The Marvelous Designer Thread

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  • jpetersen1jpetersen1 Posts: 147
    edited April 2020

    I purchased MD very recently.

    I have previous experience working from patterns (wood, leather, fabric) and I'm familiar with applying UVs, but I'm having problems with basic functionality of the software and so far it seems annoyingly right-hand centric in terms of interface (I'm used to interfaces where the work is balanced between the two hands, which is better for avoiding handstrain, carpal tunnel, etc., but as far as I can tell so far, this software wants everything to be done with different buttons on the mouse rather than allowing control-char/mouse combinations). Maybe I don't know it well enough yet to locate all the alternate keystroke options but putting all the work on one hand is actually not a "healthy" way to design software. Humans need left-right-left-right actions to reduce strain on muscles and tendons.

    Anyway, first impression, maybe there are ways around it but I can't seem to find very many of the middle and right mouse menu clicks as options on the menus at the top.

     

    But getting on to my total-newbie question...

    What I don't understand, and this is a very basic question... even if my two pieces are identical (created from the same template) and lined up next to each other with the Snap to Grid option and even if it's a very simple straight seam, I sometimes get complaints from the software about the seam being too close or far away or overlapping. Is there some OPTIMUM distance that the software prefers in order for it to join the seams without error messages?

    Also, if I snap-to-grid and put the seams (to be sewn) along the same line, I can't find a way to select both vertexes, it only lets me choose one, so I assume (maybe wrongly) that it's better to have them some distance apart??? If not, how to you select both of them so they can be stitched together, without accidentally including nearby edges?

    Post edited by jpetersen1 on
  • lilweeplilweep Posts: 1,385

    Hmm, I dont really understand your question either sorry.  I dont think i ever encountered issues sewing segments. I just sew edges together using either the free-sewing or segment sewing tools.  The way you described sewing as a process where you would select multiple vertices at once is not how the sewing tools work?

    Maybe show a picture of what you're doing?

  • jpetersen1jpetersen1 Posts: 147

    If I use snap-to-grid and put two pieces adjacent, they snap to the same grid line. Then it's hard to sew them together. You can't see what is going on and sometimes it doesn't want to select both seams to be connected.

    Should I be putting them some distance apart so that it's easier to select the relevant seams? Is there an optimum distance that works best with the software??

    In real life, you put the two pieces of fabric so they touch. otherwise you can't sew them together. This is software, obviously not real fabric, so I assume it works differently.

     

    Also, does snap to grid actually work? Half the time it doesn't seem to snap to the gridpoint. Is there a way to adjust the grid spacing? Is it too fine, is that why the points don't seem to match the lines in the window? I couldn't find grid preferences on the menus.

     

  • barbultbarbult Posts: 18,663
    edited April 2020

    If I use snap-to-grid and put two pieces adjacent, they snap to the same grid line. Then it's hard to sew them together. You can't see what is going on and sometimes it doesn't want to select both seams to be connected.

    Should I be putting them some distance apart so that it's easier to select the relevant seams? Is there an optimum distance that works best with the software??

    In real life, you put the two pieces of fabric so they touch. otherwise you can't sew them together. This is software, obviously not real fabric, so I assume it works differently.

     

    Also, does snap to grid actually work? Half the time it doesn't seem to snap to the gridpoint. Is there a way to adjust the grid spacing? Is it too fine, is that why the points don't seem to match the lines in the window? I couldn't find grid preferences on the menus.

     

    There is no need to snap the pieces to gether or line them up in the 2D window at all. They can be any place, and you can stitch them together. In the second image attached, I moved the pieces all over in random locations. It doesn't affect they way they stitch together at all. The only reason I know of to line them up (not touching) is for ease of visualizing what piece stitches to what other piece, and to use the 2D layout for UV mapping arrangement.

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  • lilweeplilweep Posts: 1,385
    edited April 2020

    If I use snap-to-grid and put two pieces adjacent, they snap to the same grid line. Then it's hard to sew them together. You can't see what is going on and sometimes it doesn't want to select both seams to be connected.

    Should I be putting them some distance apart so that it's easier to select the relevant seams? Is there an optimum distance that works best with the software??

    In real life, you put the two pieces of fabric so they touch. otherwise you can't sew them together. This is software, obviously not real fabric, so I assume it works differently.

     

    Also, does snap to grid actually work? Half the time it doesn't seem to snap to the gridpoint. Is there a way to adjust the grid spacing? Is it too fine, is that why the points don't seem to match the lines in the window? I couldn't find grid preferences on the menus.

     

    You should separate the pieces otherwise, as you have apparently discovered, you won't be able to see what you're doing and you will have overlapping line segments that are not readily selectable.  Any distance > 0 should be fine.  The software doesnt care if the fabric pieces are separated by huge distances in the 2D viewport. It's an irrelevant thing to consider.

    (I have never used snap to grid. Dont really see the point to be honest.)

    Post edited by lilweep on
  • jpetersen1jpetersen1 Posts: 147
    edited April 2020

    Great, thank you, it's good to know they can be anywhere and that the software is not expecting a certain "distance" in order to process them correctly. I'm COMPLETELY new to this software.

     

    I really need snap-to-grid because some of my items don't lend themselves to duplicate/mirror/unfold functions, and I need certain parts of them to match on either side, which can only be done perfectly with snap-to-grid (I don't want to have to go back later and adjust all those points manually, I want them to be in the right place when they are first added). But it seems to behave strangely (doesn't always seem to work) and the only possible reason I can think of so far is that maybe the grid is too fine and therefore allows too many close-together points to be selected, but that's only a guess. I'm used to software that lets you set the size of the grid and the distance, but I didn't see settings for that.

    Post edited by jpetersen1 on
  • Having nothing to do with anything, I'm just so happy because today I got my first successful workflow from Daz to MD to Blender, a whole 300 frame shot. I admit that once I used a base resolution model for just the clothing sim, MD really, really worked well, better than both dForce and Blender's cloth engine. Alembic support everywhere except Daz is very good.

  • lilweeplilweep Posts: 1,385
    edited April 2020

    Having nothing to do with anything, I'm just so happy because today I got my first successful workflow from Daz to MD to Blender, a whole 300 frame shot. I admit that once I used a base resolution model for just the clothing sim, MD really, really worked well, better than both dForce and Blender's cloth engine. Alembic support everywhere except Daz is very good.

    Do you export alembic from Daz or do you go somewhere else before exporting alembic to MD?  I use the alembic exporter from Daz, and it's okay but has issues like not supporting geografts, and it seems to fail to export alembic sometimes for unknown reasons.

    Also, what are you simulating in Marvelous Designer? Are you simulating MD clothing or are you importing clothing as Objs (OBj to garment)?

    I ask because I noticed recently that even high poly meshes simulate really fast with the new GPU accelerated simulation mode.  A 30 frame animation takes like 15 seconds or so to simulate an obj garment using the GPU accelerated simulation (again, even at high poly mesh) and a high res alembic model.  The GPU simulation mode doesnt look as good as the normal mode, but a high poly mesh still looks good after the GPU sim.  Downside is it still crashes MD all the time when i use the GPU mode - usually when rotating the camera while simulating.

    Post edited by lilweep on
  • lilweep said:

    Having nothing to do with anything, I'm just so happy because today I got my first successful workflow from Daz to MD to Blender, a whole 300 frame shot. I admit that once I used a base resolution model for just the clothing sim, MD really, really worked well, better than both dForce and Blender's cloth engine. Alembic support everywhere except Daz is very good.

    Do you export alembic from Daz or do you go somewhere else before exporting alembic to MD?  I use the alembic exporter from Daz, and it's okay but has issues like not supporting geografts, and it seems to fail to export alembic sometimes for unknown reasons.

    Also, what are you simulating in Marvelous Designer? Are you simulating MD clothing or are you importing clothing as Objs (OBj to garment)?

    I ask because I noticed recently that even high poly meshes simulate really fast with the new GPU accelerated simulation mode.  A 30 frame animation takes like 15 seconds or so to simulate an obj garment using the GPU accelerated simulation (again, even at high poly mesh) and a high res alembic model.  The GPU simulation mode doesnt look as good as the normal mode, but a high poly mesh still looks good after the GPU sim.  Downside is it still crashes MD all the time when i use the GPU mode - usually when rotating the camera while simulating.

    I export from Daz to MD using an Alembic exporter that I wrote, and has a bunch of options to get around the quirks Blender has with working with Alembic. It's almost finished, and I intend to share it with the Daz community. Hair is the killer and I'm working on converting mesh hair to particle systems in Blender. I have not tried it with geografts because I haven't used those yet.

    I did not try an obj garment because I could always get those to work well with Blender cloth sim by just simulating the parts of the clothing that I actually move; it just takes longer. Sooner or later, Blender will have an OpenCL accelerated cloth engine :) I should give obj garments a try.

    Yes, I was really impressed with the speed, compared to both dForce and Blender, but what really impressed me was the robustness. I had a pretty bad intersection of the hand and the torso that would have blown up dForce for sure, probably Blender as well, but MD just kept on chugging.

    I did not notice the crashing you described and I'm pretty sure I moved the camera. My garment was pretty simple, but my Alembic parser has an option to convert everything to base res peform expoerting, so maybe that is what made the difference. Before, the 300 frame Alembic was 74 gigabytes, and MD tries to load the whole thing. Now, it's only 7 or so, and MD handles that in stride. Did you try using a base res avatar?

  • lilweeplilweep Posts: 1,385

    Sounds cool and very complicated.  Glad there are smart people that can work everything out.

    Im still very intimidated by how much there is to learn in Blender before i can start using it.  Hopefully one day Daz just becomes a plugin for Blender and i dont have to try to learn multiple different softwares to do things.

  • lilweep said:
    Im still very intimidated by how much there is to learn in Blender before i can start using it.  Hopefully one day Daz just becomes a plugin for Blender and i dont have to try to learn multiple different softwares to do things.

    Try Andrew Price's (Blender Guru) Donut tutorial on Youtube. He's a great teacher. Other than starting with Daz Studio instead of iClone, becoming competent in Blender is the single best decision I've made in my entire 3D journey. I admit that it looks a bit intimidating, but like anything, you'll get familiar with it and then you won't remember anymore what you thought was so hard about it. Just give it a go, any effort you expend will repay itself tenfold, I guarantee you.

  • lilweeplilweep Posts: 1,385

    I have to admit i have not invested much time into looking seriously at the various Daz to Blender importers.  I have seen a lot of discussion about bringing Daz characters into Blender, but what about other types of assets?  Is there support for bringing in scenes? And how much work would the material/shader node set up be?

    I will need to eventually revisit and complete the Blender donut tutorial from scratch.  I did actually watch the series of videos through very recenttly in a very passive way but I wasnt following along so there was barely any retention of the info.  That said, I have actually been using blender for a few months to do basic things like model editing, morphing, and doing file conversion out of necessity.  This approach of learning things incrementally has made me more comfortable with Blender basics but maybe isnt the best approach & i should probably invest some time to learn it properly.  But just learning Daz, substance, and MD have stretched my last remaining neurons to their limit this past year as it is, since i have no background in 3D, and so i havent decided if i actually want to commit to using Blender more than i have to.

  • lilweep said:

    I have to admit i have not invested much time into looking seriously at the various Daz to Blender importers.  I have seen a lot of discussion about bringing Daz characters into Blender, but what about other types of assets?  Is there support for bringing in scenes? And how much work would the material/shader node set up be?

    I will need to eventually revisit and complete the Blender donut tutorial from scratch.  I did actually watch the series of videos through very recenttly in a very passive way but I wasnt following along so there was barely any retention of the info.  That said, I have actually been using blender for a few months to do basic things like model editing, morphing, and doing file conversion out of necessity.  This approach of learning things incrementally has made me more comfortable with Blender basics but maybe isnt the best approach & i should probably invest some time to learn it properly.  But just learning Daz, substance, and MD have stretched my last remaining neurons to their limit this past year as it is, since i have no background in 3D, and so i havent decided if i actually want to commit to using Blender more than i have to.

    Fair enough :)

    I have had success using Alembic to export to Blender. @wolf359 uses FBX, which I have not tried. The Diffeomorphic plugin works very well, too, as long as you convert everything to base resolution first. But I believe all of these methods will require you to tweak the materials, which means learning the Material Node system. Personally, I think it's intuitive and incredibly powerful, but others find it intimidating. What I do is basically to export a character's geometry via Alembic, and then do it again with the Diffeomorphic plugin, just for the materials. Eyes in particular. Diffeomorphic gets one within tweaking range of perfection. But I won't lie, it'll take some effort, but it is also fun. The key is to build up a library of materials that you re-use, and tweak for variation so you don't start from scratch every time. The node system makes it trivial to do this.

    And in my opinion, the best way to import something that doesn't use JCMs, is to just import the OBJ and use Blender specific materials to re-texture. There are thousands of free examples, and the quality is as good as what one has come to expect from Daz. Although it wasn't meant for this, I've imported whole scenes with their materials using Diffeomorphic, and it has only failed once, due to instances, I think.

    And something that not many people talk about are the recent advances in the cloth simulation and the cloth brush for realtime tweaking much like in MD, MantaFlow for fluid, smoke, and fire sim, and support for vdb to import clouds and other volumes. I even saw once a tool that allows you to pose an imported OBJ by dynamically adding bones and IK to the obj... I simply could not believe what my eyes were seeing.

    Long story short, it's pretty easy to get Daz content into Blender, and the more you do it and your material library grows, it gets easier and easier.

    But I do understand your position... there is only so much time to learn.

  • lilweeplilweep Posts: 1,385

    i think that dynamic posing tool was added in the last update of blender?  I noticed it in the Sculpting part of Blender.

    I wasnt able to get it to work very well on the mesh i was using, but it was a very complex scanned human model with bad topology, so that might have been why.

  • lilweeplilweep Posts: 1,385
    edited April 2020

    A cool police uniform from Digital Combine (nee evgeniya petrova) .

    Took not an insignifcant amount of work to set up on G8M Brute morphed figure because there are many different pieces.

    Police cap & shoes were just some objs from somewhere.

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  • That looks great... I simply have to get better at MD.

  • lilweeplilweep Posts: 1,385
    edited April 2020

    And a suit (i didnt make the outfit).

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  • lilweeplilweep Posts: 1,385

    Some pieced-together garment files i bought + freebie hat and shoes from sketchfab.

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  • barbultbarbult Posts: 18,663
    lilweep said:

    Some pieced-together garment files i bought + freebie hat and shoes from sketchfab.

    very impressive!

  • lilweeplilweep Posts: 1,385

    Thanks.  I just realised i forgot to make his eyelashes visible before "rendering" it (if you can even call that a render.)

    The fur collar was just a carpet texture, hopefully nobody notices.

  • barbult said:
    lilweep said:

    Some pieced-together garment files i bought + freebie hat and shoes from sketchfab.

    Wow. That's very good.

  • MusclemanMuscleman Posts: 2,789
    lilweep said:

    Some pieced-together garment files i bought + freebie hat and shoes from sketchfab.

    AWESOME!

  • lilweeplilweep Posts: 1,385
    edited April 2020

    Made this today - I combined and altered several other garments i had.  I didn't really have to make anything from scratch.

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  • Fungible UserFungible User Posts: 444
    edited April 2020

    Originally posted to the Marvelous Designer Tutorial Opinion thread by DarkEdgeDesign, but wanted to jump on the bandwagon here:

    "I have just finished the two excellent and informative MD tutorials from DarkEdgeDesign. I would like to replicate what he does to save out all of the Daz JCMs for Genesis 8 Male in one static folder, and though I understand where to find a single Daz JCM, and how to un-hide it to get the correct name, I would like to know how I can make sure I have every one of them. Is there somehow a way to bring up a list of them in parameters, or elsewhere, so I  can be confident I have all of the positions necessary."

    P.S. - Does anyone know of a good tutorial on how to assign material zones for garments? - Answer found in this thread. Whoop Whoop!

    Gonna try stitching and the button thing next. 

    @barbult - your designs are amazing. I've still got a lot of catching up to do.

    2nd queation - I arranged the UV's in MD (I think DarkEdgeDesign said not to) but for the sake of a query, are there any rules I should be taking in to consideration when arranging them? Should I have used more than one square? Are the pieces too small, and if so, what happens to the final image if they are too small?

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  • Fungible UserFungible User Posts: 444
    edited April 2020

    Material Zones accomplished...I made the same mistake as Barbult...if only I head read a wee bit further I would have saved my head from splitting. I had unified texture checked...DOH!

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  • barbultbarbult Posts: 18,663
    empty said:

    Material Zones accomplished...I made the same mistake as Barbult...if only I head read a wee bit further I would have saved my head from splitting. I had unified texture checked...DOH!

    Hey, that looks great. I like the textured pockets.

  • lilweeplilweep Posts: 1,385
    edited April 2020

    If you are not using textures from Marvelous Designer, but instead are adding shaders to your outfit within Daz, then it does not matter how you arrange your UV

    If you are using textures from marvelous designer, then the following would apply.  In the UV editor view, you can click the 'bake textures' button and choose the resolution for your textures (Metallicity, Diffuse, Normal, and Roughness maps).

    It will allow you to enter the texture resolution, so if you only have your pattern pices cramped into one square as opposed to spread across multiple tiles, you can compensate by increasing the resolution of the map to prevent the textures getting pixelated.  If youre texture file sizes are too large (e.g., many MBs), you can reduce their size by converting to JPG in photoshop/gimp etc.

    If you are using multiple texture tiles, remember that a tile can contain multiple material zones within it, but you should not have one material zone split across multiple tiles.  This is becuase when you assign the textures to the material surfaces within Daz, you will can apply one texture map to multiple different material zones/surfaces, but you cant apply two different maps to one material zone.

     

     

    Post edited by lilweep on
  • Fungible UserFungible User Posts: 444
    edited April 2020
    lilweep said:

    If you are not using textures from Marvelous Designer, but instead are adding shaders to your outfit within Daz, then it does not matter how you arrange your UV

    If you are using textures from marvelous designer, then the following would apply.  In the UV editor view, you can click the 'bake textures' button and choose the resolution for your textures (Metallicity, Diffuse, Normal, and Roughness maps).

    It will allow you to enter the texture resolution, so if you only have your pattern pices cramped into one square as opposed to spread across multiple tiles, you can compensate by increasing the resolution of the map to prevent the textures getting pixelated.  If youre texture file sizes are too large (e.g., many MBs), you can reduce their size by converting to JPG in photoshop/gimp etc.

    If you are using multiple texture tiles, remember that a tile can contain multiple material zones within it, but you should not have one material zone split across multiple tiles.  This is becuase when you assign the textures to the material surfaces within Daz, you will can apply one texture map to multiple different material zones/surfaces, but you cant apply two different maps to one material zone.

     

     

    Outstanding information, thanks so much for taking the time to explain. Ultimately I want to make my own textures in Substance Painter. With Covid-19 keeping the whole of the UK at home I am putting all this free time to good use to learn Z-brush, Substance Painter/Designer, Marvelous Designer etc. And finally getting to use/learn my tablet which I bought a year ago and was still in the box. It's a steep learning curve, but if I don't keep myself occupied...well, I'll just end up drinking wine all day and singing karaoke in the living room in my pants (underwear), much to the chagrin of my neighbours.

    Another question comes to mind - is there a 'standard' range for texture file sizes? Like what would be a file size reference in MB to maybe keep in mind.

    Post edited by Fungible User on
  • lilweeplilweep Posts: 1,385
    edited June 2020

    If you are bringing your garment model into Substance Painter to texture it, then the way you set up your UV in Marvelous Designer will matter. You want good 'texel density' (whatever that means).  But the way i think of it is, the parts where you will want a lot of detail should be proportionally larger than the areas where you dont need to paint as much detail. 

    Also bear in mind that you can only paint across two different material zones in the upcoming and as yet unreleased Substance Painter.  In the current version of Substance Painter you can only paint within material zones/texture sets.  So if you separate pieces into different material zones/texture sets that you intend to paint across seamlessly, this might not be a good idea.

    In terms of standard texture sizes, I dont really know the answer to this because I am just a beginner.  I have seen vendors on Daz release textures that are over 10MB for a 4k (4096x4096) texture in JPG format.  I always tried to keep mine under 4MB personally.  In Photoshop when you save as JPG you can preview the compression as you reduce "quality".  You can usually compress the files quite a lot before noticing too much detail loss.  But again, im not a vendor & dont know much about texturing conventions, so i am not certain how this step is supposed to be done.

    Normal maps should be 16bit PNG or TIFF

    Post edited by lilweep on
  • lilweeplilweep Posts: 1,385

    Also if you want some free cloth shaders, this website has really good seamless textures: https://3dtextures.me/category/fabric/

    Im sure most people already know about this, but in case you didn't.

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