Simulating the reality of physics in virtual 3D worlds!
The VWD Cloth & Hair application is designed to allow for the production of images, animations, and useful 3D mesh manipulations that capture the natural motion and flow of hair and clothing in a variety of 3D scene contexts. The application is a general purpose 3D mesh dynamics simulation engine that can be used to produce an infinite number of dynamic manipulations on arbitrary 3D meshes.
For users of the popular 3D scene setup and rendering applications Poser, DAZ Studio, and DAZ Carrara, the Windows-based Cloth & Hair 3D mesh simulation program offers a powerful, high-quality, and low-cost physics simulation capability – enabling users to generate dynamic 3D mesh manipulations that mimic realistic cloth-draping, hair movement, and interactions between the various items in their 3D scenes and workflows.
Realistic motion in virtual worlds…
With the explosion of computing power and software that’s become available to everyone from CG-FX Industry leaders to the most casual hobbyists, the 3D graphics industry is growing in leaps and bounds. With VWD’s affordable Cloth & Hair simulation tools, you can now produce realistic first-rate cloth and hair simulations for use in images, animations, and 3D-mesh manipulations, using both simulations and your mouse, together, literally sculpting your meshes until they meet your requirements.
Perhaps the best way to demonstrate the essence of what VWD’s Cloth & Hair product does is with this basic visual that shows digital 3D meshes that have neither mass or momentum seemingly colliding and interacting as if they had both!
Surely, these 3D mesh interactions look so correct and natural that a casual viewer might think “So what?, that’s what a sphere should do as it passes through a curtain…”
Well, until now, the math, science, and motivation of simulation scientists haven’t kept up with the volume and variety of affordable 3D mesh tools and content items (cloths, hair, sheets, flags, etc.) now available in the consumer market.
This all changes with the introduction VWD’s Cloth and Hair program. Rather than costing the $12,000 of the previous generation of simulation tools, Cloth and Hair debuted for well under $100, and the amazing results speak for themselves.
While inherently complex, the levels of simulation control and interaction now available to you, make the potential uses of this tool literally infinite!
Once you realize that any of your digitally transparent 3D-meshes can now take on realistic physical properties that allow them to virtually interact – with forces, with other items, with themselves, and with your manual interactions – the creative possibilities really become clear.
Features and Uses
Please Note: The VWD Cloth & Hair application is neither a 3D scene setup tool, nor is it a rendering tool or engine. It is designed to manipulate 3D meshes as if they were physically real, and return the results to the host-application scene for the requisite texturing, lighting, camera-work, and final rendering steps.
Major features include:
- Interfaces with Windows 64bit and 32bit versions of the supported host-applications.
- Native plugin integration with recent versions of Poser and DAZ Studio. (An Add-On bridge exists for use with DAZ’s Carrara 8.5 application – see the purchasing page for details)
- Newly added ‘assistants’ help apply common simulation properties to hair and cloth items being simulated during your session.
- Manipulate 3D meshes for use in still images, image sequences (animations), or for export to other 3D mesh-related workflows.
- Use any existing 3D-mesh product (note that results and configuration settings will naturally vary, depending on the density and polygon uniformity of each 3D mesh)
- Use the results of earlier simulations as the basis for later simulations to create complex layered interactions.
- Multiple collision objects can exist in a simulation (e.g. a simulating bed-cover mesh can interact with a scene’s bed, figures, pillows, etc.)
- Users can manually pull and push cloth and hair scene elements with their mouse – while the simulation is running – for complete control of the results
- By pre-sizing and pre-fitting clothes and hair meshes to your figures, almost any 3D-mesh item can be used with almost any 3D-mesh figure (e.g. DAZ Victoria 4 clothes or hair can be used with DAZ Genesis 1,2,3 or 8, Poser figures, Hivewire figures, etc.)
- Wind, gravity, force-fields, inflation, friction, and inertia can be applied and varied for specific effects.
- Various collision and mesh interaction parameters can be adjusted when particular conditions require special tuning.
- Parts of clothes can be ‘attached’ to still and moving figures to control fabric slippage.
- Single or multiple ‘frames’ of static or animated simulations can be sent back to the host-application (e.g. Poser), and saved/exported as a new morph asset, and mapped to a new morph slider, allowing content producers to generate a variety of very realistic shape and movement morphs for their clothes, hair, or prop products.
- Animated figures can be ‘tracked’ with the simulation engine and then mapped to available figure morphs to simulate body ‘jiggle’, where breast, glute, belly, and other body morphs can be actuated to create realistic (or exaggerated) body dynamics as the figure moves.
- Accessories can be ‘attached’ to figures and clothes to prevent unwelded 3D-meshes from ‘falling apart’ during simulations.
- Simulations can be applied to any 3D-mesh, allowing for experiments and uses that nobody has thought of yet…
- Although the various host-application interfaces will vary (e.g. DAZ Studio, Poser, or Carrara), once in VWD’s Cloth & Hair application, it is always the same program and interface, so once you learn it, you can use it in any of your supported Windows applications.
- Many demo and tutorials are available (esp. on YouTube) to help with basic and advanced usage scenarios.
- User-selected areas of the dynamic items can be animated by the host application, while the remaining parts can be managed by the simulation engine – allowing for incredible control and flexibility.
What’s New in Version 2!
See the full list of features that have been added to the program since the last release.
A Windows-only application, VWD’s Cloth & Hair capabilities are naturally constrained by the computing resources available to the Cloth & Hair program and simulation engine. All simulation resource demands are driven entirely by the polygon counts within a simulation and the interactions between active simulation elements. Things like subdivision and hi-poly figures will have a very real impact on your simulations, while scene and render-oriented variables like textures, lights, cameras, and non-involved scene elements do not have any influence on the VWD Cloth & Hair part of the processing.
More memory and CPU/GPU (NVIDIA) processing power will always improve the simulation setup and execution experience. Once the simulations are complete, the hardware resources that are needed to actually render a given scene are completely dependent upon the complexity of that scene. These two workflow processes (simulations vs. rendering) never run at the same time, since you first run the simulation(s) to help create the scene, then you render the resulting scene.
Hardware: For smaller scenes with a lower polygon 3D-mesh figures and clothing items and/or hair, we recommend at least:
- Intel I5 or better, running at at least 3Ghz (or AMD equivalent)
- 8 Gigabytes of memory = 2 to 4 Gigabytes for the Cloth & Hair application (32 bit), and enough additional memory to manage your scenes in your chosen host-application(s) (32 bit and/or 64 bit)
- If you are an animator, an extra 500 Gigabytes of available disk for the various Cloth & Hair working files, in addition to having space for your own final renders!
For a ‘good’ mid-range system, something like:
- Intel I7 xxxx or better (4+ real cores, with hyperthreading to 8+), running at at least 3Ghz (or AMD equivalent)
- 16 to 32 Gigabytes of memory = 2 to 4 Gigabytes for the Cloth & Hair application (32 bit), and enough additional memory to manage your scenes in your chosen host-application(s) (32 bit and/or 64 bit)
- Any NVIDIA-based graphics card can help, but something along the lines of a GeForce-980 or better is a good starting point.
- A Solid-State-Drive for the Cloth & Hair installation folder, which is where many of the internal simulation files are written and referenced.
- (additional disk space for your rendering resources and outputs depend on the kinds of projects you produce)
For simulations involving larger 3D-meshes with complex and high-speed interactions the sky is the limit as far as hardware is concerned. As a frame-of-reference point, our program developer uses:
- Intel XEON 32-core processor
- NVIDIA 1080ti GPU card
- 32 Gigabytes of System RAM
- SSD and traditional SATA drives on High-Speed controllers
And of course all of these specifications are rough estimates as the true performance of any system depends on the specific tasks being thrown at it!
Operating systems and Host-Applications: VWD’s Cloth & Hair application is a Windows-only program (Windows 10, 8.1, 7, XP), that natively interfaces with Bondware’s Poser 9+ / Pro-2012+ and DAZ Inc’s DAZ Studio 4.10+. While this program is is a native 32bit application, it is commonly used with both 64 and 32 bit versions of each of the supported host-applications mentioned above.
Warning: We will never state or imply that this process, or the use of this product is simple!
While the results of this system are clearly seductive and unquestionably amazing, using this (or any) powerful simulation engine/tool carries with it a certain complexity that simply cannot be avoided.
Adding to the complexity of the situation is the wide variability in 3D mesh designs, densities, and quality – these are all characteristics that cannot help but impact the results of any simulation engine, including VWD’s Cloth & Hair.
While efforts are constantly being made to simplify the program’s use in many common scenarios, the only way to achieve specific and advanced results is with an understanding of the tools and the meshes being simulated. This process can be as much of an art as it is a science. We are continually working to further simplify and clarify the various settings and their effects, but it will never be an easy tool to master for every available mesh.
To avoid disappointing our curious and ambitious potential customers, we offer a free functional, but no-save demonstration version of our Cloth & Hair application on our support page. Please consider trying this version before you buy, to see if you like the way it works within your workflow, and to see how well it works on your specific computer systems.
Join the 3D mesh manipulation adventure!
What magic will you conjure while using VWD’s Cloth & Hair? Join us as we explore and exploit this amazing updated resource toolkit. We can’t wait to see what you do with it!