I received a question from an artist concerning a Marvelous Designer issue of fabric collision against an imported OBJ that she was using for part of the clothing.
She was trying to follow along a YouTube video and having issues with the fabric bursting out from the leg straps.
“I’m getting some nasty collisions … it looks a tad messy where the objects meet. Any ideas of what could make it better?”
These leg straps were modeled in another program and imported as an OBJ into Marvelous Designer as an additional Avatar.
How to avoid this issue?
Most of the time, I find that it works better to create placeholder objects from patterns instead of importing in an OBJ. Most things can be made with fabric patterns, just by adding thickness, playing with physical property settings to make it stiff or freezing it, using elastic when needed etc. Especially things like straps, waistbands etc., (I even made a belt buckle in Marvelous Designer alone).
For simple things like straps that go around a pants leg, I would make a fabric pattern strap that goes around the leg, make it tighter by decreasing the width if necessary and adding elastic to make it tighter. Then to give it thickness, simply raise the fabric and/or additional pattern thickness settings.
To avoid the leg straps going under the pants, give them a layer number higher than the one the pants have. (If pants are layer 0, give the straps layer the number 1).
Then you can freeze the straps and pull on the pants to get the wrinkles arranged the way you want them etc.
Sometimes however you may need to bring in an OBJ for part of your clothing.
If you’re importing in things like zipper pullers or belt buckles you will most likely encounter fabric exploding around it when placing the OBJ on your clothes.
Why is the fabric exploding/ shaking around an imported OBJ Avatar?
There can be a few reasons for this:
1. The Avatar skin offset – Every imported Avatar has a skin offset setting which pushes the fabric a little bit away from the Avatar. By default this setting is set to 3mm.
Almost always when I import an OBJ such as a zipper puller or a button and place it directly on top of the clothes, there will be fabric collision issues and the fabric around the zipper puller Avatar blows up and shakes etc.
The reason for this is that is when you position the zipper puller Avatar onto your shirt the fabric is being pushed away from the zipper puller towards the human Avatar, while at the same time the human Avatar’s skin offset is pushing the shirt outwards towards the zipper puller.
To avoid this issue, click on the imported Avatar object (for example the zipper puller) and put the skin offset down to 0. Almost always the fabric will stop shaking and jittering around the Avatar.
In some cases however, like if you import a buckle or ring and need the fabric to be sewn around it, you will need a skin offset setting higher than 0 since 0 will make the fabric fall straight through it. Play with the skin offset setting till you get the right number, sometimes a very low number is enough just to wrap the fabric around the Avatar without it being pushed too far away from the Avatar.
2. The mesh is to blame.
Why does fabric go into an Avatar?
Sometimes fabric gets sucked into an Avatar mesh especially if there are holes in the mesh (if it’s not welded together). This used to happen with the older Marvelous Designer Avatars, fabric that was too close to their faces (like a shawl or mask) would get sucked into their eyes, ears and nostrils because they had holes in their mesh (the Marvelous Designer lead developer told me to make ‘eye patches’ from frozen fabric until they fixed their Avatar mesh issue).
3. Marvelous Designer is having a bad hair day
Sometimes it’s just Marvelous Designer software being creepy and nothing helps and the fabric keeps wanting to go into the imported Avatar. In that case it’s best to make a placeholder from a pattern instead of using an imported OBJ. Simulate the clothes, then delete the prop, export the clothes and add your sculpted / modeled clothing parts in another 3d program.
For instance for this dress I was making, I imported an OBJ of a waistband I made in ZBrush (I’ve just started learning ZBrush so maybe it’s a bad mesh problem). The dress fabric kept being pulled into the waistband and was shaking and making a mess. So what I did, was use a fabric pattern to create the waistband instead. I gave the waistband the layer number 1, froze the waistband pattern and then after simulating the dress and arranging the fabric the way I wanted it, I deleted the waistband pattern and imported the sculpted OBJ waistband instead before exporting the dress.
Unless absolutely necessary to import an OBJ clothing part, it’s always best to add the extra parts like zippers, fancy belts etc., in another programs like ZBrush and use in Marvelous Designer fabric pattern placeholders that you can get rid of later and replace with modeled parts.
I hope this Marvelous Designer troubleshooting tips article helps you!
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