Animation in Maya

Now it is time to animate. Animating skeletal mesh is quite easy (assuming you know how to animate in general, and how to key frames and edit them in Animation Editors – e. g. Graph Editor that I find extremely useful).

What is more complicated, annoying and memory-consuming is animating cloth, using nCloth. First of all, make sure you have enough RAM in your computer before you even think of starting, as you will need to create a lot of simulations (A LOT) before you get the cloth to look and move the way you want it to. 32 GB is a reasonable minimum, less than 16 GB is going to cause you problems.

The key to animating cloths successfully lies in the appropriate presetting of the gazillion attributes relating to its structure and dynamics, defining how it collides with other meshes and itself, what forces are applied to it, how thick the collision layer is, etc.

Remember not to give up when everything gets messed up, mesh goes through mesh (in spite of being supposed to collide) and your cloth flies away into infinite virtual space, never to return. If you love it, let it go.

Remember not to be a dumbass who makes a simulation every time you want to preview the cloth animation; just create nCache files to get a smooth preview (the smoothness will depend on your computer memory).

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