Marty McFly: Puff Jackets

Ah, the elusive puff jacket! This is a great garment to really show off Marvelous Designer as a serious modeling program. And what better character to explore in this exercise than Marty McFly and his famous burnt orange puff vest?

In the real world, puff garments are made with a layer of batting between the lining and the outer fabric (seen below). However, in MD we’ll need to use pressure settings to create this look. It’s important to get the right combination of fabric presets and pressure to make a puff garment look realistic.

Things to note in this tutorial:

  • How to cheat snaps
  • How to pattern set pockets over a puff garment
  • How to toggle between work and simulation to build garments more efficiently
  • How to stitch internal seams with pressure set to create quilting effects

Kylo Ren: Dem Sleeves

I don’t think anyone, 3d modelers and cosplayers alike, would dispute that Kylo Ren’s incredible sleeves are difficult to pull off. Making them in Marvelous Designer takes some creative problem-solving, and a lot of repetition, just like the real thing. However, we have a big advantage with MD, and I guarantee that once you’ve given this a try, every stitcher that worked on The Force Awakens will be mighty jealous.

An actual sleeve like this may be built with the slash-and-spread method, in which a fitted pattern is cut into even rows or columns, and ‘stretched’ to create a fuller, wider, or longer pattern piece that would still fit the body well in the seams. However, this is a bit tedious to set up in MD, and not really necessary in Kylo Ren’s case.

Marvelous Designer is a program meant for 3D modeling characters, set dressings, and soft goods. It’s not meant to create accurate clothing patterns. As a result, fitted garments will stretch across the avatar smoothly, whether or not the pattern piece is a tad small. While half an inch (~1.5cm) in real life makes a big difference in the fit of a garment, in MD this is usually inconsequential.

Here we can see the slash-and-spread method applied to a sleeve. From left to right: A) A fitted sleeve pattern measured into equal parts; B) The pattern after being cut and spread evenly so that the grey area is negative space; C) The new pattern piece.

Here we can see the slash-and-spread method applied to a sleeve. From left to right: A) A fitted sleeve pattern measured into equal parts; B) The pattern after being cut and spread evenly so that the grey area is negative space; C) The new pattern piece.

Some seams where these little deviations do make a difference:

  • Neckline
  • Shoulder seam
  • Arm scye seam
  • Princess seams
  • Fiddle seams

Things to note in this tutorial:

  • How to repeat pattern pieces in an orderly way
  • How to work backwards in MD for a more organized approach (wrist - up)
  • How particle distance can be a building asset, not just a simulation asset
  • How to use interior lines to reshape patterns for accuracy

Tiffanys: Sitching Gloves

Gloves are among the hardest patterns to stitch, and high quality gloves are stitched by hand. Marvelous Designer doesn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to gloves. Many users have a terrible time with this task. It’s easy to trap the pattern inside the avatar while sewing seams (what I affectionately call pattern osmosis), or experience broken geometry as a result.

This is a task that is much more intuitive for those who have real-life experience. Unlike many other garments that benefit from cheating in MD, gloves are strongest when they’re built true to an actual pattern.

An actual glove pattern versus one of my MD patterns. Depending on the kind of glove being built, different patterns may be used.

An actual glove pattern versus one of my MD patterns. Depending on the kind of glove being built, different patterns may be used.

There is, however, one cheat that I highly recommend in Marvelous Designer. Many practical glove patterns are cut ‘on the fold’ at the pinkie, meaning the top and bottom of the glove are mirrored in a single pattern piece (pictured below). Because of how the pattern pieces are pinned to the avatar in preparation to stitch, I suggest separating these into two separate pattern pieces.

So! Things to note in this tutorial:

  • How to pin a glove to the hand effectively
  • How to resize gloves while stitching
  • When to fuss over pattern osmosis
  • The order in which to stitch each seam

If you have any questions, please direct them to Gwyn at The Talking Threads!

Snow White: Puff Sleeves

Marvelous Designer requires a lot of trickery to make believable garments, especially historical fashions. Disney’s Snow White (1938) is set sometime during the early-mid 16th century, coupled with strong 1930s styling, volume, and shape. Snow White’s iconic blue bodice is a perfect example of how these two periods worked together.

Portrait of a Lady by Peter de Kempeneer 1527-1537 versus 1930s Simplicity patterns, sold in the US

Portrait of a Lady by Peter de Kempeneer 1527-1537 versus 1930s Simplicity patterns, sold in the US

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Walt Disney Productions

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Walt Disney Productions

So we have the iconic slash sleeves of the Renaissance coupled with the curve-hugging bias cut and proportions of the 1930s. The real question for technical artists is: how do??

Let’s break down the visual weight of the fabrics. We have five fabrics to define for our MD presets:

  • Bodice body: snug, conforms to body curves, probably a medium weight
  • Sleeve body: voluminous, will need some trickery to avoid broken geometry under the arms
  • Sleeve slashes: voluminous, but less structured than body
  • Sleeve cuffs: stiff, also used to reinforce arm scyes, as the bodice body won’t be strong enough to support the Rebato on its own
  • Rebato (white collar): stiff

*For those of you coming from a fashion or costume background, don’t get caught up in the reflectivity of the fabrics. Yes, you will have presets available for satin, denim, wool, and so on, but you should rely on these presets to inform the weight, stiffness, and stretch of your fabrics in MD, not the reflectivity or smoothness. You can adjust these separately in the fabric editor menu.

Things to note in this tutorial:

  • How to reinforce arm scyes to deter puckering
  • How to make a standing rebato
  • How to use pressure settings without going overboard
  • How to cheat a puff sleeve to avoid broken geometry