth is that it's slow to work with. Animate your character first, and then add the cloth. I recommend you research presets for the fabric you're going to use ahead of time and to test out settings for short spans of animation. When you have something you're fairly comfortable with, creat a cache for the length of your animation.

Instead of constraints, I applied the skeleton influences acting on the model to a low poly model clothes so that they moved along with the body. Once I had that down, I smoothed the polys and made them nCltohs. By selecting the input mesh attraction option in the nCltoh attributes, I got the clothes to stay on the body and not fly off or crumple up. To get more of a fabric effect, I reduced the value of the mesh influence to .1-.2 on the shirt and a little higher on the shorts. Another nice thing about the influence weights are that they give you more control over how the cloth bends. I know it's not perfect, but it was good for the deadline. I've spent a little time fixing this.

Some things to watch out for are normals facing out on both sides of your objects and intersections between the clothes meshes and your character mesh. Get all your normals facing outward. I found out that these things can cause your clothes to get trapped inside each other or worse, sucked into your character. It also helps to use the nCloth layers: lower number layers can hit higher number layers but not the other way around.

Also keep in mind that your gravity settings depend on the hight of your character. To get the hight right, use the create>measure tool>distance to get the hight in maya units, then get the hight that you want, say 1.8 meters, and divide your desired hight by the maya units: 1.8 meters/50 maya units. Then take that number and put it into the space scale in the attributes of your nCloth nucleus. Thanks for asking, it helps me remember the details!

03 March 2008, 08:15 PM
Great response thanks so much for the details! Very good stuff. Thanks for all of the other heads up, especially on the normals and measure tool, which is a great tip.

When you say Instead of constraints, I applied the skeleton influences acting on the model to a low poly model clothes so that they moved along with the body. do you mean that you basically skinned the low poly model clothes to the rig? To me thats what it means but I want to make sure.

Thanks again!

03 March 2008, 11:20 PM
Yes, skin the clothes models to the rig. If you have laid out UV's on the character and the clothes are based on the character model, you can transfer the skin weights pretty accurately. When you assign weights to the clothes, though, if you have influence objects, only assign the influence objects that are relevant (i.e. don't add the hamstring to a shirt), make sure your influences are unlocked and edit the weights script to leave out irrelevant influences. I got bad results when I didn't do that. In brief: assign relevant influences with locks on, unlock them, edit your weights file, import skin weights. I'd be interested in seeing how your final product turns out.

03 March 2008, 12:24 AM
Thanks again for all the info. I will contact you next week when I have my own simulation to show. Till then,


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