Adding Variation on Cushion Piping

Using Volume Select and the Noise Modifier

01. Overview

The Noise modifier allows you to add subtle variation to piping that will help make the cushion look less stiff and more realistic.

No Noise modifier


Noise modifier added


02. Modifiers Used

a. Rules to Keep in Mind

i. When adding variation to piping, it’s important that we don’t allow the piping to ‘jump off’ of the cushion. We want to make sure the piping and the cushion share the same variation.

ii. The process we will be going over assumes that the piping and the cushion are two seperate objects.

iii. If the piping and cushion are collapsed as one object, you will simply skip Part A of Section 4 (Cloning).

iv. The results of the Noise modifier are most noticeable on objects that have a greater numbers of faces

v. This addition of variation should be the final step when modeling cushions on upholstery.

The piping and the cushion are two seperate objects


b. Volume Select

 Volume Select will allow you to select the vertices around a designated object or selection.

i. In this case, we will be using the select by Mesh Object option.

ii. In this process, the Mesh Object to be used will be a clone of the piping. This will be explained later in the tutorial

c. Noise

i. The Noise modifier adjusts the position of an object’s vertices along any combination of the three axes. This tool simulates random variations in an object’s shape.

ii. The Noise in this tutorial will be applied to both the piping and the vertices that are selected by Volume Select on the cushion.

This is the result when the two modifiers are applied correctly


03. Creating Variation

a. Cloning the Piping

i. The first step of this process is to Clone the piping.

ii. This new shape will be used as the Mesh Object that the Volume Select uses as a reference for what vertices to select on the cushion.

iii. You can simply Right Click the Piping and select “Clone”. Create it as a “Copy”

i. Rename the new shape to something you can easily reference/find.

b. Applying the Volume Select

i. Select the Cushion and add the Volume Select modifier.
ii. Once added, make the following setting adjustments:

a. Change the selection level to Vertex

b. Select by Mesh Object, then press the button under it that says ‘None’ and select the Cloned piping you created from the previous step.

c. Check the Use Soft Selection box and adjust the falloff to an amount that matches the image below, in this case ‘2’ worked.

d. Once this process is complete, hide the cloned piping.

c. Adding the Noise

i. Select both the piping and the cushion and add a Noise modifier.

ii. Once the Noise modifier is added to the two objects, adjust the parameters to match something similar to the screenshot below.

i. Adjust these settings until you find an amount of variation that matches the product reference image.

Seed: Generates a random start point from the number you set. Useful if you want to copy and paste this Noise modifier on to other objects. Each setting can produce a different configuration.

Scale: Sets the size of the noise effect (not strength). Larger values produce smoother noise, lower values more jagged noise. Default=100.

Fractal: Produces a fractal effect based on current settings. If you turn on Fractal, the following options are available:

Roughness: Determines the extent of fractal variation. Lower values are less rough than higher values. Range=0 to 1.0.

Iterations: Controls the number of iterations used by the fractal function. Fewer iterations use less fractal energy and generate a smoother effect. An iteration of 1.0 is the same as turning Fractal off.

Strength: Controls the magnitude of the noise effect in each of the three axes.