Giving the Angel life
To give more realism and life to the Angel character I have used the Nvidia PhysX SDK. Below is a run through of how to use the SDK inside of Maya.
First you need to download the SDK from Nvidia (https://developer.nvidia.com/gameworksdownload#?dn=physx-apex-sdk-1-3-0) and install it, then it needs to be activated in Maya by going into the plugin manager as seen below.
After activating the plugin, then you import your model and add at least one bone. Bind the skin to the bone as below, add a unique material to each piece of cloth. Then with each piece of cloth press the create clothing button.
Select the cloth and click the spanner icon to access the options of the cloth, then hit the paint button. Now you can weight paint the cloth to decide how much or little the areas of the cloth will be affected by the physics.
Once the weights are painted rigidbodys have to be added to simulate collision. Since PhysX is hardware based simulation it is in realtime and doesn’t calculate other collisions unless specified. Press the falling man icon to add a kinematic rigidbody, these can be added to each bone and can be shaped to fit the needs of the model.
The simulation can be run now and the cloth should be active.
To export the model has to be exported as an fbx first to get the model and it’s bones, then exported again but this time with the physX .apx file type to export the cloth data.
Finally import the model as a skeletal mesh and open it in unreal, under the material details click ‘Add APEX Clothing’ and this will open the material clothing slot to activate the physX data.
This took quite a while to get working mainly trying to export the right data to work in unreal. Though I think it really does add life to the character and was forth the trouble.