sculpt cloths or add the to model

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  03 March 2013
sculpt cloths or add the to model

i've noticed model of people are either:

1. built as one piece with clothes sculpted into the model
2. clothes are added on top of the model a separate geometries

is there consensus here as to which is a better way?

  03 March 2013
cloth is most of the time a seperate geo...
like in real life...
  03 March 2013
Yeah.... that's pretty much what i thought. Thanks for the help!
  03 March 2013
It all depends on what you're doing, really.

If you're sculpting a model with clothes for a still image, or the clothes are not covering something but instead are simply part of your model and will be animated as such, it's better to just keep it all one mesh.

If however your clothes will be driven by cloth sims or other physics in an animation package such as Maya and need to be separate from your figure mesh, then of course it needs to be a separate mesh.
  04 April 2013
Additionally of course the style of the model is a factor. If it is a cartoon or a realistic model.

Generally speaking, to echo what has been said, there are two basic workflows.

One is for still imagery and one is for animation.

Animation can be generally split into two categories and that would be simulated or simply deformed with bones like the body.

So in the case of no simulation you are building the look of the cloth into the model with wrinkles and so on.

On the simulated side, you can make some wrinkles and so on for parts of the mesh that are to be simulated as well as parts with will be static. But it is much better to have the simulation create the folds for more flexibility and realism in the animation. But this depends on the type of garment and there are no hard rules here.

With simulation, the design of the mesh is crucial to the outcome of the simulation. So it is is to be simulated, it is a good idea to learn about cloth sims before you get into modeling the clothes.

Regarding the body for simulation, it is not efficient to use a detailed body under the clothes with all of the muscles and so on. Leave all of that out if it will not show and only make a very simple body for collisions.

A cloth simulation work flow would be:

A base body only for simulation. No details. Just used for collision purposes to shape the cloth around the volume of the body. This would include all parts, hands feet and head.

A render body that would include only the parts of the body that will show outside the cloth. For example hands, head, feet or shoes. These objects are high res and never used in the simulation, They have all details and painting and only deform for rendering.

Then the cloth objects that simulate, designed for that purpose. After simulation and caching the simulation body is hidden, the cloth point cached and then the result is rendered.
  04 April 2013
Wow! Thanks for such an in-depth response. Well thought out methods like that really make the difference when learning.
  04 April 2013
Well, you are welcome.

I agree it does make a difference. Sometimes it seems like there is a sea of information out there, and it helps to categorize the information into how it is to be used. These things I have described come from my own personal research on the matter.

You will notice that in production, it seems like for every major film, they spend a good deal of time just researching the technology that will go in to making it. You'd think that they'd have this figured out by now, but the fact is, there are always advances and new demands put on production teams from producers.

All of these various things fall under the heading of Technical Direction.(TD) Basically researching what technology will be used and how. And though there are some very very basic rules that stay constant, it is an ever-evolving industry that you have to stay on top of.

Another added note:

Characters for games these days is a very wide market. Lots of games being generated for phones and other small devices. Game characters have different demands for clothing because currently game engines can do physics but it is rarely used for practical purposes due to limits of speed of performance. For the most part, you can consider that any clothes in this case would be deformed by bones. That will likely change though at some point in the future.
  04 April 2013
very interesting stuff... not having a background in character work, it's easy to think there is just one method.

But just like other things, and motion graphics in my case, there are many methods to get things done.

Thanks for the info.
  04 April 2013
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