Creating Layered Models In Blender

You can use a third party modeling tool, such as Blender or Maya, to create the layered 3D model that you can import into Studio as an Accessory. To create a layered model, you must parent (Blender) or bind (Maya) a 3D model to a mannequin armature and then modify two additional meshes to fit around the inner and outer surface of the accessory model.

This guide covers the basic workflow for converting a 3D model into a layerable model in Blender using the following steps:

  1. Importing a 3D asset into a template Blender project file.
  2. Parenting the imported mesh object to the project file's armature rig with Blender's Automatic Weights feature. You can skip this step if you're using Roblox's automatic skinning transfer.
  3. Editing the Inner and Outer Cage meshes to represent the inner and outer surface of the model.

A full list of asset requirements for a layered model can be found in Layered Model Requirements.

Importing

Set up the project by opening the template project and importing the sample accessory model.

To import and parent the accessory model:

  1. In Blender, open the template project. This file contains the default armature and the two cages required for layered accessories.

    Blender Mannequin Template Project
  2. In the Outliner, expand the Cage group and make the _InnerCage and _OuterCage visible by toggling the Hide icon.

  3. In the File Menu, select Import and click FBX (.fbx). Select the accessory model file you intend to fit onto the mannequin. The accessory populates in the workspace and, depending on how the asset was modeled, may need resizing or adjustment to fit on the mannequin.

Parenting and Weighting

For this basic accessory, parent the imported mesh to the template mannequin armature using Blender's Automatic Weights feature. Parenting the accessory model mesh to the armature enables the 3D model to move and deform with the character in Studio. This step is optional if you're using automatic skinning transfer.

To parent the mesh object with the mannequin armature:

  1. In the Outliner, temporarily hide both of the Cage objects to expose the Armature by toggling the Hide icon.

  2. In the Workspace, click the mesh object, then hold Shift and click the mannequin's armature.

  3. Right click, or use Ctrl/Cmd+P to parent the accessory to the armature by selecting Automatic Weights.

  4. Reduce visual clutter by hiding the all objects except the cages and model. Click on the symbol next to the object in the Outlier panel.

Editing Inner and Outer Cage Meshes

In the template, both the inner and outer cages start as identical mesh objects. When setting up the cages, the accessory model needs to fit on top of the inner cage and then the outer cage must be adjusted to fit tightly over the model object.

To modify cages for your accessory model:

  1. In the Outliner panel, rename the _InnerCage and _OuterCage meshes to match the imported mesh object (ex. Tshirt_InnerCage, Tshirt_OuterCage). Make sure this exactly matches the mesh name that you imported.

  2. In the Outliner window, select the _OuterCage mesh and switch to Edit Mode Tab.

  3. In the Viewport, enable X-Ray view and Materials View to improve visibility and access to the vertices of the outer cage mesh.

  4. While in Edit Mode, adjust the vertices with the Edit Mode tools so that the Outer Cage completely covers the top of the accessory.

A finished outer cage should completely cover the accessory with minimal extra space. For comparison, you can download a completed caged version of the Tshirt model here.

When finished with the caging and modeling of your asset, see Exporting Requirements for details on exporting the model from Blender.

After exporting, see Converting Models to Layered Accessories for instructions on importing and converting the model into a usable accessory.

Tips for Editing Cages

The following tips may be helpful when manipulating your cage vertices:

  • On the top-right of the Viewport, toggle different Viewport Shading options, such as Material Preview and X-Ray, when necessary to better access vertices and view your caging progress.

  • You can hide vertices you're currently not adjusting by using Hide (H) and Unhide (Alt+H).

  • Multiple vertices can be selected and adjusted at the same time. Use Move, Scale, or any other Blender tools to make adjustments to multiple vertices at once.