View Full Version : Need advice for cloth dynamics

03-20-2016, 05:16 AM
Hi there,

I have a personal project coming needing a lot of cloth dynamics for fantasy dresses, capes and hair.
I usually animate my characters with MOCAP through nevron motion. I'd like to animate the clothes, but I was never successful in any attempt with bullet even when baking the mocap to mdd and then try to get some acceptable results.
ClothFX is very slow and get sometimes better results. I tried exporting to Blender, apply blender cloth and reimport, but it's far from being straightforward.
I am asking myself wether Syflex would be a good choice. For a hobbyist on a budget, it's quite some price, and it would take on the savings I made for LW Next. I'm also afraid it wouldn't work after with LW Next.
So what do you think ? Should I go the Syflex route ? Is is straightforward and as efficient as it seems ?
Looking forward for your advises.


03-20-2016, 05:57 AM
I I have not used Syflex in LightWave but I have heard good reviews of it. I think it would simplify the process. I have used Syflex in XSI and it is quite nice. Currently I use nCloth in Maya which is the best I have found. I have used Classic Cloth in LightWave and of course Blender cloth.

But for a LW solution I think the general agreement around here is that Syflex is the best there is. Especially since you are not importing and exporting.

03-20-2016, 06:57 AM
Capt M,
May I suggest that you really finalise much of your cloth assets together.

Short list in complexity,then get a demo of Marvellous Clothes designer Clo3d




it's a great proggy, keep your LW2016 powder dry!

Check out this Red Indian Chief's attire in the following Tut,

the magazine has other tuts (clo3D) on this app.


Post up if your happy later on in the project, Good Luck

03-20-2016, 07:36 AM
Thanks for your answers.
At first sight MD is way too expensive for my limited needs. It is sure efficient, but it implies I/O as for Blender, and I don't have 550 Bucks to spare for it. Of course, I can use the demo for some time, but my project will certainly be done in little bits over a very long time because just in my spare time. I'll try with MD demo and see.
Thanks again.

Ryan Roye
03-20-2016, 09:11 AM
Tip: Regardless of which solution you choose (if in Lightwave), you are going to want to use some form of low-poly proxy object to act as the simulated element, even if you are using Syflex. You should be able to get reasonably good, fast results with as few as 300-500 polygons for simulated entities if you utilize metalink or cagedeformer. If you aren't familiar with metalink, look it up!

Bullet can do cloth, but like the native solution you will not be able to preview your work as you are animating because of the way they work. This is one of the biggest benefits of having Syflex, as you will in fact be able to animate while your simulation plays back.

03-20-2016, 09:29 AM
Yep, my current dress is not that heavy in polygons (around 4000), but I'll definitely try with a low poly proxy. BTW, I finally started to get not too bad results with bullet, and I must say that Chronosculpt is a big help to correct the deformation and collision problems.

03-21-2016, 04:51 AM
Regarding the proxi object. To me that is part and parcel to a specific workflow. And you only need to use it when you are simulating something with uneven or higher details. Like pockets and seams, hems, etc. And for high quality work you most likely will be.

The choice of the resolution of the cloth dynamic object should be chosen specifically for the effect you want to get. Higher resolution is going to give you higher res dynamic wrinkles. And for those to show the linked (caged) object needs to start from the same resolution of cloth, and preferably from the same exact cloth object copied and then details added in.

In the case of say a leather jacket, you might want to sculpt or model the wrinkles and details, then drive it will a lover res object.

There is another technique where you can perform a simulation on a cloth object to get a "start position". This can also be used to create wrinkles folds etc. If you don't want those to be dynamic, you can save trans that object and have a lower poly object drive it.

Lots of cool things you can do. :)

03-21-2016, 05:55 PM
I highly recommend Syflex as a cloth solution for LW! It's stable, very performant, and at $200/seat it really is a bargain for the quality of solution provided (IMO).

03-21-2016, 11:55 PM
Syflex is sure really tempting. Yet, in Europe, the price is 240€, because of an unfair change rate and VAT, e.g. around 270$.
I have started to get acceptable results with bullet+chronosculpt. I'll try this way for the moment, but if I bump into too much difficulties I'll definitely buy Syflex.

Ryan Roye
03-22-2016, 07:03 AM
Regarding the proxi object. To me that is part and parcel to a specific workflow. And you only need to use it when you are simulating something with uneven or higher details.

At least for my work, this is almost always the case. Many pieces of clothing tend to have irregular polygonal detail like pockets, emblems, varied padding, zippers, folds (that need to not unbend, like rolled up jeans), and sofourth. It is quite rare that you can simply use a finished model's original topology and apply simulation to it without problems. If the clothing has thickness to it (most often capes, scarves, etc), one can potentially quadruple the amount of simulation required by not using a proxy object to represent the deformations of the original.

03-22-2016, 08:03 AM
Yeah right. If you have a cloth model with those kinds of details pretty much can not get away with it. I never do that either. I always use a cage. And which is why I said for high quality work you will more than likely be running into this. ;)

03-24-2016, 02:26 PM
I didn't run into these problems as I want to animate a fairly simple dress (my project is a short for my daughters, the kind of thing with a med-fan young princess). So I don't have any pockets or seams.
I think I start to understand bullet soft bodies. Especially, toying with damping, linear or angular stiffness, and volume conservation changes things a lot.