PART 1 of Making Materials with CLIP STUDIO COORDINATE


This is the first part of a five part series on importing 3D models to create Character Material in CLIP STUDIO COORDINATE for use in CLIP STUDIO PAINT and MANGA STUDIO.  Here is the table of contents for this series:

At this point I should probably mention that I’m pretty certain that Celsys never actually MADE the sample models included with CLIP STUDIO PAINT in their own modeler software.  While the FBX files are binaries, opening them in a code editor revealed enough un-obfuscated text to show they were made in Autodesk Maya and exported with the Kaydara FBX exporter plugin.  Personally I feel it is a bit disingenuous of Celsys to make people think they could build and export models like this from the CLIP STUDIO suite, because I’m pretty sure you can’t.  CLIP STUDIO MODELER doesn’t even have the capability to add bones and joints to the models you build in it and there are no “Character” tools in MODELER prior to the current version 1.0.1 (Note: they were just added in version 1.0.1, which hasn't been translated yet so I don't know how they work).

Maya, unfortunately, is a very, very expensive piece of software.  I sure as hell can’t afford it.  But I did download the free 30-day Trial version of Maya 2015 and started playing around with the models Celsys provided.

First I tried modifying the individual model parts, with limited success.  Maya uses a lot of “soft mod” deformers, which are a sort of non-destructive editing method.  Your alterations don’t actually get applied to the model until you delete the deformer history, which “bakes” your soft-mods into hard-mods.  Whatever Maya does when it applies the modifications, though, makes the model unusable in COORDINATE.

Screenshot of "Baking" soft-mods in Maya 2015 so they end up in your FBX file

On the other hand direct modifications to the mesh - by moving the vertices around manually - produced usable model parts:

But the REAL key in how to build/modify your own, rigged character models for CLIP STUDIO PAINT or MANGA STUDIO is in that one fully assembled model (part of the sample pack linked to in the Foreword). If you open that completely assembled girl in Maya and select the mesh for her hair and the “head bone” of the rigging, then “File > Export Selected” as an FBX model, then do the same for the head mesh + head bone, and lastly the body + full skeleton armature you’ll end up with three compatible model pieces you can import into COORDINATE.  The head and hair MUST have at least the “head bone” included with them during export or they won’t work (if you accidentally grab more of the joints than you wanted it doesn’t really matter).  

However COORDINATE is very picky about the bones being named absolutely according to their “Standard Bone Specification” document.  It’s how it knows where to PUT the head and the hair in relation to the body when you pose it.  COORDINATE expects each body part to have at the very least the relevant “bone” with it, though I did find you could include the complete skeleton armature with each part because COORDINATE merges the joints from the model parts into one skeleton (unless the bones aren’t named properly).

The unofficial 1.1.4 language translation kit for Mac has the “Standard Bone Specification” manual included in it.  For everyone else there is a zip file that just has translated user guides in it here: zip file download.

Ok, so maybe you can’t afford Maya either.  Can you still make your own custom models or import ones you’ve downloaded and make posable characters out of them?  Yes, but with some caveats discussed in the next section.



Andrew Jonathan Fine said...


I have full circle turnaround using my personal Maya 2008. I used the Autodesk FBX Converter to convert GUMI's FBX files into the FBX 2006 standard. I imported the 2006 versions of GUMI pieces into CSC English, and they assemble just fine.

I'm ready to help. What needs done?

OffWorld Girl said...

I don't know what you mean by "full circle turnaround" or why you had to convert the GUMI parts at all? At least for me the FBX parts in the GUMI folder import to CSC and assemble without converting them and I can open and modify them in Cheetah3D without converting them. I do, however, have to convert them to an older FBX version to open them in Blender (just the GUMI parts, the other sample character parts open without conversion). My trial of Maya expired so I can't test anything in that anymore. :(

As for "what needs done?" Well, I was really just searching for some means of making/modding character model parts I could import into CSC and get a 3D character with swappable options that will register in the Materials panel of CSP and adopt poses dropped onto it (since Celsys doesn't seem interested in releasing an English version of *their* modeling program with the character tools in it and I hadn't seen much written about other options). If you've figured out how to get Maya to work properly PLEASE write up some tutorials and post them online for other CLIP Studio/Manga Studio users with Maya.

lobotus said...

This is a very nice post!
3D modeling

a said...

good blog.

Do you have email or FB?

I have questions.
Do you accept commission on 3D model?