Clothing a character in 3D Studio Max

by Raza ul Mustafa
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The characters in 3D Studio Max are modeled using the basic shapes that are available in the software. Go to the “Front view” and import a reference image of the character. Place the reference image at the back and then start making shapes over it. For making a character following shapes are used for body arts:

Sphere = for making head

Rectangle = for making upper body, lower body, hands and feet. (Shown in Fig. 1)


Fig. 1: Basic geometry of character

The modifier of “Edit Mesh” or “Edit Poly” is applied on the shapes as to edit the portions into the desired human body structure. The face, eyes, ears, lips are edited by “vertices” feature that is available within the modifier. The shape is rectangular after editing. Apply “Turbo smooth” modifier to smooth the geometry of the character.

After modeling the character, there is a need to make clothes of the human character.

Clothing (T-shirt) procedure

By using the “Spline”, the basic line tool, you need to draw one side of the t-shirt.  The side can be either left or right. After making the shape, right click on spline and select “Bezier Corners or Bezier” for editing. Now you need to duplicate this side to make the other side exactly the same. Now hold down the Shift key and drag the selection towards the opposite side to make a copy. Rotate it to the angle of 180 degree that is present in the main toolbar. Choose “Z axis” to flip it. Now you need to attach both sides. Go to the vertex sub object level of the line in the right corner of the software. Scroll down to find “Connect” feature. Click on it, the two portions will be connected to each other. Connect the two halves at the neck area in between.

Fig. 2: Basic shape of T-shirt

Right click on the shape and select the “Move mode”. Now make a duplicate of the whole shape as you need to make the front and back side of the cloth.

Now the arm area has to be made to make sleeves. Make the rectangular shape of the arm using line with double height of the arm area of the pattern as in the Fig. 3. Select “Convert to Spline” by right click on it. Use “Refine” in the vertex mode in order to add a vertex on the middle of the line.

Fig. 3: Arm area

Make a copy of it by using the similar method explained earlier. Now attach all the lines together. For this, you need to go to the vertex sub object level and select all the vertices and click on break button.

Fig. 4: Using break feature

Garment modifier application

Go to the modifier panel and select “Garment Maker modifier”. After application, go to the sub object level of the panels, select and place all the garments pieces in their right positions (mentioned in Fig. 5). For the back side, you need to flip the pattern by giving it an angle of rotation of 180 degree. Choose “Z” axis for rotation.

Fig. 5: Garment Modifier

Rotate the sleeves to the angle of -90 degrees. Go to the panels and set the curvature Y to X.

Fig. 6: Sleeves adjustment

Connecting garment pieces:

The making of garment for the character is completed. Now it is to be connected to make it a full unified T-shirt. For this purpose, go to the Seams sub object level of Garment modifier. Select every two segments, at a time, that are to be connected to each other. After selection, click on the button “Create Seam”. Fig. 7 shows the connection of both sleeves together.

Fig. 7: Connecting segments of garment

There is a possibility that you may get an error like “seamed spline length not in tolerance”. For solving this problem, scroll down and increase the value of “seam tolerance” slowly. It can be increased to 0.1, 0.2, 0.3 or so on.

You may get crossed seams as shown in Fig. 8 and Fig. 9, then select seam and click on “reverse seam”.

Fig. 8: Problem solving

Fig. 9: Problem solved

Cloth modifier

Now it’s time to apply “Cloth Modifier” on top of “Garment Maker”. Go to the object properties in modifier tab. A window will be shown, click “Add objects”. Add the character model from the list.

Fig. 10: Cloth modifier

Fig. 11 shows final outlook of the garment.

Fig. 11: Garment outlook

 Mapping of garment

Apply textures on the cloths. Select images or choose the mapping material of the software.

Fig. 12: Rendered image




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