View Full Version : techniques for making rumpled looking clothing

01-27-2015, 06:50 PM
good day,

Hi, I've got a character that has a kimono like shirt, I've thickened it successfully, so its not one poly thick however it lacks any folds which give it that lived in look. Aside from painting in wrinkles, i'm wondering what options I have to make folds quickly.

does anyone know what the best way to model in folds and wrinkles into clothing would be (in lightwave).

Is cloth dynamics good enough to let it hang and get some bunched up folds in the sleeves and such? (anyone know how to do this setup?) there is sure to be a trick for this, because a hanging shirt off a t shaped frame still will look quite smooth unless something bunches it up. Would I have to create some sort of geometry to force bunches and folds? Anyone do this?

I saw some kind of wrinkle modeling thing in 3rd powers that looked promising, but i'm stuck with basic lw 11.6 for now.

think luke skywalkers Tatooine shirt. =)

01-27-2015, 11:51 PM
Wrinkle interactive Modeler plugin

01-28-2015, 08:46 AM
A lot of it will depend on your final destination. Like if you are wanting to use it for animation especially with dynamics.

In general, only thicken the edges where you can see it. Don't thicken the whole thing or you will be forever dealing with the backside poking through.

Then, if it is a still image you would of course want to pose the character first.

But with out more information it is hard to advise. Using dynamics is indeed possible to do and the freeze it at a frame.

In this thread here I talked about some techniques for freezing cloth objects with dynamics applied for latter use:


Don't be a twit like the Blenderheads and get all bent out of shape that this is Maya... lol

Actually I first started developing these ideas in LightWave back when.

But the point is, with some planning, yes, you can use the cloth modifier to freeze the shirt.

You can even model wrinkles and any combination of both.

But more about your set up would help.

01-28-2015, 10:17 AM
The new 3rd Powers LW Brush is brilliant for this kind of thing. You can "crumple" topology to create fabric folds in seconds by "sliding" polys about yet remarkably maintaining the underlying model's plasticity. Hope that makes sense, I'm writing this in the pub.

01-29-2015, 07:15 PM
its on sale for 129 =) nice timing

guess i'll get that, it looks like some zbrush like tools in modeler, that's way cheaper than zbrush =)

I'll post the kimono on sat if anyone wants to look/play with it or set up some sort of cloth thing. (thickened version and non thickened version.)
i'll be playing with that for a little bit.

anyone see this program
amazing stuff - will lightwave be doing anything like this in it's cloth effects? that would be nice.

01-30-2015, 01:36 AM
Marvelous Designer does work with Lightwave because it exports MDD. The catch is that you will need to create your clothing within the program to take advantage of its dynamics system. I believe you can import bones animation or MDD to drive the cloth. It's a bit of work since you need to learn how to use its tools, which is more like tailoring and modeling. Results can be nice though.

What Surrealist says is true--you really don't want to thicken the entire cloth if you're doing cloth sims--that asking for prohibitively long calculation times and weird geometry penetrations. You can model out the edges like he suggests but another option is to use DP Edge to fake edge thickness during render.

I've had pretty good luck with Bullet Cloth in Lightwave. You might also consider Syflex for Lightwave, which is much more affordable now than it used to be.


01-30-2015, 01:43 AM
Also, if you use Bullet, set up a version of your character that has simplified segmented geometry parented to the bones for collision and use Kinematic mode. It will calculate much, MUCH faster than using a deforming mesh with Bullet, and the results will be just as good. Probably better since it will be easier and more interactive to tweak.


01-30-2015, 01:52 AM
Some folds should be modeled in--this will look much better than if you relied enitrely on a cloth sim for your folds. If you use Bullet, use Shape Retention to help the cloth return to its originally modeled shape when it's not moving so much. Otherwise, you'll lose your modeled details.

In some cases, you don't really need use a sim for good cloth animations. You can also use joint morph to drive folds. Use HardFX to shape your folds for joint morph--this tool allows you to shape the mesh in layout with the skeleton posed and save the morphs when the skeleton in its T-pose. There's a good tutorial by Dodgy on this topic.

Layout Smart Skinning Tutorial by Mike Green (http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?141813-Layout-Smart-Skinning-by-Mike-Green&highlight=joint+morph+hardfx+dodgy)


01-30-2015, 02:24 AM
i'd go with Bullet Cloth, freeze it, then tweak it with the 3rd Powers tools

You might also consider Syflex for Lightwave, which is much more affordable now than it used to be

http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/dito.gif that... ($200)

01-30-2015, 05:17 PM
ok, erikals - that sounds like what i'm going to doing.
here is the clothing if anyone wants to play with it.
i'll post the sim too once i do one. One thing marvelous designer shows in it's video is that the clothing is "shaken", i imagine that would be the same idea for lw cloth sim, a nice large movement back and forth and let it settle i'm thinking is what to do. (with modeled folds).

I wonder if i can thicken it after i freeze it. something to try.

lw object - kimono, and kimono thickened. (no images) (luke skywalkers tatooine garment by the way)

01-30-2015, 08:46 PM
I would suggest playing with the start position and shape of the cloth. You never mentioned if this was for a still or to be used with animation. But my approach would be if it was a still, to simply rig and then animate and pose the character into position and then freeze it. The elements that create the folds are friction and movement as well as tension. This requires a lot of planning and set up to get to look right.

01-30-2015, 10:33 PM
OK just downloaded the file. The are issues with the mesh. It needs retopology to work well with cloth. The seam is also going to be an issue. There are solutions to all of thism but again we need to know what you are using it for and in what position.

Needless to say you don't have a collision object. Without that you won't get the effect you want from the cloth FX or bullet.

01-31-2015, 02:47 AM
i guess a metacage could be used to fix the seam issue, but yes, we need to know how it will be used.

a metacage would also solve the issue you are going to have with cloth thickness.

01-31-2015, 03:23 AM
It would, but to get folds the meta cage has to be pretty much the same geometry as the detailed object. I mean I should say it has to have high detail and the object details, of the grid sections that is, need to be about the same or you will not get realistic folds and creases transferred between the two. A meta cage is very much a part of this workflow. You can then have all kinds of detail on the actual garment.

When I do this set up I make the meta cage first and then duplicate that, then I put the details on to the duplicate. For edges I usually just make the visible parts thick, ends of the sleeves etc, and leave the rest alone. For a seam like the object presented I set up the polyflow for that in advance but leave the seam off until I made the duplicate. I find it looks so much better when it actually looks like the cloth object is deforming. And this way the wrinkles are all in the right place.

01-31-2015, 11:41 AM
The clothing is for a luke character, he's got limited animation while he's talking to c3po. All he does is twist alittle, no major movement. I would use the classic T and rig it, and pose him with his right hand crossing over his face waving c3po to shut it. Waving his arm around alittle, that's the extent of the animation, and maybe a little twisty waist motion. The sim would provide some arm hanging cloth hopefully.

I only supplied the clothing, I haven't gotten to the sim part yet. I've got a humanoid body somewhere I can use as a collision object, I just have to rig it all, pose it and then try the cloth or bullet sim I think. I have not done clothing before, so.....

____________________________ and now _________________________
LW BRUSH is AWESOME, if you have not bought it, you wont regret it, that wrinkle tool is just plain amazing, and does what it says it does, makes great looking wrinkles intuitively. I'm still getting used to it, but i'm impressed, in 10 minutes I had folds all over, and where I wanted them for the most part. I have to play with the options and how deep the mesh division is to see the optimal amount needed. I had it set to 10 and had good results. (metanurb mesh level).

the smooth and slide functions in lw brush are just amazing. I was blown away how good and useful they are. Who needs marvelous designer, these two functions really add a lot of clothing options to lightwave. And that's just two modeling tools it adds.

This is a freebie object I found at one of the star wars sites. I was surprised it had a seam like it does.
i'll post the new object with lw brush folds in it Mondayish.

wow, I really can't say enough about the slide tool in lw brush, it was amazing to see wrinkles just appear. its alittle tricky to get them exactly the way you want but default values for the tool seemed to be doing a great job. excellent results quickly right out of the box.

Way to go 3rd powers, super useful plugin!!

joint morph,
I know what a morph is, but I've never heard of joint morph - looks interesting. thanks =)

I've never used a meta cage, how do you set that up? do you use a plug in?

01-31-2015, 12:31 PM
If that's the case, I would just use Joint Morphs to model in the folds in the elbow, and either use bullet or even softFX for the flappy bits if there are any. Bullet will give you more realism but unless it's long flowing garments, it may be overkill in many situations. SoftfX is pretty good for adding some 'drag' to clothing so it moves back and forth and then settles. We used SoftFX for Jawas and other characters in Star Wars Kinect a few years ago.

Joint Morph+ is a displacement plugin that can use the rotation of bones to drive morph targets. It's great for morphing folds into cloth based on the motion of the character. Not a 100% realistic effect but good enough most of the time. I like it because once it's set up, it's pretty much 'hands off' so I can focus on other things.

The tricky part of setting up a Joint Morph is modeling a proper morph target for it. I used to do this by trial and error but I don't recommend that at all--it's inefficient and you'll never get exactly what you want. After I found out about Dodgy's technique using SoftFX, that's all I use now for creating Joint Morphs. The beauty is that you can edit the mesh directly on a posed figure in Layout, so the result is more accurate. When you're done editing, you go to your T-pose with the edit still active and save that as a new endomorph. Next, you remove softFX and then use the morph as a Joint Morph. For further details, be sure to read the tutorial.


01-31-2015, 10:01 PM
Yeah putting folds into the cloth is a cool idea with that technique.

Personally I prefer the natural way which is to just set up the cloth and get it working to take care of all of that for you. It is just a matter of setting it up right:

Some links:



Those two links cover most of it. Bullet cloth is different to set up, and I have never used it. So sorry about that. But this info will help.