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New Features

Clothilde

The Clothilde plugin is part of the MOCCA 2 module. Of all the new features in R9, cloth simulation is the one that really stands out for me. I don't care if I ever put a dress on a single model, playing with cloth is just COOL! Sadly, if you have just core R9, you don't have Clothilde. For those that don't, I highly recommend downloading the R9 demo from MAXON if for no other reason than to play with cloth.

The Clothilde plugin consists of three main parts: cloth tag, collision tag, and cloth NURBS.

The cloth tag is assigned to a polygon object that you would like to become cloth. It allows an amazing level of control over the cloth's dynamic parameters. Real-life attributes like stiffness, weight, bounce, friction, and ability to stretch are all configurable. The cloth's environment is configurable as well. You can set up a nice Northerly breeze to blow your Clothilde flag around. You can make the breeze a hurricane if you like. Set a few fixed points and make a nice volleyball net or stage curtain. You can even use vertex maps to control the attributes over the length and breadth of the cloth so that the center is rubber while the edges are stiff.

What is cloth good for if you can't make clothes you ask? Well, you can and very easily in fact. The cloth tag includes a dressing tool for taking simple clothing shapes, stitching them together, and form fitting them to your model. Evening gowns, t-shirts, jeans and more are all possible and very easy to make. While I haven't yet mastered it, there is a belt function to help you make cloth drape properly and stay in place where it should.

Cloth is not limited to fabric fabrication. It is much too flexible for that. I've seen Clothilde used to make parachutes, bat wings, tassels, and even blocks of jello. I would be forgetting myself if I didn't mention that you can tear the cloth. If you set your cloth up correctly, it will tear believably once you pull, push, or otherwise stress the cloth past certain tolerance levels that you set. All of these things are made possible with the cloth tag.

The cloth collider tag is used to make any polygon object something for the cloth to collide with. There are few parameters necessary but it does it's job well. Use this to make a table top for your linen table cloth to drape over.

The cloth nurbs plugin is a cousin to the hypernurbs object. It provides the same on-the-fly subdivision capabilities but it has been optimized to work with cloth. It can be used to make a low-poly piece of cloth bend and bunch smoothly. It can also give cloth thickness. Apart from it's cloth uses, this feature is also useful or making polygon objects thicker.

The software engineers at MAXON can be proud of this plugin. It is amazingly fast and can render simple cloth simulations in real time. The more complex simulations calling for self-collision testing with higher subdivision levels can take a little time. For these instances you can record the simulation in a cloth cache so that it can be played back full speed once the simulation is complete. And here is a little trick I learned. If you want to make your cloth simulation permanent, i.e. "bake" it, look into recording PLA key frames using the Cappucino plugin that comes with MOCCA.

Click on image for mini tutorial (4mb)

Click here or on the image to see a short video on how easy it is to dress a model.(4.0mb Flash)

Here is a quick video showing a Clothilde parachute in action.


Press the Play button to view animation


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