Development news

Improvements in cel shader

10 December 2017

More improvements in anime skin and hair cel shader for Blender Cycles. [See the image...]

Preview of anime hair

02 December 2017

Preview of the high quality hair model for anime girl. Improvements in anime skin shader. [See the image...]

Proxy tutorial

16 November 2017

As requested by many users, here is the updated tutorial about how to create and use proxies in lab 1.6.0. [Read more..]

Shapekeys mapping 1.5 -> 1.6

08 November 2017

Since there are various animation systems based on the lab 1.5 that need to migrate to lab 1.6, here is the conversion table that maps the shapekeys 1.5 to 1.6. [Read more..]

Roadmap update for 1.7.0!

05 November 2017

Roadmap update with detailed tasks for lab 1.6.1 and 1.7.0 [Read more..]

Version 1.6.0!

26 October 2017

The new version 1.6.0 is available! [See the release notes]

Improvements of teeth and eyes

10 October 2017

Better teeth shader and shape, improved eye shader [See the image...]

High quality expression system 1.6: animation

05 October 2017

1.6 WIP: See the high quality results of the new expression system! [See the video]

Preview-tutorial proxy system 1.6

23 September 2017

Tutorial-preview about the new proxy system that will be included in ManuelbastioniLAB 1.6.0 with two long waited new features to handle skin intersections: offset and auto-mask. [See the video]

New preview of IK and muscles

09 September 2017

Development and integration of IK and basic muscle system completed: see how they work in the new preview. [See the video]

Improvements of anatomy

02 September 2017

Better 3D feet, toes, nails. Also improvements of 3d tongue for professional phonemes animation. [See the image...]

Hair shader and physics

24 August 2017

Testing the hair shader and the best way to use physics with polygonal hair [Read more...]


Since Jan 2016

See the full development history. [Visit the archive]

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A detailed tutorial about clothes


See also: a short video that shows the usage of proxy system:


The proxy usage consists of two steps:

  1. Prepare the proxy tailored for a base template and save it.
  2. Load the proxy and use it on any derived character.

Step 1. Prepare the proxy tailored for a base template

1. Open the "Utilities" in the after-creation section of the lab.

Importing a base character

2. Select a base template and load it with the "Import template" button. In this example the caucasian female template was loaded.

Importing a base character

3. Import the clothes mesh (or model a new one from scratch). For this tutorial a standard Wavefront obj was imported, but you can use any format and any import technique supported by Blender. The algorithm handles both triangles and quads topologies.

Import wavefront obj using Blender

4. Manually fit the proxy to character, with the usual Blender techniques (scale, rotate, edit of verts, etc). One of the best tool to do this is using the Blender Proportional Edit brush.

Using the proportional edit tool to fit the clothes


If you prefer, as alternative way, you can export the base template and fit the proxy upon it using an external software. In this case you can skip steps (3) and (4).

5. Put the tailored cloth in your proxy library folder, saving it as blend file or exporting it in another 3D format, as you prefer. With the lab proxy tools, it will automatically fit all characters created upon the chosen base template (caucasian female, in this example).

Step 2. Load the proxy and use it on any derived character

Scenario: you have a finalized character created with the lab, derived from caucasian female and you want to fit a proxy on it. You have not altered the topology of the character.

For this example, as benchmark, a very muscular character derived from the caucasian base was used. Since the very different shape of surface, it offers an example for all typical problems that can happen during the proxy fitting.

To make the benchmark even more extreme, a proxy with a skirt was used, that's the most difficult case, since there is not a direct relation between body and proxy. Trousers would be simpler since the algorithm can easily recognize what part of the proxy must be linked with the right thigh and what part must be linked with left tight.

Selecting both the proxy object and the character, the "Proxy fitting" section will show the fitting tools: the parameters "Offset" and "Influence", the option "Add mask vertgroup" and the buttons "Fit proxy" and "Remove fitting".

All the proxy tools are explained in this tutorial, anyway they are very intuitive and the basic fitting process in most of cases is very simple:

  1. Import or append the proxy.
  2. Select both character and proxy.
  3. Press the "Fit proxy" button. Done!

Only in case of deformations or skin intersection you will need to play with the options and parameters, as explained in the next part of the tutorial.

Dealing with skin intersection and proxy deformations

As said, the benchmark proxy used in this tutorial will show you all the possible problems that can occur during the process. Infact, after the first fitting, it shows a distorsion problem in the center of the skirt.

It can be solved with the "Influence" parameter, that controls the "magnetic attraction" of the skin. In this example the value was modified from the default 500 to a lower value of 20, and the deformation gone. This parameter works at best when the character is in rest pose (The whole proxy tool is optimized to fit the clothes in rest poses, but it usually works good enough for other poses too).

Now that the deformation is fixed, the benchmark shows another "classic" problem: the surface intersection that created "holes" in the proxy.

The proxy system has two tools to handle the problems of skin intersection: the offset parameter and the vertices mask.

The offset is an intuitive parameter that increases the distance between the surface of the skin and the surface of proxy. In this example it was used an offset of 3.72 instead of the default 0.00. Pressing the fit button again with this value we notice that most of intersections gone, but in this hard benchmark case there is still a visible intersection around the breast.

The vertices mask is a very powerful tool that solves practically all intersection problems that can't be fixed with the offset. It creates a new verts group "mbastlab_mask" that contains all body vertices that are too close to the proxy. Then it adds a new mask modifier (a standard Blender modifier) to the character stack that hides all vertices in this group.

Pressing "Fit proxy" again, after enabled the "add mask vertgroup" option, will completely fix the holes.

If you remove the clothes you will notice that the part of body closer to the proxy is hidden.

Anyway it's just a non-destructive modifier: you can always enable/disable it, or even edit manually the vertices in the "mbastlab_mask" group, to improve the mask.

Edit/remove the fitting

After the fitting process, if you try to enter in edit mode and manually move the proxy vertices, you will notice that they are "locked". This happens because you are trying to edit a basis shapekey.

When a proxy is fitted to the body, the lab creates automatically two shapekeys:

  1. The "Basis" to store the original shape of the proxy.
  2. The "mbastlab_proxyfit" to store the current fitted shape of the proxy.

As usual the shapekeys are listed in the Blender property panel, data tab:

So, if you want to manually adjust the fitting, you have to select the proxyfit shapekey and then proceed with the regular edit mode.

In case you want to edit the basis key, you have first to remove all the keys, pressing the lab button "Remove fitting". Alternatively you can remove the keys manually directly from the Blender panel, but you have to remember to delete them in this order: first the proxyfit and then the basis.

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