Dynamic cloth + related Carrara plugins - Best Practices, Tips and Renders

Diomede_CarraraDiomede_Carrara Posts: 8,633
edited July 2016 in Carrara Discussion

Thought this might be a good place to discuss Philemo's plugin for VWD, but also for any other dynamic cloth approaches, such as softbody.  Is anyone still trying to use the softbody attach underarmor?  Share your VWD (or other) best practices, renders, WIPs, and suggest settings to simulate different kinds of cloth, etc.  Discuss obstacles and solutions.  Anything else related.


The Philemo plugin support thread is here    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/59722/interested-in-a-new-cloth-sim-plug-in-for-carrara-please-show-your-support/p1


EDIT: Thread title now reflects Headwax's excellent suggestion.



Post edited by Diomede_Carrara on


  • Headwax_CarraraHeadwax_Carrara Posts: 7,397
    edited July 2016

    great idea, thanks diomede

    maybe you can make the first post in this thread a 'best practices' thing?

    Post edited by Headwax_Carrara on
  • DUDUDUDU Posts: 1,879

    Hi Ted (Diomede)!
    I use several ways for converting dynamic clothing since Poser and also of creating my own clothes in Marvelous Designer for import into Carrara, but I wouldn't like especially to make shade with VWD and the Philemo's plugin.
    Therefore, I prefer to wait until this plugin is really integrated in the workflow of the users of Carrara before explaining the techniques which I know…
    If DAZ3D doesn't invest enough in Carrara, we must keep our support to the courageous men who do this formidable work!

    This thread is a really good idea, but I hope you'll understand my thought...

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,285

    I haven't tried it yet, but since Howler has such an awesome tool: the brush keyframer (for use with animated brushes), I plan on trying the following:

    - Create my animation as normal and render it out. 

    - Animate primitives to follow the action of where dynamics are needed.

    - Delete everything else from the scene except for the filming camera(s) and lights and use a spherical background map in the Scene settings.

    - Apply the simulation to the primitives and tweak accodingly.

    - Render to Alpha using the same camera and lighting.

    - Merge the dynamics to the original render in Howler.

    Like I said, I haven't gotten to this stage yet and this is something that I thought up before the whole VWD thing.

    With VWD and Philemo's new plugin for it, I'll be trying that route first and devote a lot of time and effort into incorporating those tools to muscle memory. Following the tutorial videos on VWD, I've found this to be an excellent way to get really nice, flowing dynamics into a scene. I may even find that using both VWD and the Howler method I mention above can turn out some great results under decent time frames. 

    Anyways... just some food for thought ;)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,285

    Speaking of Howler, since it is so brush-centric - having the ability to draw out a selection, soften the selection, then use the selection as a custom brush (which can be rotated, scaled, and other tweaks), I know that it would be a great tool for using standard VFX and/or hand painted animation techniques to correct any minor (but otherwise un-useable) flaws in a simulation, like tears, poke-through, mesh distortion - that sort of thing.

    While it may take a little getting used to, I've found that: by studying VFX practices, Howler becomes much easier to understand, since it was developed by a VFX artist.

    Now that I feel much more comfortable using it, I find it to be (like I predicted from the start) the perfect addition to my Carrara Animation toolkit. Just sayin' ;)

  • Diomede_CarraraDiomede_Carrara Posts: 8,633
    edited July 2016

    Finally, the weekend is here and I can experiment with VWD.  Still just trying to learn the VWD program and tools.  However, there is yet another amazing benefit from having VWD that makes Genesis and Genesis 2 content even more compatible with Carrara.  Because VWD can return a morph of the cloth object/figure for every frame, it allows Carrara to use vertex modeling in the Assemble room along with editing in the posed position with Genesis and Genesis 2.  Very psyched!  That was a great feature of Carrara for V4/M4 and earler that I thought had been lost for Genesis. Should say that what is going on is that VWD creates a new cloth object with mrphs for each frame.  It is the ability to edit these morphs in the Assemble room that I am referring to.

    So, here is a G2F with a Bobbie25/Sarsa dress that I bought in the Daz store.  Started from the default shape/pose of G2F and the cloth, advanced the sequencer to about 1.5 seconds and applied some shaping morphs to the G2F then advanced to 3 seconds and applied a pose to G2F.  I'm still too ignorant of the VWD tools to do much more than use the defaults but I wanted to share "vertex ediing in animation mode for G2F clothing" feature.

    01 starVWD example.JPG
    662 x 740 - 66K
    02 morphed and posed.JPG
    1070 x 974 - 145K
    03 editing in animation mode.JPG
    1341 x 1030 - 186K
    Post edited by Diomede_Carrara on
  • Diomede_CarraraDiomede_Carrara Posts: 8,633

    I didn't get as much time to experiment as I had hoped but I did a few more tries.  Here is a man wearing a tunic in a sitting position.  A personal workflow for the Genesis and Genesis 2 figures and premade content is starting to come together.  Find it outlined below.  One nice thing is that you can custom model to a custom shape.  However, for premade content, I think it is best to start with the default shape. here is my approach thus far using content bought from the Daz store with the G2M figure.  In this example, I want a man wearing a tunic and pants to sit in a small boat (coracle).  Only the tunic will be dynamic.  I am most concerned about the bottom of the tunic when the figure sits in the coracle.  For this example, the pants are conforming; I aw no need to make the pants dynamic.  Therefore, I need multiple collision objcts including the G2M, the Pants, and the seat in the coracle.

    - Note - VWD is not initiated until later steps

    1) I loaded the G2M Garen character, the Viking pants, and the Viking tunic.  All are available from the Daz store.  I also inserted a primitive cube for where the seat will be.  No othe figures, props, or terrains were loaded.

    2) I zeroed the G2M back to its default shape,  I "fit to" the pants to G2M.  I did not fit to the tunic.

    3) In the animation sequencer, I advanced to the 1 second mark. 

    4) I dialed some of the G2M morphs to taste.  In this case, I dialed in a little Michael 6 (about 0.25) and little more Garen (about 0.5).  The pants morph with the G2M but the tunic does not.

    5) I advanced the sequencer to the 2 second mark.

    6)  I posed the G2M in the sitting position.  The pants conform but the tunic does not.

    7)  In the Carrara File menu, I launch VWD.  I uncheck weld vertices because I had gotten some errors finding objects and this option was suggested to avoid the errors.  A menu appears on the right.

    8)  A box on the top of the menu says SCENE IMPORT.  Click the Host List button and VWD will import and list the animation scene elements.  In this case, it includes the G2M, the tunic, the pants, and the cube.

    9)  Need to designate each element.  Select the G2M and click the "collision" button.  A set of parameter options appear.  I just left them at default.  Click the collision button again.  VWD will make a few calculations and return to the scene import menu.  Repeat for the pants and then for the seat.

    10)  Select the tunic.  This time click the cloth button instead of collision.  A menu appears but again I left it at default.  Click the cloth button and reurn to main VWD. 

    ** Note - this is where I occasionally get errors.  Sometimes only about half of the main menu reappears and I get an error saying VWD can't find the cloth obj file.  One time I got a memory error.  Unchecking the weld vertices option when starting VWD has helped reduce these errors but has not eliminated them.

    11) For this example, the cloth does not have thin straps or other features that one would want to attach to the figure's shoulders, or a tube top thatone would want to attach to the chest, or a belt to the waist.   If it did, the next step would be to open the vertices tools menu.  Once open the mesh will turn blue and there are selection tools.  There is a quick way to select the outer edges of an object byclicking the "free edges" button.  Note that if you use that button on a skirt, you might be satisfied with the waist but you would probably want to deselect the bottom fringe of the skirt.  Once satsified with the selection, you can "nail" the vertices to the collision object by opening the "Vertices Groups" menu.  There you would click the "Nail to Collision" button.

    12)  Either with nailed vertices or none, the next step is to run the dynamic simulation.  To do that, open the simulation parameters menu.  Here, I did increase the values for sub samples and iterations. 

    13)  Click the "Start Dynamic Simulation" button.  VWD will have a running count of the frames at the bottom right of the menu.

    14)  Once VWD has completed the calculations, it will go to an repeating loop f the animation frames.  Hit escape to stop the loop.

    ****  You can still do edits and adjustments, including pulling the cloth around and allowing for more dynamic draping frames.  More on that in later posts.

    15)  Once all adjustments have been made, click "send dynamic to host" or "send pose to Host" depending on whether you want more than one frame. 

    16)  VWD closes and you are back in Carrara.  The original cloth figure is still in the scene but its invisibility is now unchecked.  A new object is in the scene that is the cloth figure as an obj but withmorphs for each frame.  I deleted the oriinal cloth figure (tunic in this case).

    ***  as per my previous pos, you can vertex edit each frame's morph in the Carrara assemble room in anation mode (posed). 

    17)  Only after generating the dynamics do I then started to refine the scene.  I changed the shader of the G2M to be more compatble with Carrara.  I added other clothing elements that do not need to be dynamic like the boots.  I added hair, the coracle, the lake surface, the terrain, etc.  It still needs the paddle, the fishing gear, etc. but I thought this was enough to show the workflow.

    It is still incomplete, but you can see how the Tunic dynamics worked.  In this case, the change in G2M size with the M6 morphs did not cause a problem and the tunic is not too tight fitting.  I like the drape in the chest and the shoulders.  However, I really focused on the bottom of the tunic where the sitting position usually causes challenges for conforming clothing.  Seems to have done OK.


    Bottom line, this is an example of converting a Daz-purchased conforming tunic to a draping cloth tunic that interacts with the character figure, conforming pants, and a seat prop.  Still much to learn.  This is not an easy learning curve.  However, I think it will be worth the time spent.


    VWD tunic try 1.jpg
    800 x 600 - 57K
  • Headwax_CarraraHeadwax_Carrara Posts: 7,397

    thanks so much for doing this!

    I am having cannot find obj error. I will try unchecking weld verticies and see


  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 4,828

    Another possible issue is if you have a name like "Victoria4.2".  Try renaming it so that it doesn't have a point in it as that can confuse it. So in this case, rename to "Victoria4" should be fine.

  • Headwax_CarraraHeadwax_Carrara Posts: 7,397

    thanks PhilW :) I am using K4, will check again in the morning!


    cheers :)

  • Diomede_CarraraDiomede_Carrara Posts: 8,633

    Headwax said
    I have no problem getting the animation back from VWD into carrara, thank you.
    I just want to do a simple still shot, so I am trying to get the morphed obj saved/exported so I can take it into another car file which is not an animation
    when I export it out I just get the unmorphed OBJ, even though I am exporting the OBJ with morphs ticked.
    In a normal object this would export the morphed obj - not the original obj.


    PhilW said
    That's odd, I would have thought that exporting with the Morphs and Skinning selected should do it, but I just tried with one of mine and I'm getting the same thing. Have you tried saving as an object by dragging into the Object window at the bottom and then dragging that into your other scene?


    Headwax said
    WOW, that worked, thanks!!

  • Headwax_CarraraHeadwax_Carrara Posts: 7,397
    edited July 2016

    thanks diomede!

    this was a vertex plane that i booleaned with a cylinder the same size as k4 neck 

    lots of caustic


    1422 x 1799 - 1M
    Post edited by Headwax_Carrara on
  • Diomede_CarraraDiomede_Carrara Posts: 8,633

    Wow, that is excellent! 

  • Headwax_CarraraHeadwax_Carrara Posts: 7,397

    thanks diomede!


  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 4,828

    Try changing the name to something shorter, I've noticed it does not like names which are too long.  Also objects that have large numbers of polys, but I don't think that is the case here.

    Just as a thought, you can use these older dresses and other clothes with newer generations of characters by using VWD.  Load the character and the clothing you want to use, there will probably be some poke-through as the clothing was not designed for that character.  Use the character morphs on frame zero to reduce the sizes of body parts where the poke-through exists until there is none.  Then set morphs over the first second to the character shape that you actually want, removing any unwanted morphs, and the clothing should stretch to fit the new figure (provided the differences are not too extreme - but if you are morphing from one female shape to another for example, that should work fine).

  • EddyMI3DEddyMI3D Posts: 365
    edited October 2016

    Nice to know that you guys have VWD working.
    Mine crashes Carrara just right after I enterd the VWD folder...
    python2.7 is installed and the pythonpath is also set to python2.7
    All done as mentioned in the install instructions...

    When I start "VWDClothAndHair.exe" manually, it runs without problem

    Post edited by EddyMI3D on
  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 4,828
    edited October 2016

    Dynamic Cloth & Hair plugin now on sale at 50% off!

    Thought I'd include an example, the dress and texturing (and hair) are all done by me. Rendered in Octane Render for Carrara.

    2000 x 1500 - 507K
    Post edited by PhilW on
  • Thanks Philw , terrific render too

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,285

    Yikes, that's nice Phil! Thanks for the Heads Up!!! 

  • Diomede_CarraraDiomede_Carrara Posts: 8,633
    edited January 2017

    Informative post in the main forums.  This includes some practical advice.  Check it out.  Bookmark it.



    Post edited by Diomede_Carrara on
  • thanks Diomede, that's a wonderful link.



  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,285
    edited January 2017
    head wax said:

    thanks Diomede, that's a wonderful link.

    +1 yes

    Gotta say... this VWD thing is one amazing piece of artistry! Genius! 

    Gérald and Philemo are true Genius!!!

    I think that Daz3d should offer them both many dollars to buy it and add it to Carrara 9 and Daz Studio 5 - Truly!

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 4,828

    Good idea!

  • DaremoK3DaremoK3 Posts: 555

    I concure, Dartanbeck, and agree with PhilW that it is a good idea.  It would be great if DAZ3D hired them to implement natively inside of both software, or just purchase the code outright and maintain the work themselves.


    Too bad the sentiment for VWD is not the same throughout the forums.  Mostly I read good feedback, but also a lot of negative feedback by those who don't understand the software (or simulation software in general), or expect instant results without reading any help material, and then just dismiss it as "crapware".


    Keep up the great work you guys are doing with VWD and Carrara, and PhilW, that image above is absolutely stunning.

  • Headwax_CarraraHeadwax_Carrara Posts: 7,397
    edited January 2017

    Given that a  daz founder (?) is on record as saying Daz  bought carrara to keep it out of the opposition's hands, it is probably a bad idea for carrara users for the makers of the bridge and the cloth plug in to sell it to daz .

    It's an amazing plugin, one that will give carrara new life - if it is allowed to breath. Don't wish suffocation on it. 



    Post edited by Headwax_Carrara on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,285
    head wax said:

    Given that a  daz founder (?) is on record as saying Daz  bought carrara to keep it out of the opposition's hands, it is probably a bad idea for carrara users for the makers of the bridge and the cloth plug in to sell it to daz .

    It's an amazing plugin, one that will give carrara new life - if it is allowed to breath. Don't wish suffocation on it. 


    Good point

    The last thing we want to do is to take these tools out of the hands of active development!

  • mindsongmindsong Posts: 1,015
    head wax said:

    Given that a  daz founder (?) is on record as saying Daz  bought carrara to keep it out of the opposition's hands.

    how sad, if that was the true end-game. Given that there were a few updates, I'll play the optimist and assume it's more of a business practicality vs. pure obstruction.


  • sorry, shouldnt have bought that up!!

    all is not lost as long as we have independent plugin developers who have their heart in the right place - Like Philemo and Gerard (from VWD) and Fenric and Eric and Mark and Sparrowhawke and Dart and Tim and PhilW.... etc.

  • here's a render with the vwd plugin (done for the latest Carrara challenge) , the fabric on the elephant (under the armour) and the two soldier's capes where done in VWD

  • mindsongmindsong Posts: 1,015
    head wax said:

    sorry, shouldnt have bought that up!!

    all is not lost as long as we have independent plugin developers who have their heart in the right place - Like Philemo and Gerard (from VWD) and Fenric and Eric and Mark and Sparrowhawke and Dart and Tim and PhilW.... etc.

    'tis what it 'tis, and I like what we've got enough to last 6 lifetimes, so I daren't complain! I'm also grateful for those who keep this magic alive!

    Beautiful render, by the way - the color is great, the grass is perfect, and it looks like an old masters painting in the best way.



  • yes, I have goodies coming out of my ears (and nostrils) thank you for the compliment on the work

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