Helpful tip for conforming clothing with handles

YofielYofiel Posts: 204
edited December 1969 in Carrara Discussion

I couldn't get this to work before, but now I worked it out, in case other people have the same problem here's what worked.

The problem is, some conforming clothing has helper objects, usually called 'handles,' to help with positioning, for example, the flare of a dress or the billow of a cloak. Handles appear while assembling, but aren't usually wanted in the final render. Handles do work in Carrara 7.1 if the clothing is added to the figure in Poser and imported as a PZ2. They sometimes work when added from the content or smart content folders, but sometimes doing so results in the handle being invisible in Carrara so you don't even know it's there.

Poser assigns the default material to the handle, so it shows up during posing, and declares it as invisible for the final render. However in Carrara the handles are almost never a separate entity in the instance tree, in which case it's not possible to set their visibility independently from the rest of the cloth via the Carrara properties in the assembly room. So I used to go in the modeling room and delete them, in which case the clothing can't be positioned as well in Carrara.

So here's the tip. Create a custom shader with an obvious color, say, bright red for example. On the shader also set the alpha to zero. Then assign that shader to the cloth helper. For newer clothing there is usually a separate shading domain, typically called 'handle,' which shows up when the object model is selected in the shader room as one of the object's multiple shading domains. For older clothing though, the handles were usually assigned to 'preview' material, for which there may not be a separate shading domain, in which case it's simple enough to create a new shading domain for them in the modeling room.

In the assembly room, one can then turn handle visibility on by clearing the 'Transparency' checkbox in the 'Display Options' subpanel of the "Interactive Renderer Settings' panel (opened from the upwards-pointing arrow icon in the viewport's top right toolbar). As the handles have alpha of zero, checking the 'Transparency' checkbox in the interactive renderer settings causes them to be invisible. They are also invisible in the final render, and as their alpha is zero, they do not cast or receive shadows either.

That's the tip. Have fun :)


  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 9,177
    edited December 1969

    thanks for the tip, very useful!

    I'm not sure how we use them in Carrara to pose the clothing?

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