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Gian-Reto

Marvelous Designer: Opinions? Workflow Advices?

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I recently started playing around with the tool Marvelous Designer...  for anyone that does not know the tool (and is to lazy to follow the link... no, I am not paid by anyone to make shameless ads, the link is just there as explanation for the uninitiated smile.png )

 

I have to say I am highly impressed and skeptical at the same time. The cloth physics engine is impressive, and for simple clothing you get good results quickly.

I am a little dissappointed about the performance of the tool though, first I thought that it was strange that all the vids I have seen of somebody presenting their virtual clothing with an animation from MD had hacky animations with low FPS... surely not all of these people could be using a toaster for a PC?

Then I tried it on my own Workstation, which might have Gamer Hardware that is now ageing being 3 years old, but was top of the crop 3 years back and is still very strong today: a 6 core i7 with hyperthreading, a GTX 580 and 24G of RAM should give MD enough power for all its cloth physics black magic.

Yet even with my PC, things get really slow as soon as I start to reduce the Particle Distance, which seems to be MD language for Mesh Resolution.

Then there is the whole thing with the cloth pattern creation. To say the whole thing is giving me headaches is an understatement. I have no idea about cloth sewing in RL, so while creating a basic skirt or shirt might be easy in MD, as soon as it gets more complicated, I start to struggle.

 

while I really like the idea of not having to sculpt all the folds in my clothing items by hand, getting down the basic shape of the clothing and then adding the details seems to be really painful with the limited toolset MD currently is equipped with.

 

 

So my question to anyone that has already tried the tool, or might even be a pro user: What is your opinion on it? Is it worth its asking price, does it REALLY help with efficiently sculpting clothing items for game characters, or is it in the end just saving time on one end while adding headaches at another?

 

Also, as a total newbie, I am struggling with some things:

 

1) the only symmetry I found was "copy as symmetrical", which means you will have a seam in the middle. Woot? It just can't be that there is no symmetry tool available for creating clothing pattern patches in a symmetrical fashion without a seam in the middle. Did I miss something?

 

2) Is there a function to import a Pattern, or at least a image file as a rough pattern guide to draw over? I am thinking about creating the basic shapes in 3D Coat, unwrapping them and then using the UV set as cloth pattern in MD. I am much more proficient with Voxmodelling than with creating clothing patterns.

 

3) Did anyone found the reason for the bad performance of MD? Is it just missing any kind of Multithreading or GPGPU Acceleration (which I suspect it is)... is there an option I missed that leads to the bad performance on my machine?

 

 

I am aware that I might need to take my questions to the MD Forum for a better response, I just wanted to see if there some users here have made any expierience with the tool... usually you will not find the highly critical users on the message board of the company creating a software itself. And there seems to be a big hype around MD which I struggle to fully understand, so to speak.

Edited by Gian-Reto

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Hey man,

 

I use MD all the time for freelance, as far as time saving tools goes, it is way high up there. It's perfect for a lot of things, and definitely worth learning. It is super important to know how to sculpt clothes and not rely on MD to do your work for you, but as long as you are capable of it, I see no reason not to be using it, especially for freelance when you need to move more quickly.

 

About your first paragraph: My computer is only slightly more powered than yours, and I certainly feel the strain when I simulate clothing with a small particle distance. That is more about clothing simulation in general and what MD is trying to do by brute force. I'm not sure if they can really improve this or if they are being as optimal as they can and cloth simulation is just that demanding, but honestly I don't find it that hard to work around. Use a medium particle distance to work in, then lower it only before export. That's been my solution since I started using it, and it works just fine.

 

>"while I really like the idea of not having to sculpt all the folds in my clothing items by hand, getting down the basic shape of the clothing and then adding the details seems to be really painful with the limited toolset MD currently is equipped with."

 

I find it the opposite. MD gives you great tools to create a garment and export a decently high-res version. Import it into zbrush, retopo, and you're sculpting details about 10X faster than if you had to do everything by hand. Finding a comfortable workflow between MD and Zbrush is important, but once you have it it'll really speed you up.

 

>"Is it worth its asking price?"

 

Definitely. And if you're skeptical, or only need it for freelance, you can buy a 1 month subscription. This is what I do. I only but a subscription when I need it for freelance (which is usually every month, but not always if I am doing less realistic stuff etc.)

 

>"or is it in the end just saving time on one end while adding headaches at another?"

 

Not at all. Stick with it. The pattern method is really the only way the program could be structured, and helps when you're trying to nail a specific look. 

 

>"1) the only symmetry I found was "copy as symmetrical", which means you will have a seam in the middle. Woot? It just can't be that there is no symmetry tool available for creating clothing pattern patches in a symmetrical fashion without a seam in the middle. Did I miss something?"

Yeah, they could improve this, but it's also not super necessary. The seam in the middle has no impact on simulation if you set the hardness to 0.

 

>"2) Is there a function to import a Pattern, or at least a image file as a rough pattern guide to draw over?"

Yeah, just google it. But that's a lot of trouble to go through to avoid learning to use the software the 'correct' (for what that word is worth) way. Learning the pattern method is important for MD, and like I said above, it's really the only method that makes sense for that kind of high-poly.

 

>"3) Did anyone found the reason for the bad performance of MD? "

 

I don't think it's really that much of a case of bad performance, I think its more about the demands of clothing simulation and detecting collisions and all that.

 

_____________________

And this gets a little self-promotional here, haha, I'm not meaning to but that's just how it is. 

 

I used MD to do the clothing on this girl, http://www.yurialexander.com/scifi-clothes - the dress anyways, the jacket is sculpted in zbrush. I wrote a tutorial for 3dcreativemagazine, I link it there, about my workflow for MD to zbrush. You will see all the dresses I tested out in MD as part of concepting a little lower down. Each dress took me about an hour in MD, which the time for that would have been much, much longer if I was sculpting by hand. I would guess MD in this case saved me several hours each.

 

It's more in-depth with images in the magazine, but the basics of it are:

 

Export from MD

 

Import into ZB. Either zremesher or retopo by hand.

 

Subdivide, then project onto the original MD mesh.

This gives you a good mesh with all the original details, which you can then sculpt by hand on.

 

And some of that might not even be necessary now that MD has a quad mesh export option which exports a quad mesh better suited to sculpting.

 

Good luck with it!

Edited by slowpid

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Then there is the whole thing with the cloth pattern creation. To say the whole thing is giving me headaches is an understatement. I have no idea about cloth sewing in RL, so while creating a basic skirt or shirt might be easy in MD, as soon as it gets more complicated, I start to struggle.

At my last job, the artists ordered actual physical clothes as reference, then cut them apart along the seams to see how they were constructed, and then got stuck into using MD to recreate similar clothing wink.png (and then finished up in Maya/ZBrush/etc).

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Then there is the whole thing with the cloth pattern creation. To say the whole thing is giving me headaches is an understatement. I have no idea about cloth sewing in RL, so while creating a basic skirt or shirt might be easy in MD, as soon as it gets more complicated, I start to struggle.

At my last job, the artists ordered actual physical clothes as reference, then cut them apart along the seams to see how they were constructed, and then got stuck into using MD to recreate similar clothing wink.png

 

 

Wow, that is what I call true dedication... but I think I will not go this far smile.png .... now that I think about it, you could also order pattern as pdfs or physical papers and use them as guidances.

 

 

@ slowpid: Wow, thanks for the lengthy post! I might have overreacted a bit. After another 1 hour session I think I am starting to get the hang of it. I just found out what the free sewing tool is for. And there I wondered at length how they sewed the free jeans pattern together smile.png

But in one point you are right, and generally I completly agree: If you want to model something true to life, you have to follow real life processes as much as you can. Thats what I do with technical stuff, so creating clothing from patterns seems to be the ideal solution.

 

Still a bummer about the symmetry, but I will try your recommendation about the seam strength.

 

Also, good idea about the monthly sub... I usually at least get yearly subs as I do all my work as a hobby and usually jump back and forth between topics (works better for me, keeping up motivation during long unpaid "free time" work). But definitely a thing to keep in mind for the future, and a good idea to start with a monthly sub for an "extended trial period" anyway.

 

Maybe another question: is there any good webpage where I could get clothing patterns from? Free or not I don't care too much.

 

 

EDIT: Just a quick thing about setting the seam strength to 0. For loose clothing its a bad idea, because the seam will now be very floppy, so if its at an area that is very loose, the seam might actually become more pronounced than before.

I found leaving the seam at the default strength of 5, with the default 180° angle worked best at hiding the seam, at least for the simulation. How this seam will look after the export to another 3D Package is another matter of course.

Edited by Gian-Reto

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Cloth simulation is just like that for now (laggy). Personally, I think MD does a good job of it. It was used for the new Metal Gear Solid, alongside the Fox Engine of course.

I had an idea of such a program a long time ago, and their approach is a perfect one (modeling clothes from patterns). The price is definitely reasonable. The simulation in MD is mainly for preview purposes. Your engine should handle it a lot better.

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