I’ve been fascinated with the idea of using my Genesis 3 characters with newer Genesis 8 figure. There are some benefits and good outfits that are not backwards compatible without fiddling. So I came across two products that address this: RiversoftArt has various products that convert G3 to G8 and back, and then there’s the one made by the dynamic duo that is Zev0 and Discobob.
I have no idea how this magic is working under the hood, but essentially you pick a character, press a button, some shaping approximations happen in your scene and a few moments later you have one (or various) morph(s) in your G8 figure that turn it into the same shape as the original G3 morphs.
I was nuts and bought BOTH versions to take a look at the differences. If you’re interested in the differences, here’s what I found out.
The first product I bought was by RiversoftArt. In fact it’s a collection of four products I bought while they were on sale, going from G3 to G8 (male and female) and back. That’s a neat idea, bringing G8 characters back one generation. I can see the appeal, having heavily invested into the G3 generation. I draw the line at G2 so I haven’t tried that product, but know that Riversoft offer a G2 to G8 converter. I trust it works the same as the versions I have tried.
There are two ways to use these tools: either by selecting two characters in the scene, or by selecting multiple characters to do batch conversions. You’ll find these converters under Utilities.
The menu is pretty straightforward, and there’s an extensive PDF manual included too. Here’s how it works:
- pick an output directory (Library)
- add a character file (a preset you’ve saved from your character)
- adjust options
- hit execute and watch the magic
To match the shapes of the old figure, there are several options to fiddle with: method and tolerance. From what I gather, the method is the algorithm that’s used under the hood to match the shape of the old character. The tolerance is the approximation value used in that process. Apparently the lower the tolerance is, the better the results will be, at the expense of speed.
An average character conversion takes between 2-3 minutes on my system. Sadly the results are a mixed bag for me. On regular human characters with little differences to the base figure, things look OK – especially for the body shape. However on even slightly stylised characters, the eyes come out seriously problematic. Here’s a comparison between a custom character, as a G3 version (original) and G8 version (converted):
This was the best result I could get, after hours of trying. Before using a different conversion setting, it is necessary to manually delete an existing morph in the target library (even though I quite clearly see an overwrite option in the above dialogue). This is not something I’d trust average users would know, adding a level of complexity that I’d rather didn’t exist.
Apart from the eyes, the head shape and the rest of the body morphs worked fine. It’s a nice touch to be able to go back a generation, and there’s an option to even bring Genesis 2 characters to Genesis 8 with an additional product (all of which come up when you search for “character converter” on the DAZ Store).
Materials are also converted, including character preset icons, so you have the same artwork in a “converted” folder of your choice. However, even on regular human (non-stylised) characters, eyes are not converting great – and that’s a deal breaker for me. Here’s a comparison of a close-up render. The original G8 character is on the left, the converted G3 figure on the right.
In the developer’s defence, the manual does state that this script is not perfect, and gives tips on how to minimise such issues. Sadly it just didn’t work for me. I’ve even contacted RiversoftArt and got a very quick response, which is always greatly appreciated. I’d love it if we could read the PDF manuals that come with products BEFORE we make a purchase, but that’s more of a a DAZ Store issue.
Zev0 & Discobob
The second converter I’ve tried is the one by Zev0 and Discobob, aptly called X-Transfer (Module 1). The title hints at expansion modules in the future, and I’d love to take a look at those if/when they come out.
This converter only transfers G3 to G8 (not back), but does both male and female figures in one product. It does not transfer materials (as far as I know), but that’s no problem as G3 material presets can be applied to G8 manually. The menu is extremely simple, and the included PDF documentation is excellent. Here’s how it works:
- load in a Genesis 3 figure
- favourite the moprhs you’d like to have converted (on the Parameters tab, click the little heart icon on the slider)
- start the script (it’s under Utilities)
- pick a Content Directory (Library folder) for the output
- pick the morphs from the list
- hit transfer
There’s also an option to browse directly to the directory where your new moprhs are stored, which brings up a Windows Epxlorer/Mac Finder window. It takes about 30 seconds to convert a character (that’s 4x faster than the Riversoft version), during which time some magic is happening in the scene.
When the script is done, you’ll find new morphs under Actor/Xtransfer. The results are insanely good! I’ve converted the same toon character as above, and the conversion looks exactly like the G3 version. Eyes have no issues at all. 😃
Here are two full size renders of another character that converted flawlessly in under 40 seconds. After the conversion, I applied a material preset I’ve saved earlier on a fresh Genesis 8 figure, then dialled up the morph. The hair was available for both figures, the bikini was auto-fitted. Click to enlarge.
I’m super excited about the X-Transfer converter! It’s simple to use and integrates great with my comic workflow. It’s exactly the tool I was looking for to keep custom characters and use clothing without having to deal with auto-fit issues. I literally get best of both worlds: my large G3 library, and the new G8 library on the same looking characters.
Products I’ve tested: