Cloth Topology


This shows what I aim for when modeling wrinkles and folds, except this one is idealized - it’s all quads, and very symmetrical and homogenous. Normally I wouldn’t bother with quadness, plus I try to make each fold a little different (the more different the better, since we all have an unhealthy tendency in the opposite direction, towards unnatural homogeneity).

I know derbyqsalano has a similar method, derby?

The recurring problem is, almost all cylindrical cloth objects (like sleeves, skirts, jackets and pants-legs) are better modeled with a topology grid slanted at 45 degrees to what we get on our standard primitive cylinders. It’s very time-consuming to create such a 45-degree cylinder as this one:

You could just save this cylinder when you’re done, and reuse it - which is what I do - but if someone has an easier method to create this, please let me know. I tried the spiral-maker in Bonus-Tools, 2 curves going in opposing directions, then copy/rotate… but how would I turn the resulting NURBS curve network into a surface? I used to be able to do it with PowerAnimator, but it seems not in Maya. Maybe Byron of BPT could create another cool tool for us? [smile]

Another couple examples of the edges running at 45 degrees to the normal vertical/horizontal:


And finally one that started from a vertical/horizontal layout, but then tweaked. It’s possible to do it this way too, but I think it would have been cleaner and given me more freedom to get looser folds if it had been tilted 45 degrees.

Everybody post your wrinkles!


steven well i’ve been following the whole body topology thread for a while now with great interest and trying my best to apply it to c4d and its quadyness! heh heh…so i’m curious to see how this one goes…

one thing you mention is the topology of cylindrical surfaces like sleeves to be on an angle…personally i think you just hit the nail on the head so to speak with this comment…as if you go to a “good” tailor they will cut your cloth on the “bias” so it hangs better on the body when in suit form…it costs far more as a result as more material is used in the process…but the end result is more appealing. So this concept is actually used in clothing making…not high street manufacturing…but it does make sense when extended to this process also…
“bias” means = cutting obliquely across the warp.
hope this helps a little…so youre not just doing it for results…but its technically correct also…:beer:


I remember that sketch from somewhere Steven, hehe. Indeed my setup is based on the same theory, Although I generally start from a lowpoly mesh, then manually add the 45degree rotated quads by using Split Polygon Tool, only where I want them, when the quads have been rotated, I create a similar pattern as the one illustrated, but it basically consists of a pole (intersections between + and X ) and the double edges between them to create the hard edge for the wrinkle. In case anyone wants a very quick way to create a “twisted” cylinder; here’s a how to:

First start off by creating a triangle (half of a quad), at a certain distance from the origin. Rotated 45 degrees and the long edge aiming according to the Y-axis and translated over the Z-axis (in this case) for about 3 units or so. Make the long edge a fixed unit long, like 2 units, then bring the other vertice (not from the long edge) and snap it to middle of the long edge. So now we got the long edge from (0,1,3) to (0,-1,3) and the other vertice at (0,0,3) (between them).
Now create a cluster of that middle vertice or use the manipulate poly tool. Rotate it 20 degrees or so along the Y-axis (360/20 = 18).

Mirror the triangle to make a quad and delete the center edge (not deleted here though, depends on the purpose of the cylinder)

Now duplicate the quad but make sure the pivot is at 0,0,0.

Rotate 20 degrees along Y and move the quad to 0,1,0.

This fits perfectly thanx to that subject in school we never liked, hehe.

Now we will duplicate the quad with these settings translateY=1 and rotateY=20. Duplicate it as high as you want your cylinder to be.

Now group or combine the created faces and duplicate it, rotating it over 40 degrees till the cylinder is complete and tadaaaa… thanks to the math…


Here’s a screenshot I got from my cleric’s coat which was the cause of you creating that sketch, right Steven?

It is not as dence as the sketch you made for it, because the mesh is heavy enough, I only have one edge for the crease here, and 3 edges along the horizontal edges on a cylinder to define the valley next to the ridge.


And another post to post some wires… They are posted in the Body topology thread so I will just put in the links.

Pants Shaded
Shirt Shaded

Coat Wire
Shirt Wire
Shirt Wire HighPoly
Pants Wire
Pants Wire HighPoly


Very Final Fantasy:Spirits Within


Thanks flingster that was very interesting!
Thanks derby.

What about a topology based on bisected hexagons, or a randomized triangular one like you get when you turn a surface into a Maya Cloth surface? There’s probably no real future in trying to model wrinkles, it’s just what we have to do nowadays, for stiffer tighter clothing like t-shirts, jeans and boots etc. Soon I should imagine any kind of wrinkle or fold would be done procedurally, similar to how Syflex or Cloth works, only quicker and better, using some kind of dense randomized topology. I guess it all depends on how tight the clothing is.


very interesting theory. hmm actually derbyqsalano about the cylinder, this silly method just popped in my head. would it work? -_-?

make a plane, rotate it 45 degree

delete faces in top view…

non linear > bend

delete history, merge vertices.

this process took me … 30 seconds.


My best friend just mailed me, he says, “hey I got this other way of making one of those cylinders” exactly the same way… even the screenshots are almost the same hehe… did you happen topick his brain hehe. Nice method though…

Julez4001: What is?


Bodysuits! Anyone want to discuss bodysuits here made of lycra or whatever that substance is that they use for divers, neoprene i think. i’ve got to design a bodysuit made of stretchable kevlar fabric (copyright 2004 Quizboy) for my character.

And does the material of the outfit make any difference to the topology of the wrinkles? Besides smaller or longer, that’s obvious…


Panupat good method, I tried that too earlier but couldn’t get the nonlinear deformer to bend the way I wanted it to, so I ended up curling the plane by hand again, very tedious. Guess I should have read the manual better. :slight_smile: This opens up the way for skewed topology as well - where the U and V are not perpendicular. Also, it becomes possible to vary the angle from top to bottom quite easily.

Quizboy - tight and thin body suits are fairly easy if you have a body topology you’re okay with. Just sketch out where you want wrinkles and add them, merging them into the topology, similar process to how you built the body in the first place.
If the suit is thicker and more wrinkly it becomes a bigger job, but I think I’d still start off with a body as the source geometry.

edit: what I mean is, just to clarify, if the material is thin and stretchable and tight, the wrinkles will be very thin, closely spaced, small, and not so many. The only other change you need to do is perhaps a slight softening and lessening of surface detail, such as deleting the bellybutton. Look at latex-fashions for reference. :slight_smile:


Originally posted by derbyqsalano
Julez4001: What is?

Your shaded image looks a lot like the ones made by Francisco cortina…guess that’s good eh? :wink:

Ive been following the body topology thread reading everything and saving the pics that I thought would be a good reference and all…I must say, great work guys. It’s very inspiring…I hope to start my own female mesh this week…gotta get back to the modelling madness :wink: Maybe I’ll be able to finally help on something :wink:

BTW, it’s no problem if I use MAX is it? :wink:


panupat that looks like a good way to do it, and now i have an excuse to use a tool i’ve never ever touched or heard of 'til now, non-linear bend!

thanks stahlberg!

If the suit is thicker and more wrinkly it becomes a bigger job, but I think I’d still start off with a body as the source geometry.

i think i’ll go with thinner and less wrinkly then! hey it’s my design, i’ll take the easy way out…


You could also do the wrinkles with bump or displacements, more than one and animate fading from one to the other for joint-dependent wrinkling… but yeah you still have to smooth out the bellybutton and stuff like that.


I don’t think that displacement map or bump will be good stuff for that.I think the wrinkles will depend on what do u have I mean do u have colth engine as syflex or maya cloth or u will use something like jiggle defromer.but I think if u model your cloth and make wires and u do your wrinkles it will be better even it time consuming.Or use Dynamics and soft body…

sorry for me bad english…


Small fine wrinkles on tight garments can be done quite nicely with bump or displacement. I saw this example once: a ballet-dancer’s dress, don’t know what you call the upper part, not the tutu… the bodice? Quite tight anyway. I think there were 4 different bump maps, one for each of bending left, right, back, forward, and they were driven by the joints. Looked okay, and saved a LOT of modeling. :slight_smile:


Julez and Viper: Thanks a lot :slight_smile:




you could just make a script to make it for you.
but i cant quite pin down how to approach the script, heres what i do know.

| Translate | Faces | Degree | Y Scale |


Yscale increments y * 2 + 0.1
Degree of rotation increments by d * 0.5
Faces must be (4) *2, (8) * 2, (16) *2, (32) *2 …etc…
translate is the distance from point 0, this remains the same.
since the Yscale will move it outward to match the seams with the more faces it has.

so you can make a plane with an X inside


ans use those values in the duplication option box and apply the Y scale afterwards with all poly units slected. and make circle of x boxes, such as this but flattened out.


then duplicate it on the Y axis as many as you like.

flat cylinder
[x][x][x][x]|| <— seam of cylinder, since trying to explain in 2d

combine polys, merge verts to 0.1 and delete the verticle and hoizontal spans.

XXXX <— magic a 45 degree fingertrap.

kinda hard to follow, but i failed to make the script work as i liked because, i cannot find any relationships with the Number of faces and the degrees of rotations, unless i predifined each rotation depending on the number of the faces you like that is in the power2 with 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512.

would like to have a script to create the fingertrap by putting in values for hieght, and faces (faces would have to be in the 4, 8, 16, 32 ect) with my math, possible im sure but with numbers inbetween there is no visable relationship to the face degree rotation values.