【Komi-Journal #04】ClothWorks – SketchUp Plugin Review

【Komi-Journal #04】ClothWorks – SketchUp Plugin Review


ClothWorks is a SketchUp plugin that allows users to apply physics simulations of fabric.


The developer, Anton Synytsia, also developed the physics simulation plugin MSPhysics that was previously introduced in this blog. MSPhysics is great for reproducing mechanical movement, but isn’t as useful for simulating the movements of soft organic objects.

With ClothWorks, users can apply physical behaviour to each of the wireframes that build up a 3D model which enables it to reproduce the soft movement of fabric models.

The above video is an example of simulated flag movement using ClothWorks.
The tutorial video and PDF file are uploaded to the ClothWorks page on the SketchUp information website sketchUcation.

Today, I would like to take a look at the functions in ClothWorks.

Simulation via ClothWorks
The physics for ClothWorks are processed in real time according to the attributes given to the 3D object.

The following three attributes can be given from ClothWorks.

  • Cloth → Enable to give Cloth attributes to 3D model. Can be given to a line, plane, or 3D model.
  • Collider → Enable to give planes and 3D models collision detection with Cloth attribute models. Collider attribute cannot be changed during simulation.
  • Pin → Enable to fix and pin cloth attribute models. The pin can be moved during simulation if the user has purchased the paid version of ClothWorks.

Using the ClothWorks UI, detailed moments can be set to each attribute.
Additionally, it is also possible to roughly create a simulation environment via the ClothWorks UI.

img10-2 img10-3

Although the functionality is similar to MSPhysics, ClothWorks UI is very simple and easy to understand.

Click the (i) mark at the end of ClothWorks UI > Simulation text.
Learn more will be displayed and help user with further questions.

Click ClothWorks UI > Object then click Advance Setting > Help Box.
Explanation of each input box will be displayed at the bottom of the UI.

What can be done with ClothWorks:
If you divide a linear 3D model and give it the Cloth attribute, it will simulate movement for a string. Below is a spiral line created manually.

If we take a 3D model and give it the Cloth attribute…

The model will look like tofu.

Using the models that were given the Pin attribute, you can fix the Cloth attribute models in a complex shape.

Below is an example of an umbrella with the Pin attribute applied.

It can be used for various things depending on what you are making.

What can be done with the paid version of ClothWorks:
In the paid version of ClothWorks, you can move the Pin attribute model during simulation and adjust the wireframe after simulation.

Below is an example of a deflated tire. The tire wheel is given the Pin attribute, and the ground is given the Collider attribute.

Things to keep in mind regarding ClothWorks:
Movement of 3D models with the Cloth attribute applied depends on wireframes. In order to obtain a perfect simulation, users have to be careful with polygons.

Since SketchUp can combine models while ignoring polygons, it might be difficult to add simulations to models downloaded from 3D Warehouse with ClothWorks.

Models with a high polygon count take more time to process. (SketchUp might crash if the model contains too many polygons)

Although the number of polygons does not equate to a beautiful simulation, it might be better to not overuse polygons for the exchange of less problematic simulations.

3D objects with the Pin attribute applied cannot be rotated.

If you apply the Cloth attribute to a solid model, ClothWorks cannot simulate air pressure.

Carp-shaped Streamer
Based on the above notes, we tried to create a carp-shaped streamer, a Japanese seasonal item often seen during the month of May.


Seems like we went back in time!

This carp-shaped streamer has been uploaded to 3D Warehouse. Feel free to download it and have a look!

ClothWorks has the function like a modifier of another software. Since SketchUp models rely on the Sandbox tool, ClothWorks could be very helpful and handy in building organic models! I am definitely looking forward to subsequent ClothWorks releases in the future.

However, there are little issues that I find somewhat inconvenient like with objects with the Pin attribute not being unable to rotate. Hope they might update this function in the future!

Although we didn’t explore much today, using ClothWorks you should be able to create many cloth-related interiors!

Thank you for the wonderful plugin, Anton Syntsia!

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ブログでは余り馴染みのないSketchUpの使い方や、 建築建設イベントのレポートなどを載せる予定です。お楽しみに。

I’m providing technical support on SketchUp for DVERSE Inc. and going to update various information such as un-familiar SketchUp usage, event reports on architecture/construction, etc. We hope you’ll be looking forward to it.