Archive for the Software Category

Free Manga Studio Webinar – 5th February

Posted in Software, tutorials, Webinars with tags , , , , , , , on January 25, 2013 by seedydeedee

Manga studio

Smith Micro are hosting a FREE Manga Studio Webinar – What’s New in Manga Studio 5.

Presented By:  Doug Hills, comic book artist
Date: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Time:  3:00PM PST

Back to Vue for The Last Stand

Posted in Artwork, Software with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2012 by seedydeedee

I’ve spent quite a lot of time playing around in Daz|Studio, Carrara and Poser for my rendering recently, but for this latest piece, I’ve gone back to Vue, which I think is still one of my favourite render engines, particularly for making more arty-looking fantasy pictures.

This is a scene from a story I finally finished writing this year, 7 years after I started it.  OOPS!

The characters were set up individually in Poser, then imported into Vue Studio for rendering.  I chose to render the zombie texture on the main male character in Vue using the Poser Shader Tree.  It nearly killed my PC.  I had to turn the figure down to a wireframe bounding box only just so I could interact with the scene!  I keep mooning over 6-core i7s, and thinking how much easier all this would be with a higher spec machine.

Maybe next year… 🙂

Vronn and Achoris

…I ushered him up to a high vantage point atop a rocky tor where they could come at us but a few at a time. And come they did. The army of the undead rose up around us, surging to cut off our escape on each side, leathery hands scrabbling at the rocks and clamoring for their prey.

Exporting from Daz|Studio to Poser and Vue

Posted in Software with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2012 by seedydeedee

Tonight, I’ve been trying to export scenes from DAZ|Studio and see how well they render.  I bunged a Genesis figure with some morphs and a nice texture into a scene, and exported as both Collada (.dae) and Wavefront Obkect (.obj) formats.

First off, here’s the original DAZ|Studio 4.5 Pro render, uberenvironment, 4 lights.

man picture

Daz|Studio 4.5 Pro render

Now here’s the Vue render, based on a Collada import.  I’ve just used whatever default light Vue threw up, along with a single point light and basic render settings. It’s probably got potential, but I notice that the Collada export seems to have left me with  jagged polygons everywhere.  Anyone know if there’s a setting I can change on export to improve that?  Oh, and on import, all the materials on the scenery in the background were set to 100% reflective, and therefore chrome!

man vue

Vue 10 Studio render

I also imported the scene into Poser Pro 2012, as both .obj and .dae formats.

The .obj imported fine (once I figured out how to export the texture maps), and renders nicely (except perhaps for the eyes – what’s going on there?!).

poser obj2

Poser Pro 2012 render, .obj

The Collada import has lost the maps for the eyelashes, and suffers from the same spiky-polygon syndrome as in the Vue render above.  Oh, and it’s lost the pose…

poser render

Poser Pro 2012 render, .dae

In short, I think, any tips on Collada export would be more than welcome!

A Poser User’s Perspective on Daz|Studio

Posted in Software with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2012 by seedydeedee

Daz|Studio Week 1 Review

Since I’ve failed miserably to get the DSON importer working for Poser, and if I want any hope of being able to use the latest Genesis figures from DAZ, then I think I’m going to have to bite the bullet and figure out how to get better renders in Daz|Studio. So I’ve been giving it a bit more attention this week, and trying various things out.  So far, as a hardcore Poser user, here’s what I like and dislike about Daz|Studio 4 Pro, now that I’ve finally given it a chance.  I realise some of those dislikes may be just that I haven’t found out how to do something yet, or just that I’m so used to another way of doing it.

Likes

  1. Autofit generation 4 clothes to Genesis
  2. Mix and match application of all available Genesis shapes to Genesis figure (male, female, gorilla etc…!)
  3. Really easy and fast Depth of Field
  4. View the scene through its lights.  Brilliant idea.
  5. Uberenvironment (not sure if this is a like or dislike really, since I don’t like anything I’ve done without it)

Dislikes

  1. The library structure
    1. OK, so it’s got a search function.  Every 3D app that manages bulk content should have one.  But to find anything by navigation just seems unnecessarily difficult.  I seem to have different content available for the same libraries based on what I click on the left of the navigation menu. I think I even saw a warning message – sorry, I mean ‘tip’ about it on one of the screens.
    2. Except for my manually-added Poser Runtimes, nothing’s where I expect it to be, and while the ‘Smart Content’ tab seems more akin to what I’m used to in Poser, 99% of my content isn’t in it.  Am I missing something?  Well obviously, yes I am – but what do I need to do to get the rest of my content into those sensible and familiar categories?
  2. You have to switch between tabs for standard tasks
    1. e.g. posing and shaping.  Why are they two different options on two different tabs in the same top-level tab?  Poser handles all this on one screen. It took me a while to figure out why I couldn’t do all this on the loading / creating screen.  I just thought all my posing options were missing / not imported!
    2. Separate tab for rendering.  I just want a  camera button at the top like the old Daz|Studio used to have, and Poser has always had.  I don’t want to be switching around all the time to do test renders.
  3. The library doesn’t save your selection from one tab to another
    1. When you’re in the middle of searching for / loading stuff, then you navigate to another room, your location in the library is lost, which just exacerbates number 1.
    2. The camera selection doesn’t seem to save.  As I switch between one tab and another, it seems to randomly switch between perspective view and my main rendering camera.
    3. On accessing the Lighting / Camera tab, and selecting a camera, I don’t expect to have to go BACK to the Loading / Creating tab to make sure that same camera is selected there as well before I can view the DOF planes in the viewport.  Surely selecting it for editing in the Lighting / Camera tab should select that camera?!

So in essence, I think my reservations are mostly around the content library and general UI layout.  The render results I’m getting with it are delivered in the sort of time you’d reasonably expect for the quality, so no issues there. Next, I’ll be testing export and seeing what I can do to get Daz|Studio scenes rendering in Vue and other nice render engines.  Wish me luck!

Here’s this week’s best render with DS so far – another one in the oven. I mean renderer. 😉

couple4 copy

My first Daz|Studio Render (that isn’t pants)

Posted in Artwork, Software with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2012 by seedydeedee

Daz|Studio is 3D posing, rendering and animation software that has been available for free for many years.  I’ve never been a fan.  I found Poser first, and have happily paid for upgrades to it since about 2004, and firmly believe it’s well worth the money.

I’ve used a lot of different 3D modelling and rendering packages over the years, and like to think that most of my lighting / rendering skills are transferrable from one to another.  My main beef with Daz|Studio has always been that despite my knowledge, the best render I can achieve with its native render engine is along the lines of the below:

However, I came across a really good tutorial today, involving the uberenvironment shader, along with 3-point lighting + spotlight.  The results are below.  The hair took a while to render, but the results are good enough for me to possibly consider adding Daz|Studio to my render arsenal after all these years.

 

Maybe…

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