How to use MakeClothes from Makehuman in Blender

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For a supposedly time-saving 3D modeling tool, this handy little MakeHuman app for creating shirts, dresses, skirts, pants etc. in Blender can be a $#@! to operate correctly. (Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this blog post.) Anyway, here’s the workflow I sorted out, in the hopes that a no-frills tutorial might save folks several hours of experimentation. Good luck and great modeling!

Blender - MakeClothes Screenshot

 Step 1: Set up MakeClothes

  1. Open Blender
  2. Press N then select MakeClothes
  3. Select body Type
  4. Press Load Human Mesh (which is automatically given the name Human)
  5. (don’t alter pivot point or small square at bottom of mesh)

Step  2: Prep your material

  1. Go to Edit mode
  2. Go to Material Properties Window
  3. Select the material for any body or clothing part that is getting in the way of your modeling
  4. Press S to scale down that part
  5. Deselect that material

Step 3: Create your clothing mesh

  1. Select the material for the part that you want to use to create an article of clothing
  2. Press SHIFT+D to create a duplicate part (which is automatically given the name Human.001)
  3. Right Click to set in in place
  4. Press P then separate by selection
  5. Go to Object mode
  6. Select Human then move it to a different layer
  7. Select Human.001
  8. In N / Item rename it to identify it as a piece of clothing (for the purposes of this tutorial we’ll call it “New Shirt”)
  9. In N / MakeClothes change the Mesh Type to Clothing

Step 4: Create your mannequin

  1. Select Human
  2. Go to Edit mode
  3. Go to Material Properties Window
  4. Select the Body material
  5. Press SHIFT+D to create a duplicate body (which is automatically given the name Human.001)
  6. Right Click to set in in place
  7. Press P then separate by selection
  8. Move it to a new layer
  9. In N / Item rename it as “Mannequin”
  10. Select both New Shirt and Mannequin layers

Step 5: Model your clothing

  1. Select New Shirt
  2. Go to Edit mode (if not there already)
  3. Model the clothing until it looks the way you want it to (and delete or fix any non-quad faces, because MakeClothes only uses quads)
  4. Go to Material Properties Window
  5. Create new material slot and new material and name is New Shirt
  6. Assign New Shirt mesh to New Shirt material
  7. Delete all other material slots (for the New Shirt mesh only; leave meshes for other meshes intact)

Step 6: Unwrap your clothing

  1. Select various edges of the model, such as down the middle of the back or along the top of the arms to the neck, to create seams
  2. Select Mesh / Edges / Mark Seam
  3. Go to Object Data / UV Maps
  4. Create new window for UV Image Editor
  5. Press U / Unwrap
  6. Press UVs / Export UV Layout to save it as an image (in case want to work on it in GIMP etc.)

Step 7: Create vertex groups

  1. Go to Object Mode
  2. Select New Shirt
  3. Go to Object Data / Vertex Groups
  4. In N / MakeClothes, press Create Vertex Groups (the Delete vertex group will then disappear)

Step 8: Generate your new piece of clothing

  1. Go into Object Mode (if not there already)
  2. Select Mannequin then delete it (because it’s no longer needed for this article of clothing)
  3. Select Human
  4. SHIFT + select New Shirt
  5. In N / MakeClothes, press Make Clothes
  6. Wait. Grab some coffee. Go for a walk. Make love. Swim in the sea.
  7. When complete, an “OK” dialogue box will appear.
  8. (Any error or warning messages may or may not mean anything, so try out your new clothing anyway.)

David Arv Bragi, profile picture

David Arv Bragi is a multidisciplinary journalist with experience in health, safety, personal finance, technology, arts and cultural topics. He is also a former team leader and volunteer in community/tower emergency response teams. He currently lives just outside of Bellingham, Washington.