Yearly Archives: 2019

An Overview of Strand Based Hair in DAZ Studio – 3D Shenanigans #20

On today’s live stream, I’m giving you an overview on how to get started with the new Strand Based Hair feature in DAZ Studio 4.11. It’s only been released to the public yesterday, and we have not many details on how to create handsome looking hair with this tool, but I’ll let you in on what I’ve been able to gather so far, including how dForce fits into the picture.

I’ve made a quick animation with this tool this removing, here’s a standalone version of it.

Step into The Light – 3D Shenanigans #19

On this episode of 3D Shenanigans, I’m creating a character animation in which our protagonist steps out of the dark and is gradually revealed with light. We’ll do the walk, light and camera animation in DAZ Studio, then add my Patreon Freebie fog assets to the scene in Photoshop.

Join me on this creative journey with plenty of user input, and a technical hitch halfway through.

Products I’m using in this demo

Building a Kitchen Comic Scene in DAZ Studio – 3D Shenanigans #18

In this live event I’ll show you how to build the above funny kitchen scene. It’s simple with several subtle nuances, such as lighting and expressions. I’ll explain how to add your characters, pose them, adjust the camera, and add appropriate (comical) expressions. Then we’ll adjust the lights of the set and add our own to add separation between the figures and the background.

It’s got a little bit of everything.

Adjusting Audio Peak Levels in Adobe Premiere Pro

When I delivered my previous audio book to ACX, I remember that one of their requirements was that the audio peak levels should come in at -3dB. I also remember that threw was a super easy way for me to do this in Premiere Pro, the software I use for editing my files. I wanted to do the same thing this week, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember how to dot it!

Consulting this website – as I do from time to time – I couldn’t find a note. Perhaps I didn’t write this vital part down the last time. Let me do it right away, now that I’ve found out how to do it (again).

My first though was that it must be an audio effect we drag onto the timeline in question. But that’s not what I wanted to do. I was happy with the dynamics, I didn’t need to do any compressing or filtering. Instead, it’s as easy as right-clicking on a clip in the timeline and selecting Audio Gain. We can also press the G shortcut to bring up this menu.

This will open a modal dialogue with several options.

The one I needed was Normalize Max Peak to -3dB. This will look through the selected clip(s), find the highest peak, and adjust it to the value of your choice. The All Peaks option below of it would do the same for every single clip on the timeline. While powerful during video editing, it may not be what we want in this case of editing an audio book. It would likely make quieter passages louder at edit points, leading to an uneven listening experience.

To use this technique with various clips, either select all clips before running this command, or create a new sequence from your sequence and run the command on that.

Larry Jordan has written an article that explains more in-depth what this dialogue does. Thank for sharing, Larry!

Animating sunlight (SS Time) in DAZ Studio

I’ve recently explained how to make use of the realistic sun disk in DAZ Studio. I’ve talked about how to make this thing visible and how to set it to mood/effect you want, and I’m pleased with the results. This workflow works great for still images, but for animations, it quickly becomes clear that the SS Time parameter under Render Settings – Environment cannot be keyframed.

Or can it? Looks like it can, thanks to a little helper tool called the Sun Dial. Let me show you how it works.

Continue reading Animating sunlight (SS Time) in DAZ Studio

Urban Future Fly-Through Animation Workflow

I’ve rendered this quick trailer for my 3D Shenanigans Live Stream, using Stonemason’s Urban Future 6 set the other day. I did this really quick, and there are some rough edges to this animation. It only took 8 hours to render the full sequence plus a bit of post production in Premiere.

I thought I’d share my multi-machine workflow and pipeline with you, indulging some tips of what I might do different next time.

Continue reading Urban Future Fly-Through Animation Workflow

Creating a Sunset Portrait in DAZ Studio – 3D Shenanigans #17

In this live event I’ll show you how to create a realistic sunset portrait in DAZ Studio. I’ll explain how to use the Sun and Sky option in the render settings to tweak the time of day, how to make the sun visible and how to move it into position.

Finally we’ll add a character who’s looking at the sunset, dressed in one of Biscuit’s hair and dForce outfits. I’ll even discuss some Tonemapping options to get a handsome looking image without postwork.

Because after all, it’s my birthday today 🙂

How to switch Photoshop from Timecode to Frames

The Photoshop Timeline is a mysterious tool. You can open it from Window – Timeline, or you can open an image sequence/video clip and it’ll dock itself at the bottom of the viewport. By default it displays a sequence in a timecode of sorts, but it’s not the SMPTE or EBU timecode we’ve come to know and love. Instead, it’s something along the lines of seconds and frames, in a format like 02:02f or in other words, something NOBODY in the world would ever use.

But hey, they’re Adobe, and by default they can do anything they want (while extorting money from casual users). I don’t use Photoshop for physical film or video editing, but it’s a nice tool to have when converting rendered image sequences into video clips. I’ve described how to do this here.

When I work this way, I’m more interested in the frame count rather than some made up timecode-thing. I’ve found out how to change this in Photoshop CC, and thought I’d share it with you.

Continue reading How to switch Photoshop from Timecode to Frames

Atmospheric Fog Planes in DAZ Studio – 3D Shenanigans #16

In this live event I’ll show you how to use Atmospheric Fog Planes in DAZ Studio. They can be used as a subtle effect to make your scenes more realistic. Fog Planes can fill the screen, or they can be used as prop splats to show steam rising in parts of your image. I’ll show your both versions, explain the workflow in setting up your planes, and how to create them yourself with Carrara.

For this demonstration, I’m using Stonemason’s Urban Future 6.

All my Patreon Supporters get access to the fog assets I’m creating in this stream.

FIXED: Creative Cloud reports “out of space” although there is enough

I’ve recently migrated my cloud files over to Adobe’s Creative Cloud. I’m currently getting 20GB of space without device limitations. I made the move because Dropbox recently introduced a limitation of the amount of “new devices” that can be linked with a free account, which meant I couldn’t link my new Z600 and Z800 workstations on my render farm.

All of a sudden I see this notice that some files could not be synced anymore, telling me I’d have to clear up some space in Creative Cloud. No problem I thought, several image sequences had been converted into videos so I deleted them. My Finder window reported a correct 9GB of used space, but the Creative Cloud app still reported in excess of 20GB. What was going on?

Turns out when you delete files from Creative Cloud, they go into an invisible Trash – not on your local computer, but – you’ve guessed it – “in the cloud”. That space counts towards your quota, and unless this is deleted, new files won’t sync across your devices.

That’s different from Dropbox, where deleted files could be accessed outside the storage quota for 30 days, before being deleted permanently. With Creative Cloud, we’ll have to do this manually (but of course, nobody tells you this)… now that I’ve found how how to do it, let me show you how.

Continue reading FIXED: Creative Cloud reports “out of space” although there is enough