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I'm trying to simulate an inflatable mesh by applying a force field to a cloth. As air pressure always acts perpendicular to a surface it might be a close enough approximation when pushing all vertices along their normal vector with equal force.

Blender's shrink/fatten-tool (Alt-S) won't do the trick as it doesn't create the neccessary creases in the mesh when there is excessive material available. Think of a cloth laying on a sphere, where the excessive material gets pushed out and creates these folds and wrinkles. It's kind of similar to the case I'm trying to simulate, but instead of gravity pulling the cloth down on the sphere, thus having little force acting on the horizontal parts of the sphere, the air pressure pushes equally on every surface.

Is there a way to simulate a force field this? I think the weight of the mesh and the air are negligible in my case.

Edit: Example image added. Inflatable Letter S

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  • $\begingroup$ Why doesn't cloth simulation work for you? (Properties editor > Modifiers or Physics tab > Cloth) Another way is sculpting wrinkles (if not for animation) $\endgroup$
    – Mr Zak
    Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 14:40
  • $\begingroup$ I think cloth simulation is the right way to go because you can easily control stretching of fabric, which is essential for creating wrinkles. But I haven't found a way to simulate any kind of omni-directional force (i.e. pressure). And yes, I'd like to use it for animation. $\endgroup$
    – YPOC
    Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 14:55
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    $\begingroup$ If the object is convex enough (i.e. no blind spots like sleeves) a central force field might do the trick. Of course this is not an exactly uniform force, but it's something (I've done something similar in the past: instagram.com/p/BTOP4XCATO6) $\endgroup$
    – Nicola Sap
    Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 15:11
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    $\begingroup$ related: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/81193/… $\endgroup$
    – user1853
    Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 15:49
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    $\begingroup$ Use Soft Body rather than Cloth Sim - it's much more controllable - as in the answer linked by cegaton. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 23:10

2 Answers 2

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Why aren't you just using pressure in cloth sim? Make a flat S, solidify it but keep it flat and blow it up with cloth sim. then you get the best creases.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ +1.. I think the 'Why' is that pressure didn't exist in the simulator in 2017.. :) $\endgroup$
    – Robin Betts
    Commented Dec 31, 2021 at 21:02
  • $\begingroup$ ah damn, i didnt see the date :D $\endgroup$
    – Roel Deden
    Commented Jan 1, 2022 at 18:30
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You could try the modeling cloth addon. It has an inflate option and I've seen a lot of images of people making inflated objects with creases like that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHGz7nEI23E https://github.com/the3dadvantage/Modeling-Cloth

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