Editing deformed cloth mesh for use in undeformed mesh

Hi! I’m a beginner, using blender to design clothing. The cloth simulation is wonderful! I have a character mesh, and I construct a clothing ‘flat pattern’ the same way a tailor does in real life. I use the sewing springs feature to close the flat pattern around the model. I continue editing the flat pattern until I’m satisfied with the garment.

The problem is, the mesh deformation that happens to the flat pattern when the cloth simulation wraps it around the character, makes it difficult to predict how changes to the flat pattern will affect the fit of the garment.

It would be useful to be able to edit the baked form of the garment, and have those edits affect the unbaked flat pattern.

I’ve looked online, and the recommendations I’ve seen involve ‘applying’ the cloth modifier, so that the garment is no longer a flat pattern but is instead a fitted garment, and then continue editing in order to make my changes.

In my case that won’t work because my goal is to produce a flat pattern that can be printed out in the physical world, and sewn into cloth. Once I ‘apply’ the cloth modifier, I can’t do that anymore.

Here’s the ‘solution’ I’ve been using, which seems to work, but is extremely time-consuming:

  • I’ll make a copy of the flat pattern, and apply the cloth modifier so that the garment is now permanently fitted to the character.
  • I’ll make whatever changes I want to the fitted garment, and make a note of every edge that changes, writing down all the new lengths of each edge
  • For each edge, I go back to the original flat pattern, and modify that edge by hand, making sure it has the new length I previously wrote down.

I’d like to find a solution where the changes I make to the baked garment are automatically reflected in the flat pattern, instead of having to write down every changed edge in the mesh, and use vertex-slide to match those changed lengths in the flat pattern.

Be well,

Blender does not have a solution like this in the current cloth simulation. There is no general-purpose 1 to 1 between the deformed cloth and the original due to the way that the angles between the vertices are deformed. Since your current approach seems to be the only approach that works to that level of accuracy, you may have to streamline it with Python scripting if you want a faster workflow. Otherwise, proportional editing may be your friend for faster approximated fixes.

Thanks Dreaming381!

I’m trying something else now that seems to work OK. I create a new object that matches what I want, and overlay it in front of where that portion of the garment will settle. Then I use “wire” and “draw all edges” during animation, so I can see which vertices are out of alignment with respect to the new object. After each animation I make a mental note of 4 or 5 vertices, and eyeball which direction to do a vertex-slide, and adjust them gradually.

It still takes an hour or so do map a proper shape, but at least I’m not writing down lists of numbers.