Production Blog
The Flying Duchess

Latest animatic

Production bible

Create new post

Freya's Blog

Kieran's Blog

John's Films

Watch the film at -

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Sc17 - Emily's skirt

Ncloth Test from J H on Vimeo.

In an effort to free up Freya's tight 2D schedule, Emily's skirt is going to be digital for this scene.
This is a test to do just that using ncloth in maya.
Any advice on ncloth, or alternatives to producing a flapping skirt (in after effects maybe?) would be great.


  1. Looks like a possible but could take a long time to get right especially as she is moving too. Could you do a very simple 'rig' the same that you used for the jewel and animate it the same way?

    Stick a super bright directional light coming from the left hand side- if you can get the edge making semi nice shapes (like the sidebar pic! <-- ) then we can merge this with a hand drawn light on the upper body.

    Having said this really watch your time spent on this as we have a hellova lot to get through. Best to do something that you know you can do rather than going off on a Ncloth adventure at this stage maybe.

    Keep the faith.

  2. Is that smoothed? I can't tell but I'm thinking it's not, anyway you can smooth cloth like any other object to make it look high-poly and stop jaggy points... or maybe it's just been rendered without anti-aliasing :/

    I cant really think of a decent way to fake this in After Effects, maya is probably your best bit if you can't do it in 2D.

    Good luck ;)

  3. Ncloth can seem quite daunting, but it's really not that bad at all once you understand the basics of how it works. You could actually build a basic rig and animate the very broad motion of the cloth, and then run a simulation on top of that for flapping and what not. Without filling your blog with lots of technical waffle, you want to investigate the "input attract" options within Ncloth. The maya documentation for this is actually quite helpful. The other thing you could look at would be creating a pseudo-cloth setup using softbodies which wouldn't have as much to think about, but for this would probably give the same effect.


All material is copyright. The Flying Duchess website and project design © 2010 John Harkins, Freya Hotson, Kieran Baxter - please add target="_blank" to links.