Monday, May 26, 2008

crashy Poser 7

I just updated Poser 7 from 7.0.0.63 to 7.0.2.132 by applying Service Pack 2. Hopefully it will crash less often.

Continuous struggle with Poser 7 (to make costume for Daz Studio characters)

After weeks, I am stupid struggling with making costumes for characters in Daz Studio. Neverthesless, there' some slight progress, and that's why I am trying to jot down some notes for myself.

  • Definitely check out the Creating Conforming Clothing For Poser Figures article at Smith Micro web site. I will definitely stuck for long long time without that article.

  • Definitely need to save constantly. Poser 7 seems very fragile when dealing situation it didn't expected. While I was still in learning mode, I had to constantly start Poser 7 again after doing something not in the "right way".

  • When creating bones, make sure that you know what is the "base" of the new one that you are about to create. Haven't said that it's actually no big deal for making mistake since you can always manipulate the hierachy by bringing up the hierarchy window, and the drag and drop the bone structures.

  • Sometimes you make create more bone than you need. Delete them first before naming, or otherwise some funky thing may happen.

  • AT first I found out that it's much easier to name the bones right inside the Hierarchy window than using the property window since the property window shows both the name and the internal name, and I was like "why the hell should I care about the Internal name"? And then later I realized that the Name is the display name, and it's the internal name that has to match the group name. Very critical a step.

  • Remember the click the "Auto Group" button at the end of the rigging process, otherwise the costume will act like it's breaking apart.

  • Make you study the corresponding joints you try to conform with before doing rigging. All parts have to match, or otherwise you will get strange result. You can do it by loading the figure in Poser 7 and then go to [Setup] area. For example, for me, I load Aiko from the library at "[From Original - DAZ Aiko 3]".

I still haven't done with my model yet, but at least I stepped enough mines to learn my way. Enough pain for one day, and I need to move on to do something else.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Poser 7 not portable

Well, just found out that Poser 7 is not portable friendly. But I have to install it in order to creating clothing for Daz Studio.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Question about making clothing

Here's where I posted my question:

------------------------------
Information about making costume for Daz Studio using 3D Studio Max

I have problem finding the props and costume for scenes that I want to create in Daz Studio, and decided that I should start creating props and costume using 3D Studio Max. I have no problem creating props, but I don't know how to create costume.

I found some instruction about creating basic clothing with 3D Studio Max, but it seems to rely on Poser to do the fitting with Cloth simulation. Is it a must to have Poser in order to create clothing for Daz Studio? Any information about creating clothing on 3DSMax (I am using version 9) for Daz Studio?

Honestly I am a lazy person so if I could buy it I would. But I could find any Mongolian gown and other Chinese minority costume (like Xinjiang) for sale. Plus I love to contribute my work in open source just to show my appreciate for all the free stuff and help I got so far. And I love pretty costumes :->

Thanks!

Deecay

Sunday, May 11, 2008

3D Studio Max 9 with BodyPaint 3D 3.111

My previous BodyPaint 3D experience was pretty bad. In fact, it was almost horrible. So I wasn't too thrilled when I started trying BodyPaint 3D version 3.111 with 3D Studio Max 9. It turns out that it was a much more positive experience then I expected.

Just like the older version, BodyPaint 3D 3.111 is a portable friendly app, as long as you have the valid serial number. But the magic comes when you installed the BodyPaint 3D plug in for 3D Studio Max 9 by copying the 2 plug in files into the folder (...\Autodesk\3ds Max 9\plugins). And then start 3D Studio Max 9, go to the [Utilities] menu, and click [more ...]. You will see 3DBodyPaint in the list. Click it to start the "utility". In fact, 3D Studio Max even picked up the BodyPaint 3D Path before I clicked the "Set BodyPaint 3D Path..." button.

To bring a model from 3DS max to BodyPaint, simply select the object, and then click [Export Selected]. BodyPaint 3D will be launched and your model will be loaded. To get back to 3DS from Bodypaint, just click the button at the left column.... (you will see the 3DS icon there).

The trick is that once you are in 3DS, you need to first create the material to paint on by click ...something ... at the lower right corner ... kind of like adding new layer in Photoshop. Once done, you can directly paint on the object. Pressure sensitive also works, but you have to explicitly check some checkbox at the upper right side of the screen.

So far I enjoy it. I just need to know more about how adjust the UV mapping map ... and ... a lot more. Hey at least I got some texture on my model.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

There's lighting addon for Daz Studio?

I didn't realize that there's lighting plug in for Daz Studio, like Light Dome Pro and UberEnvironment . They could come in handy as I spent more time doing scenes.

Oh, also some very BASIC information about lighting in Daz Studio. I should spent sometime on this before spending any money on third party solution.

And then, more Daz Studio tutorial.

Oh, I also didn't realized that Blogger blog editing is totally functional in a pure text mode (with no bitmap on the page).

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Importing old Poser 4 files to Daz Studio 2.1

I tried importing some old Poser 4 files to Daz Studio 2.1. It worked, but since the original model rely on a lot of parts from the Poser 4 application, so I took a look at Poser 7 and see if there's any same parts that I can use. It turns out that most of the Poser 4 files are available on Poser 7, but they are all zipped in .obz format. To turn them into regular .obj file:

  • Rename the file extension to .zip.
  • Unzip it, and a obj file will be automatically expanded as the result
That's it. Very simple. There were still a few texture files missing, but they affect my model, so I wasn't care about them at all.

Easily opening multiple catalogs in Portfolio 8.5

I just found out that I can open multiple Portfolio catalog files in Portfolio 8.5 by drag the actually .fdb catalog file into the Catalogs windows. However, no other kind of files, including shortcuts, are allowed in the batch you drop in, or else the multiple open won't happen.

This is very handy to me. Now I can search all my photos all the way from 1997 til now.

Daz Studio and Shadow

I realized one huge problem with the work I did on Daz Studio so far: the characters didn't cast any shadow. Even for the one that cast shadow, it doesn't look realistic enough. I guess I need to spend sometime to figure out the trick of casting better shadow.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Powerful skin feature

Ever since someone on the forum pointed me to the skin feature of Daz Studio, I found myself addicted to it, and realized how much possibility it opens up.

Not only I can specify the surface type (skin, plastic ....), I can also replace the primary color of the service. So a white gown can be turned into a pink gown with just a specify the surface color. Of course it's definitely not as natural as changing the texture file of the the selected surface.

That brings to something even more exciting: I can even replace the image map file associated with the surface. That opens up tons of possibility of totally changing the look of a model.

My next step will be trying out the shadow casting ability.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

BodyPaint3D

I kept trying to learning BodyPaint3D to do texturing. But every time I try to pick up, the steep learning always put me down. In fact, I recently get back to 3DStudio Max 9, and hopefully the new version will be more texturing friendly.

Glossy Glove



This is how to make the glove glossy in Daz Studio.

Procedure:
- Select menu [Tools][Surfaec Selection]. Move your cursor around to figure out what area is in what name. In my case, it's 3_SkinforeArm and 3_skinHand.
- Opend the "Surfaces" tab. Within it select advanced tab, change the Lighting Model for the above two items to "Glossy (Plastic)".
- Render using software rendering.
- Done.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Lame hat

I think I finally have to admit that while SketchUp Pro 6 is easy to learn and easy to approach, it just doesn't have all the modeling capability I need. For instance, to create a 3D XinJiang hat with SketchUp, I ended up with this. Pathetic isn't it. So I am starting to mess with 3D Studio Max starting today. Wish me luck.

PVC Glove

I just posted a question about my straight PVC Glove problem at the forum:

So let me get this straight: to get the best rendering result, I need to use Software Render. But since software rendering doesn't use GPU on the graphic card, the only way to improve rendering performance is by getting a machine with faster CPU (or more CPUs)? Oh well, I am glad that I went for a QudaCore Processor when I got a new Dell 6 months ago.

Actually, I didn't know that use Hardware render (OpenGL on my graphic card) doesn't give me all the effect Daz3D provided until recently. But even then I couldn't seen to get everything right. For instance, I used PVCGear dress in this picture: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_-2QVKA4sf6w/SBuEDpqv_0I/AAAAAAAAAe8/fJRSWB_d6qw/s1600-h/saveme.jpg

The dress was fine, all glossy. But the glove doesn't seen look as glossy. I tried both hardware and software rendering and seems to get the same result. What did I do wrong?

Opening Daz Studio database

It's so fun to use Firefox with SQLite plug in to view data in my Daz Studio 2.1 database! Just open the file "C:\Program Files\DAZ\Studio\resources\Content" and boom I see all the mapping. And great that now I know where to backup the database.

Database of Daz Studio 2.1

Thanks to the people on the Internet, not only I now know that the Daz Studio 2.1 Content Management database is storing at ..../Studio/Resources/Content , I also know that it's in SQLite format, and I can access it using a Firefox extension.

Friday, May 02, 2008

More on Daz Studio 2.0

I spent almost a whole day to mess with Daz Studio 2.1.1.13. Although I won't say now I am an expert, at least I can curse around the application and get some work done. Here's some of my finding.
  • Most of the old Aiko 3 clothing doesn't work with Aiko 4 anymore.

  • To import another Daz3D library, you need to add an entry in [Peferences][Directories], and remember to select "Poser Content Directories". I found out that if I use "DAZ Studio Content Directories", it won't work.

  • But even after putting the right path, I still experienced problem as I could find the contents I newly installed. Turns out I have to click on the side way triangle located at the upper right corner of the Content panel, then select "Search For Content ...". Now you got a chance to refresh the content database. Once refreshed, you should be able to find your content.

  • The search feature and organization feature provided by DAZ Studio 2.1 is simply awesome. Now finding content to use is so much easier, and I don't to remember where to find what in the application. I just go to the catagory I defined and boom there they are. Major break thru I would say.

  • You definitely need to save frequently. The application tends to crazy once in a while for no good reason. The app is not unusable, but definitely can't be called stable. So save frequently.

  • I didn't realized until late yesterday that (at least on my machine) only the software rendering will be able to render all the fancy effects and such properly. Maybe I just don't have a capable graphic card to do fast hardware rendering? Cause software rendering is, while not dog slow, takes about 30 seconds to a minute to render a scene.
  • When you add hair (works like a wig to me) to your character, sometimes you need put it under the head node in the Scene hierarchy tree. This is particularly tree to those pre-Aiko 4 days hair. Merely doing Fit-to doesn't do the job (well at least that was what happened to some of the hair I tried.

  • I successfully imported an object I created from SketchUp 6 into Daz Studio with all the texture mapping. This makes is much easier for me to create my own content.
On the other hand, there are some mysteries and things I need to learn:

  • Somehow the glove I created using PVC-Gear didn't look as shiny as the sample rendering looks like. I wonder what I missed.

  • I need to learn how to use light to create better effect.

  • I need to learn how to use camera and animation to do some nice short animation short.

  • I need to know where the compiled database of Daz Studio is being stored so that I can back it up and won't waste all the time I spent on organizing the content because of a harddisk crash.

  • I need to figure out how to create my own dress.

  • And finally, I need to create the XinJiang hat that I promised myself to create for days.