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Animate a Shirt Tie in Maya

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Lillian Young
Animate a Shirt Tie in Maya
on Oct 9, 2014 at 1:01:18 am

I was asked to animate a shirt tie. I said, "Sure" thinking I'd jump into Maya and just do it. But sometimes that seems simple is more challenging in execution. Any tips on how I'd set this up and animate it?

Starting with a cube stretched long, I thought of using bones to make it bend and move around, animating into a tied shirt tie. That or geometry extruded along a curve?

Is this how you'd do it? I haven't used character animation tools in a while so the easiest suggestion would be appreciated.


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Geoffrey Kfoury
Re: Animate a Shirt Tie in Maya
on Oct 9, 2014 at 8:56:02 am

It depends on how the animation is going to work...is it tying around his neck? If so, then I may want to look into extruding along a path/curve. Maybe I would experiment fine tuning it with blendshapes. If you want total control, I'd stay away from N-CLOTH, and play with joints and deformers. If I wanted the Wind vs. Fabric effect, I'd look into soft body dynamics and Ncloth, controlling the animation with contraints, paint weights, and fields.

I think a joint chain is a good idea. Maybe adding in blend shapes for effect.


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Lillian Young
Re: Animate a Shirt Tie in Maya
on Oct 9, 2014 at 2:53:05 pm

Hi, Geoffrey. It'll just tie in place -- no character. All of those techniques are methods I've dabbled in but have yet to grasp. But I'll certainly look into it and see what I can do.

Thanks for the suggestions. It gives me a place to start.


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Lillian Young
Re: Animate a Shirt Tie in Maya
on Oct 9, 2014 at 8:43:30 pm
Last Edited By Lillian Young on Oct 9, 2014 at 8:44:03 pm

accidental double-post


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Lillian Young
Re: Animate a Shirt Tie in Maya: Close Video Tutorial
on Oct 11, 2014 at 12:02:18 am
Last Edited By Lillian Young on Oct 11, 2014 at 12:03:04 am

Here's a tutorial that comes very close:







He animates the tie's movement, but I want to animate it into a tie position.

This may just be over my head because I've concentrated more on modeling than animation in Maya.


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Geoffrey Kfoury
Re: Animate a Shirt Tie in Maya: Close Video Tutorial
on Oct 11, 2014 at 12:28:48 am

Hi Lillian,

So, after thinking about it a little more, it is most likely that your best bet is to model the tie by hand using a 'Lattice' deformer and keyframes.

There are some other methods that seem like they could work and i've included the links to their tutorials/discussions in this post.

If you want the tie to be dynamic similar to the tutorial you've included, you could animate the tying first, then duplicate the tie and key frame the original ties visibility to off (delete history of the duplicate and start fresh with just the geometry)...in exchange for the tie that is set up to be dynamic (like above). So, it ties itself and then moves around dynamically.

Tying a rope knot using lattice and curves:
http://forums.cgsociety.org/archive/index.php/t-795602.html

Following a motion path:







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Lillian Young
Re: Animate a Shirt Tie in Maya: Close Video Tutorial
on Oct 12, 2014 at 12:45:02 am

After reviewing the links, I created a cube, Height of 50 with 50 Height Subdivisions. I then created a CV Curve running the length of it with multiple CVs. Next, I used the Wire Tool to link the cube and curve, selected a couple of CVs along the curve, moved them a bit, and adjusted my Dropoff Distance until the geometry matched the curve.

It got me further than where I was, but this is one of those tasks that is beyond my immediate skillset.

P.S. In 2010, I couldn't model a simple belt in Maya. Hopefully I'll look back at this and smile just the same.

Thanks for your help.


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Eric Santiago
Re: Animate a Shirt Tie in Maya: Close Video Tutorial
on Oct 22, 2014 at 7:11:16 pm

I would build it in pieces similar to edit cuts on a step by step video.
Then try and piece them together in an NLE.
Its a bit daunting to try something like this as a beginner.
Ive done similar projects e.g. ropes, ribbons, etc....
Lot of patience and smart placements to connect mesh from one step to another.


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