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nCloth Dynamic Simulations

Bouncing Ball
(This will not transfer to Unity)
Set up your Maya options for animation

Use Windows->Settings/Preferences->Preferences
     Choose the Time Slider section
          Set Framerate: 30 fps
          Set Playback start/end between 1 and 300.
          Set Animation start/end between 1 and 300.
          Set Playback speed:  Play every frame
          Click Save


Choose Create->Polygon Primitive->Sphere

Use the channel box on the right side of the screen and input: Translate Y  4, Rotate Z  5

Switch over to the FX section, choose from upper left, status line.

Select the sphere
Choose nCloth->Create nCloth

Play the animation. Notice how soft the sphere is.

A better way to bounce a ball with Maya Legacy Dynamics, this will transfer to Unity:

Select the sphere
Use the Attribute Editor on the right
Choose the nucleus1 tab (You may need to arrow over.)
The nucleus is the same for all objects, it creates an environment with gravity etc.
Ground Plane, select Use Plane

Run your simulation again

Make the ball bouncy
Select the sphere

Use the Attribute Editor
     Select Presets*
          Select solidRubber

Run you simulation again.


Make a tablecloth out of a plane place above the table.
Create->Polygon Primitive->Plane->option
     Width and Height 6, 6
     Width and Height Divisions 20, 20

Place the cloth above the table in the Y Axis.

Switch over to the FX section, choose from upper left, status line.

Select the table or a cube
Choose nCloth->Create Passive Collider

Select the tablecloth
Choose nCloth->Create nCloth

Set up your options for animation:
Use Windows->Settings/Preferences->Preferences...
     Choose the Time Slider section.
          Select Framerate:  30 fps   (30 frames per second is the frame rate.)
          Set the
Playback start/end between 1 and 300.
          Set the Animation start/end between 1 and 300.
          Select Playback Speed:  Play Every Frame
               (This will allow the simulation to process every frame.)
          Your playback speed will not be accurate
          Click Save


Play the animation.

Select the tablecloth
Use the Attribute Editor on the right
Choose the nucleus1 tab
     Open Scale Attributes
          Input Space Scale  5
This will scale the environment closer to reality, right now it is too small for the objects, default 1 grid unit = 1 meter. Options like gravity will function more realistically. Your tablecloth was 6 meters wide (19.5 feet), it is now similar to  1.2 meters (4 feet). Notice the animation slowed down, you may need to increase your time slider.

Keep the tablecloth on the table
Select the tablecloth
Under Collisions
change Stickiness to 1 (default 0)
Run you simulation again

Make the cloth less stiff
Select the tablecloth
Under Dynamic Properties
change Bend Resistance to 0, (default .1)
     Run you simulation again

Use the simulation to model
Run you simulation again, stop it towards the end
Select the tablecloth
Choose Edit->Duplicate
The copy will not have any dynamics

Use this similar tutorial for Unity

Switch over to the Modeling section
, choose from upper left, status line.

Create two different snakey curves in the top view.
Create->Curve Tools->CV Curve Tool->option
   Curve degree 3 Cubic

Move the curves apart from each other.

Select the curves.

Select Surfaces->Loft->option
Choose Output geometry: Polygons
     Choose Quads
     Choose Tessellation method: General
     Change U type to: Per span # of iso params
     Change V type to: Per span # of iso params
     Input Number U: 3   (If this is too jaggy, increase)
     Input Number V: 3
Click Loft

Add a backside to the curtains

Choose EditMesh->Extrude
     Pull out the blue arrow .1 for thickness and double sided geometry. (for Unity)

Add nCloth dynamics
Switch to theFX Module

Select the curtain
Choose nCloth->Create nCloth

Constrain the curtain to an imaginary curtain rod
Select the top row of vertices
Select nConstraint->Transform Constraint

Add wind
Select the curtain
Bring up the Attribute Editor
Arrow over to the nucleus1 tab
     Under Gravity and Wind

          Change Wind Speed to 4
          Change Wind Direction to 1, 0, 1

Use the simulation to model
Make at least 3 copies from various frames of the animation:

Hit the play arrow on the time slider to play and stop when you like a model. timesliderplay.jpg

Select the curtain
Choose Edit->Duplicate   Ctrl d

Choose Display->Hide Selection   Ctrl h

The copies will not have any dynamics. Do this 3 times

Delete the original nCloth nucleus and curves

Use Display->Show All to show the hidden copies

Keep the 3 duplicated curtain meshes

     1 will be the base shape, name this curtain
     Name the other 2 curtains curtain1 and curtain2

Remove invisible nCloth nodes that mess you up in Unity:
Do this before animating if you are making a blend shape for Unity.
Select File->Optimize Scene Size->option
     Select Remove: Unknown nodes

Or if that did not work when you bring the files to Unity, try this:
Select one shape at a time
Select Windows->General Editors->Hypergraph: Connections
     Select the light grey node
     Hit delete
     Close the Connection window
Repeat for each shape

Blend Shape
Switch to the Modeling or the Animation Module
modeling_module  or  animation_module

Select the first curtain (base)
Choose Deform->Blend Shape
(This adds blend shapes options in the channel editor)

Select curtain1 (target), use shift to select the first curtain(base) too.
(The order is important)

Choose Deform-> Blend Shape->Add   lower menu item
Do this again for curtain2

Delete the target curtains.

Animate the Blend Shape

Select the curtain
Open blendShape1 in the Channel Box
Animate the channel named after the second curtain between 0 and 1

The time slider should be the length of your animation.

Choose File->Save As select  Desktop->Maya_Tutorial->Assets
(Or the name of your Unity Project folder.)  Maya scene files will transfer straight into your Unity file.

Any animated items should be separate Maya files. It will be easier to manage

Unity and nCloth
If you bring any duplicated nCloth poly model into Unity, do this:
File->Duplicate the nCloth shape, Delete the original
Run File->Optimize Scene Size->option
     Select Remove: Unknown nodes
     Click Optimize


© 1988-2021 Jennifer Steinkamp