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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.
We've got our nCloth simulation working, but as you see, it's not looking correct. It won't even really bend properly. And at first blush, you might think that this is because maybe the dynamic properties of the cloth are not set correctly, maybe it's got too much stiffness, or something like that. So you might be tempted to select that, and go into its attributes, Control+A, and start playing around with these Dynamic Properties, changing the amount of Rigidity, or the amount of Compression Resistance, or whatever.
But if you were to do that, you'd actually be barking up the wrong tree, because that's actually not the problem here. The problem is that Nucleus expects me to build my scene at 1 to 100 scale, but I've built my scene at 1 to 1 scale, and so currently, nucleus thinks that this tablecloth is actually not 1 meter from side to side, but 100 meters from side to side, and that's why it's not behaving correctly. So, I'm going to rewind. I want to go to the nucleus node, and there is a super important attribute that's kind of buried way down here at the bottom; you need to dig around find that. Here it is: Scale Attributes.
I want to open that up, and this is probably the most important attribute in all of nucleus: Space Scale. If Space Scale is 1, then Nucleus thinks that your world is that 1:100 scale. If you've built your scene to 1 to 1 scale, then you'll need to put a multiplier value in here. But there's a catch; most people would think that, oh, I've got a scene that's built that 1 to 1 scale. Nucleus thinks that it's at 1 to 100 scale, so I'll just turn this up to a 100, multiplying it by 100.
But in fact, that's actually the exact opposite of what you need to do. Nucleus thinks that this object is not 100 meters wide, but actually 10,000 meter wide; a 100 times a 100. Okay, well that's totally wrong. The weird thing here is that the Space Scale needs to be set to not 100, but the inverse of 100, or 1/100, or 0.01. For a scene that's built at 1 to 1 scale, the Space Scale needs to be 1/100.
There you go. So now it's playing back correctly. General rule of thumb: if your scene is built at 1 to 1 scale, set the Space Scale to be 0.01. If your scene is built at 1/10 scale, set the Space Scale to 0.1, or 1/10, and if you're seen is built at 1/100 scale, then the Space Scale will be 1.
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