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Introduction to Dynamic Cloth

For Poser 7 as well as Posers 5 or 6

Poser's Dynamic Clothing provides a great deal of realism for either still images or animations, but it can be a bit intimidating to get started using it. This tutorial provides an introduction to the Dynamic Cloth functions of Poser.There are three types of clothing that Poser uses.

First, there's clothing that is "built on" to the figure- the clothes are an integral part of the person, modelled on, and can't be removed or changed much (you can change colors, texture maps, etc., but you can't change the style or really the shape of the clothing.) The James and Jessi Casual figures and many of the older Poser 4 and earlier figures use this type of clothing; it's easy to use but not very versatile at all.

Second, there is "conforming" clothing- it's also easy to use although it has its limitations as well, and since you can mix and match clothing items, it's very versatile. Items of conforming clothing are built just like the Poser human figures- they have joints and "bones" and exist as separate objects in the scene. When you bring an item of conforming clothing into a scene, you generally want to set it to conform to a particular figure, so that figure will "wear" the clothes. To do this, first bring the clothing into the scene, and then, from the Figures menu, choose Conform To... and, in the dialog box that pops up, pick the figure that should be "wearing" the clothes. The clothing should snap to the figure and follow its movements thereafter.

Third, and this is the focus of our tutorial, we have dynamic clothing. This type of clothing is extremely realistic but much harder to use; using dynamic clothing involves setting up a "cloth simulation" that tells Poser how to bend, deform and warp the clothing item to make it look realistic. This simulation is performed over time- since Poser scenes contain one second of "real time" by default, split up into 30 frames, the cloth simulation by default will work within that 30-frame timespan and you'll actually see the fully-calculated results in frame 30- at the "end" of the one-second timespan- rather than at the beginning. Of course if you're ambitious and want to create a 3D animated sequence, you can make your scene last longer, by adding frames, and make your cloth simulation apply over the whole length of your scene, but if all you need to do is to pose a figure with clothing on and then render out a still image, there's no need to go beyond the default 30 frames of a stock Poser scene.

If you want to use dynamic clothing for a still-image render, the workflow is as follows-

First, bring your figure(s) into the scene- you'll probably want to use nude figures. Go to frame #30 and pose anyone that needs to be posed (you do this in frame 30 so that the dynamic cloth items properly cover the figure in their default pose in frame #1; you'll be rendering out your picture based on the contents of frame #30.) Adjust your lighting and camera angles in frame 30 as well. Go back to frame #1, and bring in the dynamic clothing you want to use.

Position and scale it as needed to make it cover the right parts of the figure who's supposed to be "wearing" it. You can take a look in frame #30, but don't worry, the clothing isn't supposed to cover the figure properly yet as we haven't done the cloth simulation yet.

Once your clothing is positioned properly, go into the Cloth Room. Set up a new simulation for the first item of clothing by clicking the New Simulation... button. Name the simulation, then click OK in the resulting dialog box to use the default settings for starters. Now, click the Clothify... button, and choose the item of dynamic clothing that you wish to clothify for this particular simulation. Click OK. Now click the Collide Against... button and then click the Add/Remove button in the dialog box to choose things in the scene that the cloth will "pay attention" to. Click OK to commit that setup.

At this point it's a good idea to create new cloth simulations for any other dynamic cloth items in the scene, using the same workflow. Now, once all your simulations are set up, and once all the poses are set and everything is ready to go, it's time to go through and have Poser calculate all the cloth simulations- this is the last thing to do before actually going to render the scene.

Once Poser has calculated all the simulations, save the scene, then go to frame 30 and check that everything looks right-

- now you can render the scene and save out the final image.


For additional information, hints and tips on using dynamic cloth, see Chapter 10 in the Tutorial PDF that accompanies Poser 6- in the Poser 6 folder, open the Tutorials folder and double-click the Poser 6 Tutorial Manual.pdf file; when it opens, go to page 179.