mar­velous de­signer 7

3D World - - CONTENTS -

How does this re­lease fare?

First of all, it seems CLO3D, mak­ers of Mar­velous De­signer, are start­ing to lis­ten to user feed­back on price, as it’s con­sid­er­ably cheaper to rent this time around. The monthly fee is still a bit steep, but cheaper than it was. The prices on per­pet­ual or an­nual li­censes have also come down con­sid­er­ably. It seems the last few years’ in­crease in users and fund­ing has also brought with it the time and money to de­velop some new fea­tures. One is the new, some­what mis­named Flat­ten tool, as flat­ten is just a part of what it does. It lets you draw a spline onto your model, kind of like re­topo work.

Once you’ve blocked in the shape of a gar­ment on your model, you add it into the 2D Pat­tern Ed­i­tor for fur­ther work. Need­less to say, this takes a lot of the has­sle out of a mea­sure-tweak-sim­u­late work­flow. In ad­di­tion, you can gen­er­ate splines based on your model’s group­ing. This is su­per handy for more finicky gar­ment gen­er­a­tion, like gloves.

It’s not with­out flaws though, the most ir­ri­tat­ing be­ing that it seems to work best with flat-chested fig­ures. Try it with a fe­male fig­ure from Make­hu­man or DAZ, and the spline tends to get lost in the curvier ar­eas of the fig­ure. It can be has­sle to find it again to con­tinue draw­ing, es­pe­cially when your UI is set to Max con­trols. Some tweaks and pol­ish in the fu­ture will prob­a­bly take care of that, but right now, it was sim­ply an­noy­ing.

The other stand­out is the fact that kit­bash­ing is now also a fea­ture for dig­i­tal gar­ments! It works ex­actly like it does in Max, Maya or any other 3D ap­pli­ca­tion: You have blocks of items, like col­lars, tops and sleeves, which you pick, tweak and as­sem­ble on your fig­ure,

“MD7 HAS OTHER TOUCHES To MAKE GAR­MENT CRE­ATION EAS­IER”

and voilá – new gar­ment. It’s easy to use, too. You add com­po­nents rang­ing from buck­les, to gar­ments to stitches, add them to a tem­plate shape, and save the gar­ment into your li­brary. In ef­fect, this means no more mucking about with load­ing en­tire gar­ments or project files to use part of a gar­ment in another – now you can just gen­er­ate and grab what you need from the li­brary, and ad­just it to the avatar you’re us­ing.

In ad­di­tion to many lit­tle UI tweaks, MD7 has other touches to make gar­ment cre­ation eas­ier. You can fi­nally add darts to out­side edges, mak­ing it so much eas­ier to make su­per­flu­ous cloth wrap and drape cor­rectly. You can now off­set in­ter­nal lines along curves, some­thing any­one who’s cre­ated gambesons or other line-in­ten­sive gar­ments should be very happy about, as it means an end to the ‘cre­ate line, copy, paste, tweak, copy both, paste, tweak’ – and so on work­flow. You now use a UI to de­fine lines and off­sets, again, sav­ing time.

In ad­di­tion, MD7 sports its first real at­tempt at au­toma­tion in this re­lease, by pro­vid­ing a ba­sic Python in­ter­face and com­mand set.

All this new func­tion­al­ity comes at a price of course. My big­gest griev­ance was a slow­down in UI re­spon­sive­ness on a 64GB sys­tem with a 4GHZ GPU and two 1080s on a 4K LED screen – the screen ac­tu­ally went black dur­ing re­freshes, no mat­ter how much I tweaked my driv­ers or screen set­tings.

While the new stitch­ing func­tion­al­ity is pretty good, this could have been solved less ge­om­e­try-heavy by han­dling it via Nor­mals. In ad­di­tion, it still has some lack­ing ex­port tools, mean­ing the MD to Zbrush work­flow is in this re­lease too. These are tri­fles com­pared to the cur­rent func­tion­al­ity, though. I have re­viewed and used Mar­velous De­signer since ver­sion 2. This is my ab­so­lute favourite re­lease thus far, and if you haven’t jumped on board the Mar­velous train yet, this is the point where you should.

tak­ing a leaf out of the Pat­tern­maker Pro play­book, Md7 now of­fers li­braries of cloth­ing blocks, and new tools to tweak them

the new flat­ten tool does more than just flat­ten, it al­lows you to draw the gar­ment right on the fig­ure

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