Dear all, I have a few questions regarding APEX cloth and unreal 4.14
Has the clothing “pipeline” changed with 4.14 ? or do you still need to author an “apx” file in an external package and assign it to the cloth material ?
I understand that 4.14 has moved to physx 3.4, and yet apex cloth seams to be stuck at 1.3 which is tied to physx 3.3.4 is that not relevant - have I misunderstood the relationship between apex and physx ? more over nivida seams to be dropping apex and moving to Nvcloth - any news on if unreal will be adopting that ?
Ultimately I need to know if my clothing tool is at apex 1.3 does that mean I am still using physx 3.3.4 ?
Does the move to 4.14 allow for more collision bodies ? I think previous versions limited us to 8, but I thought physx 3.4 had increased this limit - has this new limit been reflected in unreal ?
Does the move to physx 3.4 allow for tapered collision bodies in unreal ?
Will the new tools allow us to do sims for cloth objects with thickness?
If I remember correctly in the old system it was called “Latch to nearest”, this is vital for us, since most of our cloth meshes have thickness to them.
I’m not 100% sure, but the configuration settings (which are the same as APEX Cloth config properties) in UE4 are available and the old settings can be copied directly up to your newly created cloth assets. I do see the setting for “Collision Thickness”, but I’m not sure if that’s the same thing. I don’t have the most experience with the APEX Cloth toolset from Max/Maya so I can’t say for certain that all features will be available, at least not in this release. This is considered an experimental feature for 4.16 and is still in active development as far as I’m aware.
Hello Tim, from the surface of things it seems “Collision thickness” may be more likely to be the offset of collision between cloth and rigid object and not what i meant with the thickness of cloth itself, it would be wonderful to get some info about this from someone who may know if this feature would be available or not or if its in the plans for the near future.
If this feature is not yet available would we still be able to import apex cloth features form Max as before or would this not be possible anymore?
The specific feature i speak of is found in this video at time 5:30.
I don’t see that particular feature for “latch to nearest” in our “Painting Property” selection. The other options for max distance, backstop distance, and backstop radius are there though. I’m not sure if that one will be added in the future, but I am currently starting to put together my rough draft for the new Clothing Tools together for documentation. I’ll add this to my notes and check with the engineer if this is something that is intended to be added in the future. Still, keep in mind that this is still an experimental feature for 4.16 so things could change or be added in a later version.
As for APEX Cloth, I don’t know of any immediate plans to remove it, but I can say that it will at least be around for 4.16. Beyond that I can’t say, but my best guess would be that it may be around for a release or two. The main problem with APEX Cloth vs our new NvCloth solution (both using NVIDIA tech) is that Nvidia is no longer developing APEX Cloth.
I understand about your choice of developing the new system, I am happy for it and we think it is far more productive.
However please do check about this option, we have many cloths on our characters that actually display thickness. From what you are telling me we may be stuck to doing clothing that is paper thin? I think not having this feature may be a step back from the visual perspective of things. How would one sim thick trench coats for instance or other such clothing types that have thickness to them?
I didn’t say that. This is a new feature that is considered experimental for 4.16. Just because a feature is not implemented yet in this version doesn’t mean definitively that it will not be in the next. Experimental features are typically in active development and will add or change features as its developed.
I’m not an engineer, so with this particular feature I’m pretty much learning it, but for the most part it seems the goal is to keep it in parity with what is available already with the APEX Cloth plugin. So either there is a feature that exists in the APEX Cloth plugin that has yet to be implemented or it’s already there and is named differently or done differently than I’m aware. I won’t know if it’s planned to be added until I check with the engineer. If it’s already implemented and I just don’t know how to use it, I still won’t know until I check with the engineer so that I can make sure it’s part of the coverage for the documentation that will be written.
The key thing to take away from all of this is, 1) APEX Cloth SDK is a big integration that we never used all the features of and it’s no longer supported by Nvidia so I suspect it won’t be supported by UE4 forever, and 2) using the low-level NvCloth we get access to extend it ourselves since we have direct access to the clothing data which is better for everyone.
I know that’s not the answer you want to hear right this instant, but it’s a new tool that’s experimental, or “not production-ready” meaning that it’ll work and you can use it in your projects, but it may not have all needed features, it may contain bugs, and it’s being worked on. So hang tight and try it out once the Previews start to see if anything is missing that you regularly use. Give us feedback in the Feedback section because that’s definitely what we want to hear!
In the meantime, once I find out about the Latch to Nearest I’ll let you know.