Rigging Clothes - it's driving me mad

Hi all,

So currently I am working on a graphic novel, using blender to create all of the artwork. But currently, I am having a hard time with rigging clothing. For the characters, I am using MakeHuman, and so they export with a pretty good rig by default. I’ve been modelling clothing myself, and I have one character pretty much rigged complete. But I am now onto another character, and the clothing is different for this one, but it’s still pretty simple.

The problem I’m having is this…Mesh going through mesh. So easy option, delete the arms, you can’t see them.


True, but the problem appears to be that the sleeve actually changes shape, or gets smaller as it rotates, and so no longer fits around the arm. The same thing happens with the elbow.

You’ll see that if I reduce the bend in the arm, it fits perfectly fine…


So atm I’m trying a technique I found on YT which uses the mesh deform around a shell. The shell is linked to armature, and the top deforms around the shell. Both this method and normal weight paint produce almost identical results.

So what I’m basically getting at, is what’s the best way to rig clothes? Should I be using shape keys and drivers to get a decent rig? Prior to this method, I spent a while tweaking weight paint, but it was all in the right place, and adding/removing weight didn’t do a whole lot. I did look into MakeClothes addon, but that doesn’t really seem to work these days it would seem.

1 Like

I’ve found that to get your clothing to match your “skin” you need a couple of things to make it work. The topology of the cloth needs to closely match the topology of the skin under the cloth. The weight paint needs to be the same. If you don’t have that, you are taking a chance they won’t deform the same. You could just mask the part under the shirt. and it won’t render. If your elbow is deforming on your first one, is your preserve volume turned on in the armature modifier? Do you have a blend you can post?

I agree with stilltrying.

Topology, weight painting and also using a mask modifier on the underlying skin is the easiest way to make clothing deform well. I have a tutorial showing how to make clothing from a body mesh here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1InoQjSOvjE The tutorial starts with transfering weights from one mesh to another, then shows how to create clothing from a body mesh that is already weight painted well.

Good luck!

Thanks for the tips. DanPro, will check out your video later and see how it goes :smiley:

Tried out transferring weights…I’d say it was a success! Little bit of poke-through, but its basically perfect. Very helpful vid. Thanks to both for advice. I’ll be sure to shout again if I get stuck. (which i probably will :smiley: )


If you have some poke through the cloth, use this method. On the actual character mesh, create an additional vertice group called “Ghost”. You can actually call it what ever you want but the name’s not important. Next, select the parts of the body that’s going to be covered up, but don’t cover all of it up. Assign it and just use a Mask Modifier and press the inverse arrow button. Find the group that you created and problem solved!

1 Like

Just want to add on even though the problem is prob already solved, I had a deadline on an animation project with the same issue. So what I did is texture the skin underneath the same colour as the clothing,
I know that’s a cheap way to do it but it did help :slight_smile: