CLO Virtual Fashion ships Marvelous Designer 8
CLO Virtual Fashion has released Marvelous Designer 8, the latest update to the 3D clothing design tool, adding new 3D sewing and brush-based sculpting workflows.
The release also introduces a remeshing system for converting high-resolution 3D clothing into animation-ready quad-topology, currently available as a beta feature.
Convert 2D patterns into animated 3D clothing
Widely used by games and animation studios, Marvelous Designer enables artists to design garments in the same way as real-world clothes, by stitching virtual pattern parts together.
Users can import a character model in OBJ or Collada format to drape clothing over, then export the result back to a 3D application as an OBJ, or in the Maya cache, PC2 or MDD point cache formats.
The 3D clothing responds to gravity and wind forces, and the resulting simulations can also be exported.
Sew pattern parts together in a 3D view, as well as in 2D
Marvelous Designer 8 introduces some significant new workflows for creating and editing clothing models: notably, the option to sew pattern parts together to form a garment in 3D as well as 2D.
You can see the workflow from 4:20 in the video above: as well as creating sewing lines between individual pattern parts or segments, it’s possible to sew multiple parts at once.
Use brush-based sculpting to adjust folds and wrinkles in 3D garments
Another significant addition is brush-based sculpting, shown in the video above.
The new toolset consists of five brushes – Sculpt, Smooth, Grab, Stamp and Pinch – that should be familiar to users of software like ZBrush and Mudbox, plus a basic range of brush controls.
It enables artists to adjust the form of a garment – for example, to adjust the pattern of folds – without having to re-run the draping simulation, or to export the model to external DCC software.
However, there is some noticeable lag when sculpting, perhaps due to the resolution of the underlying mesh: something remarked on in the comments to the video on YouTube.
Convert high-res triangle meshes to low-poly quad topology for animation
For working with high-resolution meshes, Marvelous Designer 8 introduces a new remeshing system, which converts the high-res triangulated mesh into lower-resolution quad geometry suitable for animation.
Users can adjust the quad topology by changing the orientation of the 2D pattern parts, or adjust its poly count by changing the Particle Density of the triangle mesh, although there seem to be few other controls.
However, the feature is still officially in beta, and should provide a quick way to retopologise clothing without having to export to external DCC software, particularly for animation tests.
New features for working with imported OBJ files
There are also several neat features when importing OBJ files, including the option to use a model’s UV map to generate 2D pattern parts automatically.
Imported Trim objects – used to represent non-cloth parts of clothing, like buttons and zips – now have a Weight property, to control how they affect the way a garment drapes.
And when importing a character model, the arrangement points and bounding volumes used to control collisions between clothing and the avatar, can now be generated automatically, as shown above.
There are options to include or exclude the character’s hands and feet, and it looks to be possible to transfer the resulting configuration between one avatar and another.
You can find a list of smaller changes via the link below, although the accompanying documentation in the online manual is sometimes pretty brief.
Pricing and availability
Marvelous Designer 8 is available for Windows 7+ and OS X 10.8+. A perpetual licence costs $490; rental starts at $50/month.