It's what the best movie stars will be wearing

It's what the best movie stars will be wearing


By Andy York ANIMATED movies are about become more lifelike thanks to new software that models the physics of fabrics. Existing computer animation packages work well for simple substances such as jelly, rubber or liquids, but clothing doesn’t behave naturally. This doesn’t matter if the characters are plastic toys, as in Small Soldiers, but it makes it hard to create more convincing characters. The problem arises because animation software does not contain any mathematical description of clothing’s mechanical properties. Instead it uses “spring-like” algorithms to describe the movement of a character’s clothes in relation to their body. “If you drop a piece of cloth, in reality it would pile up, but using conventional techniques it would fall and look like a puddle,” says Chris Ford of software house Alias/Wavefront in Toronto. So the company has developed a package called Maya Cloth that describes the bending and shear forces of different fabrics, allowing animators to dress their characters in realistic cotton, velvet, leather or linens. Maya Cloth can also describe the way that fabric collides with itself and with the wearer. “If you drop a ball bearing in the pocket of a shirt, it will pull down the pocket according to the weight of the bearing,
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