Making bones follow a cloth simulation?

What I’m basically trying to do is export a cloth simulation from 3ds Max out into Source. Once in Source, it needs to play automatically and constantly loop. So I think that rules out the use of flexes?

Now unless I’m wrong about the flexes, that means I’m limited to using sequences which means I need to have the mesh simulated via bones, right? I’ve rigged the bones to the cloth’s mesh for the reference smd, so that’s all exported and okay. But for the sequence, I presume I can’t run the cloth simulation on the mesh and then make the bones follow it, can I? Which means the simulation needs to be ran on the bones, and thus the mesh follows that way, right? This is where I’m lost. I’ve tried running the cloth simulation on the bones, the mesh and so on. But either the bones don’t move at all, or they completely lose their heirarchy and just fly off in random directions. (Maybe this is because it’s just turning the bones into meshes by running the simulation on them?)

Another option I thought of would be to somehow parent the bones to the specific vertices of the cloth mesh, and then do just run the cloth simulation on the mesh – but again, not sure how to go about doing this.

I’m probably going about it the wrong way, but I just can’t think of any other ways of doing it. Any input and such would be appreciated, thanks.

You could simulate the mesh and try to extract animation data from selected vertices (dunno how to do this) and apply them them to the bones. You have to make sure that the bone-weights are smooth.

Or (again, dunno if possible) extract a vertex and convert it into bone, hopefully keeping the animation data.

Couldn’t you compile the model with vertex animations (ie just give it face flexes), then make a choreographed scene of it being all cloth-like, then have it animate via a scripted sequence?

I’ve seen someone turn a cloth sim into an animation once before on this forum (their example was a pirate flag blowing in some test map). I don’t recall how they did it, but I know it’s possible.

Surely it wouldn’t be too hard to just add bones and animate it manually. IK chains would make it super easy to animate.

Had a thought about this last night actually, maybe taking both a vta & smd and then cropping them up in wordpad to replace vertex data for bones… If it’s possible, it’s probably a very long-winded way, but it’s another option to consider at least, cheers.

Excellent idea! Completely forgot you could do that. Definitely the best way for me to do I think. Will look into it, ta!

Interesting… I’ve had a quick search and have been unable to find it, but at least now I know it’s possible. Thanks for the heads up!

You might be right, but my animation skills are next to none if I’m honest :v: and if all goes to plan, I’ll be wanting to export out quite a lot of these cloth-based models, and as the cloth simulator is so quick & easy, that’s really how I’d like to do it if I can. I’ll keep it in mind though for if all else fails, thanks.

There might be no need to animate if someone created an actual wind physics :v: . So a plane can actually fly without using some type of hoverball or thrusters.

But then again you could just create some sheet and bone the hell out of it. It depends on the source engine limitations really.

So Kathar did it work?

Nah, no luck so far. I’ve only had time to quickly try the vertex animation method, but I’ve been unable to get the morpher modifier in 3ds Max to do what I want. I can only get it to change the mesh from one keyframe to another, but with all the rippling and such I need it to be able to handle many keyframes throughout… So I’m still stumped at the moment, but I’ll keep working at it.