3D-Mesh Motion Simulation Tools
In the realm of 3D graphics production, images and animated sequences take on an entirely new feeling of life and realism when true motion dynamics are applied to scene elements. No longer is there a need to manually ‘tug’ and ‘pull’ on 3D-mesh vertices and polygons using fickle deformation tools, when that thankless task can be performed by VWD’s physics-base simulation engine, generating gorgeously natural results.
VWD’s Cloth & Hair
Designed primarily with cloth and hair in mind, this tool can be used on most any 3D-mesh in any 3D scene – both for serious projects and addictive fun! VWD’s Cloth & Hair simulation plugin enables users to simulate realistic motion and interactions between virtual objects (still or moving!). It also simulate simple body-motion dynamics (e.g. belly, breast, and butt jiggle) as well.
This simulation engine allows for the control of the various motion and force parameters, including gravity, wind, collisions, friction, flexibility, and elasticity, among others. Once optimized, many of these settings can be saved for future use in other projects.
Cloth & Hair operate as a plugin, and currently interfaces natively with Poser 9+. Third-party add-on bridges are available to allow Cloth & Hair to be used with DAZ 3D’s ‘Studio’ and ‘Carrara’ applications as well! (Note that the upcoming version 2.x will also include native DAZ Studio integration.)
VWD’s Cloth & Hair allows full control of virtually all of the parameters that define fabric motion dynamics. With it, users can control cloth and hair 3D-meshes, with support for attached soft and rigid mesh elements (e.g. ribbons, buttons, belts, etc.) to achieve their desired results.
Not only can simulations be run and saved using both static and moving elements in a scene, but users can actually ‘pull’ on the various simulation items while the simulation is running! This enables an operator to truly control and optimize their simulation results for that perfect final-frame effect.
And… it’s simply fun and fascinating to manipulate the ‘living’ cloth and hair during the simulations.
This tool also allows for the generation and capture of full-motion simulation sequences (animations).
This means users can animate a figure, add some clothes, then use VWD’s Cloth & Hair to define both the nature of the clothes (e.g. cotton, leather, or …), and the interactions (what the clothes bump against…), and then let the simulations run. The Cloth & Hair plugin then returns the simulation results to your local host application (Poser, DAZ Studio*, or Carrara*) for further adjustments and rendering.
It’s worth noting that in the same way that real clothes ‘layer’ in the real world, sometimes the Cloth & Hair simulations must also be ‘layered’ to get the desired final result, meaning that follow-on simulations must be run, using the results of earlier simulations. This may take some planning and additional simulation runs, but it also enables an unrivaled level control over the results that can be produced.
A Windows-only application, VWD’s Cloth & Hair capabilities are naturally constrained by the computing resources available to the Cloth & Hair program 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 textures, lights, cameras, and non-involved scene elements do not.
More memory and CPU 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 never run at the same time – First, run the simulation(s) to help create the scene, then render the resulting scene.
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
- 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 Gigabytes of memory (32 is better)
- A Solid-State-Drive for the Cloth & Hair installation folder, which is where many of the internal simulation files are written and referenced.
- (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
- Terabytes of backed-up drive space…
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!