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Blender Tutorial

by Dave Jarvis
Last Updated: (none)
Blender Version: 2.43

Softbody Curtains

This tutorial shows how to create curtains. It uses these features:

The Curtain

  1. Press CTRL-x, then Enter for a new scene.
  2. Press Del, then Enter to delete the 3D box.
  3. Press NUM1 for front view.
  4. Press SPACE for a menu.
  5. Add » Mesh » Plane
  6. Press w for a menu.
  7. Click Subdivide Multi.
  8. Change 2 to 12.
    This step controls curtain's detail; it can be changed later.
  9. Click OK.
  10. Press Tab for Object mode.
  11. Press NUM7 for top view.
  12. Press SPACE for a menu.
  13. Add » Curve » NURBS Curve
  14. Press s, y, 0 to align the vertices.
  15. Press a to deselect the vertices.
  16. Click SHIFT-RMB on both outer vertices.

    Selected Outer Vertices

  17. Press Del, then Enter to delete them.
  18. Press a to select the remaining two vertices.
  19. Press w, then Enter to subdivide the vertices.
  20. Do it three more times.
    This step controls the number of folds added to the curtain.
  21. Press a to deselect the vertices.
  22. Click SHIFT-RMB to select pairs of vertices, skipping every third vertex.

    Selected Pairs of Vertices

  23. Press g, y, .2 to move them, thereby creating a wave.
  24. Press Tab for Object mode.
  25. Press z to see wire frames.
  26. Press r, z, 90, Enter to rotate the curve.
  27. Click SHIFT-RMB on the plane, then click SHIFT-RMB on the curve.
    The last item shift-clicked becomes the active item.

    Selected Plane and Curve

  28. Press CTRL-p for the Parent menu.
  29. Click Curve Deform to make the Plane curve-like.

    Curve-deformed Plane

The Softbody

A way to make the curtain to behave like cloth is to make it a softbody.

  1. Press z to draw solids.
  2. Press NUM3 for a side view.
  3. Click RMB to select the curtain.
  4. Press Tab to edit the curtain.
  5. Click the left-hand New button under Vertex Groups.
  6. Click Group to rename it.
  7. Type Curtain for the name of the new Vertex Group.
  8. Change the weight from 1.000 to 0.000.
  9. Click Assign.

    Assigned Vertices

  10. Press F7 twice for the Soft Body tab.
  11. Click Soft Body.

    Softbody Defaults

  12. Click the double-arrow icon beside Use Goal.
  13. Select Curtain.
  14. Click Stiff Quads.
  15. Click CEdge.
  16. Change E.Stiff to 0.990.

    Softbody Settings

  17. Click the Soft Body Collision tab.
  18. Click Self Collision.
  19. Click the Soft Body tab.


  1. Click SR:2–Model and change it to 1–Animation.

  2. Press Tab.
  3. Pres NUM3.
  4. Pres z to draw solids.
  5. Press + a few times to zoom into the curtain.
  6. Click the Play button (or: View » Play Back Animation).
  7. Press ESC to get on with the tutorial.
  8. Click the "Skip to Start frame" button (looks like ).

You now have an animated Softbody, but it does something terribly useless. It falls down because all the vertices are treated equally. But some vertices are more equal than others.

Weighted Vertices

Adding weight to vertices prevents the curtain from falling due to gravity. The Goal causes the chosen vertices to stick to one spot. This is done by assigning a weight of 1.000 to select vertices.

  1. Press NUM1.
  2. Press Tab.
  3. Press CTRL-Tab then 3 to change vertex select mode to faces.
  4. Press a to deselect the faces.
  5. Select only the four faces shown here:

    Selected Faces for Weighting

  6. Press F9 for Edit buttons.
  7. Create a new Vertex Group called Rings.
  8. Change the Weight from 0.000 to 1.000.
  9. Click Assign.
  10. Press NUM3.
  11. Press Tab.
  12. Change Object Mode to Weight Paint Mode.

    Weighted Vertices

  13. Press F7 twice for the Soft Body tab.
  14. Change Use Goal from Curtain to Rings.
  15. Change Weight Paint Mode to Object Mode
  16. Press Play.
  17. Press ESC to stop viewing the fish-like flapping curtain.
    The low resolution of the mesh makes the animated curtain appear blocky.

The Lattice

  1. Press z to draw wireframes.
  2. Press SPACE for a menu.
  3. Add » Lattice
  4. Press F9.
  5. Change the following: U: 7, V: 2, W: 5.
  6. Press r, y, 90, Enter.
  7. Press g, x, .62, Enter to move the lattice over the curtain.
  8. Press NUM3.
  9. Press g, z, .62, Enter to shift the lattice up.
  10. Press s, y, 1.72, Enter.
  11. Press s, x, .25, Enter.
  12. Press g, y, .08, Enter.

    Relocated Lattice

  13. Press z to draw objects.
  14. Click RMB on the curtain.
  15. Click Add Modifier.
  16. Select Lattice.
  17. Change Obj to Lattice.

    Lattice Settings

  18. Click RMB on the lattice.
  19. Press Tab.
  20. Select some vertices (hint: use b, LMB and drag).
  21. Press g, y, .2, Enter.

    Lattice-based Curtain Movement

Empties and Wind

  1. Press Tab.
  2. Press NUM7.
  3. Press SPACE.
  4. Add » Empty
  5. Press r, y, 90, Enter.
  6. Press NUM1.
  7. Press F7.
  8. Change Fields from None to Wind.
  9. Change Strength to 0.5.
  10. Ensure you are at Frame 1.
  11. Press i to insert a new IPO.
  12. Select LocRotScale to insert the first location (at frame 1).
  13. Change to Frame 50.
  14. Press g, x, 1.5, Enter to move the wind to the right.
  15. Press i then Enter to insert the second location (at frame 50).
  16. Press NUM0.
  17. Go back to Frame 1.
  18. Press Play.

    Frame 50


Make the curtain look more realistic by burning up your computer's CPU.

  1. Click RMB on the curtain.
  2. Click Tab.
  3. Press a then a again to select all vertices.
  4. Press w.
  5. Select Subdivide.
  6. Press F9.
  7. Click Set Smooth.
  8. Play as before (start at Frame 1).

    Frame 42

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