Alicia van Dyck

Alicia van Dyck - 3D Modeller

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nCloth Flag Tutorial / How I created my flag

Posted by alicia.vandyck on May 2, 2012 at 11:00 PM

The steps are quite simple. It's the process of tweaking it to get it to look right for your scene that took me some time. The steps are done in Maya.


1. Assuming your model is already built, history is deleted and transformations are frozen on your flag, smooth the normals on your flag to smooth out any hard edges as well if you haven't already. Set your timeline to a longer time to view its playback in the time slider..  Also, set your time slider preferences to play every frame.

2. Change your menu set to nDynamic

3. Select the geometry that will have the cloth effect on it. Choose the rope first If you want the rope to move with your flag.


4. Go to the menu 'nMesh'



5. Select 'Create nCloth' (settings at default if it is a brand new solver)

Now your rope will have a couple of nodes that you can use in the attribute editor to control the movement: 'nucleus' and 'nClothShape'


6. Do the same for your flag cloth. BUT this time check in the option box before you select 'create nCloth' that the flag cloth will be assigned to the same nucleus. (you will see a little drop down menu in the option box that says solver: 'nucleus1' and if you drop down the menu there is an option to 'create new solver', you don't want to do this, keep it under the same nucleus1 so that the flag cloth is going to be with the rope.

7. In order for them not to fall away from the pole you have to place a constraint. Select the points on your rope that you would like to stay with the pole, and go to the menu 'nConstraint' and select 'transform' (default settings are fine).

8. For your flag, select points or edges that you want to be attached to the rope: Select your rope and then shift select your flag and then select the points on the flag and points on the rope that you want to stick together. Now go to 'nConstraint' and then select 'Component to Component.' 



9. Now that they are attached you will want to make sure they do not crash through the pole. Create a passive collider on the pole. Go to menu 'nMesh' and select 'Create Passive Collider'


9a. Save scene. :)


10. To control the wind and stetch resistance and thickness etc. select geo that has the ncloth on it and open the attribute editor and plaaaaaaaaay with settings in the nClothShape tab and Nucleus tab. There are many options in the tabs. I used gravity, wind, stretch resistance, air density, wind speed, wind direction, wind noise, and thickness. I found for my flag that if I set the thickness to a setting below 0.8, it would crash through itself sometimes. I think default was at 1.03 or something, but it appeared too heavy for my flag. Adjust to how you like it. For myself it is for a still shot, and I wanted a wavy effect on it to make it noticeable from a distance, so I set it thinner than 1.

10a. save scene!! :)


11. In order for you to see it's movement, hit play on the time slider. Each time you want to adjust the settings, set the time slider back to frame 1 to see the new results.


11a. saaaave scene.

And for a still shot, save scene out as a different name for the still. That way, you can go back to your original scene with the dynamic still on it if you decide you want your flag to look different in the still shot. :)


and voila! a flag has been born!