The jQuadrangulateCloth tool thread

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jacopoS polycounter
Hey guys,
this thread is about a tool I've been developing lately. The tool is called jQuadrangulateCloth and it's ment to easely generate a full-quad version of a cloth model out of Marvelous Designer to be sculpted inside ZBrush.

A few months back, I started working on a personal project for my portfolio. That is a character art project and, just like many other projects alike, it involves the use of Marvelous Designer and ZBrush.
I realize many of you already know a good enough way of taking a 3D model out of MD into ZBrush for sculpting. That involves exporting the flat version of the model, ZRemeshing it inside of ZBrush, then taking the result into Maya and using the "transfer attributes" feature to resume UVs and then again to get the model shape back. The result of such process will be a full-quad model that is going to be good enough for sculpting inside of ZBrush. You'd be able to change things around and add more details on a mostly clean topology.
While trying out such workflow, though, I realized it was far from ideal. First of, there would be no way of merging the seamings together, making the sculpting phase less practical. Also, the topology wouldn't always be as clean as it could and the topological symmetry would very likely not be respected. Not to mention the process itself is not very convenient.
I just felt like a much better solution could be achieved. It would just require some coding skills and a bit of will power. So I set down and started coding.
I decided to show my tool progress as well as my character art progress together in the same thread since I feel they are somewhat related: I do coding so that I can overcome some issues with the workflow I'm using. And I think that could be interesting to see for those who like the character I'm working on.

Now, just a quick recap:
april 15th 2018 - I showed the gif below for the first time on my character project thread. At that time, this tool was nothing but a proof of concept. It didn't really like to run on generic cases.

april 28th 2018 - I focused on writing the feature that would ensure the vertices are mergeable across all seams. Although at this point I was not taking into account the case in which more than two panels are being stitched together (non manifold seamings). That's still something I have to take care of.

may 13th 2018 - I got rid of most of my old dumb quadrangulation algorithms to make room for newer, smarter, more generic ones. Although the new algorithms are a big improvement over the earlier iterations, they're still far from being able to handle any general case. They still need a huge amount of care. 

So, after working on this tool for a while and showing all of that good stuff on my character thread, I just had to take a break and go back to work on the actual character art.
The community showed a lot of love and interest for my tool. That's great. Only I didn't consider the fact that not everybody are interested in seeing the character progress. That's the reason why I decided to create this thread so that those who are only interested in keeping up with the tool development can have a space dedicatod to just that.
I'll keep posting some updates related to the developement of this tool on the original thread for those who likes both sides of the topic. By the way, here's a link to it: Sharp Edge (a game character)

Some stuff you might want to ask:

What's next?
I'm planning on keeping developing this tool as I go along with the developement of my character. That involves going back and forth between those two things. Since I'm an artist to the core, I don't really like to focus on the coding side of things for too long without seeing the benefit of it on my art. Therefore, don't expect a constant stream of updates. Most likely there will be some long periods of silence along the way. Please, be patient.

Are you going to share this tool?
Yes, actually I'm planning on releasing it for free. I feel like this would benefit both the game development community and me in the long run.

When will this be ready?
Don't know. Don't expect it to be out before september 2018. Most likely later. You need to realize that I'm not working on this stuff full-time.
Also, keep in mind that so far I only showed the best case scenarios. Since I want to look cool, I'm not showing how many bugs are there. Just trust me when I say it still needs a lot of work before I can release it.

What if I'm not a Maya user?
You might have noticed that I'm not referring to this tool strictly as a Maya plug-in anymore. That's because I was carefull enough to keep the Maya code decoupled from the core functionality of the program. In simple terms, it should be possible to create a stand-alone version of this tool with the same exact functionalities as the Maya plug-in version.

Can I use this tool to quadrangulate anything?
Just learn topology, son!

Now some good news for those who can't wait to see more: I'm quite close to a point in which I have to develope this tool further to overcome one of it's limitations. So, I guess the next update is not too far ahead.
See you then.
Cheers! :)


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