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Harem Costume for P5 Judy

click to download the free costume

To use the dress

Here are some notes on how I set up the figure and costume.

Start by loading Judy into the scene. Turn her IK chains off using the Figure menu. Open the Joint Editor and click on the zero figure button. Select her hip and set x, y & zTrans to zero. This is now the Zero Pose.

If your costume is an OBJ then use File/Import with none of the import options checked. It must arrive in the scene correctly positioned on the figure. Parent it to the figure's hip. I doesn't have to be the hip but for a full costume this is the most logical.

If its a prop from the library then ensuring that the figure is selected just load in the costume. I saved it as a number of smart props all within one file for convenience. You may wish to re-save the parts separately. As a side note when you save a smart prop and include a sub set, (the top, veil and sleeves are a sub set of the pants), Poser omits to make them smart even though you has asked it politely to do so. I had to edit the line back in manually in a text editor. You will then resemble the screen on the right.


Because this is a series of smart props and has already been parented to the figure, and because we will later be using a "drape from zero pose" feature it is not essential to initially pose the figure this way. However I prefer to do so to enable me to check that the dress fits right to begin with. If any part of it is touching the figure at this stage it will result in problems later.

Next the figure is posed. The costume will follow because it is parented but it will not drape correctly at this stage.

If you just want one static pose then simply position the body parts as required or load a presaved pose from the library.

If you are producing an animation then load one from the library, import a BVH motion file or set it up manually.

In either case I found that if the initial pose was greatly removed from the zero position it is helpful to include approximately 15 transition frames at the start. This allowes the costume more time to catch up with the body before the start.

If you want just a static pose consider adding some extra frames at the end also. This will allow the cloth to settle and give you more options on the best looking frame.

Into the cloth room and set up a new simulation. I could have done a separate simulation for each part of the costume but I found it easier to put them all into one. Horses for courses, just be aware that you have the option.

The default simulation range is 1 - 30, edit this if required.

Remember the more cloth collision options you select the longer the processing times. Optimum selections will vary with different situations. Best to start with just the default and add more if required.

Cloth draping allows the dress to settle prior to the actual animation. I made this costume so that when it draped there would be some realistic folds produced. Too few frames and the cloth will not have settled enough, too many and you loose all the folds. It will also depend on how far from the zero pose the cloth has to drape. I've found that between 15 and 30 frames is a good rule of thumb.

Clothify (what a great word :) the costume.

Define what you want the costume to sense collision with using the Add/Remove button. The more you add the longer the processing time. I did find that I had to add the same body parts for all the sections of the costume. I tried having the sleeves just collide with the arms but it threw the pants out. This was for when they were all in the same simulation and when considered separately.

Note that if any parts are set invisible they will be ignored by the calculation. i.e. if you had turned the hip and thighs off then the dress will fall straight through them. Leave them on for the collision calculation but you can turn them off later when it comes to rendering.


Collision Offset:- Increasing will make the dress stand further away from the skin.

Collision Depth:- Higher will give the effect of thicker cloth.

Static friction:- Higher will make the cloth tend to stick to the body more.

Dynamic Friction:- Once the dress material has started to slip over the skin this dial tells it how easily it will continue to slide.

We need to check the "start draping from zero pose" because our animation starts with the figure bent forward. Poser will calculate the "frames" that get the costume and figure from their zero poses to the start of our animation.

The other check boxes are self explanatory. If the dress is not going to hit the head then there is no need to include it in the calculations.

Defining Cloth Groups.

You've heard the expression, "belt & braces"? Well what if the figure isn't wearing any? To prevent embarrassment we have to put some in. By selecting the Edit Constrained Group button and using the tools available in the pop-up Group Editor it is possible to "pin" small sections of the costume to the underlying figure. Knowing that this would be required I defined material regions to make this easier. Any additional vertices may be selected using the "+" tool.

Note that you are adding vertices rather than the polygons that you may be familiar with from the Poser 4 Grouping Tool.

You will find these groups already defined in the Harem Costume. Poser saves them as part of the prop file.

If I had wanted to have the pants material behave differently from the top, I could assign it to a new Dynamic Group with its own set of dials in the Dynamic Control section. Xena fans will therefore have the option to create chiffon skirts and iron studded breastplates :)

Not used in this example but to explain their usage:-


Choreographed Group.

Supposing our actor was performing that well known standard, "The Dance of the Seven Veils". If a corner of a veil were in a constrained group as above, having allowed it to fall to the floor it would continue to follow her around as though connected by an invisible thread. Better to be able to control its movements independently in a Choreographed Group. Thus the audience is not distracted from the main attraction :)

Soft & Rigid Decorated Groups

"And she'll stand out in buttons and bows". Which is exactly what will happen if you ignore this section. Because clothing accessories, buttons, ties, bows etc. tend not to be welded to the main mesh the moment you clothify they will have a fit of the gravities and drop to the floor. Pockets, bows & patches work best in the Soft Decorated Group. They will tend to follow the cloth rather than the figure underneath it. Buttons, badges and pins should be put in the Rigid Decorated Group. In this way they will still move with the cloth but not get deformed out of shape.

Dynamics Controls.

Details on page 249 of the manual. All appear self explanatory. If you need to see the different effects try setting up a scene in which the high resolution plane falls over a sphere. I suggest you make changes to one dial at a time or else you may not see what adjustments did what.

Initially I was concerned that I would have to test every setting to find out how it all worked, however I soon found out that I could be guided by the sensitivity of the control dials. My judgment is that the default settings correspond to medium weight cotton. Turn the dials a little to the left and you'll get silk, a lot to the right canvas or leather.

Once set I went back to the Simulation Setting button and calculated the drape, then to the Calculate Simulation button to let it do its thing.

Finally the scene was rendered out in AVI format and converted to a Windows Media file using Windows Movie Maker. This has been included in the ZIP file you downloaded for the costume.

Should you have any queries I am happy to answer, my email address is pcooke@philc.net