Here are some tips how to resolve and troubleshoot common Marvelous Designer issues that may arise.
If you go through all the Marvelous Designer tutorials in step-by-step workshops, you’ll see how to troubleshoot any issues that arise when making clothes.
However, if you didn’t purchase the workshops, or need quick reference, here’s a page with solutions for different common issues, common questions and some Marvelous Designer how to tips.
(As well as some links on the bottom to articles on how to export and work with MD clothes in other 3D programs.)
For any software related issues such as bugs, crashes etc, you must contact the Marvelous Designer support.
We cannot and do NOT handle such technical software issues.
Questions to do with purchased Marvelous Designer Garment Files
What do I do with that ‘purewhite.jpg’ image file?
Often when I want to apply a shirring strip or a fabric weave to a part of the clothing without
effecting the color of the clothes, I first load in the ‘purewhite.jpg’ image as a texture and then apply
the Normal map over that. (You must load in some texture in order to apply a Normal map).
This way you can have a normal effect without the clothes colors changing.
If you’d like to apply a different texture, feel free to do so!
What do I do with that ‘transparency.png’ image file?
It is used as a texture on the Material Side (In the Fabric Property Editor) to hide visible edge lines when
using a PNG texture with transparency to create effects on the bottom of a clothing piece like lace, trims or torn edges.
TIP: What to do with clothes which have symmetry
Most of the time for shirts/ dress tops / jackets, I have two pattern pieces for the front which are
symmetric to each other. This is good if you need to make changes to the shirt, since any changes on the
left will reflect on the right.
Once you are happy with the design/fit, I recommend that you right click on the center line of one of the
symmetric patterns and select ‘symmetric merge’.
Then you wont have a visible connection running through the center of your garments and also any textures
you apply will not stop at the center line.
(Also a good idea if you’re using the MD garment as a sculpting base to symmetric merge front and back
pattern pieces before exporting to Zbrush to avoid any visible connections in the cloth.)
Why don't I see a Normal Map option in MD?
In order to have the Normal Map option in the fabric Property Editor, you need to turn this on in the User Settings.
From the top dropdown menu go to’ Settings -> User Settings’ and in the popup go to ‘Graphic Options’ and check the box near ‘Use Normal Map’.
You’ll need to restart MD for the changes to take effect and then you shall have the normal map options in the fabric settings.
A Normal Map is applied but I see no effect?
When loading in a normal map into some versions of MD, the program turns the Normal map Intensity down to 0.
(Also sometimes happens when loading a garment file into an earlier version of MD.)
Check the Intensity slider of the Normal Map under the Fabric property editor.
If the intensity is at 0, there will be no effect. Raise it to 1 or 2 to see the Normal
effect. (Or even to -1 or -2 to invert the effect).
(Make sure you have ‘Use Normal/Bump’ activated in your ‘User Settings’ in the program in order to use a Normal map!)
Why is there no 'NormalBump Effect' in MD5 latest version?
In the latest update they changed the name in the User Settings from NormalBump Effect to Normal Map. It’s still the same thing.
Why are Physical property presets not working?
In MD5 version 2.3.110 there was a BUG that whatever physical property preset got imported in did not do anything and changing any of the sliders did not do anything either. This sometimes happens in new MD releases.
This bug was fixed, however, if you encounter it again in any future version, please email it to their support and developers (Ryan@Clo3D.com) and downgrade back to an earlier version of MD5 that works.
How to fit Garments to different Avatars?
Here are some helpful tutorials: I recommend you watch them all, they are short but important.
The technique showed in these tutorial how to fit a clothing item to avatars of different shapes, different widths, lengths and heights is very important.
The technique is the same whether it’s a dress or a pair of pants, so please do watch them.
MD crashes when I try to fit garments to my avatars
If you don’t have a very powerful computer, trying to fit a garment you just imported in which has a very low
particle distance or many layers onto a different avatar can take a long time, explode your clothes or crash
(Please watch the free video tutorials mentioned in the section above to learn how to fit garments to different avatars and easily modify garments without crashing MD.)
1. In most cases, after importing a garment you want to fit to your avatar, it is best to first raise the particle distance (PD) on all the pattern pieces (Ctrl A to select all the pattern pieces), then raise the PD in the Property Editor tab (you may want to note down what the PDs for all the different pattern pieces were before doing this).
Before simulating if the pattern pieces are sticking into your avatar’s skin, its best to separate the
pattern pieces (pull them out of your avatars skin if they are inside it) and arrange them around your
avatar. Make sure patterns that should be on top like pockets, collars, buttons etc, are on top.
3. If your avatar has a very different body shape than the MD avatar that the garment was modeled on, you
may need to stretch some parts, or shrink them to make the garment fit.
(Sometimes just using the Shrink-weft, Shrink-warp does a very good job and other times a few quick changes
to the pattern is what’s needed.)
4. Then once you are happy with the way the garment hangs, go back into the Property editor and lower all
the PDs back to whatever setting they were (or even lower if you want more detail and your computer can
And once again, please watch our free video tutorials. It will help you and save you a lot of time! :)
How to Change the Shape of the Avatar?
In Older versions of Marvelous Designer, they had a feature they have in CLO3D where you could customize the Avatar. Unfortunately, they removed this awesome feature.
Here’s a post with alternatives and resources for customizing your Avatars for MD.
What happened to the Shirring on my Waistband?
If you bought one of our Marvelous Designer garment files and see that the waistband should have sheering but when you import it it doesn’t have shirring, (or if you made your own garment with shirring but it’s suddenly gone) here are some possible reasons why:
- You may have moved the shirring texture by mistake with the texture transform tool, and need to readjust the position/ scale of the shirring normal map.
Solution: reload the shirring normal map and/or shirring texture into your Fabric settings in MD, or adjust it’s scale/position.
- You may have deleted the shirring normal map or moved it into a different folder and therefore Marvelous Designer can’t find it. Solution: move the normal map back into the correct folder with your garment file or reload the shirring normal map into your Fabric settings in MD.
TIP: If you use the Edit Texture tool to scale down a fabric (example: a floral texture), it will not only scale down the shirring normal map but also the floral texture.
If you want the texture to stay the same and just scale down the shirring normal map, then go into the Fabric ‘Property Editor’ -> ‘Texture Transformation’, and adjust the scale of the normal map there by entering a number into the width and height box.
(All this is covered in the video tutorials in our workshops.)
What is shirring?
It’s this effect of an elastic gathered looking waistband:
Ribbons always untie when doing catwalk animation...
This happened a lot in older versions of Marvelous Designer.
Try using the great new Solidify Tool in Marvelous Designer 6, to more or less “freeze” the ribbon parts, so they don’t change/ untie during animation.
Note: Solidify is different than the Freeze function which Freezes the pattern in 3D space (and will stay in that exact place even when your avatar walks off ripping the clothes off her). See this tutorial video below how to use the Solidify Feature in Marvelous Designer 6.
Clothes keeps sliding down off Avatar - How to make clothes stick?
If a bodice, top, open jacket, waistband etc., keeps slipping down your avatar’s body (during animation or simulation), you can prevent this by either making it fit tighter, adding elastic or by raising the Friction settings. Friction makes the cloth ‘stick’ to the avatar and prevents it from sliding down.
The higher the Friction is the more it will stick to the avatar or underlying layers.
To raise the Fabric Friction, go into the Fabric settings and in the Property Editor raise the Friction Coefficient.
Friction Coefficient will only effect that part of the clothes that has that fabric applied. So you can make one part like an open jacket stick to the avatar while the other clothing items do not.
If your clothing item is still slipping down even after raising the Fabric Friction, click on the Avatar (right-click in older versions and select ‘Avatar Properties’) and in the Property Editor raise the Avatar Friction, Static Friction and / or Kinect Friction until the cloth stops sliding down avatar’s body.
Pants / Skirts / Waistbands fall down during Animation
Solution 1: Select your waistband/ belt, and turn on Elastic. Play with the elastic ratio and strength until the belt/waistband holds tight.
Solution 2: Alternatively, raise the ‘Friction Coefficient’ (In the physical property settings of the Fabric) which will make the cloth ‘stick’ to the avatar.
Solution 3: Before animating, use the Pin Box tool to pin the entire waistband/belt/ clothing part. Right click on the pinned area and select ‘Attach Pin To Avatar’. (Or right click on the cloth and select from the pop-up menu ‘Pin -> Attach All Pins to Avatar’).
IMPORTANT! If you don’t attach pins to Avatar the clothes will stay pinned in the air and tear off when Avatar walks!
Make sure that you first lower the Particle Distance to whatever you want it to be before pinning it, since if you first pin it and then lower the PD later, you will get some weird lumpy results in your fabric. The lower the PD is when you pin it, the less you’ll see the pins.
Piping Explodes / Jerks / Shakes
There are a few reason why piping may be giving you issues. Either your computer is not strong enough and the software is having a hard time to simulate it. Or there is an issue with the simulation because of a bug.
Or you sewed the piping onto the edge of a pattern that is sewing to another pattern!
Here are some troubleshooting tips:
1. Right click on the piping and select ‘Refresh all Pipings’.
2. If that doesn’t help, click on the piping, remember the settings, then delete the piping line and make a new piping line. That should solve it in most common cases.
3. The other option if piping is misbehaving itself, is to create ‘fake’ piping. This works on clothes with a setting in the thickness rendering that is higher than 1mm.
To create fake piping, delete the piping completely and use the ‘curved side geometry’ option on the pattern, along with an internal line that runs along the edge of the garment with a fold angle that goes inwards to cheat and create a ‘fake’ piping look.
(see the last video in the mens’ double breasted coat tutorial series – in the Jackets workshop).
4. In some rare cases, if the cloth keeps reacting badly to the piping, you may need to delete the piping lines, pose and simulate the cloth and then add the piping in the end with simulation turned off. However, this will only work for still renders and not if you need to animate the clothes.
Parts of Piping vanish / swallowed by Fabric
Often if you create piping along the edge of a pattern or pattern layer that is sewn down onto another pattern, the piping gets swallowed up into the underlying pattern, parts of the piping vanish, it shudders, becomes thin in some parts etc.
Solution: Creating Piping along an internal line that sits almost on the edge is the best way to avoid such issues and still looks almost exactly the same like piping along edge of the pattern.
I have a horrible seam line in the middle...
If you turn off “Show Seams” (see screenshot) you will not see this seam.
Hide Seams Option in Marvelous Designer software.
Clothes created in Marvelous Designer will not export with that seam you see.
HOWEVER, if you apply any textures (apart from a flat color) you will see where the center seam is as the textures will stop there.
The best thing to do, is you create your shirts/ dresses from 2 halves with symmetry and then when you’re done and happy with your result, right click on the center seam and say “Merge” or “Symmetric Merge” (you can now also merge patterns which don’t have symmetry applied).
The two halves will become one and there will no longer be any seam in the center.
Make sure to run a quick simulation to smooth out any lumps from the merge.
Symmetric patterns issue: My textures are stopping at the center seam
If you bought our garment file pack, you’ll see I made most of my Marvelous Designer shirts, jackets, tops, from two symmetric pattern pieces for the front and 2 for the back.
This is useful because you need to make changes to the garment to fit your avatar or to look different, when you make changes on the left the changes will be reflected on the right and the clothing will remain symmetric. (Clothing without symmetry can cause issues with sewing, bunching up along seams, lumpy lop-sided garments etc. unless you understand how to keep the seams the same length to avoid issues.)
However, if you apply a texture to a shirt with symmetric patterns, the textures will end in the center along the seam and won’t repeat nicely across the front of the shirt.
Solution: Once you’re done making any necessary modifications to the garment’s look or to fit the garment to your model, right-click on the center line of one of the symmetric patterns and select ‘Merge’ or ‘symmetric merge’ (depending on your version of MD).
When the symmetric patterns are merged, you won’t have a visible seam running down the center of your garments and also any textures you apply will no longer stop at the center line.
How to attach hard imported objects (like buckles and other props) to an Avatar during animation?
If you import additional avatars or props such as a belt buckle, buttons, zipper pullers etc and then animate your clothes in MD, you’ll find that the imported objects do not follow the Avatar and remain hanging in the air where you positioned them. Unfortunately, in this current version of MD, it is impossible to attach or glue objects onto an Avatar. The only way to have the objects follow the animated Avatar, is to first animate your avatar in your 3D program of choice, attach / parent your prop objects to the Avatar in your 3D program and then import the animated Avatar with the props as part of it into MD.
Then after creating your clothes, when you record a cloth animation, the extra prop parts won’t be left behind.
How to create an internal line along the curved or straight edge of pattern?
Please watch tutorial #11 in the beginners course to see how to use the Offset feature to do exactly this.
(In short: to create the internal line along curved edge or any other edge, right click with the Edit Pattern tool on that segment line and select ‘Offset as Internal line’ and type in the distance you want it to be at.)
Avatar skin is coming through tight sleeves / stockings / bodysuit
1. You can raise the avatar skin offset to push the sleeves or stockings a bit away from the body. Right click on the avatar and select from the popup menu ‘avatar properties’ (in the latest minor update to MD5 you just need to left click on the avatar) and then change the skin offset in the Property Editor tab.
2. You can change the thickness simulation of the sleeves/ stockings, which will give them some more thickness and usually helps offset them a bit more from the avatar’s body.
(Note: As long as you leave the thickness rendering the same, and just change the thickness simulation you will not see a notable difference in the way the clothes look.)
3. You can make the sleeves or stockings a bit looser by stretching them to the width a small bit at a time.
4. You can raise the Fabric Friction/ Avatar Friction settings to make the stockings/ sleeves cling to the avatar’s body. This way you can pull at the fabric until the Avatar’s skin is no longer showing and then because of the Friction that’s making it ‘cling’ to the avatar’s body it is less likely that when the Avatar’s pose changes or in animation that the skin will show through again.
Layers that should be underneath are coming through top layers
Select the layer that should be on top, go into the Property editor and give it a layer number. If you have many layers, then the bottom one will be 0, the one on top of it will be 1, the next over that one will be 2 and the one over all the others will be 3. (And so on if you have more layers than 4).
Most of the time that solves it, in some cases you may have to ‘reset 3D Arrangement’ (right click on a pattern in the 3D garment window and select that option from the popup menu) and simulate it again.
If it’s only a small part of the fabric that is stuck beneath another layer, most of the time you can simply pull at it to get it out, add some pins to hold part of it in place and then tug at the rest to draw it out.
How can I round the edges of a fabric without doing the Layerclone Method?
If you have a fabric that has some thickness usually it does not look so nice to have the default straight ‘cut’ looking fabric edges. Or if you have buttons you’re making in MD then sharp straight edges look real awful.
To round off the edges nicely, use the Curved Side Geometry option found in the Property Editor to round the ‘cut’ looking edges of fabric. Experiment with different strength values to get the desired effect.
If you want a thick garment or a cuff/ jacket bottom with a soft rounded bottom and wrinkles, you may want to use the layercloning method instead as shown in several of my jacket tutorials in the Jackets Workshop and in the hoodie tutorial in the Shirts Workshop.
Student Question: Why does Layercloning not make rounded edges like in your video?
“When I layerclone the patterns, they didn’t round at the end, they stay flat. You said in the video that if I make the particles distance low it will round, but for me it didn’t round, it stays two flat parts.
How I can solve this issue?”
[student sewed a very thin strip along the bottom edge of his jacket]
As for layer-cloning patterns to make the edges have a rounded ‘doubled’ look, this is mostly good for cuffs and jacket/sweater bottoms that have enough fabric to the height in order to have the rounded bottom effect.
Layercloning is great for quilting, soft sweater fabrics, cuffs with internal lines as well as leather cuffs, in short anything that has enough fabric to it to see the effect.
If the pattern is very short (in the height), then layercloning it will not round the edge up just because there isn’t enough fabric to round up and it will have no effect.
With a very short pattern, to make the edges round, instead of using the layerclone, use the Curved Side Geometry option found in the Property Editor (I have a tutorial on this in the beginners course video #24). Curved Side Geometry makes a nice rounded edge (this is what I also use for buttons and fabric edges such as hat edges or other thicker fabrics).
If you have a pattern with enough height to it and it still is stiff and not rounding up then here are some tips:
The rounded bottom effect depends on your physical property settings, if your settings are too stiff then the pattern will stay ‘flat’ and stiff. Cotton does a good job mostly when used on layercloned patterns like for sweater cuffs, sweater bottoms, like in my hoodie example etc.
Another thing you may want to try with your layerclone is to change the seam folding angle of the seam that runs along the bottom edge where the two patterns are sewn together.
The Folding angle of the bottom seam can cause it to fold inwards or outwards, have a ‘sharp ironed’ edge or more of a rounded edge. (Note that layercloned patterns are automatically sewn all around to each other with one seam-line, so therefore as you’ll see in one of my jacket tutorials, I sometimes delete that one seam and then segment sew top to top, side to side, bottom to bottom etc. Then I can control fold angles of individual segment seams).
And remember, as you’ll see in the Jacket quilting tutorials, to create more wrinkles on the cuffs / bottom jacket strips, I usually scale the outer layerclone up slightly more than the other layerclone. Try scaling it only to the width or only to the height or to both width and height and you’ll see it has a different effect.
Scaling to the width makes more vertical wrinkles, whereas scaling to the height makes more horizontal wrinkles. The more you scale one layerclone the more wrinkles you’ll get.
A little scaling makes some fabric wrinkles and usually makes the edges more rounded, again also depending on your physical property settings.
Student Question: Jacket goes Flying when Applying Pressure to Jacket Layerclones to make Stuffing/ Padding
One of my students came to me a with an issue. Here is his question and below are my answers that helped him resolve this issue.
Question: “I’m working on a jacket, same as you made in the jackets workshop.
For some reason the jacket keeps flying when I use folds, elastic and pressure, so i start pinning it and it made it look ugly :(
I changed the fabric properties, made it heavy, but it kept flying :(
I would like to ask you about your technique to solve this issue please.”
There may be a few reasons that a jacket goes flying instead of puffing up:
- The most common reason for this issue, is that when you layercloned the jacket you did not flip the Normals of one of the layers so that when you add pressure the jacket wants to fly. (Remember, to inflate something, you need to have both inner sides facing inwards, if you have one inside side facing in and one inside side facing out it won’t puff up, it will blow away instead).
- If it is not the Normals that aren’t flipped the right way, then maybe your physical property presets are contradicting and causing it to fly. It happened to me once in the beginning too – I made the physical properties too stiff in one setting and too soft in another and the thing went crazy and was wobbling and flapping like a dying bird. Try to apply a default preset from MD (or one of my presets if you bought the patterns and physical property presets pack) and see if it still flies. If it doesn’t fly with a different preset then that shows it was the physical property presets and you’ll need to play with your settings to get it right.
- The most likely solutions are 1 and 2 but if those don’t help, then try applying less pressure, or pressure only on one layer.
- Another option is to make the inner layer stiffer and the outer layer softer and that helps it keep its shape more.
- Sometimes making the bottom strip stiff (stretch weft, bending weft etc) does the trick.
- It could be a bug. Trying saving the project, shutting MD, opening it again. if you create a new test project and make a similar garment does it do the same thing?
How to Make Stitches, Seams, or Trims/Lace?
To make stitches on your clothes you can either:
- Create a stitch texture PNG in Photoshop and then overlay it onto the clothes in Marvelous Designer using the 2D graphic tool.For straight stitches that go along the bottoms of shirts, sides of pants, sleeve bottoms etc, you can use a small repeating texture and then simply stretch it out with the Pattern Transform tool and adjust the scale of the texture with the Texture Transform tool.
For curved stitches or pants fly etc, you can use one of our free stitch brushes for Photoshop and stroke along a path.
See this tutorial how to make stitches and use them in Marvelous Designer.
To change stitches’ colors click on the stitches and then in the Property Editor you can change color, opacity etc. Here’s a tutorial how to add decorative trims to clothes in MD (same thing can be done to add curved stitches).
- Export your clothes to a program like ZBrush and sculpt the stitches there. (See the MD to ZBrush Workflow tutorial)
- Export the clothes to a program like Substance Painter and paint stitches on the maps (best solution I think – See the MD to SP workflow tut.)
Have other suggestions? I’d love to hear them.
Visible colored line along edges of trims/lace on garment
“I’m using a PNG texture (like torn edges or lace) with transparency for texturing the clothes, and I see a colored/textured line along the edge of the pattern. How do I get rid of that ugly line?”
Every cloth has thickness in MD. Even if you place a texture with transparency on your fabric, the texture won’t effect the thick ‘sides’ of your cloth automatically. Which results in a colored line or textured line along the ‘edges’ of your cloth. Like this this example below:
1. Click on the Fabric that is applied to that pattern.
2. In the Fabric Property Editer go to the ‘Side’ Option and turn OFF ‘Use Same Material as Front’.
3. Load in a blank transparent PNG image with nothing but transparency.
Now you should no longer see any line along the edges of your patterns.
Sometimes when exporting to render, you may still see a thin line along the edge of the pattern, in that
case, either export without thickness, or if you need thickness on some other part of your clothing, lower
the “thickness rendering” setting on the pattern piece with the texture that has the edge line to something like 0.10,
(do not lower the thickness simulation or you will have very unpleasant results if you simulate at such a
thin setting (i.e. cloth going into avatar body etc.)
I stretched the patterns and the trims don't reach the edges!
Use your pattern transform tool to stretch the 2D graphic (of the trims) as wide / tall as you need it to be.
After stretching the trims, they’ll look distorted, so in order to fix that, take your texture transform tool, click on the stitch 2D graphic and scale the seamless stitch texture (or trim) until it is no longer distorted.
How to turn mesh into Quads?
Ctrl A to select all the patterns, then right click on the garment in the 3D Garment window and select ‘Quadrangulate.’
After a little bit of thinking, MD will convert the tris into quads.
(If you have a very very low PD it can take quite a while depending on your computer or even crash so best to turn it into quads at a PD of around 10 or 15).
How to get UVs for Clothes?
Export the clothes with ‘Unified UV Coordinates’ checked. Before export you can use the UV tool to draw out the border of the UV map.
See the tips to do with UVs in this MD to Substance Painter tutorial. By assigning different materials in MD you can control what parts of the clothes go on what maps, how many maps are created, separate into different maps or have all the mesh parts on one map.
Tips for making Gloves
Of all the clothing items one can make in Marvelous Designer, gloves are the trickiest and hardest to make and usually best to model in another 3D program like ZBrush. However if you are determined to make gloves in MD and come across issues such as fingers popping out of the glove, here are some tips:
- To make the glove sit tighter/closer to the Avatar’s skin you need to lower the Avatar’s skin offset. If you lower it too much the Avatar’s skin will start coming through the glove so play with it to get the right balance.
- The best pose for making gloves is to have the fingers straight and spread apart so you can easily drape and simulate the glove. Later you can pose the hand.
Next, if the fingers start popping out of the glove here are a few things you can do:
- Raise the Avatar’s Friction and/or the cloth Friction much higher to make the glove ‘stick’ to the Avatar’s skin more and prevent the fingers from sliding out of the glove.
- Raise the Fabric thickness / thickness simulation a tiny bit to give the glove more thickness and avoid bits of Avatar’s skin from coming out.
- Once you get all the fingers in place, draw a pin box over that part and pin it in place to keep it from moving when you drag at the other parts of the glove to arrange it.
Tip: Always keep several older versions of MD software as a backup
Sometimes the developers are too eager and too fast to release a minor update, and there may be some bugs in it. So I recommend that you always keep several versions of MD software downloads on your computer so if a new version has a bug, you can quickly downgrade back to the previous working version until they fix the bugs.
(Note: If you discover a bug you need to email it to their support.The developers usually fix their bugs anything between 2 days to 2 weeks after a bug gets reported.)
Using Marvelous Designer clothes in other versions of MD
Most of our garment files can be used in any Marvelous Designer version over MD5 (a few can also be used in MD4).
Some tools change with Marvelous Designer software updates.
Check out our free Marvelous Designer feature update tutorials to see how to work with the new features.
(Note: Watch the tuts from MD 5.5 as well, even if you work with MD6 or MD7 because tools from MD5.5 are still there in later versions.)
Learn how to use the new MD6 features with our free Marvelous Designer 6 video tutorials.
How to create Sansar clothing?
Issues with Fabric going into Avatars? Having Fabric Collision Issues with additional imported avatars (like buckles, zipper pullers, armor, straps etc)? Read this troubleshooting article here.
Using MD clothes in other 3D programs:
If you enjoyed reading this article, then please tell your friends about it. This helps us Elves get the word out, so more fellow artists can benefit! All goes hand in hand - Blessings to you the Elves shall send! :)