Category Archives: 3D

My notes on 3D apps I use: ZBrush, Hexagon, DAZ Studio, Poser, Carrara and many others.

My first 24 Hours with the Unreal Engine

In my quest to take a look behind the scenes of how game engines work, I’ve decided to take a closer look at the Unreal Engine, more specifically UE 4.22.3. I had installed it a few weeks ago but other than launch a template or two, I didn’t do anything else with it. After my recent deep dive into Unity, I thought this would make for a nice comparison writeup.

Here’s how I experienced the first 24 hours with Unreal. I’ve even added a video at the end to show you a level that I’ve built. For this review I’ve been following this tutorial series by Paul Kind. He’s a wonderful teacher!

Continue reading My first 24 Hours with the Unreal Engine

DAZ Studio Render Speeds – The Results are in!

A while ago I’ve asked you all to download a test scene and see how fast it renders. Everyone’s got a different graphics card/RAM/CPU setup, and I was interested to see how DAZ Studio would perform with those varying configurations. After all, most “review” websites only put hardware under scrutiny using video games, and for many of us, that’s just not how we use our systems.

I must admit that I’ve been trying to write out a nice looking and well formatted table many a time, but it just never got done. It had always been my intention to share the results with everyone, so rather than keep you waiting and go through all the graphical pain of making a lovely looking spreadsheet, I’ll just share the raw data with you. I’ll also let you know how I interpret it in simple words, with the intention of finding the most cost effective configuration for working with DAZ Studio. Here it is – the Google Sheet we’ve all been waiting for:

This is a view-only link (I think), and additional submissions will be added from the form on my other article at the bottom.

What does this data mean?

From the looks of it, using DAZ Studio 4.11 in 2019, the fastest render results for the lowest amount of money can be achieved using any variation of the NVIDIA RTX 2080 card.

The only one faster is the RTX 2080 Ti, which aside from more RAM (11GB vs 8GB for the 2080) is also clocked slightly faster, resulting in faster render speeds. However, the price jump is remarkable for the Ti (almost double when compared to the non-Ti version), and in my opinion for DAZ Studio it’s just not worth it.

Continue reading DAZ Studio Render Speeds – The Results are in!

How to update Unreal Engine

Sometimes I can’t work out the simples things. Either I’m too stupid, or something that’s super obvious to developers is not necessarily obvious to the humans using it. One such things is the question, “how do we update the Unreal Engine”. I’ve just found out, and thought I’d share this nugget of information with you.

A few weeks ago, I had installed Unreal Engine 4.22.3 on my system, and it worked flawlessly. This week I got a notification that 4.23 has been released. I thought I’ll take a look, open the EPIC Launcher and hunt for an update option. It wasn’t there. I went to the website, found the download button, followed it, and was told that if I had the EPIC Launcher installed, it could all be done from there. But how? Where’s the upgrade or update button?

Well folks – here’s the thing: you can’t update Unreal Engine. It’s just not done that way.

Instead, you can install other versions in parallel to the existing version you’ve got installed, and remove versions you no longer need. This philosophy is often employed to ensure that current project don’t break when a new version of the engine is released. Very good! I love it! It’s like how Blender lets you install as many versions side by side as you want.

So in order to install the latest version of Unreal Engine next to the current version, all we have to do is click the yellow plus icon next to Engine Versions. This will create an additional slot for the new version, complete with download and launch options.

At the top right corner we can now choose to launch any version we like, as an additional shortcut. Another mystery solved!

My first 24 hours with Unity3D

I’ve heard so much about the Unity Game Engine, I’ve seen what people can build with it. Some of my favourite games use it, and it has long been on my list of things to “check out” if ever I have a few spare hours.

Turns out that time has come this Friday afternoon, and I thought I’d best take some notes on how it all went. In case you’re in the same boat, i.e. a total N00B at Unity, perhaps I can save you some time. I’ve previously installed and very briefly tested the Unreal Engine, and I’m usually good at figuring out how to make something work on a computer, so let’s see how it’s going with Unity.

For posterity, I’m using Unity 2019.2 in September 2019 here.

Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy. It wasn’t smooth. I’m not sure how much time I’d like to invest, no matter how awesome it might be after that long dark tunnel of awkwardness. In the end I did make a small project (linked below) and got the hang of the basics, but getting there wasn’t pleasant. Here’s how it all went for me.

Continue reading My first 24 hours with Unity3D

Converting aniBlocks into regular keyframes (and back)

In this quick tip I’ll show you how to convert an aniBlock into regular keyframes to make a change to the animation, then turn it back into an aniBlock for use with aniMate. The process is simple, yet not exactly obvious.

Enjoy!

Adjusting multiple values at the same time in Blender

In this quick tip I’ll show you a neat trick to enter the same value into multiple text fields in Blender. Works for keyboard input as well as using the mouse to adjust multiple sliders.

Enjoy!

Working with a Full Screen Viewport in Blender

In this quick tip I’ll show you how to go full screen AND immersive with Blenders viewport. I’ll explain how to remove the grey bar at the top and remove all tool shelves temporarily with a single click (or two).

Enjoy!

DAZ Studio 4.12 Beta – a Sneak Peek – 3D Shenanigans #25

On today’s stream I’ll take sneak-peek at the new features in the brand new beta version of DAZ Studio 4.12. It was released earlier this week, and it’s all about better animation tools: integrated features from GraphMate and KeyMate, and IK Chains inside a scene hierarchy.

The highlights in this version are:

  • overhaul of the regular timeline
  • integration of the KeyMate and GraphMate functionality
  • addition of IK Chain feature for regular scenes
  • Viewport Performance setting finally defaults to “best” rather than “none”

There’s a complete list of new features is here, and the full changelog can be found here.

You can download the beta from here (it installs in parallel to the release version and will not affect your current settings or library).

Patreon Supporters can get download the scene files from this stream here.

Many thanks to Mike Myers for suggesting this topic for today’s stream ☝️

Trying out Chocofur Asset Management for Blender 2.8 – 3D Shenanigans #24

In this episode I’ll try to install the Chocofur Asset Management add-on for Blender. It’s recently been updated to Blender 2.8, but right now not so easy to find on their website. Chocofur have lots of free assets to try out, perhaps we can work out how this works together.

I was unable to get this thing going during the live stream, so I’ve made another video the next day to explain how to make it work.

The podcast episode is only the second part, which contains the solution to this mind bending puzzle.