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Blender is a powerful open-source tool for 2D and 3D graphics, full-on animation, compositing, and post-production. It is used to create movies and special effects, even in HD. In Blender Essential Training, Roger Wickes offers new Blender users a thorough explanation of its interface, tools, and features. He also demonstrates practical techniques and shows how to access the online and openndash;content resources of this amazing tool. Specific 3D techniques covered include navigating in 3D space, using cameras and lights, and rendering. Roger demonstrates how to rig, animate, and composite a character over live action. Exercise files accompany the course.
An awesome feature of Blender that's been three years in the making is Cloth, and the ability to simulate various kinds of Cloth. When we're running a Cloth simulation, we're going to turn this cape into a leather cape. The standard rules of simulations apply. Mainly the cape has to be on a shared layer with the other objects that it's colliding with. So if we press M, we see that the cape is on layers 3, 12, and 13. If we select the mesh, and press M, we see that the mesh of Capitan Knowledge is on layers 2 and 13.
So 13 is our shared layer in this case. So now that we have checked the mesh, we can select the cape and enable Cloth. Now just like with Soft Bodies, we can also pin the Cloth as well, and we'll get into that in a little bit, but let's go over these first. We have some presets that we can select from. And he wants a leather cape that just fills in these values here, which is the structural stiffness, and the bending stiffness, which is if you took a piece of rayon, or a piece of silk, or a piece of cotton, or piece of leather, between your two hands and you pulled it and stretched it, and tried to bend it and wrinkle it, it would work differently based on the different kinds of cloth.
So that's what the stiffness sets up here. Springiness and dampness says that if we pull it apart, it doesn't want to come back together again. Like rubbery type materials, latex, mylar and that kind of stuff, is very springy. In the air dampness setting, we have a value that determines when the wind blows, how much is it affected. So if you have sheers or let's say a fishnet kind of material, a fishnet material would have a very low air dampening versus a solid cloth would have air dampening of 1.
The Quality of simulation determines how long and how much compute power you want to dedicate to performing the simulation. So since this is a training tutorial, I'm going to set this down to 4, and that's what you standardly want to do when you are first setting it up. Start with a low quality setting, revise, and tweak, and tune your settings, and then eventually start cranking the quality up to get a better quality simulation. Mass is the density of the fabric, how heavy or thick it is, and then Gravity is the direction of gravity, which in this case is downward at 9.8 meters per second.
Now we want to pin the cloth, but in order to pin it, we need define vertex group. Let's tab into Edit Mode, and when we pin the cloth, we have control over whether or not that portion of the cloth participates in the simulation and will move or slide around. Now in this particular case we have the cape for Captain Knowledge, and it's not going to slide around, especially around near his clasp or anywhere near his shoulders. So let's go into Side view, and define a vertex group that consist of those vertices that make up the top of his shoulder, by coming down here to Edit, Vertex Groups, New, and we are going to call it Shoulder.
And to find those vertexes to that Vertex Group. Now when we tab out of Edit Mode, and we come back to the Cloth presets, we can now click pinning of cloth, and since is the shoulder is the only vertex group in the cape that comes up and automatically is selected, we can vary the amount of which this vertices groups are pinned by adjusting the pin stiffness here. We want the Cloth to detect when it collides with other objects. So we want to enable collisions, which is always turned on by default, and then we have a Collision Quality, another quality indicator here that says how often or how well it should check for collisions with other objects.
And obviously you want to crank this up; especially sometimes you will start to see Cloth breakthroughs, where it will breakthrough the mesh, because the quality isn't high enough. So if you just crank up the Quality then, it will be able to detect that a little better. When it does collide with something, what kind of Friction is involved in between the two surfaces? So I would like to set this up to about 80, to say that when it does collide with something, it pretty much sticks to it. It doesn't just bounce right off again. Silk has a very low coefficient of friction.
Leather has a very high coefficient, because it's actually swayed on the other side. Finally we can enable self-collisions, and that's where the Cloth can fold in and on itself, and then when it folds in on itself, it won't just pass through itself. It will detect itself and then not pass through. It will instead bounce off or just stop and then kind of unfold. Under the Cloth Advance panel we could enable some stiffness scaling and do weight paint to define really thicker pieces of the cloth, but that's pretty advance stuff.
So that's really all we need to do. Now what we need to check on is that when we do the Bake, it's going to go from frames 1 to 250. If our simulation is longer, let's say it's like 500 frames, we have to change this to match the length of our animation. So if we press Alt+A or on the Apple keyboard Option+A, we'll run these simulation through our Frame range, and turn this mesh into a piece of a cloth, for our animation range, which is 1 to 50. So you have to keep these two ranges in mind, you have your animation range, and then you have your baking range.
So let's go ahead and press Alt+A, Option+A on the Mac. So once the simulation finishes, it then starts playing over and over in the 3D View, and you can see how the cloth bends into forms. You can stop the simulation at any time and rotate the view and change your perspective, and then just do an Alt+A again, and if the Cloth has already been computed and nothing is changed, it can use that same Cache. If you ever do change something, let's say we started him walking or whatever, we would have to come over here and free the Cache.
When we were finally done and we like the way it is and our character is moving, and everything like that, then we want to do our Final Bake, which is over here, by clicking this Bake, and then that locks in that simulation. So that's how you do Cloth in Blender.
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