Understanding Maya nCloth
Illustration by John Hersey

Adjusting strength drop-off


From:

Understanding Maya nCloth

with Aaron F. Ross

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Video: Adjusting strength drop-off

Our transform constraints are working, but as you see, all of these vertices are being basically glued in place. What we want is a transition where there will be a great deal of strength to the constraint here at the corner that falls off, or diminishes with distance. I want to select the transform constraint, and open up the Attribute Editor, Control+A, if it's not already open. And you're looking for a section that says Strength Dropoff, and directly above that is the Dropoff Distance, and these two work in conjunction; you have to actually adjust both of them to get a result.
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  1. 3m 19s
    1. Welcome
      43s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      1m 8s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 28s
  2. 29m 47s
    1. Understanding the Nucleus solver
      2m 2s
    2. Setting animation preferences
      3m 19s
    3. Adopting a scale convention
      4m 27s
    4. Building polygon primitives
      5m 42s
    5. Freezing transforms
      1m 38s
    6. Creating passive colliders
      1m 46s
    7. Creating nCloth
      2m 17s
    8. Setting Nucleus Space Scale
      2m 47s
    9. Choosing an nCloth preset
      2m 18s
    10. Adjusting nCloth and nRigid attributes
      3m 31s
  3. 26m 14s
    1. Planning and preparing
      1m 10s
    2. Laying out the scene
      4m 49s
    3. Defining materials
      2m 40s
    4. Constructing a simulation
      5m 48s
    5. Creating transform nConstraints
      2m 23s
    6. Editing constraint membership
      3m 7s
    7. Adjusting strength drop-off
      3m 15s
    8. Adding Nucleus wind
      1m 29s
    9. Using interactive playback
      1m 33s
  4. 34m 46s
    1. Tuning solver attributes
      2m 34s
    2. Checking the simulation with a Playblast
      3m 18s
    3. Controlling collision thickness
      2m 52s
    4. Adjusting dynamic properties
      4m 29s
    5. Smoothing nCloth with subdivision surfaces
      5m 16s
    6. Setting the initial state
      2m 25s
    7. Creating an nCache
      6m 59s
    8. Constraining component to component
      6m 53s
  5. 36m 45s
    1. Duplicating nCloth
      5m 25s
    2. Assigning Nucleus solvers
      2m 14s
    3. Using collision layers
      5m 6s
    4. Optimizing nCloth quality settings
      3m 27s
    5. Displaying nodes in the Attribute Editor
      1m 17s
    6. Displaying the input or output mesh
      4m 31s
    7. Working with construction history
      5m 33s
    8. Extruding nCloth
      3m 14s
    9. Increasing efficiency with proxy collision objects
      3m 28s
    10. Modeling nCloth garments
      2m 30s
  6. 45m 5s
    1. Welding adjacent borders
      4m 17s
    2. Creating a point-to-surface nConstraint
      4m 41s
    3. Creating a force field nConstraint
      2m 14s
    4. Dressing an animated character
      8m 31s
    5. Simulating thick cloth with a wrap deformer
      4m 12s
    6. Painting attributes by vertex
      4m 7s
    7. Painting attributes by texture
      4m 52s
    8. Animating nConstraint attributes
      1m 45s
    9. Working with nCaches
      6m 32s
    10. Painting cache weights
      3m 54s
  7. 30m 15s
    1. Simulating many objects
      6m 44s
    2. Adjusting lift and drag
      6m 30s
    3. Applying wind shadow
      2m 34s
    4. Connecting nCloth to fields
      4m 19s
    5. Simulating rigidity
      3m 46s
    6. Scaling time with nCache
      2m 5s
    7. Warping objects with Input Mesh Attract
      1m 37s
    8. Tearing nCloth
      2m 40s
  8. 47s
    1. Goodbye
      47s

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Watch the Online Video Course Understanding Maya nCloth
3h 26m Intermediate Nov 30, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Take an in-depth look at nCloth, the Maya toolkit for simulating high-resolution mesh cloth for 3D characters and animations. Author Aaron F. Ross explains the roles played by the various "actors" in an nCloth simulation, including the nucleus solver, nCloth objects, passive colliders, and nConstraints. The course begins with basic simulations such as flags and ropes, then progresses to building a simple garment, until finally integrating animation and special effects like falling leaves and tearing cloth. Aaron also covers performance optimization techniques such as nCloth and nucleus solver settings, proxy objects, collision layers, the Wrap deformer, and more.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the nucleus solver
  • Adopting a scale convention
  • Adjusting nCloth and nRigid attributes
  • Creating and animating nConstraints
  • Editing nConstraint membership and influence
  • Smoothing nCloth with subdivision surfaces
  • Storing and manipulating simulation data with nCache
  • Improving simulation quality and efficiency
  • Dressing an animated character
  • Painting dynamic attributes such as Stickiness
  • Simulating many objects such as falling leaves
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
Maya
Author:
Aaron F. Ross

Adjusting strength drop-off

Our transform constraints are working, but as you see, all of these vertices are being basically glued in place. What we want is a transition where there will be a great deal of strength to the constraint here at the corner that falls off, or diminishes with distance. I want to select the transform constraint, and open up the Attribute Editor, Control+A, if it's not already open. And you're looking for a section that says Strength Dropoff, and directly above that is the Dropoff Distance, and these two work in conjunction; you have to actually adjust both of them to get a result.

The Strength Dropoff is currently a flat line up here, meaning that there is no diminishment of strength over distance. What I need to do is click anywhere here in this little graph, and create a new point on that curve, and drag it down to the lower right-hand corner. And what this is doing is it's reducing the strength of the transform constraint. The left-hand side of the graph here corresponds to the position of the transform constraint icon, and the right-hand side of the graph is the strength at the Dropoff Distance.

What I'm saying here now is that at 50 centimeters away, we will have Strength of 0. Press Play, and see what happens. We are seeing a little bit of diminishment of intensity or strength to that transform constraint, and we can tell here because these vertices here are showing these little dashed lines, which are springs connecting the constraint to the cloth vertices. What I need to do here is reduce the Dropoff Distance. Basically, I want to figure out what this distance here from that transform constraint to the farthest vertex.

I'm going to estimate that to be about 15 centimeters. Rewind, and play back, and you see here that that fell completely off the pole. We can just give it a greater Dropoff Distance, and that will cause the overall strength to be greater. Of course, I could do other things, like change the dynamic properties of the cloth itself. That looks okay on that one, at least for a start. I'll go down here and select the other one. Once again, adjust the Strength Dropoff curve, so that it's falling off linearly from the position of the transform constraint to the Dropoff Distance here, and I'll set that to, let's try 15 on that one.

It doesn't need to be as strong; the lower constraint can be weaker. So we just have to adjust these values a little bit until we get that flag to stay where it's intended to be. I'll increase the Dropoff Distance on the top one a bit; let's give that a value of 30. Press Play, and see what I get. And I could adjust the shape of this curve too, if that were my intent, you know, I could give that a different shape. But I think the linear transition is easier for me to comprehend, so I am going to leave it at that.

Once I add wind in here, I might need to adjust those once again.

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