CREATING MARVELOUS DESIGNER GARMENT & PROJECT FILES

I don't know about the rest of you, but when starting out in Marvelous Designer, I found it pretty frustrating.  Sure, you can whip up a garment in nothing flat, but what about all the other stuff you might need to know?  Sometimes, I think Marvelous Designer spends too much time showing how to create as a selling point than providing really useful information to those of us new to 3D modeling.

So, today, we are going to look at Marvelous Designer files, see if I can shed some light on them for you, especially if you are new to using MD.   I am going to show you how I use them...it may NOT be the way others use them...or, how you will use the files in the future.

NOTE--A few days ago, there was an upgrade so the menus have changed a bit. This is the most current version as of this posting.  

Below, is a screenshot of the updated MD 3 File menu.  Note, I use a MAC so if using a PC it may look different than yous. I believe you will find a similar looking file menu in previous versions.  If not, you may need to hunt around in the menus a bit in the version you are using, to find something similar.

ON THE ROAD
If you will notice, the OPEN and SAVE AS options look nearly identical when you access them in Marvelous Designer.  Figure 1 shows the OPEN menu and drop down options. The exception between the two menus is background image or surface texture, which we won't be discussing today. 



Figure 1--Marvelous Designer3--File Menu

  
We have two options to save our work.  We can either save it as a "garment" or a "project" file.  These choices are under SAVE AS in the file menu.  

I encourage you always save your work for the future, even if you think it crap at the time.  Often, you can use pattern pieces for different projects; however, like all things, the choice is yours. 
Figure 2--My Current MD Project
Now that we have made our clothing item, we need to SAVE it. Remember, patterns pieces ARE reusable for other projects.  

SWERVES OFF THE ROAD 
Some of you may have noticed the Avatar in Figure 2 does not look like the standard MD model, which loads when you open the software.  I am using an SL avatar model in the T-pose that has the MD attachment points and bounding volumes. I can't take credit for creating this.  The file I use was created by Doc Tokyo, who posted the files to Gaia Clary's blog.

If you are interested is acquiring and using these files with your Marvelous Designer, check the November 2013 Archive Posts for Marvelous Designer--Avatar Attachment Points.  Towards the bottom of the article, a link is posted to the original post on the Machinimatrix Blog (Gaia Clary).  Scroll down the page to the comments section. Click on Older Comments and scroll to the towards the bottom of the page for Doc's comments and links.

BACK ON THE ROAD TO OUR DESTINATION 
You can save your work two ways under the SAVE AS menu. 

1) GARMENT--saves your garment and pattern...not the avatar model it was created for.  It also saves your settings and any textures.  This method is what MD Users refer as a "pattern file", which may be what it was named originally some versions back. 

Pattern/Garment, files use the file extension of  .zpac
 
TO SAVE A PATTERN FILE 
  • File menu > SAVE AS > Garment

TO USE A SAVED PATTERN FILE
  • To load a pattern file alone NO avatar model, click OPEN, choose GARMENT, find it on your computer, and click OPEN.  Should look something like Figure 3.
  • To load a pattern file onto an Avatar, load your avatar first then follow the above steps.

UPDATE--5/28/2014
I have discovered a crashing issue when using a per-existing project file AND opening a per-existing garment file. I am providing on that issue and how to solve it in another blog article. 

Be sure to use the CORRECT avatar the original pattern was created for; otherwise you may get get error messages, which you can click through, and the results will look something like Figure 4.

Figure 3--MD Opened Pattern File



Figure 4--Pattern to Wrong Size Avatar

Note, even if a garment is opened to the wrong avatar, you can rescale your pieces to fit.  This often works well if you are using the 5 Standard Mesh Sizes and is a time saver. Or, if you have purchased MD patterns from other parties.

2) PROJECT--saves the garment, avatar and pose, and your pattern pieces, textures, etc. In essence, this method SAVES EVERYTHING. 

Project files use the file extension of  .ZPrj 

TO SAVE A PROJECT FILE 
  • File menu > SAVE AS > Project

TO USE A SAVED PROJECT FILE
  • To load a project file, click OPEN, choose PROJECT, find it on your computer, and click OPEN.  

Should look similar to Figure 2.

That's it for saving and loading pattern and project files, pretty simple really.  
 
WHEW!  PARKS THE CAR

There are a few more file extensions used by Marvelous Designer you may wish to become familiar with, especially if you wish to import your own avatars and add bounding volumes and arrangement points. 

Arrangement point files use the extension of  .arr

Bounding Volumes use the file extension of  ABV.pan



Happy Creating
Morgaine

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