On June 3rd and 4th of 2011, Todd Palamar presented a special Master Class workshop for ACCAD Graduate Students. The focus was on cloth, fluid effects and creating realism.
Todd Palamar has recently completed three new book offerings, Maya Studio Projects: Dynamics, Maya Studio Projects Photorealistic Characters, and Mastering Autodesk Maya 2012.
This is a simple tutorial on simulating an nCloth cape. The cape is connected to a motion captured dancing character.
- Once you have your character and modeled cape, snap or translate vertices from the cape to the characters geometry. The vertices do not need to touch the character. You can position them anywhere that looks natural. Figure 2 shows the placement.
- Select all of the parts of the character. Choose nMesh>Create Passive Collider. This makes the characters geometry into an nRigid object (Figure 3).
- Select the cape and choose nMesh>Create nCloth. This makes the cape into an active nCloth object.
- Select the vertices you moved in step one and choose the character’s geometry. Select Constrain>Point to Surface. If your character has multiple parts, only select the vertices closest to each part and add separate constraints. In this example 3 different Point to Surface constraints were used
- The nCloth cape is now attached to the character. However before running the simulation, you need to establish the Space Scale. nCloth solves in meters therefore everything that is not modeled to meters must use a conversion. To figure out the conversion, measure your character from head to toe (Figure 4). Next, determine how big your character would be in the real world. In this example the character would be 6 ft in the real world or 182 cm. Since its scale matches the real world size we only need to convert from centimeters to meters. Select the cape and open its Attribute Editor. Find the nucleus tab. Click on it and open the Time Scale rollout. The default solver scale value is 1, meaning 1 x 1 Maya unit is equal to 1 meter. Change the solver scale to .01. Now the equation would read .01 x 1 Maya unit is equal to .01 meter or 1 cm. By changing the Space Scale to .01 you tell nCloth that everything connected to it is 1/100 smaller than a meter.
- Go back to the nCloth tab in the Attribute Editor. Assign it the tshirt preset. This preset is a bit to flexible for our cape. Change the Bend Resistance to 10.
- Now we are ready to see how it looks. Run the simulation. Figure05 shows the results.
- The cape isn’t keeping up with the speed of the motion capture. Open the nucleus node again and change the Time Scale to 2, increasing the speed of the simulation (Figure 6).
- The new simulation can be seen in Figure07.
- Almost there. The cape is moving better but now gets wrapped up and tangled. The quality of the solve itself needs to be improved. Once again go back to the nucleus node. This time open the Solver Attributes rollout. Increasing the Substeps and Max Collision Iterations prevents the cloth from getting tangled. For this example they have been increased to 6 and 8 respectively (Figure 8).
- The simulation is run again with improved results. Watch it now Figure09.
To learn how to take nCloth to the next level check out Maya Cloth for Characters.
Our own Todd Palamar has joined the B-Movie Competition at the CG Society. His goal is to breath new life into the 1959 classic Killer Shrews by completing two entries, one for image and another in the video category. Check out his latest postings here:
SP Effects is excited to announce that customers can now purchase and download Maya Cloth for Characters and Maya nCloth Basics from our website. Receive the same great products without the wait. Each archived file contains a PDF of the printed material and all of the assets that ship with each product.
Starting January 1st 2009, SP Effects will pay for half the shipping costs on all orders, international and domestic. The customer needs to do nothing. Simply place your order and the discounted shipping rate will be calculated automatically.
Maya Cloth for Characters
MSRP: $49.95 U.S.
PUB DATE: August 2008
If your next CG production involves characters, you should think about dressing them! Add realistic clothing to your CG characters using Maya with Maya Cloth for Characters. Discover how the clothes were built for an upcoming computer generated horror movie.
With this book you will learn everything you need to know to create a wardrobe for all of your characters. Each part of the process is thoroughly explained with step-by-step instructions. Follow along with two complete human characters included on the DVD. Learn how to dress your characters and simulate pants, shirts, jackets, and much more. You will also gain an understanding of how to troubleshoot and fine tune clothing to get the exact results you are looking for. Maya Cloth for Characters is an essential guide for designing, building, and animating clothing.
Maya nCloth Basics
MSRP: $24.95 U.S.
PUB DATE: July 2008
Harness the power of Maya’s nCloth with the Basic nCloth DVD. The lessons and accompanying scene files walk you through the fundamentals of nCloth. Start by draping a tarp onto a truck. Then blow it off with cinematic style wind. Next up, have the truck drive through the cloth, tearing a hole in the middle of it.
nCloth is great for fabric, but it can also replicate metal and glass. It’s destruction time! Smash the vehicle’s windows and crush the hood. For the grand finally, send the truck over a cliff. Sit back and watch the vehicle roll over and over, denting, dinging, and crushing with each tumble. Get all of this and more with the power of nCloth and the Basic nCloth DVD.
Mental Ray Approximation Editor
- Polygon source mesh modeled with all quads, triangles, or a mixture of both
- Displacement map.
Overview: Convert a rigged, low polygon model of an octopus into a subdivision surface using Mental Ray’s approximation editor. Once established, add a displacement map for further detail. Ultimately this gives you the ability to use the approximation editor to control the tessellation of the polygon object during render time.
**Note** This tutorial is based off of Chapter 2, Maya Cloth for Characters!
Pre-requisite: Solid understanding of the Maya interface.
- Cloth sheet
- Polygon mattress
- Polygon Box spring