Rigging Long Dress Help

So I’m trying to rig a character right now, still have some problems with the character mesh but that’s being worked out. My current issue that is driving me crazy is the rig interacting with a cloth simulation.

I have a cloth simulation applied to the dress, works fine when the body isn’t moving, but once I pose the character and rebake the cloth simulation I get something similar to above.

I currently have weights applied to the dress, mostly around the chest and waist and no further weight painting seems to be helping.
What’s the best way to get the rig to work with clothing like this?

can you post a little more information about your cloth sim settings? Maybe just a few screengrabs of your physics tab? Otherwise it’s kind of a guessing game, do you have ‘this or that’ enabled…
The more information you can post the better we can try and help.


My 2 cents:
0) Make sure the scale and rotation of the dress and character are applied

  1. Parent the dress to the armature with auto weights, and get it so it follows the armature well. You may need some weight painting.
  2. Add collision to the character, lower the outter and inner collision setting waay down.
  3. Add the cloth sim to the dress, if you did step one it will be below the armature in the stack.
  4. Create a new vertex group on the dress, call it ‘pinning’
  5. Weight paint this vertex group so that all parts that stay really close to the body (most of the top and torso) are red. Only the very bottom (or areas that are loose and flowing) of the dress should be bluish.
  6. In the cloth sim, check pinning and chose the vertex group ‘pinning’
  7. Bake the cloth sim and pray.

Thanks Photox for the advice, first impressions seem encouraging and I am hoping it all works out.
I was about to post the blend file until I went through Photox’s checklist. If this doesn’t work out I’ll post it, because it’s a bit hard for me to explain the exact issue.

If it doesn’t work, post the blend. There may be other issues at work.

There are probably other issues so I’m trying to upload the blend file but it’s not uploading.

With cloth dynamics it is almost certainly too big to upload here. Use www.pasteall.org/blend instead.

Thx for posting the link though unfortunately when I created a separate file containing only the base mesh, rig and, dress it was still at 50mbs just 20mbs over their limit.

Delete any materials and any images in the uv editor, and free any physics caches. Save and reload the file twice to clear out the unused datablocks and the file should be considerably smaller. Also if you’re using a meshdeform modifier, unbind it.


Okay I deleted some of the materials but what brought it down was bringing the quality of the cloth sim down to 5.

For reference the settings I’ve been using on the simulation quality was between 11 and 20.

  1. Free the cloth sim bake.
  2. select the dress in edit mode, select all vertices on the dress and click w ‘flip normals’ your normals are backwards.
  3. select the dress in object mode and hit alt-p to unparent it from the armature.
  4. hit ctrl-a ‘rotation’, and then ctrl-a ‘scale’
  5. select the dress, shift select the rig hit ctrl-p ‘auto weights’
  6. Change the order of the stack to top Armature, then subsurf (view 1 and render 1) and then cloth sim last.
  7. Move the whole rig in pose mode and see if any verts are left behind, if so weight paint or assign them to a bone directly. Generally test the weight paint, by posing bones.

8 ) On the custom pinning vertex group paint it closer to red towards the bottom. use influence of ~.2 and.

  1. Rebake the cloth sim. You shouldn’t need to go that high in cloth sim quality. Test it out at lower settings and then jack it up for the final one.

I didn’t think to check the normals. While modeling everything I just pressed ctrl n, never thought to actually check them though. Also guess I forgot about the scale, opened and closed the file so many times reworking the dress, never got around to saving a file with rotation and scale applied.

For future reference, is there a good place where I can find in depth information on how each modifier acts in relation to their order?
Other than that last question thank you Photox for the help and it appears that this issue is solved.

I don’t know any resource devoted to stack order, I’m sure it exists. But if you use them enough you just figure it out. Imagine the subsurf is at the top of the stack, next a cloth sim. The sub surf acts the same as if you had subdivided your mesh and you now have alot of geomtry, so the cloth sim will bake slower and have more geometry to work with. There is often times a sweet spot in terms of geometry for cloth sims and more geometry sometimes just wrinkles onto itself. Normals are funny in blender, you develop an eye for the darkness associated with flipped normals. But that will certainly throw a monkey wrench into the sim. So it’s working? Getting a clothing cloth sim to look good is no small trick sometimes.

Yep it’s all working now, cloth sim follows her body when animated, no weird deformations in the dress and the thighs are no longer sticking to the dress and poking through during animation.
It’s true we all eventually develop and eye for the darkness with flipped normals though it didn’t help me much since all of them were flipped and had the same color throughout. :wink:

for the picture above the left sleeve has yet to have the weight paint applied to it, now that the dress is fixed I can get around that.

Looks great! If you need any advice on the hair I’ve made my fair share of it. That sounded weird.

Well I could use some advice on rigging the ponytail/ braiding. Right now I have it following a curve that is attached to the back of the head. I’ve heard mixed opinions on using a curve/softbody to animate the hair so I’m not sure if it’s the route to go.

It looks quite good in this render, not a whole lot I would change really.