Pop­u­late scenes

Si­mon Edwards shares his ba­sic prin­ci­ples for pop­u­lat­ing a large his­toric scene

3D World - - CONTENTS - Au­thor Si­mon Edwards Si­mon works free­lance at 3Dartvi­sion. He has worked pro­fes­sion­ally both as an architectural vi­su­aliser and 3D artist for 20 years in Holland and the UK. www.3dartvi­sion.co.uk

Use Mar­velous De­signer to add hu­mans to im­ages

asig­nif­i­cant amount of the time taken in build­ing this scene was in­vent­ing var­i­ous sce­nar­ios and mini dra­mas for the peo­ple in the im­age. After sketch­ing ideas over rough print­outs, I could be­gin build­ing in­di­vid­ual char­ac­ters.

The scene in­cludes more than 160 in­di­vid­u­als who, be­tween them, share 140 dif­fer­ent poses and five cos­tume de­signs with ad­di­tional vari­a­tions in the choice of fab­ric pat­terns.

Mar­velous De­signer (MD) comes ready-loaded with a small li­brary of ba­sic char­ac­ters that can eas­ily be ma­nip­u­lated within MD (rather than im­port­ing avatars from 3ds Max, as I have done). How­ever, I found the struc­ture of those supplied by MD too mus­cu­lar and not al­to­gether cor­rectly pro­por­tioned, hence why I also use 3ds Max. Before start­ing, I chose to ex­port the T-posed avatar pro­vided by MD and edit it in 3ds Max into a more nat­u­ral form. By do­ing this you lose the abil­ity to pose the form na­tively in MD, so I made a sec­ond copy ready-posed in 3ds Max to use, after it was dressed, as a morph tar­get.

Any ‘avatar’ ex­ported as an obj will work. In or­der to pose your char­ac­ter clothed you need to save a copy of the orig­i­nal T-posed char­ac­ter and the fi­nal posed char­ac­ter (bear­ing in mind, that while edit­ing the posed form must re­tain the orig­i­nal ver­tex count of the T-posed char­ac­ter for them to morph cor­rectly).

01 rig the Avatar in 3DS MAX

Open the T-posed model, make sure the feet are stand­ing at 0,0,0 and ex­port a copy of the model as ’T.obj’. As this ex­am­ple pose will be seated, cre­ate a sim­ple box to represent a bench for it to sit on. Drag a de­fault Biped over the model, ro­tate and ad­just the bones so they fit over the T form. Bind the bones to the mesh by adding a Skin mod­i­fier. Click on the Add but­ton within the mod­i­fier list and se­lect all the bones.

Hide the mesh and ma­nip­u­late the bones into a pose us­ing the move and ro­tate tools.

02 Fix Any MESH De­for­ma­tions

Any large holes or lumps that have ap­peared after un-hiding the model can be cor­rected by se­lect­ing the mesh, click­ing on Edit En­velopes un­der the skin mod­i­fier, and ma­nip­u­lat­ing the con­trol points with the Move tool. You can fur­ther edit and tweak the mesh us­ing Mesh Edit with soft se­lec­tion if nec­es­sary, but do not op­ti­mise or add any poly­gons while do­ing so be­cause you must re­tain the orig­i­nal ver­tex count.

This doesn’t need to be per­fect as the body will, after all, even­tu­ally be hid­den by clothes.

03 SAVE out A copy

Once happy with the posed mesh, ex­port it as ‘pose.obj’ and then sep­a­rately, the box that it is sit­ting on as ‘bench .obj’. Before leav­ing 3ds Max, make a snap­shot mesh of the posed model (this is found un­der Tools in the top menu) and save out this new se­lected mesh as ‘pose.max’.

Now you have a clean 3ds Max model of the posed avatar saved along with the skin tex­tures, with­out any mod­i­fiers or bones at­tached.

04 Build the DRESS

Open Mar­velous-de­signer and go to File> im­port> obj and choose the T.obj file you ex­ported in step 1. In the Im­port di­a­log, se­lect Open and then Load as Avatar. Only ‘Avatar’ ob­jects will in­ter­act with cloth sim­u­la­tion in MD. The avatar will ap­pear but with­out the skin tex­tures seen in 3ds Max. Drag one large rec­tan­gle (which will be the dress) over the legs in the 2D screen and one smaller one at waist level (which will be the dress belt).

05 Draw Fold lines

Cre­ate fold lines on the rec­tan­gles by se­lect­ing the In­ter­nal Poly­gon/line but­ton and click­ing (in the 2D screen) first on one edge of the rec­tan­gle and then twice on the far edge to fin­ish the line. Cre­ate two folds on each rec­tan­gle in or­der to wrap the flat sheets around the avatar as a three-sided box. Se­lect each rec­tan­gle in­di­vid­u­ally in the 3D screen and ma­nip­u­late them so they’re up close, and in po­si­tion with the avatar.

06 Fold the DRESS

Se­lect one of the fold lines in the 2D view and then the Fold Ar­range­ment but­ton found in the tools above the 3D screen. Click on the fold line in the 3D screen and a disc will ap­pear with green and red ar­rows. Se­lect one of the ar­rows,

click, hold and drag on this and that por­tion of the rec­tan­gle into which the ar­row points will ro­tate (fold) around the fold line. Re­peat this with all the fold lines un­til you have bent the rec­tan­gles into three-sided boxes. Then move each one of these so they roughly sur­round the avatar’s legs and waist.

07 SEW the DRESS

The edges of the three-sided cubes we have now made need to be sewn to­gether to com­plete the dress form. Se­lect the Seg­ment Sew but­ton in the tools above the 2D screen and then within the 2D screen, se­lect the bot­tom edge of the small rec­tan­gle (belt) and then the top edge of the large rec­tan­gle (dress). When you do this, you can see in the 3D screen that fi­bres have been stretched be­tween the two plains to represent stitch­ing. Do the same with the two far edges of the dress and also the two far edges of the belt.

08 Edit the Sew­ing

Look in the 3D screen to check where the threads have been stretched be­tween pan­els. If any are at­tached to the wrong panel, then se­lect the Edit Sew­ing but­ton above the 2D screen, se­lect the sew­ing line in the 2D screen, delete it and then do it again.

09 Sim­u­late AND Ad­just

Press the Sim­u­late but­ton (or use the space bar) and the dress will flop around the avatar. While the Sim­u­late but­ton is ac­ti­vated, you will be able to grab the fab­ric in the 3D view and pull it up and around in a real-time en­vi­ron­ment. If you have made the belt too loose, it may start slid­ing down the fig­ure, so grab it and drag it up again before quickly hit­ting the Sim­u­late but­ton to stop the move­ment. Go back into the 2D screen and make the belt shorter, if needed, lengthen or shorten the dress and then fi­nally delete the fold lines. Re-sim­u­late.

10 cre­ate A Bus­tle

In or­der to make the dress wider at the top and give the im­pres­sion of a bus­tle, se­lect the In­ter­nal Rec­tan­gle but­ton, found in tools above the 2D view, and draw a rec­tan­gle in­side the ‘dress’ rec­tan­gle along the top edge. Edit that rec­tan­gle so it ex­tends over the top and sides of the dress shape. With the In­ter­nal Rec­tan­gle se­lected, go into the Prop­erty Edi­tor and un­der Bond/skive, tick the box Bond. This will ef­fec­tively stiffen the area of dress cov­ered by the small rec­tan­gle. Stiff­ness pa­ram­e­ters can be ad­justed un­der

the De­tail drop-down list just be­low. View the re­sult in the 3D view with Sim­u­late on.

11 jacket rec­tan­gle

In 2D view, start by mov­ing the two dress rec­tan­gles down and out of the way, then cre­ate a new rec­tan­gle over one side of the chest and ab­domen. Move the ver­tices around and edit the shape with the var­i­ous ver­tex tools nes­tled above the 2D screen to tai­lor a pat­tern for one of the two front pan­els of the new jacket.

12 USE Sym­me­try

Once you are sat­is­fied with the form, right-click on the 2D shape while hold­ing down the Shift but­ton. Then from the di­a­log box that ap­pears, se­lect Sym­met­ric Pat­tern and drop a new (sym­met­ri­cal and in­stanced) panel be­side the first. Make sure the two jacket pan­els are sit­ting in the cor­rect po­si­tion rel­a­tive to each other and in front of the avatar’s chest on the 3D view.

13 copy AND PASTE

Hold down the Shift but­ton and right-click on ei­ther of the two pan­els in the 2D view and choose Copy. Then with the Shift but­ton still held, right-click else­where on the screen and se­lect Paste. Drop a new shape be­side the front pan­els. This will be one of two rear pan­els, so move and ro­tate it into place to the back of the avatar in the 3D view and be sure the shape ‘nor­mals’ are point­ing in the right di­rec­tion (lighter faces should be fac­ing out­ward, while darker faces should face in­ward).

14 SHAPE to Form

Now ma­nip­u­late the ver­tices on the back panel to re-shape into the re­quired form. The web can be use­ful as a ref­er­ence point here by search­ing for tai­lor pat­terns, or by look­ing in your own wardrobe. Hold down Shift and right-click on the new rear panel, se­lect Sym­met­ric Pat­tern and drop a copy over to the op­po­site side on the 2D screen. Ad­just the po­si­tion­ing of the pan­els around the avatar.

15 SEW the jacket

Se­lect Seg­ment Sew­ing from the tools above the 2D screen and go around all the 2D jacket pat­terns, click­ing first on one seam edge and then onto the op­po­site one to which it is to be sewn up against. To close the jacket at the front, I have made a cus­tom sew line us­ing the Free Sew­ing but­ton. When us­ing this, click where you want the sew­ing to start on the first edge, click where it fin­ishes along the same edge, then move the mouse over to the op­po­site panel that it will be sewn against, click where the sew­ing starts and then fi­nally where it ends.


Drag out a new rec­tan­gle, ap­prox­i­mately to the length of the sleeve. Edit to make the shoul­der end wider than the cuff end, re­sult­ing in a trapez­ium shape (I want to have more fab­ric around the shoul­der in or­der to make the sleeve look ‘puffed out’).

Draw two fold lines from shoul­der to cuff with the In­ter­nal Poly­gon/line tool. Move the trapez­ium along the length of the arm in the 3D screen and then us­ing the Fold Ar­range­ment tool, fold the form around the arm as is de­scribed in step 5. Sew the two edges along the length us­ing the Seg­ment Sew­ing tool.

17 More Sym­me­try

With the Trans­form Pat­tern but­ton se­lected, hold down the Shift key and right-click on the sleeve in the 2D screen. Se­lect Sym­met­ric Pat­tern and then drop a copy of the sleeve over to the op­po­site side of the lay­out in the 2D view. You should see the sleeve ap­pear, cor­rectly po­si­tioned, around the op­po­site arm of the avatar in the 3D screen.

18 Sew­ing the SEAMS

The wide edge of the trapez­ium needs to be sewn to both the front and rear pan­els of the jacket as the seam cir­cles around the arm. Us­ing the Free Sew­ing tool, start at the top, wide end of the trapez­ium and fin­ish ap­prox­i­mately half-way down. Then move over to the front panel, start again at the top of the arm open­ing and fin­ish at the bot­tom. Next, go back to the trapez­ium and start again, but this time from the fin­ish point of the pre­vi­ous sew line (ap­prox­i­mately half-way down) and fin­ish down at the bot­tom. Then move over to the rel­e­vant rear panel, this time start at the bot­tom of the arm open­ing and fin­ish at the top.

19 Sim­u­late

Press the Sim­u­late but­ton and watch the jacket form it­self around the avatar.

While us­ing Free Sew­ing, it is easy to set the start and fin­ish points on op­pos­ing pan­els in the wrong places, re­sult­ing in the sew­ing be­com­ing twisted. In the ex­am­ple il­lus­trated here, I have pur­pose­fully po­si­tioned the sleeve start and fin­ish points wrongly and the sleeves have twisted them­selves into a knot. To cor­rect this, se­lect Edit Sew­ing, right-click (with Ctrl held down) over the trou­ble­some sew­ing line in the 2D view and se­lect Re­verse Sew­ing. Press space bar again to start sim­u­la­tion and the sleeves will cor­rect them­selves.

20 MAKE AD­JUST­MENTS to the jacket

Now delete the fold lines from the sleeves. Keep the Sim­u­late but­ton ac­tive while care­fully mov­ing ver­tices and ad­just­ing curved edges in the 2D view. You will in­stantly see the re­sult mov­ing in real time in the ad­ja­cent 3D view. You can fur­ther move over to the 3D screen and pull edges of the cloth­ing to ad­just how it hangs on the avatar. Con­tinue tweak­ing like this un­til you are sat­is­fied with the re­sult.

21 puff out the Shoul­ders

Just as the sleeves of the dress was ‘puffed out’ in step 16, the shoul­ders can also be given some stiff­ness to make them look more puffed out. Go through the same steps as out­lined in step 16 but this time draw the rec­tan­gle over the wide end of the trapez­ium-shaped sleeve. Work­ing on just one sleeve will af­fect both, as they are in­stanced. Once again, with the Sim­u­late but­ton ac­tive and while watch­ing the re­sult in the 3D screen, ad­just stiff­ness set­tings in the De­tail drop-down list after an in­ter­nal rec­tan­gle has been ‘bonded’ over the sleeve.

22 As­sign prop­er­ties to the FAB­RICS

To the right of the screen un­der Ob­ject Browser and with the Fab­ric tab se­lected (de­fault set­ting), click on Add to add a new fab­ric. Go to the Prop­erty Edi­tor be­low and re­name to ‘dress’. Un­der Ma­te­rial, click onto the icon with four dots set in a square shape to open

a browser, where you can search for im­age files to ap­ply a pat­tern. Fur­ther down the list, un­der Phys­i­cal Prop­erty, choose a pre­set to suit the fab­ric char­ac­ter­is­tics of your cloth­ing item, such as cot­ton, and ad­just the thick­ness if nec­es­sary.

23 SCALE pat­tern

Se­lect the dress in the 2D screen and un­der Prop­erty Edi­tor, choose the fab­ric cre­ated in step 22 from the drop-down list be­side Fab­ric. From the tools above, click on the icon that looks like a roll of car­pet, Edit Tex­ture, and a UCS will ap­pear in the top-right cor­ner. Zoom in closer to the dress shape and make sure it is se­lected (when se­lected the UCS will turn or­ange). As you hover over the UCS, the con­trol arms will light up in yel­low. Click, hold and drag over the 45-de­gree line in the UCS to scale your pat­tern larger or smaller.

24 im­port the Bench AND pose

From the File menu, choose Im­port> obj and then search for the ‘bench.obj’ file that was ex­ported from 3ds Max in step 3. Choose Add from the Load Type op­tions and then Load as Avatar (only ‘Avatar’ ob­jects will in­ter­act with cloth sim­u­la­tion in MD). The bench will ap­pear in po­si­tion. Re­peat this pro­ce­dure, but this time search for the ‘pose.obj’ file (also ex­ported in step 3). This time choose Open and Load as Morph Tar­get. The avatar will morph into the new pose on the bench and the clothes will fol­low.

25 Ex­port clothes

You can pull the fab­rics around in the 3D view while sim­u­late is ac­tive to ad­just their po­si­tion. Press space­bar to stop sim­u­la­tion once all the fab­rics are hang­ing as you want. From the File menu, choose Ex­port and give a name to the file such as ‘clothes’. From the di­a­log box, un-tick Se­lect all Avatars, tick Se­lect all Graph­ics, tick Sin­gle Ob­ject, tick Thick, Save with Tex­ture Files and Dif­fuse Color Com­bined on Tex­ture. Check the Se­lect All Avatars option has re­mained un-ticked (after click­ing on Thick this can switch back to de­fault) and ex­port.

26 im­port into 3DS MAX

MD has cre­ated a zip file in the ex­port process. Ex­tract all the files from this and open the 3ds Max file ‘pose.max’ cre­ated in step 3. Im­port ‘clothes.obj’ into the 3ds Max file and the clothes will ap­pear in place on our avatar. The ma­te­rial fab­ric scale has likely im­ported at a large scale. Open the Ma­te­rial Edi­tor and se­lect the Multi/sub Ob­ject ma­te­rial that has im­ported with the obj clothes. Choose the ma­te­rial in the list and se­lect the im­age map in the dif­fuse slot. Ad­just the tiling size un­der Co­or­di­nates by mul­ti­ply­ing by 10 in both the U& V slots.

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