Shrink-Wrap

This tutorial will demonstrate the technique of creating clothing for 3D characters. I will be creating a tee-shirt for the “George” character available from here.

Start off by creating a very simple, extremely low-poly tee-shirt for your character.

Make sure that there is no mesh sticking into, or intersecting with the character.

swt_img14533

swt_img1453fh3

Now at this point, most people will slap on a shrink-wrap modifier, see the strange/weird/terrible results, and call it a failure. You will get the same results with the mesh that’s in the above images. Why? The answer is very simple. It’s because your mesh is too low-poly. Everything is still going how it should, but you can’t make clothes out of planks. Fabric bends at a microscopic level, that’s why it can fit around objects so well. You could select your mesh in editmode, and press ‘W’ and Subdivide it, but adding a subdivision modifier is a much easier to work with, and you have much more control over it. (you can enable/disable the modifier for the interface, increase/decrease subdivision amount, etc)

Add a level 2 Subdivision modifier so that your mesh looks like this:

SWT_img03

Select your characters mesh, press N to bring up the transform panel.

Hover your mouse over the ‘OB’ field, then press Cntrl-C to copy the objects name

SWT_img04

Now select the shirt mesh again, and add a shrink-wrap modifier.

Hover your mouse over the ‘OB’ field, and press Cntrl-V to paste in the characters object name.

SWT_img06

Now you should see something similar to this:

swt_img09

You can see that the shirt mesh is fitting the character very well, albeit somewhat too well (too tight).

To fix that, increase the OffSet number in the shrink-wrap modifier to any value that makes the shirt offset from the character enough that it doesn’t overlap with it.

0.01 to 0.02 worked great for me.

The result being this:

swt_img08

The result is very nice, and completely usable, but you will rarely get everything perfect the first time you create a low-poly base mesh. Don’t worry, you aren’t the only person experiencing problems, it happens to everyone.

One very common example of a shrink-wrap problem is stretched artifacts, something like this:

SWT_09

This happens all the time, so how do you get rid of that ugly mess? Let’s look at one easy way of fixed it.

First, enable the little button shows in the next screenshot:

SWT_img10

That allows us to see the modifier’s effects directly on our mesh while in editmode.

Before enabling the button, our mesh looked like this:

swt_img11

Now it looks like this:

swt_img12
It becomes very evident what the problem is. There are a few vertices that are a position where Blender doesn’t know what to do with them.

Select the offending vertices, and move them downward, away from the chin.

That fixes the problem right away. The mesh now looks like this:

swt_img13

Remember, you can use this technique for any tweaking on the mesh. If you don’t like something, you can move the verticies around till you do.

In that case, it’s a good idea to have a Mirror Modifier so that our mesh doesn’t become lop-sided. If you do use a mirror modifier, make sure that it is the top-most modifier on the stack. If it’s not, it will cause problems.

I hope that you found this tutorial easy to understand, interesting, but above all, useful. If you have comments, suggestions, or anything else to say, please drop a few comments to this post!

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This entry was posted in Clothing, Modeling, Simple, Tips, Tutorial, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Shrink-Wrap

  1. Vic says:

    I was wondering for a long time now, and couldn’t find the answer myself…. Is there a way in blender to shrink-wrap an object, be it mesh or nurbs, to something else but preserving it’s base shape?
    For example, let’s say a circle wrapped around cube in such way so it would stay circle-shaped but stuck on (only touching) the edges of cube.

  2. blendabi says:

    I don’t believe there is a way to do that manually, but often you can you lattice deformations to apply 3D ‘decals’ to another 3D object. I don’t know if that’s what you’re looking for though.

  3. Avinash Datadin says:

    THANK YOU VERY, VERY MUCH. I have been searching all over for a tutorial on shrink wrapping but only get video tutorials. The internet is very expensive in South Africa and it becomes impossible to download a video file. Your tutorial is just what I needed. Thank You once again.

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