Tutorial: Creating Custom Fuse Clothing

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Start from a base character.

Clothing is modeled onto a base character.  You can either use the base meshes provided in the Content Creator Pack (MaleFitA and FemaleFitA) or you can model your clothing to fit onto a custom body you have created.  In order to use the clothing in Fuse you must import the custom body first.


Focus on the sculpt.

Like the characters, the quality of the sculpt is very important to a good clothing asset.


Create a low resolution mesh.

Where the body has specific UV requirements, clothing does not, so create whatever topology and UV layout you'd like.


  • the low poly model should have soft normals (single smoothing group) so that all hard edged information is held inside of the normal map.
  • should have a single UV layout per item.
  • should not extend beyond the 0-1 UV space.
  • should not overlap
  • should not be flipped/mirrored
  • should be laid out consistently horizontally or vertically for consistent substances (if you have the front of the shirt horizontal and the back of the shirt vertical the substance will look very different (horizontal/vertical stripe substance, for example).

Average Triangle Count:

  • Tops:  2,000 - 4,000
  • Bottoms: 1,500 - 2,000
  • Hats:  1,000 - 2,000
  • Shoes:  2,000
  • Eyeware:  500 - 1,000


Extract your maps.

Map sizes should all be 2048 x 2048 dimensions.

All maps should be 8 bit RGB .pngs

Naming the maps correctly will speed up the import process; they will be automatically linked.  The file naming structure for imported Fuse clothing is


Example:  Top_MaleFitA_RolledSleevesShirt_StdNM.png


Normal Map (recommended)

You can extract the normal map from your sculpting program.  This is where much of the detail of your clothing comes from.

Color Mask (recommended)

The color mask is unique to clothing, and important for defining the regions of the clothing where separate substances can be used.  It is a simple color ID map that you can paint in any appropriate program.  Anywhere on the model where it would be useful to have individual texture options, you can mask off with any of the 8 available color values:

Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan White Black
255 0 0 0 255 0 0 0 255 255 255 0 255 0 255 0 255 255 255 255 255 0 0 0
#ff0000  #00ff00  #0000ff  #ffff00 #ff00ff  #00ffff #ffffff #000000


Try to make use of all the colors, even if your default design doesn't need them.  Note how the pockets and sleeves are masked.  This allows further customization and use of an asset.

Transparency on Clothing

If there are transparent parts of the the clothing asset, the transparency should be simply included in the alpha channel of the color mask.


Occlusion Mask (recommended)

The occlusion mask is unique to clothing and hair.  It is painted on the character the clothing is fitted over.  The occlusion mask will remove body geometry that is covered by clothing.  With the clothing item placed over the character, paint the polygons that are to be deleted in black.  The rest should be white, and will be preserved.

Ambient Occlusion Map (recommended)

The ambient occlusion map is very important to generating the diffuse color map in Fuse. It can be created in xNormal by exporting the high-res sculpt as an .obj and using it as both the source and target mesh. I highly recommend a program called Knald which uses the normal map and low-res base mesh as inputs to generate the AO map. You can also export a cavity map and multiply it on top of the ambient occlusion to further define the sculpted detail.

Detail Overlay Map (optional)

The detail map allows you to overlay your own custom painted detail on top of your character for instances where specific detail is needed that Fuse does not provide.  In the example of the torn khakis, the blood splatter is all in the detail map.  Other obvious uses would be for logos or other designs.


Gather your final files for import.

With the example of a mesh called Top_MaleFitA_RolledSleevesShirt.obj the recommended file names for importing into Fuse are the following:

  • Your clothing geometry:  Top_MaleFitA_RolledSleevesShirt.obj
  • Normal Map:  Top_MaleFitA_RolledSleevesShirt_NM.png
  • Color Mask:  Top_MaleFitA_RolledSleevesShirt_Mask.png
  • Occlusion Mask:  Top_MaleFitA_RolledSleevesShirt_OccMask.png
  • Ambient Occlusion Map:  Top_MaleFitA_RolledSleevesShirt_AO.png
  • Detail Overlay Map:  Top_MaleFitA_RolledSleevesShirt_DetailDiff.png

Note:  The naming is not strict, but following this format has helped us to stay organized.


Import your clothing into Fuse.

Within Fuse choose the File > Import > Import Clothing option.  The import wizard will open and guide you through the import process.

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