Messy Morning Bed

The Price of Freedom

Marvelous Designer, Maya, Zbrush, Photoshop, Marmoset Toolbag (2018)

This unmade bed for our “Price of Freedom” project was one of the more challenging assets I put together. Being a center piece for a VR room meant that it had to be both convincingly detailed and efficiently modeled.

To start with, I learned how to use Marvelous Designer, the go-to program for simulating fabrics of all sorts. I used elasticity and shrinkage to get the common tucking pattern on the mattress sheet. I used pins to first tuck the white blanket in, then pulled it back on itself during simulation to get it to hang just right. The larger blanket was easiest to start as it was simply draped over the bed prior to being mussed once again during the simulation. The pillows were made of two parts: a inflated balloon collapsing under its own weight and the pillowcase pulling slightly inward on itself. The pillows were simulated first, then the pillowcases around the now frozen pillows.

If learning to make the cloth was the fun part, transferring those details to an actual usable mesh was the hard part. Marvelous Designer started me off with conveniently UVed rectangles matching the various pieces of cloth I’d just simulated. These UVs were absolutely necessary for capturing the bending of textures across the many folds in the fabrics. Trying to map those by hand would have been a nightmare, which is why I needed to find a way to preserve those UVs while also dramatically reducing the mesh.

While most of the meshes went smoothly using common processes, the blankets ended up requiring a long series of transfers done mainly with Maya’s transfer attributes feature. Both blankets were combined into a single, seamless mesh so that there would be almost no holes for the player to see as they moved around it, which meant trimming both the hidden portions of the mesh and carefully planning transitions between their undersides and top sides where they folded over themselves.

Next time I tackle fabrics, I’ll be sure to consider the baking process more closely before getting carried away with the design. I’m really happy that the mesh survived my workflow.