3D Archives

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

How to do Projection Painting in Substance Painter

I’ve just figured out how to do Projection Painting in Substance Painter, and thought I’d best make a note of it. The magic happens inside a regular Paint Layer. It works in both paint mode and projection mode, but to transfer colour information, we’ll need to switch into Projection Mode. With your paint layer selected, …

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How to change the Texture Stencil in Blender

Blender can do projection painting with textures that can be used as stencils. It’s super handy when it comes to transferring 2D images onto 3D objects. All we need to do is load in a texture, then rub it onto our objects in either Vertex or Texture Paint mode, as well as the new Sculpt …

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Creating Fluid Simulations in Blender

A while ago I watched a nice video by CG Cookie about pouring some coffee into a cup in Blender. It’s a great starter video, even though I found it really tough to follow when I tried it for the first time. I thought I had made some notes on the process back then, but …

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How to import Morph Targets into Blender

Blender has this habit of being a little different then perhaps any other 3D app. While it can deal with morph targets, they’re called something different and it’s entirely un-obvious how to bring them in (hint: it’s NOT the import option, nor in Edit Mode). I’ve just figured out how to do it and thought …

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Creating something like “decals” in Blender

Many render engines have the concept of decals. Those are texture projections that can be thrown onto existing objects without having to amend the actual texture files. Footsteps and bullet holes in video games are examples of decals. I’m not sure if Cycles or Eevee have this concept natively, but there’s a relatively easy way …

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How to change the length of a Timeline in Unreal Engine

Timelines are behind a lot of the animation magic in Unreal Engine Blueprints. I’ve been implementing one to make my plants grow on Jay’s Farm, but I needed a functionality that would let me change the duration of my parent timeline with a variable. That way different seeds could grow with different rates. There’s no …

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How to avoid issues with Recent Files in Premiere Pro

There has been an issue with Premiere Pro with the list of “Recent Files” for many years that I’ve thankfully only experienced recently. It’s that list of recently opened projects that is shown both on the home page and under Files – Recent. On my system, it appears that files I’ve just worked on are …

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Frame Width vs Focal Length in DAZ Studio

We had an interesting discussion on my private Discord server the other day, about the difference between changing the frame width and changing the focal length. At first glace, both options appear to do the same in the viewport. However there’s an important difference and implication on other parameters as you setup your scene. The …

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What other 3D tools do I use alongside DAZ Studio

I had a great question from a viewer today (hi Doomguy) about what additional tools I use when working with Daz Studio. It’s an often overlooked aspect of the software that Daz Studio by itself can only do so much, and external tools can help build better scenes, work faster or aid in making adjustments …

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Rendering with transparency in Unreal Engine

Like everything in Unreal Engine, rendering a subject with a transparent background isn’t a one-click affair. It’s doable though, thanks to a neat tip by Alexzander The Geek on YouTube. In the above screenshot, the background was added in Photoshop, exactly how I like it! Here’s how to do it in principle: enable transparency in …

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How to use the Movie Render Queue in Unreal Engine

EPIC have recently introduced something called the Movie Render Queue to aide us in exporting stills and animations from Unreal Engine. The previous method (Movie Scene Capture) was a tad clunky, and is – as we live in such dramatically fast times – already being deprecated. Although Movie Render Queue is working great, it’s not …

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How to import multiple OBJ files in DAZ Studio

I’m currently importing large amounts of OBJ files into DAZ Studio. I was thinking of making my life a little more streamlined and came across a super handy script by the very prolific and talented Jaques aka mcasual. He has something called Load Many OBJ, which does exactly what I need. Once installed, the script …

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How to export multiple objects from Blender as OBJ or FBX

Blender has a handy script built-in that lets us export multiple selected objects in our scene as separate objects. I remember mentioning this principle in a beefy article focussing on Unreal Engine workflow, but thought it would be neat to turn it into its own article. Here it is! Let’s assume we have several objects …

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Combining Texture Maps with Blender and SimpleBake

In this article I’ll show you how to combine various UV islands that are spread across multiple UDIMs onto a single texture set. Blender has this capability built-in, but an add-on called SimpleBake makes our job even easier. For this example I’m using the the base Character Creator model. Many thanks to Brian for showing …

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How to combine two Polygroups in ZBrush

It’s a tad difficult to see in the screenshot, but our mission is to combine both legs of my character into the same polygroup. It’s an extremely simple task, but pretty much impossible to figure out in ZBrush if you apply logic. There doesn’t seem to me a menu option either, so by piecing together …

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Turning one character mesh into another with R3DS Wrap

I’m currently evaluating a seriously exciting app called R3DS Wrap, also known as The Russian 3D Scanner. It does something rather difficult: it takes the existing geometry of a base mesh and wraps it around another one with a different topology. Imagine wrapping a sphere around a cone, a jacket around a figure or a …

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How to import multiple OBJ files in ZBrush

Ah yes ZBrush. The app that makes difficult things easy, and the basics almost impossible. Here’s one such example of ingenious software design: the simple act of importing OBJ files, let alone multiple ones. There’s so File – Import dialogue like on literally every other 3D app. Instead we use the import option in the …

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Turning Material Zones into Vertex Colour in Blender and ID Maps in Substance Painter

I was wondering if I could use Blender to make my Substance Painter selections a little easier. I wanted to avoid importing the material zones into Substance, while retaining this information at the same time. Turns out there is a way to do this, but it needs a little manual labour. Josh explains it in …

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Creating ID Maps from Polygroups in ZBrush

I’ve been investigating Substance Painter and how to best select parts of a model. One such option is by using an ID Map, essentially a flood-fill of random colours per material zone. Wendy very kindly brought this to my attention in a recent stream (thanks, Wendy!), and before I forget, here’s how to do it. …

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Projection Painting in ZBrush with Spotlight

I remember making notes on the projection painting tool in ZBrush back in 2013, it’s called Spotlight. It’s very powerful and yet another fun way for us to project textures onto 3D objects. Last night I found the above excellent tutorial by Kevvfx and thought I’d take some notes on how to get started with …

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