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Hard cloth accessories - cloth sim or rigid bodies?


I have a character built in Fuse and animated with Mixamo. The character has a jacket and some zippers/dangling objects.

Mixamo gives me a complete skeleton, so I was wondering if it was possible to use the cloth sim to add physics to dangling HARD objects like metal zipper etc? And not only "soft cloth". I've tried to play with the settings in UE4, but I can't seem to make the object solid. It's more like a jelly zipper now haha.

Or do I need to rig and skin the zipper/dangling objects to the main skeleton? If so - what's the best way to do this? I have made a rigged and skinned hat with rigid bodies, and this is easy to attach to the head. But other loose objects like zippers etc. are a problem. I don't understand how I should do it.


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Product Version: UE 4.21
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asked Nov 21 '18 at 03:07 PM in Rendering

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Hey there, I'm not particularly familiar with how a character made with Fuse is set up, but I'm going to assume its pretty similar to other applications. That said, I don't think cloth is what you want to use in the kind of situation. Instead what you probably want is in the Physics set up of the character. What you can do (if the zipper is its own bone) is add a physics body to that bone. Make sure that bone is constrained to another bone, probably the neck or chest, and restrict how far it can move. You can see how constraints are set up in the default generated physics asset. Then, set that physics object to Simulated and you should be good to go.

Unless you are getting really close to the character or this is for a specific visualization, something as small as a zippers is often ignored when it comes to physics as the cost to simulate it can outweight the benefits. It may be important to disable the physics depending on the distance to the character.

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answered Nov 26 '18 at 06:47 PM

Evan.Doody (suspended)
avatar image kuraikyo Nov 26 '18 at 09:03 PM

Thank you so much for your reply! :) I actually believe this is the best i can do too, after trying out a few things. I havent tried it yet, but I was wondering if it would look alright to have the jacket and zipper separate, and have the zipper rigged and then attach it to the jacket (character's skeleton) by using sockets. But then i was thinking it may move out of place since they don't share the same skeleton..?

Main problem is that I don't want to alter the Mixamo/Fuse skeleton. Would be hard to reuse it that way. That's why I'm trying to find other solutions to how to add loose objects :)

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