CLO Virtual Fashion released version 9 of its clothing app, Marvelous Designer (MD9) about a month ago. This update packs in a few new tools that are very promising to improving the workflow of this handy and powerful clothing maker.
With an arguably easy learning curve, once you wrap your head around pattern-based design, MD9 has developed a very loyal user base from Hollywood creatives to home users and this base is very talented with designs that can rock out any fashion show, real or virtual.
Like your favorite sculpting app, MD9 is fun to use and extremely efficient once you actually look at a few tutorials or maybe even... in the case of the apocalypse... RTFM. There are a lot of things under the hood, hidden contextual menus, that do a lot of the work for us like Cloning as Over/Under or Cut and Sew.
Anyone that ever made a padded comforter the old way... sewing each line... certainly appreciates the aforementioned Cloning as Over/Under which also does the sewing for us.
What started out as a somewhat limited clothing app now comes with these time-saving tools and this release adds several more. Each one important in its own right and most likely highly requested by the user base so let’s take a look at what MD9 has brought us in time for an early Christmas.
Half Pattern Symmetry/Unfold Symmetric Editing (with Sewing)
A sweet, centerline, unfold tool that creates part of the sewing for you. While we had “Unfold” we did not have the symmetric sewing that cuts sewing time in half in the same manner as Symmetric Pattern does for main patterns.
This one is a bit puzzling in its present form but it might be they are planning for the future here. At face value it’s a much faster simulation but basically out of control at this point and not suitable for all uses. Now if that’s not vague enough let me give it to you straight from a company comment on their GPU demo video via it’s YouTube channel:
“Thanks for your interests towards Version 9 New features! Currently, GPU simulation only works with Nvidia Graphics cards as we are using Cuda. In addition, the quality of GPU Simulation is not good as CPU simulation due to limitations of GPU simulation. However, you could use GPU simulation for faster draping and switch to CPU simulation for the final result.”
Ok. We’ll leave it at that for now.
Upper Left & Middle: Retopology - Upper Right: Mirror Creation - Lower Left: Half Pattern Symmetry - Lower Right: Subdivision
This one is a no brainer. Anyone that has the misfortune of working with cloth mesh knows how horrible the triangulation can become making it a difficult if not impossible mesh to refine past that point. Retopology allows the user to create their own smoother topology with the usual hybrid “drawing” method of laying out fresh quads versus the gnarly old triangles. I haven’t extensively tried it yet but I’m betting it will become part of my workflow for complicated garments.
Another no brainer as everyone that models anything sooner or later needs to subdivide to get decent results. Clothing is no exception.
This one works much like the Sculptris addition to ZBrush as it allows a user to brush on areas that need more “meat” as it were. You highlight the areas with the brush then subdivide to meet your needs. Very simple but effective and much welcomed.
This one gets a bit confusing with the new Half Pattern Symmetry feature when just reading about it but once in use, you grasp its total difference from that tool. This has nothing to do with sewing or unfolding. This is a creation tool that allows us to draw out one half of an object and it fills in the symmetry for the other half. Draw half a box and be met with the tool drawing the other half.
Simple but effective method… just ask anyone that has used Sketchup.
At the end of the day… it’s a nice update with tools that we needed even though we might not have always known that. Once you use these types of tools you never want to go back. So… if you are a person involved with making 3D clothing for whatever reason you might just find Marvelous Designer 9 to be an early Christmas gift.
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord, is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director, and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. Now retired, M.D. is currently working part-time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD on his website.