High Performance, Art Directable, Hero Cloth Simulation

above is just a selection of movies using Carbon


Carbon is available for Maya®  2020, 2022, 2023 and 2024, on Windows and Linux.

Carbon Cloth for Maya is the result of many years of R&D, developing a second-generation Carbon Tool library and applying the learning from the previous 7 years of tool integration.
Here's a short 2 min overview of the Carbon Cloth for Maya V2 (released 2020) - with many thanks to Simon Legrand for the voiceover and script - enjoy...


Carbon For Maya Overview

Since then, we have added a lot more features and improvements to the plugin, such as our Garment Processor workflow.

Here are just a few examples:



Check out the latest documentation for full features available  here.


In 2014, Carbon made its big screen debut in DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon 2” where it was used for some of the most challenging CFX shots.

Ever since then, Carbon has been used extensively in the VFX industry for a variety of assets, from the most demanding Hero cloth and skin for animated and Digi-double simulations, to sails, ropes, chains and plants.

Most of your favorite blockbuster movies from the past 8 years have been relying on Carbon in one way or another.

Quality and Performance

Carbon Cloth uses an advanced cloth model to deliver high quality cloth simulation which combined with robust multi-layer collision, supports the very highest quality Hero cloth simulation. Highly optimized code combined with a multi-threaded design from the ground up, ensures that Carbon delivers high quality with maximum performance.

Carbon Cloth is production proven for simulation of clothing, ropes, sails, nets, and deformable skin.
Today, Carbon Cloth is used by many large and small studios, around the world.


Robust Collision handling

Carbon Cloth provides very advanced collision and can handle collision between fast moving objects with ease.

The Carbon Cloth collision supports action AND reaction between:

  • Cloth and Character
  • Cloth and Cloth as layers
  • Cloth and Cloth as self collision within one cloth
  • Cloth and Rigid Bodies like buttons, chains etc.
  • Cloth and Character skin (where character skin is also a Carbon Morph)

and also, reaction between

  • Cloth / Rigid Bodies and Velocity Fields (Wind)
By default, everything collides with everything else and Carbon Cloth's collision rapidly culls invalid collision objects from the calculation.
But it's also possible to define who collides with whom, if required.


Carbon garment construction.

Carbon For Maya supports a wide range of options in how garments are constructed.
  • from welded meshes, to stitched panel garments,
  • import from garment design tools or authored in Maya.
  • garment processor nodes to accelerate the setup of complex garments.
  • full support for anisotropic fabric properties.
  • fast deformers to map thick render meshes to simulation meshes.
There is a lot more information about Carbon garment constuction here.

Art Directability

A cornerstone of Carbon Cloth is its art directability, giving the artist the features and tools they need to create great cloth simulations. Almost all attributes can be animated and most attributes support paint map control.

The Carbon Cloth collision is also very robust, but sometimes you want it to be more forgiving, so there is also the option to relax the collision for specified colliders. This allows for interpenetration of body parts with the cloth (for example when they are out of shot) or when you are just not going to render the body part anyway (for example knees poking through a pair of trousers).

Wrinkle maps

Some creases are meant to be permanent. Typical cases for this include curtains, dress shirts with collars, skirts with pleats or pants with pleats. Carbon allows to paint areas where such a behavior is wanted and overwrites all start and reference angular information to ensure permanent creasing.

pants wrinkleCreating permanent creases for pants.

Folds and Creases

Cloth naturally has angular plasticity which determines how fast folds appear and disappear. Carbon provides the controls to replicate this behavior. This is a great feature for creating more believable cloth simulation. Using angular plasticity allows artists to control how fast folds/creases recover. It's also paintable and animatable and so fully art directable. For more information see here.

Goal shape control


The Goal Skin is an attribute that describes the strength of the skinning constraint between the Goal Pose and the current cloth pose.

The Goal Skin can also be used to describe the nature of each individual node, from fully dynamic to dynamic and constrained and finally kinematic and constrained (pure animation). Kinematic nodes do not generate collision with other kinematic objects.

An advanced use of Carbon Cloth is the use of the Carbon Morph node to create a deformable skin for a character. This has been used in many situations from pinch mitigation under the armpits and between the legs, to deforming the points on a dragon head while the hand strokes over them to deforming the belly of a creature when pressed by the arms and legs to squash and stretch of the body to deforming the ground when something lands on it. Read more about Carbon Morph here.

 animation carbon morph

Analysis tools

A selection of analysis tools is provided to allow inspection of the character to identify areas of pinching, and inspection of the cloth to identify any geometry corruption.


Garment Processor

Garment Import

Carbon Cloth can accept tri-mesh, quad-mesh and even non-manifold geometry.

Garments can be simulated from their import rest state or they can be simulated from the panels that were used to create them using the Tailored model). This allows the easy import garments from garment creation packages such as Marvelous Designer. Wrinkles from the imported rest shape can be maintained, limited in angle or removed.

Video tutorials on how to import garments into Carbon from Marvelous Designer can be found here:
Importing garments from Marvelous Designer and setting up pockets and buttons


Carbon provides the interface for Drag, Skin Drag and Lift aerodynamics parameters on all relevant scene nodes. The Houdini plug-in supports the following wind / flow sources:

  • Uniform field
  • Maya field
  • Maya fluid


  • Windows
  • Linux


FAQ - Carbon for Maya

Carbon for Maya 2.0 was released in 2020 and has had many new features added since then. 


By default, licenses are machine locked. If you are a major studio and require floating evaluation licenses then please make that request via the evaluation sign up form or email

Licenses work for all Carbon for Maya plugins, i.e. 2019, 2020, 2022. But each license will be specific to your platform, i.e. Windows licenses cannot be used for Linux machine, and vice versa.

Evaluation licenses are issued for a period of 14 days.


We officially stopped supporting older versions of Maya than 2019 at the end of 2021.

Tested on Windows 10, 11, and Linux. We expect it to work on Windows 8.1 & 7 (SP1) as well. If you are interested in a version for OSX then please register your interest through the evaluation signup buttons on this page.

Check out the options on this page - Carbon Licenses for Maya and Houdini

Yes the Carbon API is fully scriptable from mel and python.
The main difference is that Houdini supports tetrahedrons as a native type and so we can expose Carbon Tissue in Houdini. The other difference is that we are supporting Carbon Plumage and N-lattice in Houdini which seems a more natural home for procedural content generation. If you would like to see these features in Maya then let us know - Contact us.

Yes, the Carbon For Houdini plugin uses the same underlying C++ libraries as the Carbon Cloth for Maya plugin. Furthermore, we ensure you have the same examples, documentation and UI available between both plugins to make it as seamless as possible for artists to transition between tools.
Please note that due to the nature of Houdini, such as being able to natively support tetrahedral geometry, there are features which are currently only available in the Carbon For Houdini plugin, but we strive to bring as many of those to Maya as possible.

We are using the same underlying Carbon C++ libraries between both packages, so solver performance is theoretically identical in both packages, but there are obviously slight differences in terms of overhead stemming from Maya and Houdini being different software packages.

Today, you can only move the geometry, and Carbon Cloth Material files, but the goal is to reach a point where you can move all Carbon assets, including their simulation properties, between packages.

The Carbon cache is a simulation cache - this is very different to a geometry cache. A simulation cache allows us to restart the simulation at any valid frame just as though it has simulated up to that frame. Opens up exciting possibilities, especially in Maya 2020 and newer.

Please feel free to Contact us.

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