Is there a documentation/tutorial for the 4.16 Built-in-cloth system?

Well, the title nails it :smiley:
I am not experienced with Apex Cloth… I don’t even know if there is a need of knowledge about Apex to use the new system.
I want to learn that stuff and the best way to start there with would be a tutorial :stuck_out_tongue:


is a pretty descent tutorial. The workflow should be basically the same, the built-in system just bypasses the need for a DCC application.

Maya Apex

If you are referring to the new in-editor clothing tools, they are not released yet, but are available as an experimental preview in 4.16. Go to Editor Preferences, then under Experimental enable Clothing Tools. Because of the ‘experimental’ status, there are not docs for them yet.

It’s pretty straightforward. is the basic set up (you have to do a lot of fine tuning afterwards)

  1. Go to edit > editor settings > Clothing tools (Enable it)
  2. Open your skeletal mesh, click on “Section Selection” on the menu.
  3. Select the section. Then right click > Create clothing asset from selection. If you want, select the corresponding physics asset. is useful when you need the cloth, for example, to collide against a character (In that case you would select the physics asset of the character). Then right click > apply the clothing you just created.
  4. Open the ClothPaint window and enable painting. Make sure to select the specific cloth you want to paint.
  5. Using the brush (I haven’t figured out how to use the gradient yet), set the weight for each part of the cloth. I recommend you leave the top at zero (to ensure it doesn’t fall due to gravity… that part would be attached to your character) and increase the values when you get to the bottom, like a gradient.
  6. Disable the paint cloth mode and you’re done.

You’ll have to do a lot of fine tuning, though, but it’s really convenient.

Hope helps.

thank you man for your great answer! It is helping me alot!!!

might be alittle late to the party, but does mean i can just create my char in my 3d application without using Nvidias plugins in there, and do all the “cloth” stuff in engine? If so…i think i might go from “in love” to “stalker level obsession” with Unreal Engine.

That’s the goal yes, we’re hoping to have a full pipeline inside the editor so you only need to author your geo and a simulation mesh as normal geometry in your DCC package and handle everything else in editor :smiley:

The gradient tool is a little hidden at the moment, but I’m working on it! To get it to work you need to set your begin and end values, then you can select some verts that should turn green (you can check the regular brush box if you want to paint your start selection instead of picking one by one). These green verts are your “start” verts for the gradient and will be given the starting value. Then hit return/enter, will change your brush to select red “end” verts that will be given the end value. Finally hit return/enter again and it will apply the gradient with all unselected verts being correctly interpolated between the selected values.

I’m working on better messaging and making the selection of start/end verts depend on a modifier key (probably ctrl as default) for the final tool.

Hope everyone is enjoying the tools so far, exited to get finished and out of experimental so it can be used by more people - any feedback you have is appreciated!

Thanks for the help!

is truly an amazing tool. It really simplifies the clothing process – I can do in 30 seconds what previously took me a full hour.

I just encountered a small issue, followed the tips higher up in thread, but the “Paint Cloth” tab arent showing up. Is there a step i am missing or is it a tiny bug in the preview version of the engine?

You’ll need to enable the experimental flag. If you go over to Edit->Editor Preferences on the menu bar in the editor you’ll get a settings dialog. On the sidebar look for “Experimental” and then look for a check box labeled “Clothing Tools”. After you check that just restart your editor and you should see the tab.

Great to hear, is the goal - letting more people add kind of simulation to their games much faster than ever before.


Hey @Exelcior - Thank you on your hard word, the tool is really awesome. I tried it from the master branch a couple of weeks ago and had a nasty bug where trying to remove a cloth asset from a section would just freeze the editor without any warning whatsoever. That resulted in me having to reimport my entire mesh and take it from the top in the case that I messed up collision physics asset. Is that still around?

On a similar note - would it be possible to have an “update collision” functionality that won’t destroy the painted cloth but just update the collision with a new PhaT asset?

Lastly - will there be an option to paint Latch To Nearest too?

As a general question to anyone - what do backstop distance and backstop radiance actually do? I use them and I can tweak my values more or less to get my desired result but I never understood what those two values actually do under the hood, i.e. what they represent.

Ive done done that, i clicked the “Enable Clothing Tools” in the experimental menu in “Editor Prefrence”, and i can aply cloth to parts of the mesh, but the tab is still nowhere to be seen, I feel kinda stupid now… :confused:

EDIT: I also aplied the cloth i created, just forgot to do it before screencap

here some images of what I got:

I haven’t seen anything causing the editor to freeze when editing clothing so that’s likely still happening, if you can reliably reproduce that I’d love to know the cause.

We’ll definitely have the ability to update the collisions for sure. That will be added to the clothing tools before the come out of experimental status.

As for latch groups, that will likely not be implemented initially. We unfortunately lost that feature when we moved away from using APEX render data as it’s not something that is exported into the resulting .apx/.apb. It was precalculated on export so we had no way to reproduce the data. Once we have our own tools however it is something we can look to bring back. It’s definitely on my list to investigate at some point in the future but I can’t say exactly when we’ll get that feature in our tools.

Ok, backstops… I’ve put together an image very quickly to attempt an explanation:


So, the black line is the skinned position of the mesh as if clothing was disabled. The dark green line is where the simulated clothing is in example. The bright green circles are the verts (the same vert on the sim and skinned mesh). The blue line is the vertex normal. You can see the black max distance sphere. is centered on the skinned vertex position, the simulated vert cannot leave sphere. The backstop radius is the size of the red sphere, and the backstop offset is the size of the magenta line. The vertex can never enter the red sphere. lets you add cheap collision to clothing by only allowing the vert to go infront of the skinned position (if the offset is zero) and not drop behind. You could use to keep a pair of jeans from going backwards through a leg for example.

Hopefully that explains it a little - let me know if it’s still confusing, it is a weird parameter!


Sorry WideBoy I understand now. The tab initially isn’t spawned, if you go to the “Window” menu up top you should see “Cloth Paint” which will open the tab.

Thank you so much :smiley:

it works now, i know what i am wasting my evening on today.

Thanks a ton for that, it is crystal clear now.

As for the bug, it is really simple… add clothing to a segment, then either delete it from the apex array or the right-click menu on the segment. The editor just freezes, no breakpoint no nothing.

What Should i do If the cloth is not colliding with the Physics asset at all?

Hello, I’m new to cloths, been trying .apx only a few days ago, how does the collision work for ? How do I create it? Is it to be created directly inside the Engine or through an external software like it was for .apx cloths? Anyway I’m totally loving feature!

The collision is handled by the Physics asset in the engine. The “tubes” that kinda represents the bones is the collision. BUT, you everytime you modify size/Rotation/location etc of these tubes, you gotha create the cloth piece over again since collision detection for the cloth is made with the pshysicsasset how it was when you created it…

Apparently is going to change some time in the future, but as of for now, you gotha create a new cloththingy everytime you make changes to the psysicsAsset.

Ah thank you, now I understand why I was changing stuff but it was still the same everytime, I think I’ll have to create one manually, as the one ue automatically created won’t let me change the capsules into cubes…