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I apologize for wording stuff badly in advance.

I can't work out an efficient workflow for creating clothes with thickness using Marvellous Designer and Blender that incorporates retopology and texture baking.

Currently, I have a project in Marvellous Designer with a character in a shirt and a coat. Coat is supposed to have thickness (so the insides could be seen).

My plan was:
1. Modelling and simulating clothes in Marvellous Designer, export without thickness (done)
2. Sculpting details in zBrush/Blender/3DCoat/Sculptris/whatever (done, used Blender and 3DCoat)
3. Retopology in Blender (done)
4. Apply thickness modifier to the low poly and high poly models (done)
5. UV low poly in Blender (done)
6. Baking Normal Maps in Blender or xNormal /maybe Knald or 3D Coat (tried xNormal and Blender - bad results)
7. Import in Unity/Unreal

But I'm having problems with #6 (baking normals): both coat's and shirt's collars project on geometry under themselves. As I understand, I'd need to explode the model (separate and space out all geometry that might overlap - in my case - collars from the shirt and the coat and probably the insides of the coat, too) but the thought of going into the edit mode for high poly models is terrifying, let alone trying to select something there (freezes due to high poly count)
Tried baking with cages - trying to adjust the cage for collars or other tight spaces or inside cavities seems next to impossible too.

So I guess, it's either of two questions:

  • Is there an easier workflow for clothes made with Marvellous (on what stage do I add thickness: when exporting from MD / to high poly sculpt with thickness modifier (looks bad) / to low poly model (baking one-sided mesh to a thicker topology?) ), how to retopo cavities under collars so the bakes there would be hassle-free?

  • Or is there just an easier way of baking overlapping geometry?

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  • $\begingroup$ I think this is a good question, and I'd like to hear someone's insight into baking this kind of mesh as I'm going to have to go through this fairly soon; have you considered going 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 4, 7, I think if I were to do this I'd try that. $\endgroup$ – Firewill Jul 15 '17 at 17:14
  • $\begingroup$ Adding thickness (solidify modifier) after creating UVs will result in the inside of the clothing using the same texture space as front side and the rim not to have texture at all, so you'd have to redo the UV. $\endgroup$ – AJS Jul 15 '17 at 18:34
  • $\begingroup$ you can move the inside island to the side, having the same UV is pretty good I feel if your original UVs are good, then you pin the front and back and add the rim to whichever piece you prefer. $\endgroup$ – Firewill Jul 15 '17 at 20:40
  • $\begingroup$ Having the same texture will only work if you don't need the insides of the clothes to be unique. Anyway, I'm currently trying all my software that can bake textures - so far only Knald gave decent results (it creates its own cage and lets you control it), but they're still need to be cleaned up in Photoshop $\endgroup$ – AJS Jul 15 '17 at 21:57
  • $\begingroup$ but that's what Im saying, move the inside island, they don't have to share uvspace. their UVs overlap by default in uvmode but theyre not joined, you can still move them independently from each other. I imagine avoiding cleanup will be difficult, do you have substance painter? it has an option to bake by name which I find very useful for this kind of geometry, tough first you need to separate and name your objects, but its a time saver overall. $\endgroup$ – Firewill Jul 15 '17 at 22:08
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This works to some extent:

  1. Flip the normal of the inner faces
  2. Bake the Object Space normal
  3. Connect it in your material shader graph, even though your normal is in Object Space, use Tangent Space in your Normal Map node.
  4. Create a new image, select it and now bake the normal map, but this time use Tangent Space.

If anyone knows the better workflow, please share it :)

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