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Carrara and Marvelous Designer
Posted: 20 July 2012 03:30 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Well, since it’s pretty clear that Bullet is gonna be dead in the water for the forseeable future, and the fact that Marvelous Designer is infinitely better as a cloth sim, I propose we use this thread for those who want to use Marvelous Designer (hereafter referred to as “MD”) with Carrara.


Now, there are some tutorials on the MD website, that are 1-2 years old, that deal with DAZ Studio, but, of course, nothing for Carrara. The tutorials recommend that you export your V4, for example, from D|S as an OBJ, which is directly importable into MD.


BTW, if you look at the Import options in MD, they are very limited: Collada (.dae), OBJ, and STL. It also gives you the option (and I’m not sure exactly what it does) to Open a “morph target”, which I assume is just an OBJ file.


Now someone mentioned that you can take an mdd file, generated from Carrara via Fenric’s plugin, and bring that into MD, but I’m not sure how, since there doesn’t seem to be an .mdd import option in Marvelous Designer.


Anyway, here’s the challenge:


It seems clear to me that anyone who wants to utilize MD would, in the simplest form, want to take a posed, morphed character, export it to MD, build and drape some cloth, then bring that draped cloth back into the Carrara scene. I’m pretty sure you can do the “posed” part, but I haven’t seen anything about the “morphed” part. And it seems to me that if you can’t import a morphed character (ie, body morphs) into MD to do your draping, the whole thing becomes of very limited use. Unless you guys only work on unmorphed characters, which I really doubt. 


Now, what I’ve tried so far is this:


I took a posed, morphed V4 in Carrara, stripped away any conforming clothing or other doodads (hair, etc.), and saved it as a Collada (.dae). The result was a file over 3 GIGABYTES. And, as expected, MD scarfed when trying to read it. No go.


Then I took the exact same figure and saved it as an OBJ, which was a file of a few hundred KB or something like that, maybe smaller. And when it came into MD is was the unposed, unmorphed character in a T pose, and the textures were, best as I could tell, totally jacked up. No go.


Now I haven’t tried doing this from D|S, and I’m sure it would work per the tutorial. But remember we’re dealing with Carrara, the flagship product in the DAZ software line, and stuff like this isn’t expected to work.


So, if anyone has succeeded in bringing a posed, morphed character from Carrara into MD, I’d certainly love to hear about how you did it.

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Posted: 20 July 2012 03:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Okay, first of all let me make it very clear that I’m an idiot. And I don’t think many here would argue with that…


What I failed to do upon export from Carrara is to set the option to export Morphs and Skinning when exporting the OBJ. When you do that, you get a fully morphed and posed character in MD. Also, you need to make sure you use a scaling factor of 1,000% upon import, not the default 100%. Think I read that somewhere.


Textures are still jacked up, no big deal since we’re only draping cloth, but would be kinda nice….


Now, when you start up MD you get a default female character, which is called an Avatar. What you need to do is replace the default Avatar with your own character so you can do the draping. According to the tutorial, you load a separate OBJ file for each pose/morph you want in the draping, plus a default character in a T-pose.


I believe I also read that there’s a way to change the default setup so that your own character comes up every time you start MD, instead of the default character. Not sure how though.

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Posted: 20 July 2012 03:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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JoeMamma2000 - 20 July 2012 03:44 PM

Also, you need to make sure you use a scaling factor of 1,000% upon import, not the default 100%. Think I read that somewhere..


Geez, guy, you really ARE an idiot. That 1000% only applies if you’re importing from DAZ Studio, not Carrara….


And in this latest version of MD there’s even an easy selector to specify the units on import. Of course they even specify one option for DAZ Studio, but nothing for Carrara, the flagship product.


In any case, we all know that Carrara operates in inches, so just select “inches” upon import and it will give you a scaling factor of 2540%, which is the conversion from inches to mm (which MD uses).


BTW, there is a very nice manual for the software (separate download), and there’s even a section under “File” that explains compatibility and scaling with DAZ Studio. But not with Carrara, the flagship product.

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Posted: 20 July 2012 05:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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.MDD seems to be a feature of the animation plugin:
http://www.marvelousdesigner.com/Marvelous/Plugin.aspx

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Posted: 20 July 2012 05:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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ask PhilW if you are not on his ignore list! tongue rolleye

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Posted: 20 July 2012 05:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thanks. Really, mdd isn’t high on my priority list. I’m just trying to get a feel for doing basic, single frame draping.


And yeah, I’m probably on everyone’s ignore list, which is why I’m talking to myself in this thread.  smile


Anyway, I’ve put a posed, morphed, OBJ based V4 into MD, did a very quick pattern of a skirt (just a simple front and back polgon that I sewed together), and it’s VERY nice. If nothing else, this process gives you a relatively pain-free way of designing clothing that fits well, and then you can bring it back into Bullet for a more realistic draping.


What I love about MD is that it attempts to do a “shrink fit” with whatever pattern you provide, so, unlike Bullet which just drapes, this gives you the fitting part that otherwise would have to be done with directional forces and stuff in Bullet to make clothes conform to the body shape.


This image is a simple skirt I made and draped in MD, then brought back to Carrara for rendering. The placement of the skirt OBJ got a little jacked up in the process, so it’s off a bit. Next step is to tesselate a bunch of times and drape it with Bullet if I want it a bit cleaner.


The downside of the mesh you get out of MD is that its not rectangular polys, so working on it with tools like Looping becomes impossible. And the mesh is very sparse, though there may be a setting to help that. But once you get a feel for the basic pattern making process, which is VERY straightforward, you can put together fairly complicated clothes very quickly.


I believe there’s also a bunch of free clothes on their website (Marketplace/Freestuff), but when I tried one I got an error about illegal license or something. Maybe you can’t load stuff with the demo version. 

 

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Posted: 20 July 2012 06:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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not saying you are, no idea actually! tongue wink
but
check out his Marvelous designer to Carrara animated videos at least!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AfC6s5ocH8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WBXnsYSiaY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1Zvirp1Jtg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8J330vCj1io

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Posted: 20 July 2012 06:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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wendy♥catz - 20 July 2012 06:01 PM

check out his Marvelous designer to Carrara animated videos at least!


Thanks. But unfortunately I’m stuck on a super slow connection today, and any Youtube stuff would take forever. And unless it shows me how to increase the mesh density of the cloth in MD, an “Ooo, look what I did” video ain’t gonna help me much.


That’s not an attack on anyone or their work, just a fact. But I do appreciate you going to the work of providing the links. I’m sure he’s got some wonderful and very impressive videos there.


Anyway, I think I’ve pretty much got it figured out what I want to do, and it’s summarized in what I’ve posted already for anyone who’s interested.


BTW, if anyone does know how to increase the mesh density of the exported OBJ in MD, I’d love to hear about it. Right now it is extremely sparse and ugly when you get it into Carrara.

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Posted: 20 July 2012 08:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Wow. This is fun. Once you get the feel for making clothing from a pattern, and figuring out what the pattern would look like, you can knock out a design in no time.


The mesh density still has me stumped, and I’m thinking that maybe they have it fixed in order to provide the fast response for the simulation. There is a Properties value for type and number of triangles/quads, but I don’t see any way to change it. Too bad. Because what comes into Carrara is nasty.


With the image below I made a top and bottom in MD, exported, subdivided, then ran a Bullet to make it a little nicer. To make just the top in a modeller, with the straps and the tight fit, and have it fit like that, would be a HUGE chore. And I haven’t even broken the surface. Apparently there’s also an option for generating an elastic waistband, and probably a lot more.


By the way, for those who were wondering, yes, you can get MD clothes to fit on women with large bazookas.


Can I say “bazookas” here?


But in all seriousness, that’s a HUGE benefit you get from something like MD, where it does a “shrink fit”. You can simulate the stretch of straps, which is all but impossible with a straight drape like you get in Bullet.


EDIT: Removed ugly image.

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Posted: 20 July 2012 09:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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One thing you have to get used to with this MD is how easy it is to make modifications, like add frills and stuff. It’s very easy, so you have to get into the mindset that you should do it, because it’s no big deal.


In this case I took the simple skirt, which is just two polygons joined by seams, and added a slit on the right side, and also a frill along the length of the right hand seam. Basically, to open the slit it’s just click on the seam and hit delete. To add the frill, you just draw out a quad, click one edge, then click the other edge where you want it to join the skirt’s seam. Very easy. Can’t really see the frill down the right side, but it’s just a long piece of fabric.


The DAZ guys really need to get this internalized into Carrara so you don’t have to go thru the hassle of import/export.


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Posted: 20 July 2012 10:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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JoeMamma2000 - 20 July 2012 05:38 PM

I believe there’s also a bunch of free clothes on their website (Marketplace/Freestuff), but when I tried one I got an error about illegal license or something. Maybe you can’t load stuff with the demo version. 

 

Well, I don’t use Carrara, but I do use MD, so I can give a few hints on working within MD.

First: the “Marketplace” items, even if free, *do* have an internal file lock which makes it difficult to use the .mpac files.  (It is geared towards making the files-for-purchase more secure, once the formal Marketplace is fully active.)  As a better bet, go to the old (little documented)  Freestuff page, which allows for the easier-to-access plain .pac files.  Most of the folks who post freebies, will also post the same (and more) items there.
http://www.marvelousdesigner.com/freestuff/default.aspx

Mesh density is set by the property of Particle Distance.  A smaller number means a smaller polygon, and a denser mesh.  If Carrara allows for mesh smoothing (remember I don’t use it, so I’m guessing here),  you can use and export at a larger PD number.  The smallest internal PD inside MD is 3…. which is for very, very fine detail work level.  Typical construction/working levels are from 10 to 20.

The setting you mentioned about making polys tris or quads is not yet active… the development/research team at MD were anticipating a future development that is currently one of their main bugbears.  There are several threads in the MD forum about conversion methods to quads, but they mostly boil down to doing a re-topo in another program for now. 

I’ll keep an eye on this thread and try to help with questions from the MD side of things.

 

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Posted: 20 July 2012 10:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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EXCELLENT !! Many thanks, Rosemaryr, I very much appreciate it.

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Posted: 21 July 2012 12:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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No problem, Joe!
Also, if I know of a question that is well covered already in the MD forum, I’ll post the link.  Many of the newer MD users have trouble finding an appropriate phrasing for a situation (usually because of terminology from real-world sewing and clothing creation, that don’t quite translate into 3d modeling terms) that may have considerable discussion there.

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Posted: 21 July 2012 05:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Hi Joe,

No I’m not ignoring you!  Thanks to Wendy for letting me know about this thread.

I tend to design the clothes in a default A-pose, so I have a V4 posed like the default avatar as an OBJ which I load as the new avatar.

When I have deigned the clothes on that (and saved them!), I go back into Carrara and decide on pose and morphs to use for the final image, and export that out as an OBJ (using the option to save the skinned / morphed version as you said earlier).  Then in MD you can load that OBJ as a morph target, and MD will generate a number of interim frames over which the default avatar will be morphed into your saved pose, draping the clothes as it does so.

Adjust the particle distance as Rosemaryr has suggested (Hi Rosemaryr!) and now export the clothing from MD to an OBJ (I think I select all the export options, this exports the UVs better), and load that into your Carrara scene with the posed/morphed figure. It should matched for position and scale exactly.  I usually texture stuff in Carrara rather than MD but that is just more what I am used to. I love the way that the UV maps apply textures to the flat patterns, just like real life, so the texturing of the clothes looks great!

There are a lot of people wanting quads, but tris work fine providing you don’t want to edit much. And they work well with bullet soft body too.

The method for using animation is similar to above but using MDD files (with Fenric’s great plugin) in place of OBJs to import and export the animated figure and then the animated clothing in the reverse direction.  One point to watch with this is to ensure that Linear is the default morph when you import the MDD into Carrara, or the clothing goes haywire!  But as before, the scale and position can match exactly, meaning a lot less fiddling around.

I hope this helps.

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Posted: 21 July 2012 06:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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PhilW - 21 July 2012 05:53 AM

...No I’m not ignoring you!...


Oh, okay….didn’t know I was expecting a response from you….but thanks, I guess…


Actually I’m pretty much where I want to be with this, it’s pretty simple and straightforward. So far my biggest pain point is the tris instead of quads. Not only makes it almost impossible for future editing, but setting up shading domains is also impossible if you want to have a straight dividing line, for example, between materials, colors, or alphas on a piece of clothing. That really sucks.


But as long as they’re on the hunt for a fix that’s good.


My next task is to get the shirring settings right for an elastic band, but it looks pretty straightforward. This thing is just incredible in how you can generate fitted clothing so quickly, compared to all the monkey motion you had to do to get something even close in Bullet.

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Posted: 21 July 2012 06:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Yes it is a very cool program!

To get different shader areas, set them up as different pieces of cloth in MD.  You can select the pattern pieces you need and make them a different material, which then exports as a separate shader area in Carrara.

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