Tutorial: Meshing Simple Organic Shapes (I.E. Fabrics) with Milkshape
Meshing Simple Organic Shapes (I.E. a flag)
Hey there! I noticed there aren't a whole lot meshing tutorials designed for people who know how a graphics program works, but don't know where to start when meshing a shape from scratch. Today I'm going to teach you how to mesh a simple organic shape, a limp flag. I'm assuming you know how to do basic operations with your graphics program such as selecting and moving vertexes, deselecting vertexes, regrouping groups, aligning normals, etc. I will be using milkshape, but you can use whatever program you like. Let's get started.
Open up your program and go to the toolbar that lets you create various shapes. We want a PLANE. For this purpose, I'm going to use a plane with 15 vertical divisions and 10 horizontal divisions. The reason for this is that a flag is wider than it is tall. That means we'll need more rows of polys across the flag than we will need up the flag. So now, draw out the plane so it is the size your flag would be if it was laying perfectly flat. Make sure to make it wider than it is tall! Be ABSOLUTELY SURE that when you draw out the plane you are in the front view window. My front view window will stay in the top left corner of the window for this entire tutorial, though the others may move around, and i will tell you when hey do.
You should now have something that looks like this:
See how it's all dark? We need to adjust the normals. If you forget, on milkshape that is under your "Vertex" tab at the top. No pic, I'm assuming you know how this works. :D
Now, we want to reduce the flag's width, because as we go through, the flag will widen and distort and that will cause it to be too wide. I'm going to reduce mine to 90% of it's original width. So i enter 0.9 under the Scale>X Axis and keep 1.0 under the rest.
Now I'm just going to make a quick flagpole. I'm using a cylinder with 1 stack and 8 slices. I deleted the tops and bottoms because I won't need them.
Now we want to make an arched shape where the flag attaches to the pole. We're going to select the column of vertexes on the pole, then deselect the vertexes at the top and bottom. what we want to do is move the vertexes away from the pole to create an arched shape, like so:
Notice how I've locked all my movement directions except "X." This ensures that you don't move the vertexes up and down. I've expanded the window out so you can see exactly how i moved the vertexes. Also, if the first row of vertexes comes too close to the second row, you can nudge the second row over a bit as well.
Now, since the flag is hanging limp, we need to make it hang lower progressively along it's length. This step is pretty easy. Select each row successively and lower it a little bit. This is the step that will lengthen the flag a bit, which was why we shortened it. Don't lower it too much with each column though, because all columns totaled up will lower it enough. Lock all but your "Y" movements so that you can only move the vertexes up and down. Here's how it should look about halfway through:
Your flag should now look like this:
What we're going to do here is switch to top-down view. That way we can make the ripples. What we want to achieve is a curving, floppy effect. So first I'm going to wrap the flag around the pole a bit, like so:
This is just basically click and drag, but make sure to keep the relative distance between the points the same, or else the flag will become longer and we don't want that. Here's how I finished the curving:
Now we want to make the other side of the flag. Select the flag group and go to Edit>Duplicate Selection. Now that you have a duplicate, go to Face>Reverse Vertex Order. This will create the other side of the flag.
Now, we need to fix the shadows. Individually select each side of the flag and use align normals. DO NOT ALIGN NORMALS ON BOTH GROUPS AT THE SAME TIME.
I'm going to add a ball on top of the flagpole and I'm done! The flag now looks like this:
Here's an example of another flag i made:
I have also attached the mesh file for the flag made for this tutorial, so you can study it. Happy meshing!
Retired from the Sims world. Please continue to enjoy my creations. Thank you to everyone who helped -- by either giving me the tools and knowledge to create or by encouraging me & downloading my creations. The Sims community is the BEST!
You are my new best friend! *grasps onto leg with shimmering eyes* I owe you FOREVER for this! I finally know how to make shapes! Yaaaay! *celebration dance* You think you'll ever do a section on UV editing or does milkshape just add the basic original shapes to the UV mesh by itself?
*dances in celebration of awesome*
Nintendork Island | Please call me WWW!| Despite what avatar says, loves all of mts <3
I've also one question: Is the flag really just a plane? I'm asking this because it has a texture on both sides and I always thought that a plane mesh can only be textured from one side. Otherwise you'd have normals to both sides of the mesh, is this the case here?
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