[Tutorial] G1G2G3G8 Clothing in Blender 5

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Deviation Actions

SickleYield's avatar
By SickleYield
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

In this section we'll talk about creating custom icons and morphs.  The morphs section of this is covered in video form here.

From Parts 1 through 4 you should have:

-A textured and rigged clothing item with materials set up that use your diffuse, bump, and high-resolution displacement maps.  It should already be saved to your People/Genesis or Genesis 2 Male or Female/Clothing/YourName/Your Item folder, and there should already be a Your Item/Materials folder with at least one material in it.

-A good handle on edit mode and sculpting meshes in Blender.  I will cover some commands, but not basic navigation.

-The latest version of DAZ Studio.  It's in 4.6-ish as of this writing in 2014.

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Custom icons are, of course, not mandatory.  You will notice, looking at your library of DAZ products, that some artists do fancy-looking custom icons and some artists appear to have just kept the default screen-capture that DAZ Studio creates.  There's nothing wrong with either, but you should choose your options consciously rather than just not knowing what to do.

When you save a figure or material to the library, DAZ Studio generates an icon from whatever the camera is looking at at that moment and names it itemname.duf.png.  In fact, an icon having the name end in .duf.png is a sure sign the artist didn't bother with doing customs, so renaming to just itemname.png at least makes it look as though you were paying attention (and is therefore recommended).  This also ensures that, should you need to resave an item after you've created a custom icon, Studio will not overwrite your customs.  It will instead generate another .duf.png name.  In that case you need to delete the new one from the folder so that your intended one will show up again, but you won't have to redo it.

You can create a new icon by creating a render to .png format that is 91x91 in size.  This option is found in your Render Settings tab, which you can create using Window -- Panes (Tabs) -- Render Settings.  Whether in the General or Advanced tab, choose "Square" from the Preset dropdown and type 91 in the first Pixels box (the second box will automatically update).

It should be set to render to Still Image (Current Frame) by default.  This is good, we're not making an animation at the moment.  Click Image File.  To the right of the word "Name" is a dropdown where you should choose .png format.  In "Name" put the name of your item (the icon must have the same name to show up).

To the right of the "Folder" area is a button that says "..." on it.  Click on this and navigate to the folder that contains your item needing a new icon.  You want to render to this folder so your icon ends up in the right place.

Now set up your scene with the proper lighting and pose the camera on your item to make it look as you wish.  Some artists prefer a pullback view of each item, some a closeup to show more texture; this is completely up to you.  When you are ready, click ctrl+R or the "render" button in the top right of the Render Settings tab (it has a camera on it).

When the render has finished running, go to the folder where you saved it in your Content Library.  Right-click the folder name and choose "refresh."  Now your new icon should appear with the item name.  It's just that easy.

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Creating custom morphs for a clothing item in DAZ Studio is actually quite easy as well, and Blender is a great program for this use.

There are two main types of morphs to create for an item: FBM fits, and custom morphs.  We will deal with FBM fits first.  Some artists choose not to do these at all, and some do many.  Whether or not you should do this for an item depends on what it is and how you want it to look.  Many pairs of pants don't really need custom fits, whereas tops meant to bridge in the breast area on females need one for every female morph intended to be properly fitted.  Bulkier morphs such as the Heavy morph in all figures and the Freaks, Hyde and Troll in Genesis 1 (Freaks are now available to Genesis 2 Males thanks to Slosh) also need more custom fits to avoid distortion.

Creating FBMs


An easier way to create FBM fits is to edit an auto-generated morph.  When you conform your item to a figure and dial in an FBM, DAZ Studio automatically generates a version of that FBM in the clothing.  Make sure the clothing's mesh resolution is set to Base in the Parameters before proceeding.

When you do this step, if you use Genesis 2, dial in the morph from the Full Body heading, not from People.  This will keep the scaling at 100%.  If scaling is not at 100%, your morph will not load properly back into the clothing.  In Genesis 1 you will need to go to Parameters and the Transforms/Scale heading and manually set this for most morphs (very few are natively at 100% in Genesis 1).

A special note on Josie in Genesis 2 Female: Her hip is natively translated on the Y axis.  When working with this morph, you must set this value back to 0 before export to ensure correct loading of your new FBM.  The hip is under the main body heading in your Scene Tab.

In Genesis 8 Female these morphs involve translation that you'll need to similarly correct for:

Victoria 8
Height
Breasts Cleavage (translation of the pectorals)

There may be others.  Always try to check the hip in particular for translation in Parameters tab.

Once you have the morph dialed in on the body and it is visibly fitted in the clothing, turn off visibility of the figure in your Scene Tab.  There is a picture of an eye to the left that you can click, and it will appear to "close" as the figure vanishes.  This prevents the figure from being exported with the visible clothing.

Now File--Export--Wavefront/obj.  Put your clothing morph obj where you will be able to find it again (I usually have a "morphs/FBMs" and "morphs/Customs" folder under the folder that contains all the .blend files for a given outfit).  Scaling does not matter as long as you remember which scaling you used; I'm still using Poser scaling on my projects!

Now it's time to start up Blender and import the clothing item using Blender's file--import--wavefront/obj command.  I uncheck everything but "keep vertex order" and "Polygroups" in the options.  As with export, you can save as a preset by clicking the plus sign to the right of the words "Operator Presets."

For best results, you also want to import an obj of each morph you intend to support scaled at 100% in the figure (Genesis, G2F, G2M) itself.  I keep a master file with a lot of these placed on different layers in Blender.  The layers dialog is on the bar below your 3d window and just looks like a lot of rows of empty squares; when you move items to different layers using the M command, the square will look filled to show something is in that layer.  The number of available morphs to support is quite large and you may have to prioritize; if using G1 you certainly will need multiple .blend files (I have one for males, one for females, one for just breast morphs, one for morphs in the Universal heading, etc.)  Don't feel bad if you don't feel able to support all available morphs in your first item; some artists never do this at all.  Just make sure your documentation is clear so users know not to expect your item to fit female chests properly on Girl 4 morphs, etc.

Once you have the scene set up with a morphed figure and the morphed clothing, save it.  Now you are ready to adjust the clothing fit using Sculpt or using proportional editing in edit mode.  The proportional editing dropdown is on the bar below your 3d window and it looks like an empty circle when turned off; when on it is a blue circle with or without a hole in the middle.  Connected mode drags only areas directly connected to the current vertex, and Enabled mode drags all verts in the current object (experiment with it to see what I mean).  You can adjust the area of effect by scrolling the mouse wheel while a vertex or face is selected.  This is one of your most powerful morphing tools, so spend some time getting to know it.  It can help you do things that are not possible with just sculpting.

The Smooth brush will be of particular help with making better-looking FBM fits; pay attention especially to the area between breasts, buttocks, and on skirts, the thigh and shins.  If it is impossible to get a good fit without obliterating details of the original sculpt, it may be better to start from an unmorphed version of the clothing and push and pull it with proportional edit to fit the morph.  This takes longer but can produce a much less distorted look when you are accustomed to it, especially on skirts and the problematic larger morphs.

When you are satisfied with the morph, export it from Blender and overwrite the one you imported.  Make sure the name is correct to the morph's real name, not its pictured one; you can see this if you have Show Hidden checked in your Parameters options and look at the clothing item instead of the figure.  Usually there will be a name like FBMMichael6 when the display name is Michael 6, but some are different enough as to be unguessable, so always check.

Now go back to DAZ Studio and select your clothing item with the figure inside it still hidden.  Start Morph Loader Pro.  Its icon looks like a muscular arm flexing with a letter P on the biceps.  At the top you will see the words "Convert to DAZ Studio" and below that the word "From."  To the right of that is a dropdown.  Here is where you choose a program scale that is the same as the one you used on obj export.

Below that, click "Choose Morph Files."  Notice that it IS possible to select more than one.  For now, navigate to your FBM .obj that you exported.  It will load into Morph Loader Pro with the name that you gave it, which hopefully is the correct FBMBlahBlah name.  Double-click the row that appeared to expand it. 

Now you can see more options.  The important ones for this is the Overwrite Existing line.  Right-click on it and choose "Deltas and ERC Links."  If your FBM name is correct, this ensures it will overwrite the generated one with your new one.  You don't need to worry about the property group because the program will automatically pick up the group of the overwritten morph.

Click Accept.

MLP will run and a dialogue will pop up saying whether the morph successfully loaded (if not, it's usually because you accidentally exported other geometry with the obj, or did not set it to base resolution before export).  Click Accept.  Now when you toggle the visibility of the human figure back on, the clothing should snap into the shape of your updated morph (sometimes it takes this to make it update).

And that's how you make a custom FBM.  Be sure to save it using File--Save as--Support Asset--Morph Asset(s).  In the popup you can usually just put "Base" under the Product name and it will auto-populate your vendor name, but you can change either of these if you like before you click Accept.

In Genesis 8 Female if you want to sell to Daz, they will expect the morph to work at negative values of things like height and body size.  This is a bit trickier, but it's doable.  In this case you're going to have to create a new FBM for that negative value and call it FBMBodySizeNegative or something similar.  Then load it on the figure.  Now you will need the Property Hierarchy tab.  If you don't have one you can create one in Windows -- (Panes) Tabs. 

In this tab find your clothing item with it selected in the viewport.  Find your new morph and click to expand it.  You should see "Sub-Components" and "Controllers."  Expand "Controllers."

Now you need to go back to Parameters tab and find the original morph (in this case Body Size).  Right-click in Parameters and choose "Edit Mode."

Click on FBMBodySize and drag it over to the Property Hierarchy to drop it onto the "1st Stage" heading of Controller.  Now this new morph you created is controlled by the main dial, but you want to make sure it only activates when the dial is dialed negatively, not positively.

Expand FBMBodySize under this 1st stage heading where it now is.  Under the "ERC" name you can find Attributes and set them to Keyed.  That should expose the option to create keys under that by clicking the word "Keys' and then the plus sign.  You need two.  The first will be 0:0, indicated your morph is set to 0 when the dial is at 0, and then Key -0.5: 1.  This means that when the dial is -0.5, your morph will be set to a value of 1 (it's negative 0.5 because the Body Size dial only goes back that far; if it goes back to -1 you set it to -1).

Check to see that your custom shows up as you dial back from 0 to -0.5 in this case.  You should also set your morph to invisible in the Parameters by clicking on the gear icon next to its name and checking "Hidden," then "Accept."  Don't forget to save.

Creating Custom Morphs


Now, with purely custom morphs, such as fixers and movement morphs, things are done a little differently.

In this case, you need to export an unmorphed and unconformed base of your clothing item (at base resolution as well if you're using those options).

Import it into Blender.  Now duplicate it and move the duplicate to another layer (M + click a square to choose a layer); using this and the hide/show commands (H and alt+H) you can copy many morphs across one blend file in a manageable way.

Create a custom morph.  Sculpting can be useful, but your best friend here is the proportional editing and the loop selection tools (alt+right click) and area select (B or C) in edit mode.

When you have modified the mesh to the extent you want, tab back into Object mode and export the obj.  Hopefully you saved an .obj export preset in Blender in an earlier tutorial and can just use your dropdown preset for that.

Select your clothing item in DAZ Studio and choose Morph Loader Pro to load the morph as before.  This time, you need to change the Property group.  Right-click on the Property group and choose "Create."

DAZ's standard is that all morphs, regardless of type, should go under Actor.  Mine now go under Actor/Fixes and Actor/Movement, usually; make your own determination on that.  The important thing is NOT to leave the morphs under Morphs/Morph Loader, because that shows a total lack of effort and misses the opportunity to classify your morphs usefully besides.

Since this is an all-new morph, you don't need to worry about the overwrite section.  Just click Accept.

If the morph successfully loads, it now appears under your new property group.  If you want to generate and load a lot of morphs at once, you can load the objs all together by alt+clicking them when you navigate to them in Morph Loader Pro.  You will need to change the property group on every one, though, so you probably want to do one solo first.  Once a property group has been created, it will appear for you to select when you right click the Morphs/Morph Loader Pro heading.

Once you have loaded all the morphs under a given heading, it's a good idea to save them.  Use File--Save As--Support Assets-Morph Assets.  Use your screen or merchant name in the top line and "base" in the second line, unless you have some reason for wanting specific morph subfolders inside the data files.

Then click below to expand the Actor node and check the morphs you want to save.  When you're ready, click Accept.  Now if you delete the clothing from the scene and reload it, the morphs should still be there.



Now you should have a textured, morphing clothing item with sculpted displacement.  Congratulations, and enjoy your figures and their new clothes!

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Has this tutorial been useful to you?  Do you have questions or comments?  Add them below!

In Part 6 we will discuss making joint-controlled morphs.
Published:
© 2014 - 2021 SickleYield
Comments16
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BubbleCloud's avatar
Thank you for this tutorial, I just found it by accident. 
I have made some props in the past (Beach Pack for DAZ Studio - Free 3D Models)
but now I decided to move on to clothes and I'm getting so many info from the net, 
which are confusing.. 
So, I will finish my model cloth first and then I'll try with the rest (meaning
make it work properly in DAZ). One step at a time. . 
So, my question is:
Is there a list of all the morphs I would need to create for a clothing item?
SickleYield's avatar
No. It varies from item to item. Generally the skimpier an item, the less morphs it needs. The categories every item needs are JCM, FBM, and helpers.

The basics are:

1. As many JCM as it needs to bend without lookimg wrong, esp. on the crotch and knees, but also check the armpit areas. The more clothing clovers, the more bend helpers it needs.

2. At least 3-4 FBMs, including Victoria and the Cleavage PBM morph if it covers the breasts partially.

3. At least an "expand all" morph for helping fit, and morphs to make a cape or skirt or loincloth move if it has a cape, skirt or loincloth (there should be a sit morph if it is a big skirt and not dForce). Extra bones can be substituted for some movement morphs but not all usually.
BubbleCloud's avatar
Thank you very much and I'm soory for the late reply, 
while you replied so quick! :ashamed:
JCMs .. ok.. I haven't done these yet, ok, noted. 
FBMs ok, I made some and they worked (a skirt flare, and left-right-back-front move and an expand all),
and I also saved the whole thing as Support Asset,to see if it works.
Question: how do I get these to be shown on the Shaping Tab of DAZ, and not only on the Parametres tab?

After all these, I also added a dForce modifier to see how it works and I learned to make
a dforce weight map, it also worked ok. 
So, I need to learn to make JCM and then I'll need to rig a static object because I don't know how to
add an armature etc (but I do know in Blender).

Thank you very much, I'm amazed of how you reply to all comments from everyone here,
you are a wonderful person miss! :hug:
SickleYield's avatar
Well, JCM are covered in Part 6. :)

To show up on Shaping tab a morph must be set as modifier/shape in its parameter settings. You can see them by clicking the gear in parameters tab.
BubbleCloud's avatar
It is saved like this but still I don't see them in the Shaping tab. 

I have made a simple dress almost ready for use in DAZ Studio.
I am now working on a dForce version because it's strapless. 

Do you use people to test your products? 
Also, a question about saving:
I am saving my dress as 'support asset - figure/prop'. 
Do I have to also save seperately the morphs and the uv map?
I see they're already written, so why are these options there? 
I understand the UV map option, because a model can have 2 uv maps, so they need to be saved. 
But the morphs? Can they be loaded seperately? 

Also, is it possible to save only the dForce modifier or I have to save the whole thing as figure/prop again? 
I mean is it possiblt to have the dress without dforce and then to add the dforce modifier
(and its setting of course) with just a click? 

If I ask too much, please let me know. I can google all these, but you are definetely an easier way. 

My tester says my dress doesnt fit automatically to Genesis figure (and he has to use the 'Fit to' command)
but it does fit on my laptop. Do you have any idea how is this possible? :?

I promise I will pay you off for all the help. :ashamed:
SickleYield's avatar
1. I do not, I test my own on a second computer, but a lot of people use beta testers if you can find someone willing to do it.

2. You don't have to save morphs and UV separately. Those options are there for adding or changing things after the main item is saved. For example, it's typical for me to save the main item before I add any morphs in order to preserve the rig in case of a crash. Then I delete it from scene, reload from library, and load morphs via Morph Loader Pro. Those morphs then need to be saved. This is especially important if a set is large because I may not do any morphs the same day as the base rigs, and I maye even need several days to get them done.

3. Sadly no, unlike with morphs you have to resave the whole thing to keep its dForce weight map. I wanted a more modular way, but Daz so far says no.

4. Make sure the tester has the figure selected when they load the dress. It only fits automatically if G8 (or whichever) is selected in the scene.

Lol you don't have to pay me, I help people on here regularly. It helps keep my name in front of the customer base.
BubbleCloud's avatar
Would you like to join my testers team, because I can't understand why my testers can't autofit
the dress while I can? And they also say that a file is missing when it's clearly inside the folder? :ashamed:
SickleYield's avatar
I barely have time to beta test my own things, lol.

The problem there (when this happens to me) is almost always that:

1.  Your  tester copy has a folder missing somewhere

or

2. You accidentally saved your item with its data folder outside the testing folders, and that version is the one you sent them, and it's looking for data in the wrong place.

Extra double check the positions of all your files and resave your mains to make sure they are saving to the right place.
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Scott06's avatar
Thank you for the tutorials. I appreciate it.
TimVithor's avatar
Excellent dude! Keep up with the tutos!
:)
3wcomics's avatar
Awesome tuts, thanks.  Makes me want to put my prop project on hold and start a new clothing project.
SickleYield's avatar
Welcome.  I say finish the prop first so you have it done, the tutorial will still be here. ;)
3wcomics's avatar
Yeah, good call.  I've finished DS version, I'm just taking a while converting to Poser, due to lack of experience with that program.
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