How to create a cloth simulation effect with Blender

Once a while I would like to watch youtube video on how to create various object in Blender and today I have watched a video regarding the cloth dropping physic simulation which is pretty cool and thus this lead me to create the following object.

Cloth Dropping Effect
Cloth Simulation Effect

After I have created the above prototype I have decided to create my own cloth physic simulation and have finally came out with below tutorial which I think you will like it. So let get started.

The concept behind this new Blender project is simple, the cloth will drop from the top and landed on a sphere object.

First let open a new Blender file and switch to Cycles Render, we are going to turn the default cube into a sphere. With the default cube is still selected press the Tab key to get into the Edit mode. Now press the W key and then select Subdivide Smooth for 3 times. The previous default cube will become a sphere.

Subdivide Smooth
Subdivide Smooth

OK that is it, now deselected everything by pressing the A key and then get out of Edit mode by pressing the tab key.

Next press Shift+A and then Mesh->Plane to create a plane which we will use as the cloth.

Create a Plane
Create a Plane

Move the plane up so it is just slightly above the top of the sphere. Press S then 2 and press enter to scale the plane. Create another plane with the same method then move it down so it touches the bottom of the sphere, then press S and 3 to scale it, this plane will become the ground in this project. Now right click to select the sphere and scale it down a little by pressing S then move your mouse inward and then left click to confirm the size. You should also move the top cloth down to a new position as explained before. Now you should end up with the below position if you do it right.

Cloth-Cube-Ground
Cloth-Cube-Ground

Now lets create another new window and turn it into UV Image Editor.

Split Window into Two
Split Window into Two

Next with the top plane still selected go to the property panel and select Add Modifier then select Subdivision Surface, under Subdivisions set both view and render value to 5 and click on the Apply button.

Subdivision Surface
Subdivision Surface
Set both View and Render value to 5
Set both View and Render value to 5

Next get into Edit mode on the 3D View window then press the U key and then with the cloth still selected pick Unwrap. Next go to the UV Image editor window and open a new image which we will use as the texture for the cloth. You can download any image texture which you wish as long as it does not has watermark on it.

Open an Image from the UV editor
Open an Image from the UV editor

Next with the cloth still selected on the UV Image Editor press the S key and then move the mouse outward to cover the entire image.

cover the entire texture with cloth
cover the entire texture with cloth

Next go to the property panel and select the Material tab then click New to create a new Material and click on the button at the side of the Color palette then select Image Texture.

Image Texture
Image Texture

Next select the image texture you have just imported into your project.

cloth texture
cloth texture

OK now we can close the UV Image Editor window (I assumed you already know how to do that :))

Now for the fun part, with the cloth still selected press on the last tab which is the Physics tab on the property window then click on the Cloth button.

Click Cloth Button
Click Cloth Button

Under the Cloth sub panel set the Quality steps to 10 and under Presets leave it as Cloth Presets.

Set Quality Steps to 10
Set Quality Steps to 10

Under the Cloth Collision sub panel set the both the Cloth Collision and Self Collision Quality to 10.

set quality to 10
set both the cloth collision and self collision quality to 10

Next right click to select the sphere and this time under Physics panel select the Collision button, do the same to the ground as well.

Alright, now we can take a look at how the physic simulation works. Press the right arrow Play button at the bottom of the 3D window. You can either leave the animation till the end or pause it at the right spot which you wish to by clicking on the pause button.

click play
click play

You should see the below outcome (at a certain point of the animation).

cloth simulation
cloth simulation

Alright now lets create a texture for the ground. Right click the ground object then go to the property panel and select the Material tab. Click New as before then just leave everything as default and change it’s color to something you prefer.

select the color for the ground
select the color for the ground

Next press A to deselected everything, then change the View to Front Ortho. Press A and create a new plane. Scale it up to 3 times it’s current size. Rotate the plane on the Y axis by pressing the R key then the Y key and type in 90 then enter. Now you should see something like below, if not then move the new plane a little bit to the left of the sphere.

Move plane to left
Move plane to left

With the new plane is still selected, go to the material panel again and change the surface to Emission then pick a light blue color as it’s color and set the strength to 4.

Texture for the Emission plane
Texture for the Emission plane

Also because this plane will serve only as a reflector therefore we don’t want to show it in our camera view. Go to the Object tab and under Cycles Settings’ Ray Visibility unchecked the Camera’s checkbox.

Hide the Plane
Hide the Plane

Now lets click on the World tab (the one looks like earth) on the property panel then click on Use Nodes button, next click on the button at the side of Color palette and select Sky Texture and then set the strength to 7. You can play around with the sky texture and find the best effect for the object background.

Sky Texture
Sky Texture

Next press N to open another property panel and checked the Lock Camera To View checkbox under View, press N again to close the property panel.

Lock Camera
Lock Camera

Switch to camera view and position the object within the camera range. You can increase the Camera coverage by changing the Resolution of the camera screen under Resolution which is under the Dimensions sub panel of the Camera main panel.

reset the camera resolution
reset the camera resolution

One last thing to do here is you need to set the Samples value under the Render box to 500. This is under the Camera tab->Sampling sub panel.

Sampling
Sampling

That is it, now click on the Render button at the top of the Camera panel and you might see the below outcome. Don’t forget to save the image after this!