Flowing clothes technique

ScottReid Posts: 145 Enthusiast

I have a scene I want to do where the clothes (in this case robes)  appear to be slowly waving in the air but like they would in water. 

No idea how to begin to pull off this look and am hoping there are others here who do whether strictly done via VFX or combination of practical and VFX .

Appreciate any input especially so if it can also be applied to hair as well. :)


  • CleverTagline
    CleverTagline Posts: 3,342 Ambassador

    Totally taking a stab in the dark here, but I wonder if you can get something close to that look by shooting the flowing item (like a cape) simply hanging straight down, using various techniques to add movement (manual waving, applying air with a fan, etc).  You could shoot with the camera at its normal orientation and then rotate the footage in post, or orient the camera on a 90-degree angle when shooting.  If shot separately in front of a greenscreen, it could be comped with a separate shoot of the talent. Shooting at a high frame rate and slowing it down would help to add to the effect.

  • ScottReid
    ScottReid Posts: 145 Enthusiast

     @jsbarrett yeah I was thinking along those same lines.

    I have a Canon sl2 which can do 60fps so I may be able to slow it down enough to give the movement that slower in the water look.

    If anyone has any other creative suggestions I am all ears. ?

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,298 Power User

    In general I think @jsbarrett has given best advice. That sort of thing is either best accomplished in-camera (either really shooting underwater, or tilting actor and camera to let gravity pull things at odd angles) or using actual cloth/hair simulation in post (beyond Hitfilm's capabilities). 

    That said, consider Atomic Particles. You'd probably have to do roto to separate hair/clothing from skin, but Atomic does fractal Displacement. Lots of particles at a small size and just a few pixels of Displacement can add a little extra wiggle where you want it. Else, any Distortion Filter. Again you have to isolate the hair and cloth to its own layer, but just a little Distortion (try Fluid Distortion  of course) might enhance the practical.

    Another note. If you need bubbles look at Blood Spray. Changing the color of the blood, gravity direction, and moving the impact surface off screen actually works pretty well. 

  • I know this is an old chain but I thought I would add a comment anyway. As JS Barret said it made be best to do it practically. Just film at a really high frame rate and slow it down in post. If you want to go the CG route I would recommend Blender. Use your phone to get a full 360 panorama on set to use as an HDRI. then use a simple cloth simulation for the cape. Then import the 360 panorama to use for lighting. Tons of tutorials on how to do this online. 

    Hope I could help!

  • simply you can adjust your camera setting or photo shoot positions.If would you like to un wave cloth while take a photo, simply using cloth frames 

  • I would try to work with wires or just people moving the robes, to get the effect in camera. Thatn just shoot a clen plate and remove them later using Rotoscoping.  

    Rotoscoping is a bit annoying, but its way easier than doing everything in cg, though it would give you greater control. 

    Thats just my opinion though, lots of great advice given already, I just wanted ro add that method. Just do some tests and see what works for you. 

    Best of luck!


  • Well said ScottReid.

  • dylanbar
    dylanbar Posts: 1 Just Starting Out*

    I would try to work with people moving the mantles to get the effect in the camera. This would remove the maple plate and remove them with rotoscoping.

  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,224 Expert

    @dylanbar While your suggestion is a good one and potentially useful, I don't know if you noticed this thread is almost 3 years old and the O.P. probably has moved on from the project. I'm going to Close this thread to avoid any further confusion.

This discussion has been closed.