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Duncan's Corner

Basic cloth on character setup
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Basic cloth on character setup

Posted 24 March 2007 6:45 am by the area on The Art of VFX

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When creating cloth on a character one typically has the problem of getting the cloth into the correct starting pose for the simulation. This is frequently done by creating a little runup animation moving to the start pose, although this is rather tedious. Here is a somewhat easier to use setup.

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Confetti and Streamers with nCloth
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Confetti and Streamers with nCloth

Posted 22 March 2007 7:19 am by the area on The Art of VFX

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It's party time! Paper confetti and streamers can be created with nCloth using an efficient and simple technique. The falling bits of paper interact with the air in a natural fashion colliding with objects in the scene and even self colliding. Only one shader is required to create a full range of confetti colors and only one cloth node is required.

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Water Tank example
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Water Tank example

Posted 18 March 2007 7:08 pm by the area on The Art of VFX

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This file was made with an earlier version of the nClothWater.ma file. I had not added a dynamic attribute for editing selfCollisionSoftness, so I had to use setAttr calls, because this attribute is hidden on the nCloth node due to limited utility for cloth. It was very useful in this animation, however, and helped to help keep the water from locking up like slush.

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Constraint weight and strength: What's the difference?
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Constraint weight and strength: What's the difference?

Posted 17 March 2007 7:11 pm by the area on The Art of VFX

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The weight is basically the relative mass of the constrained point. It determines how the component participates in the constraint. If the weight is zero then that point will get pulled but not pull back. In terms of the constraint it would be as if the other object was a passive object. (if the other object were in fact a passive object then the weight would always be as if it was zero)

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Using nCloth as an influence object
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Using nCloth as an influence object

Posted 16 March 2007 7:16 pm by the area on The Art of VFX

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NCloth is potentially very useful as an influence object applied to a skin. One could use this to affect actual cloth, or to provide secondary effects to a skinned mesh. There is currently a naming bug when one tries to apply an nCloth mesh as an influence object ("Skin: Edit Smooth Skin: Add Influence"). This problem is fortunately easy to workaround.

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Improved cloth water setup file
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Improved cloth water setup file

Posted 15 March 2007 7:19 pm by the area on The Art of VFX

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It occured to me that one could use the cloth selfCollideWidthScale with my water example so that one does not need to fatten the width of objects to compensate for the blobbyScale.

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Water using nCloth (part 1 of 2)
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Water using nCloth (part 1 of 2)

Posted 5 March 2007 8:33 pm by the area on The Art of VFX

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It is possible to use nCloth for water, taking advantage of its ability to accurately self collide thick vertices (spheres), in addition with the ability to collide with geometry and other cloth objects( including rigid cloth). Note that one problem with this method currently is that the water can be too damped (a bit like slush or pea soup), however it may work fine in many contexts. A hidden nCloth attribute "selfCollisionSoftness" can be used to help keep it from getting too viscous, and I will discuss the use of this later in the tutorial. Please keep in mind, however, that nCloth was designed for cloth and this tutorial is somewhat of a hack. In future nucleus will hopefully support a proper particle based water solution.

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Falling leaves with nCloth and Paint Effects
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Falling leaves with nCloth and Paint Effects

Posted 28 February 2007 1:21 am by Duncan Brinsmead on Duncan's Corner

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With nCloth, Maya users finally have a simple method for handling falling leaves. One can also easily attach leaves to branches and have the attachments broken by windforces by using nCloth constraints with glue strength. The basic workflow is very simple. Make a paint effects tree, convert it to poly, select the leaves and make nCloth. What follows is a more detailed tutorial.

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A ribbon with twist control
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A ribbon with twist control

Posted 14 February 2007 1:35 am by the area on The Art of VFX

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A Maya user was trying to create a curling ribbon with a paint effects brush. He wanted to know if it was possible to control the twist rate along the ribbon to make some areas flat while other parts were twisted. Unfortunately the paint effects brush only has a global "Twist Rate" attribute with no control along the stroke. However there is a simple trick for doing this that uses the curl ramp on a hair system, while also disabling the hair's dynamics evaluation.

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nCloth Zipper
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nCloth Zipper

Posted 13 February 2007 7:47 am by the area on The Art of VFX

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Here is a tutorial to add a little zip-a-dee-doo-dah into your animations.

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