Skirt and cloth


I did a ragdoll setup for the skirt of a character and it is looking really promising. However I have two complex scenes. First scene she grabs her skirt and starts to walk, I tried to animate attach/distance constraints, but it’s not looking great yet. Second one she crunches and the skirt needs to interact with the floor without intersecting. I wonder if there’s anything else I can do to get this “grab” feeling and to make the intersection with the floor look better.
We’re also having some intersections with the leg, even though the markers aren’t intersecting. Probably that is because only the joints are simulated and the mesh between the joints behave according to how it is skinned and therefore averaged between the nearest joints. I feel like ragdoll can’t do more than this regarding the penetrations and any action would need to be taken into the rig. Do you have any suggestions for this?

I’d appreciate any kind of help!
Here are the files: Ragdoll – Google Drive

Hey @Lucasanimr, thanks for posting this on the forum! :partying_face:

I’m unable to open .mb files here, would it be possible to save relevant files in .ma instead? And if possible, keep them below 5 mb such that they can be uploaded to the forum for future visitors to marvel at and learn from?

In either case, what would help a bunch is videos of what you are seeing, what you have tried, and what you expect.

I was able to open the .rag file, here’s what I’m seeing.

That’s a solid skirt setup!

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Hey @marcus!
Yeah, sure… Here are the .ma files! (7.3 MB) (7.8 MB)

Also this is what I’m seing right now.

I’d like to improve the collision with the flor so the skirt doesn’t intersect. I can see that the markers aren’t intersecting.

On this scene I’d like to improve the ‘grab’ feeling… I tried distance constraints and attach constraints, but it didn’t help much.

On both cases the skirt is intersecting with the leg, I’d like to improve that too.


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Thanks, I can see the problem more clearly now!

First of all, this skirt setup is fantastic. I can’t see how it can get any more stable and well defined than this with Ragdoll, other than adding more shapes and more constraints. That said, in this particular setup, there doesn’t appear to be enough level of detail to cope with those intersections.


So for the floor, I can see… 5 options.

  1. Hide legs
  2. Keyframes to compensate
  3. Increase the resolution (amount) of your Markers
  4. Post-solve with e.g. nCloth
  5. Solve entirely with nCloth

For (1), the floor shot could probably get away with just keyframing visibility on those legs at the time of the first intersection. The leg is still felt through the contact with the skirt.

For (2), depending on how often this happens and assuming this shot is an outlier, then some manual intervention might be feasible.

Options 3-5 are more work up-front, and again would depend on how often these things happen. If you’ve got 100 shots and 80 of them needs this kind of manual intervention, then perhaps this is a task better suited for an actual cloth solver.


Now, for the grab, I would not go any further in simulation, this is already excellent! What’s missing here is a post-deform step. Talking from a CFX perspective rather than a Ragdoll perspective, so for anyone else looking to learn about Ragdoll, look away now. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

Here’s what’s happening.

  1. On the frame where the grab happens, f127, the skirt mesh is duplicated
  2. The duplicate is sculpted to fit the hand
  3. The sculpt is wrap deformed onto the hand, such that it follows
  4. The wrap deformed sculpt is then blendshaped back onto the skinned skirt
  5. The blendshape is painted, so as to only include the part where the grab happens
  6. The blendshape is animated on when the grab happens
  7. Profit

The only thing I’d consider here is to add more resolution to the skirt to make a better sculpt. That could happen on-top of the already skinned mesh without issue; so long as your pipeline is OK with a different topology (a subdivided version) being sent for rendering.

Even with nCloth or Vellum, I would pat myself on the shoulder for the simulation here already; trying to simulate the grab itself would be wasteful and painful. And for Ragdoll, this is about as high-res as I imagine one can get.

EDIT: Scene file if needed.

Grab_withBlendshape.7z (5.5 MB)



The blendshape trick for the grabbing part is a very good idea!

I’m gonna try all of that, thank you @marcus! :smile:

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Hi Lucas!

This is awesome, I’m wondering if you could kindly provide a breakdown for your skirt ?

Even after downloading and opening your scene, I still can’t figure it out and would really love to know what I’m doing wrong…

I did distance constraints down the joint chain, then attached the sides to reduce the flipping, but after increasing the stiffness on each marker joint, i can’t stop the ‘flipping’ of the markers after collision if that makes sense… :cry: