dForce experiments

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chachah's avatar

Literature Text

dForce Experiments

(Wow! This sounds like a sci-fi thriller title!)

Hi users of DAZ Studio,

I don't know about you, but for me dForce was by far the most awaited feature in DAZ Studio. So I have played with it for a while, and now it's time to share the tips I discovered. But first of all, if not yet, please read carefully this post in DAZ forums. This article is for those who are already a bit familiar with DAZ Studio, who have a minimum understanding of dFotce and know where to find its settings. If you're an expert, please keep on reading, perhaps you will find information that will surprise you anyway.

How to prevent dForce from exploding your mesh?

This is a frustrating and very discouraging disadvantage when working with dForce: you spend hours polishing your garment model, dressing your character with it and tweaking a wonderful material ... but when you hit "Simulate",
boom! your mesh explodes!

It seems to be two main reasons for this: lack of precision in the calculations and / or bad mesh distribution.
  1. Force dForce to do more acurate calculations
    Go to [Simulation Settings Pane] > Simulation > Quality > Frames Per Second (FPS) Multiplier and
    increase the value up to 10 minimum.
    This solved the problem for me in 60% of cases. But the calculation time of the simulation was quite longer.
  2. Prevent the meshes of dForce enabled clothings from being disturbed
    Often objects such as jewels, hair, or whatever else near the mesh you're working on, disturb the simulation process and cause chaotic movements and messy draperies, if not exploding the mesh. In case of extreme poses, you must be particularly careful that the garment is not pinched between two parts of the figure's body that interpenetrate. This often happens under the armpits. So, to avoid all those drawbacks, before you proceed to the simulation, you can hide all objects in the scene that might disturb the process: in the scene tab klick on the little eye on the left of each object/node you want to hide. If the problem is caused by a pose, then relax it progressively until the garment can drape freely. After the simulation is finished and you're definitely satisfied, be sur the object you worked on is selected, go to [Parameters Pane] > Simulation > Freeze Simulation and switch it on. Now you can unhide all the hidden objects by klicking on the little eyes again and you can dial back the poses you relaxed to their original state.
  3. Control the quality of the meshes
    To allow dForce to work properly and to provide satisfactory dynamic surfaces, you need to pay attention to the quality of the model mesh, especially when you want to apply dForce to old clothings that were not designed for that. Here are a few rules to keep in mind. Some are obvious, others not.
    - The mesh must be as regular and as evenly distributed as possible.
    This point is very important and too often overlooked by users and even by some designers.
    It's better if all facets of the mesh are of the same type; no mix of triangles and quads. No n-gones with n>4.
    - Ideally, a mesh density should be between 25 quads (or 50 triangles) and 10 000 quads (or 20 000 triangles) per m².

    - For the same dForce settings, sparser meshes make surfaces more stiff like cardboard, denser meshes make surfaces more flexible like silk. So,
    if there is variation in mesh density on the same surface, then there is the same variation in the surface tension and the object may become unstable (jerky movements during calculation, messy draperies...).
    - This may seem paradoxical, but for dForce, converting an object to SubD does not increase the mesh density; this only can improve collision detection.
    - A very sparse mesh may cut off the surfaces it collides with.
    - On the other hand dForce often crashes with excessive density of meshes (40 000 quads per m² seems to be the limit on my system). I think it's still a problem of precision of calculations; it would be necessary to increase the FPS multiplier but the calculation time would be unreasonably long.
    - Extreme values, low or high, especially for "Stretch Stiffness" and for "Shear Stiffness", may also cause unpredictable results.

So, before you apply dForce to a garment, control its mesh by switching the viewport to "Wire Shaded" mode.

Below are screenshots demonstrating some of the previously stated principles.

Influence of mesh density.

From left to right: 100, 2 500 and 10 000 quads per m².

Simulation settings:

  • Initialization Time: 1.00
  • Start Bones From Memorized Pose: Off
  • Frame To Simulate: Current Frame
  • Stabilisation Time: 1.00
  • Frames Per Second (FPS) Multiplier: 10
  • All other parameters set at their default values.

dForce Dynamic surface settings for the three blue pieces (this is my own default):

  • Bend Stiffness: 0.20
  • Buckling Ratio: 95.0%
  • All other dForce surface parameters set at their default values.

Influence of mesh quality.

Simulation settings are as above.

The 3 tablecloths have almost the same number of facets in their mesh: about 3600 faces. For each test they recieve the same dForce dynamic settings: all are defaults, only those stated on the screen captures vary.

  • RED : this type of distribution of the facets leads, from the edges towards the center of the model, to a progressive increase of the density and of the surface tension, up to a high central concentration which exceeds the calculation resolution of the simulator: it crashes systematically regardless of the settings. I even tried to increase the FPS multiplier up to 40, but, nothing to do, I only got an unbearable lengthening of the calculation time which resulted anyway in an explosion of the mesh after 28 min.
  • ORANGE : too great variations in the density of the mesh at various points on the surface cause chaotic twists of th mesh. Lowering the buckling ratio and increasing the damping a bit seem to solve the problem.
  • BLUE : No comments ! It's self explanatory. If you do want your tablecloth be circular, then you have to put a mask in th "Cutout Opacity" parameter.
One thing that particularly annoys me is that there are people who dare to put on sale models that obviously do not take these restrictions into account, and we sometimes see, even on promotional images, ugly draperies that are absolutely unrealistic. By charity I will not mention any names but I invite you to carefully review all promotional images before buying. If wou see something that doesn't fit fluently on the body of the character, then don't buy it! Ideally sellers should also show their product in extreme poses from different anles, and they should include a picture of the wire shaded pattern.

Now it's time to have some fun !

Although the current version does not yet have this capability, dForce can already simulate soft-bodies, to a certain extent and under certain conditions. YES ! IT CAN !
Not convinced ? So watch this video showing a short animation made with DAZ Studio and featuring objects that received the dForce dynamic surface modifier.

dForce test 00

Amazing, isn't it?
All objects are standard DAZ Studio primitives.

The settings used on surfaces for this animation are:
RED BALL ( 12 sides x 12 segments, diameter: 1m)
    Bent Stiffness: 0.10
    Buckling Ratio 50.0%
    All other dForce surface parameters at their default values.
BLUE CYLINDER (24 sides x 24 segments, diameter: 0.5m, length: 1m)
Bent Stiffness: 0.10
    Buckling Ratio 0.99%
    All other dForce surface parameters at their default values.

Actually the 2 conditions for this to work are:
    The mesh of the object must be closed (no any hole nor unweld vertices);
    All surfaces of the entire object must have the same settings for dForce, otherwise it may show a strange and unpredictable behaviour.

And, of course, all the remarks made earlier remain valid, especially those concerning the influence of the density of the mesh.

Watch the animation here.

The 4 BLUE CUBES share the same surface settings, only mesh density is different:
    Density (from right to left): 100 per m², 400 per m², 1600 per m², 6400 per m².
    Bent Stiffness: 0.10
    Buckling Ratio: 0.99%
    All other dForce surface parameters at their default values.

RED BALLS as described above.

That's all for today. I will continue my exploration of dForce and I will come back to you if ever I discover other interesting possibilities.

Have a creative day.

I don't know if this is a right way to publish tutorials on DA instead of a PDF file. I hope it can help anyway.
I'm curious about your feedback and waiting for your comments.
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This is the best blurb I've seen on this subject, and I've been looking for days. Thanks for using 12th grade English. Thanks for avoiding video, it is almost always badly used. Most of all, thanks for seeing through the eyes of the user. I'm confident this writeup will help me prevail.

chachah's avatar

Thank you for your enthusiastic comment. I'm glad I could help you.

Eclesi4stiK's avatar


Très instructifs comme tutorial :).

Seul hic, dans ma situation, c'est que ça ne résout pas mon problème :). J'ai beau chercher ici et la je trouve rien de 100% working.

Je travaille sur une suite d'image avec différentes poses, etc et mon vêtement explose, j'ai trouvé un semblant de solution le buckling et bend stiffness seraient une des causes. En ajustant le bend stiffness à la valeur recommandé cela a marché! Je me dis cool enfin une solution! Et bah non, sur mon dernier rendu le personnage est en position "couché/assis" le haut du dos appuyer à un mur (je ne colle pas mon perso au mur pour éviter justement tout problème) le vêtement "explose" dés les 1eres secondes ...

Ca me désespère d'avoir un truc stable qui marche 100% du temps ('fin c'est le minimum quoi vu le prix des produits!), y a tellement d'aléatoire incompréhensible (à mon niveau ^^).

Et bien évidemment mon expérience concerne des produits dforce, développé pour dforce.

Bref, super tuto :)

chachah's avatar

Merci pour votre commentaire.

Il faut dire que ce tuto commence à dater. DForce a fait des progrès depuis.

Quant aux soucis que vous évoquez je pense que la solution serait d'utiliser la simulation depuis une pose mémorisée ou la simulation par animation.

Si vous êtes anglophone je vous conseille ce tutoriel de Esha, complet et bien fait (1 heure de video):

Sinon prévenez-moi et je ferai un "pas à pas" en français.

Eclesi4stiK's avatar

Par contre je viens de remarquer un truc très pénible => c'est que Dforce est caractériel selon les morphs utilisés sur le personnage, j'ai testé 2 characters différent (sur la même g8.1) même pose, même scène, même vêtement dans 1 cas le vêtement explose dans l'autre non.

Eclesi4stiK's avatar

Depuis une pose mémorisé c'est ce que je fais déjà (enfin je crois^^), je garde la pose de base comme point de départ.

Après avoir vu le tuto de Esha (tuto très intéressant soit dit en passant) je comprend certaines choses, me reste plus qu'a tester et voir si l'explosion des vêtements dforce vient uniquement des cas dont il est question dans sa vidéo.

Merci en tout cas :)

GafftheHorse's avatar

Excellently clear summary. I've read of most of these tips before by pouring through the Daz forums, but yours is much clearer.

Favving so I remember to refer other Daz users when the topic of dForce comes up.

chachah's avatar

Thanks a lot for your comment. I'm glad if I can help.

Kervala's avatar
Thanks a lot for this tutorial :hug:

I just began to convert my clothings made with Marvelous Designer to dForce conforming ones :D I don't understand yet all dForce parameters but I try to read and expriment the most I can :love:
chachah's avatar

Thank you for your comment. I hope you found this useful. dForce is evolving rapidly. It is much more stable in the latest version of DAZ Studio (4.12). But my remarks concerning the density of the mesh are still valid.

Une visite sur votre profil m'apprend que vous êtes de France et que vous êtes admin de "FranceOfficielle". Alors il faut absolument que je vous exprime mon admiration pour le fantastique boulot que vous faites. Mais par pitié, ne nous laissez pas tomber. Il faut que le groupe vive encore longtemps. Eclipse ne doit pas nous éclipser. Il ne doit pas devenir le tombeau de l'art populaire francophone et francophile.

Kervala's avatar

J'ai remarqué que tu étais français après avoir posté :(

Concernant FranceOfficiel, merci beaucoup, mais je ne suis que modérateur :D

Pour DAZ Studio, c'est vrai que les premières versions de dForce bugguaient un peu plus :D Notamment les explosions qui étaient foison :s

En fait, vu tout le travail que c'est de rendre un habit conforme, pour l'instant et sans utiliser dForce, je faisais les vêtements dans Marvelous Designer avec la bonne pose puis je les importais dans DAZ Studio sans les conformer.

J'ai toujours eu des soucis avec le haut de l'abdomen (sous les seins quoi), car mes tenues sont souvent des tuniques où le tissu doit tomber verticalement sur la poitrine or en conformant le vêtement est plaqué contre l'abdomen avec des déformations pas terribles. J'ai conscience que normalement il faudrait exporter tous les morphs et refaire la simulation pour chaque morph et créer des FBM ou JCM, etc... Mais je trouve que c'est vraiment long et fastidieux juste pour un personnage :(

Du coup, je suis en train d'expérimenter avec dForce en rendant ces parties "flottantes" dynamiques. Et je dois dire que je suis plutôt satisfait du résultat :


Maintenant, il me reste à expérimenter avec les paramètres des surfaces dynamiques :D

Sinon un problème que je pense savoir corriger, c'est qu'en faisant la tunique pour Genesis 8, en mettant un perso avec une plus forte poitrine le tissu est plus étiré ce qui fait que le vêtement ne respecte pas le décolleté initial (qui descendait un tout petit peu plus bas). Je vais tenter de rendre cette partie plus "élastique" dans les paramètres de surface ou alors étirer cette partie dans Blender et faire un morph. À voir ce qui donnera les meilleurs résultats :D

Jusqu'à maintenant, j'ai toujours utilisé 3Delight car il me semblait que iRay était plus lent... Maintenant, j'ai fait plusieurs tests et les cheveux étaient beaucoup plus lent à rendre avec 3Delight qu'Iray, c'est pour que ça désactivait plein d'effets (les displacement maps, le raytracing, les ombres, le specular, etc...). En plus, le truc sympa avec iRay, c'est que la première image donne déjà une idée s'il y a un problème d'éclairage ou de texture manquante :D

Merci encore :hug:

Kervala's avatar
Houla, j'ai posté avec Eclipse (jute pour essayer) et je ne peux pas éditer mon précédent message avec l'ancien thème :(
middle-watch's avatar

Excellent advice thanks, solved a headache I had - belt on an outfit was of much less mesh than the actual outfit. If I can offer my own hint: I found garments made in Marvellous Designer which contain "solid" objects like buttons or beadings invariably crashed with Dforce unless the Damping Density was reduced to about 0.001 or less.

chachah's avatar

Thank you very much for the comment and the tip. Yes, many troubles in dForce are due to the dumping feature. But, while this is not essential for rendering still images, it contributes greatly to the realism of clothing in animations. Personally I sometimes manage to avoid trouble by increasing the number of subframes (between 10 and 20). It takes a lot of patience because, as you can guess, it greatly increases the rendering time.

greent64's avatar
Thank you!  I've been playing with dForce a lot and have 
had a lot of success, but I'm always wanting to push it further.
I learned a few things from you here, mostly around the influence
of mesh density.  And that SubD doesn't effectively change density.

I had found that a high mesh density was not good for dForcing a 
primitive sphere, and that it was because of the crazy high density 
at the poles.  I fixed this problem by deleting the mesh there, and 
the sim time went down dramatically and it never blew up again.

So that could be a solution for a circular table cloth as well, you'll 
just need a vase to cover the hole :)
chachah's avatar
Thank you for the feedback and for the tip about the circular table cloth.
greent64's avatar
yw!  I have yet to help you as much as you've helped me ;)

I did just learn that I cannot fix mesh tension with weight maps 
for various stiffnesses, too bad, that would have been cool.  So
that (if true) means you're really stuck with the mesh you've got.
So yes, vendors should show us their meshes!
DisturbingThings's avatar
This was very helpful. Kudos to you for sharing this with all of us!
chachah's avatar
You're welcome.
frillynikki's avatar
Thanks for sharing. Glad someone is posting their experiences to help others. Thanks for taking the time to put this together!
chachah's avatar
Your welcome.
Zincau's avatar
thanks for sharing. It's very useful
chachah's avatar
You're welcome.
Silas3D's avatar
Thanks for the info! :)
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