Join Joel Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video Overview of cloth tools, part of Cloth Simulation: 3ds Max.
When we set out to learn any of the complex systems that are available inside 3ds Max, such as mass effects, particle flow, and of course, the cloth system itself, it is always a good idea in my mind to set aside some time right at the beginning of such endeavors in order to become familiar not just with the tool options available inside 3DS Max, but also with allocation inside the application's user interface. Doing this can help us negate the natural frustration that can come from having to continually hunt around for the tools we want to use as well as giving us a good, clear overview right from the outset of the controls that we have available when producing clock simulations in Max.
Of course in this instance, taking the time to understand the locations of tools in the UI will also serve a third purpose in that it really provides us with this handy reference video that can be used throughout the duration of this course should we find ourselves a little lost and in need of a quick reminder regarding the location of certain cloth tools. To help make referencing cloth tools a little easier, we can essentially split them into 3 distinct user interface categories. These being garment maker, the main cloth modifier itself, along with the cloth object's properties panel which although accessed from inside the cloth modifier is probably best thought of as an entire UI element in and of itself.
First off then, let's take a look at where in the UI we can access garment maker tools. As this is a modifier, we can actually get to in a number of ways, the quickest being by means of the modifier drop-down found inside the command panels modify tab. Now, we probably should mention here that this course is going to be pretty much exclusively focused on cloth simulation tools as opposed to the cloth organic creation options that are available in 3DS Max.
For this reason, we will in this course mostly be touching on garment maker functionality as it pertains to cloth simulation. We do however, need to be aware that this tool set is, in its own right a very powerful garment and cloth object creation suite. To make use of the modifier, we also need to understand that garment maker is designed to work with spline objects. So if I for instance, select the geometric plane that we have sitting above our work bench here, you can see as I access the modifier list and scroll down.
That, we don't actually have a garment maker entry available. If I back out of the modifier list though, and instead select the spline objects that we have here, coming back into the modifier list reveals that we do now have a garment maker entry that can be applied to the selected spline object. Doing so as you can see, adds a surface mesh to the splines, and at the same time opens up a comprehensive set of Garment Maker specific controls in the command panel.
That then, is Garment Maker. Next up, we have the main cloth simulation system in 3DS Max which like garment makes it applied and controlled as a standard 3DS Max modifier. To access this, we will want to select our editable poly mesh and then from the drop down list, apply a cloth modifier to it. As with Garment Maker, we now gain access in the Command panel to an array of control parameters many of which, we'll be using quite frequently, throughout the duration of this course.
One extremely important option found in the Cloth Modifier controls sits at the top of the Object roll out, and it's entitled Object properties. As soon as I left mouse click on this button, you can see why I recommended that we think of this dialog as a unique or separate interface element in its own right. The wealth of options that we gain access to here are all used to both create and then apply global behaviors to cloth and collision objects inside our simulations. Besides having quite a massive array of functionality sitting at what we can think of as the top level of this modifier, Cloth also make use of a number of soft objects modes.
These, like any modifiers soft object mode in 3DS Max can be access by simply expanding the tree hierarchy that we can see on the modifier stack window. One final set of available cloth options that I want to point out to you here just for the sake of completeness, are ones that we won't actually be making use after all during this course, these being the M Cloth tools. Now although the controls and of course the general idea of mCloth, is very much akin to the main cloth modifier itself, these different 3DS Max tool sets belong to completely separate and non compatible simulation systems.
mCloth has been designed as part of the unified MassFX simulation system that is capable of having both rigid and soft-body objects such as mCloth, interact inside the same simulation in a physically plausible manner. The MassFX system, is of course a 3DS Max specific implementation of Nvidia's PhysX technology developed to produce real time physics simulations inside game engines. This means that while brilliant in quite a number of scenarios, mCloth currently is not capable of the kind of fine control and subtlety of motion that can be generated by means of the main Cloth system itself.
If however, you find yourself wanting to check out how the mCloth tool set works, you can take a look at the creating simulations in Mass Effects and 3DS Max course, which can be found right here on the lynda.com online training library. You may specifically want to take a look at chapter f5 which is entitled working with M-cloth. So now that we are familiar with just where in the 3DS Max UI Cloth tools can be found, let's move ahead and take a look at a set up option that we do well to give serious consideration to before going ahead and starting work on any 3DS Max cloth simulation projects.
This being scale.
This course was created and produced by Joel Bradley. We are honored to host this content in our library.
- Comparing mesh subdivisions
- Adding the Cloth modifier
- Adjusting options like panels, seams, and faces
- Setting up and controlling cloth behaviors
- Working with constraints like Preserve, Surface, and Sticky Cloth
- Applying forces to cloth
- Controlling cloth quality