Creating basic clothes in 5 minutes using Blender

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Contents

Overview

This tutorial will explain how to quickly and easily create basic and low poly clothes in Blender using the Shrinkwrap modifier. This technique can also be used to create low poly meshes that have the same shape than high poly meshes.

This tutorial assumes that you have a basic knowledge of Blender. If that is not the case I recommend you to read and practice with these tutorials Blender 3D: Noob to Pro

Required tools

Creating basic clothes

The steps involved in the process are:

  1. Import the body and add a cube
  2. Use the Mirror modifier
  3. Subdivide and extrude the cube
  4. Add the Shrinkwrap modifier
  5. Freeze the shape of the clothes

Import the body and add a cube

Adding a cube

To create basic clothes using this technique first import into Blender the body you want to create the clothes for.

Then add a cube (option Add -> Mesh -> Cube) and position it around the chest without changing its center along the z axis as shown in picture Adding a cube. It is important that you keep the center along the z axis to be able to use the Mirror modifier to model the clothes.

Use the Mirror modifier

Cutting half of the cube
Adding the Mirror modifier

We are going to use the Mirror modifier that will allow us to work only on onw half of the mesh, replicating the changes symmetrically to the other half of the mesh. To do this:

  1. In Object mode select the cube
  2. Go into Edit mode and add a vertical loop along the z axis to the cube:
    1. select the menu option Mesh -> Edges -> Loop subdivide
    2. left click on the screen
    3. type 0 (to center the loop) and press the Enter key.
  3. Select all the vertices at the right side of the cube (or at the left side, depending on which side of the mesh you prefer to work) and delete them and you'll end up with a cube like the one shown in picture Cutting half of the cube.
  4. In Object mode press the Add modifier button and select Mirror from the drowp down list.
  5. Click on the Do Clipping button as shown in picture Adding the Mirror modifier. Select all the vertices that are along the z axis and move them to the right using the red arrow (or to the left, if you have cut the left half of the cube). This will align all those vertices along the z axis, wihtout leaving holes.

Subdivide and extrude the cube

Subdividing and extruding the cube

In Edit mode subdivide and extrude the cube giving it a rough shape that covers the body. Make sure that all vertices are outside the body, but don't care too much about the shape of the mesh as this will be fixed by the Shrinkwrap modifier. You can use any option to subdivide the cube, but I find that the loop subdivide is the one that works best here.

You can extrude the cube to cover the arms (to create sleeves), and the legs (to create trousers) as shown in picture Subdividing and extruding the cube.

Add the Shrinkwrap modifier

Adding the Shrinkwrap modifier
Adding the Subsurf modifier

Once you have a rough shape of the clothes, do the following:

  1. Go to Object mode and press the Add modifier button and select Shrinkwrap from the drop down list.
  2. In the Ob: box enter the name of the body mesh (Body in the picture Adding the Shrinkwrap modifier). You'll see that after doing this most part of the mesh gets into the body but don't worry as we are going to fix it in the next step.
  3. Click on the button Above surface and increase the Offset number until the mesh covers the body (usually an Offset value of 0.10 works for me, as shown in the picture).

You'll see that your cube now looks like clothes as shown in the example. The mesh shown in picture Adding the Shrinkwrap modifier is exactly the same than the one shown in picture Subdividing and extruding the cube. The only difference between them is the Shrinkwrap modifier.

At this point you can subdivide your mesh a little more, extrude parts of it or move some of the vertices, until you get the shape you want. Or apply another modifier like subsurf to smooth the look of the clothes as shown in picture Adding the Subsurf modifier.

Freeze the shape of the clothes

Once you are happy with the results, freeze the shape of your clothes. Take into account that once you freeze the shape you won't be able to go back again so it is advisable that you save what you've done in a Blender file as a backup and work on a new copy.

Apply the modifiers to freeze the shape of your clothes by clicking on the Apply button that is at the right of each of the modifiers. Apply first the Mirror modifier and then the Shrinkwrap modifier.

From here you can work on the basic clothes you've created as you would do with any other object in Blender (reduce polygons, assign weights, add materials, etc) and then export it as a nif file to use it in your game. You can also use them as the starting point for creating more elaborate clothes.

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