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I'm trying to create a cloth stage valance like this with the cloth simulator.

Valance Ref

I've tried pinning the sides. but it's too even and I think the ends should be pinched.

enter image description here

I've also tried weight painting. Still not right.

Weight Paint enter image description here

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Final result:

Final

Base mesh:

As a base mesh we will use simple Plane rotated by 90 degrees and subdivided couple of times. Less subdivision = bigger wrinkles.

I've used Subdivide > 10 and than Subdivide > 1.

We need to add Mean Crease > 1 to the outer edge for Subdivision Surface modifier that we will add later on.

base

Vertex Group:

For Pinning Cloth we will add Vertex Group with two side edges assigned.

vg

Shape Keys:

For folding our Cloth we need to add Shape Keys - Basis and Key 1 with shrunken side edges moved to the top of the mesh.

shape

We can go ahead and animate Key 1 value by inserting keyframes on frame 0 with value 0 and frame, lets say, 25 with value 1.

shapekeyanim

Cloth settings:

Now we can finally add Cloth simulation to our mesh with below settings.

cloth

Most important are:

  • Pinning - select Vertex Group we have created before.
  • Mass - higher mass more curve on cloth.
  • Structural - lower allow more cloth stretching.
  • Velocity - will slow down/smooth simulation.
  • Self collision - self explanatory, Distance is important, it prevents cloth from intersecting.

Rest of the settings are more or less important tweaks, described in tool tips and docs.

Final touches:

Now we can add Subdivision Surface modifier and play our animation to see result (this one is 80 frames long):

finalanim

Thoughts:

You can experiment with base mesh randomization, subdivision or Cloth settings to get different results.

Material used in Final Results is default Velvet BSDF with changed color.

Back drapes are made using same method.

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  • $\begingroup$ @Dontwalk after looking at it right now I think that it would be also good idea to place some force field with strong noise to get some random results. Needs to be checked though and stupid me didn't saved the blend file :/ $\endgroup$ – cgslav Jan 12 '18 at 20:55
  • $\begingroup$ I did some testing yesterday and came close but didn't look as good as your method. But what I did do is I selected all the vertices and hit randomize .005. Similar result as your force field idea I think. Thanks again. $\endgroup$ – Dontwalk Jan 12 '18 at 21:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Dontwalk I redid this and for Force Field to work (Turbulence - Strength > 50, Size and Noise > 10) you will need to change Mass > 0.1, Structural > 0.7, Bending > 0, Velocity > 0.1. Seriously I don't know why it's working in such way... It's sad that we need to wait until 2.8 for new Cloth sim - (code.blender.org/2017/06/improvements-to-the-cloth-simulator). $\endgroup$ – cgslav Jan 12 '18 at 21:37
  • $\begingroup$ I will definitely give it a try... $\endgroup$ – Dontwalk Jan 12 '18 at 22:11
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Create 2 Vertex Groups named Pin and Sew enter image description here

Select your two top corner vertices and assign them to the Pin vertex group enter image description here

Select all vertices on the sides and assign them to the Sew vertex group enter image description here

Go to your physics tab and change your settings similar to these. enter image description here

Click the auto keyframe button(red circle) and the double key button next to it. Then select LocRotScale from the box to the right of those buttons.
Go to frame 0 and scale your mesh to be about twice as wide as you want your curtain(S+X, or S+Y) and Press the insert keyframe button(green arrow). Then go to about frame 40 and scale your mesh again back to the size you want your curtain to be and press the insert keyframe button again.

enter image description here

Now go back to frame 0 and hit play and the cloth should settle into something like this. enter image description here You can play with theMass, Sewing Force, Min, and Max settings in the physics panel to change the end result.

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