Modeling with Cloth Simulation in Blender

Taking Advantage of Blender’s Cloth Dynamics

With all the features included and being added to Blender, sometimes it can be easy to overlook the practicality of the built-in cloth dynamics features. As an artist I usually default to sculpting for fabric creation, but since I’ve started using Blender the cloth simulator has proven its worth over and over. It can save you a ton of time to simulate your fabric into shape rather than modeling it traditionally.

Modeling with Simulation?

In this free tutorial I’ll explain how you can harness the power of cloth dynamics to model the different layers of a theater curtain. You will be introduced to the dynamics settings and presets for cloth. Also I’ll show you how to use animated shapekeys, simple proxy geometry, and forces to customize the simulation.

*Note:  This will not be about rigging the curtains to be used for animation. The end result will be a static model.

Manipulating Cloth in the Viewportscreenie_02









Credits and License Info

Leave Comment


76 Responses to “Modeling with Cloth Simulation in Blender”
  1. Posts: 35
    André Lopes says:

    I don´t know what’s wrong, it’s been a while since i simulate cloth, but it keeps the Flat form in 2D.
    Its like it only simulates in the X axis, just by side, like someone meantioned before here in the comments.

    Does anyone know how to fix it? I tried over and over gain, even in new projects.
    Might be a bug of 2.69? It’s driving me nuts.

    I’m on Osx 10.9.1.


  2. Posts: 1
    imalady says:

    At 13:19 my project goes off kilter a bit, instead of bunching on the x axis the corners of the curtain droop down making sharp spikes from the pinned points to the cloth. What am I doing wrong?

  3. Posts: 31

    I’ve enjoyed this video very much Kent…Love the way you teach..

    Now, Im going to include curtains in my personal project.


    PD: I love to find new way of slowing my renders… 😛

    • Posts: 2022

      I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it! Thanks for the encouragment. Lol all the cool stuff takes longer to render, right? 😉

  4. Posts: 72

    Thank you so very much for this brilliant tutorial. It’s exactly what I was looking for thinking it would be brilliant to sculpt something in Zbrush and then use Blender’s cloth simulation for the base sculpt for cloth elements. Brilliant how you did it. Hope you’ll do more tutorials in such tricks of using simulations to help with the sculpting process. Thank you. Fantastic work!

  5. Posts: 1
    Chris Fiedler says:

    Thanks for the tut! After scaling the floor plane you hit “ctrl A” to apply scale, whats this do in addition to just left clicking the scale selection?

    • Posts: 2022

      Thanks for watching, Chris! Applying scale (and other transforms) sets the object’s size to “actual size”. Whereas simply scaling a small object larger and leaving it that way means the object is still technically small and it can cause problems with simulation.

      Perhaps think of it like this: You have a matchbox car and a full-size car and someone asks you how big each one is. You wouldn’t usually describe the full-size car as “40 times bigger than the matchbox”. It would be more common and accurate to describe the matchbox as “3 inches” (or whatever it is) and the full-size car as “14 feet” (or whatever it is).

      Not sure if that helps or not 😉

      • Posts: 1

        Kind of… of all the tuts I have followed, I recall only a few instances that the apply feature has been in(if any). I learn best from examples are there any tuts you can think of that would utilize the apply feature? lol I feel like I should have been doing this the whole time… I have only been using blender since 2.49…

        Thank you for your tutorials, they are awesome!


  6. Posts: 1
    strat says:

    When I alt+A my animation my curtain falls into the virtual Z-Axis abyss. What am I doing wrong?

    • Posts: 4176

      Sounds like you missed pinning some of the top vertices. If no vertices are pinned and there’s no collision object then it will just fall, flat, along the Z axis infinitely.

  7. Posts: 2
    woody173 says:

    This is an amazing tutorial. I note that this is just for a static shot and would like to use a basic curtain to open and close in my animation, similar to the first stage of this tutorial. I did notice that you said it takes an age to sim cloth and that part of the tutorial was time lapsed. If you have done an animated version of this tutorial could you point me in the right direction. Or could you point me to somewher i can get this tutorial. I think it would definitely give my little animation the wow factor right from the start.

    Many many thanks. This was a real eye opener.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.