As the saying goes, diamonds are a girl’s best friend. In absence of those, clothes will do! Every lady appreciates an ample wardrobe, and digital girls are no different. Welcome back to our 3DX artist guide. In preparation for this month’s video tutorial episode, we’re going talk about clothing. After all, erotica is as much about what people wear as it is about what they don’t wear. But unlike real life clothing, there’s more to fit in the world of 3DX. So let’s dive in!
Software, not soft wear.
Like everything else we do as 3D artists, clothes too are a matter of software. The only way clothes fit to your character is if their designer allows the two to communicate. Whether Usually, that means picking G3F clothes for G3F characters, though there does exist some wiggle room. We’ll elaborate on advanced utilities in the future.
There are two different kinds of clothing to pick from when you’re browsing asset stores: Super Conforming, and Dynamic. The former is a very rigid way of clothing a character, the latter more freeform. So let’s start there because it’s the most like clothing that we know in real life.
For high levels of realism, there’s such a thing as draping. Draping is a function of dynamic clothing where gravity is simulated. This allows fabric to flow and feel natural with every single pose. The great advantage of dynamic clothing is there’s almost no angle, no bend, where you won’t get a nice-looking result.
The downside is that draping can be a lengthy calculating process. The reason for this is Daz Studio will have to determine collision at hundreds of locations all across your character. The more complex the pose, the more thinking required on the software end to get the drape to behave naturally.
Moreover, the selection of dynamic clothing is limited, so it will be harder to build an extensive library. Not many asset creators dedicate themselves to dynamic products. As a result, not many 3DX artists use dynamic outfits in their renders. The most prominent artist using dynamics is probably Haneto, who achieves incredible realism in his shots.
So if it’s so time-consuming, and the selected is so small, why talk about dynamic outfits at all? Because there are situations in which rendering with dynamic clothing is best. A long gown or robe will behave unrealistically when it’s not dynamic, unless the designer added a great deal of pose morphs to it to offset its static nature.
But with a dynamic dress, the fabric will always fall down just right. There are many dresses in the Daz store where the bottom end is dynamic, with the body being super conforming. These hybrid items are tricky to get a handle on. But if you can get them to drape right, the end result is amazing.
Super Conforming Clothing
Now if you come to this article as a fan of my work, and you feel like you wanna recreate like something that I might make, know that I actually only use super conforming outfits. I started out with a strong focus on dynamic because I thought that this was the way to go. But many of the items I thought were dynamic in other people’s renders were in reality super conforming.
So what is super conforming? In a nutshell, it’s a piece of clothing that has rigging similar to its matching body part. Whether you’re using G3F, G2F, or even Victoria 3/4, all base models have a skeleton we call a rig. A rig is basically an approximation of the human skeleton. This is what allows you to pose and animate a base model’s body parts. So, Super Conforming outfits are designed to conform to the pose values of the base model’s rig.
The downside of this method is that extreme poses often either cause poke-through in clothing that doesn’t bend along enough. There’s also bulging in clothing that isn’t properly weight-mapped. Often clothes will expand at shoulders, elbows, or hips when a pose is more extreme; examples of this are an arm wave, or a sitting character. You will then have to correct this with morphs. But if the designer didn’t add sufficient correction morphs to the item, all you have is something unworkable. You will have to other modeling or sculpting software allowing you to create a manual corrective morph.
Almost every single 3DX artist will have wasted money on items that turned out to be poorly designed. Therefore, with super conforming items, look for which base models and morphs it supports, and which corrective morphs it has. This information will always be found in the product description; if not, don’t buy the piece.
Ultimately, whether to use super conforming or dynamic depends on what the purpose of your render is. If you want to pose a pretty lady in a glamorous scene, the draping advantages of dynamic clothing may give your render that little bit of edge. But if you want to render a girl unbuttoning her shirt, unfastening her belt, or doing anything that’s a specific interaction with the clothing she wears, super conforming items often have the exact morphs you need.
More next month!
We’ve covered quite a bit of ground already. By now, you should know how to shape and pose your character. You can also figure out which clothes are best for it. Feel free to experiment. If you have extra money, it doesn’t hurt to add some dynamic pieces to your library and try it out.
For the purpose of our 3DX tutorial series, however, we’ll cover how to use dynamic clothes when we get to advanced user utilities. In the meantime, we’ll stick with super conforming. So keep your eyes out for our upcoming video tutorial, where’ll show you how to make clothes fit to your character and what a great function called “mesh smoothing” on G3F clothes is.
See you next month!