3D Archives

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

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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How to accurately rotate your model in ZBrush

Being the artistic tool ZBrush is, it often felt vague to me when it comes to accurate values. I had no idea how to rotate a model to exactly 45 degrees for example, until I came across this video by Joseph Drust earlier today. Turns out all we need to do is hold down the …

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Stencil Painting in Blender

Texturing 3D objects is surprisingly easy in Blender. Essentially we’re using a 2D image that will be gently rubbed onto the surface of a 3D object, thereby creating a texture. Let me show you how to do it. Let’s use Blender’s default cube and any image of your choice. If you no longer have him …

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Projection Painting in Blender: The Basics

Blender allows us to project regular images onto 3D objects from any angle onto a temporary UV space, from which we can then transfer such projections onto the “real” UV space. If this sounds like science fiction, bear with me – it’s a tad complicated and I thought I’d take some notes while the process …

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How to create Joint Corrective Morphs (JCMs) in DAZ Studio

Joint Corrective Morphs (or JCMs) is the principle of driving morph sliders if a particular joint rotation reaches a certain value. Say a bicep muscle that needs to flex when an arm is bent 90 degrees in one direction. It’s a bit like an “if this then that” statement, interpolated depending on what value is …

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How to add an image in your post on the DAZ Forum

As part of the DAZ Season Pass, we have a dedicated section on the DAZ Forum that’s only accessible for members. I hang out there freuqently and answer questions, but becasue it’s been a while since I’ve frequented the forums, I had completely forgotten how to upload an image and present it inline. It’s a …

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Animating a Slinky in DAZ Studio

I’ve made myself an animated walking Slinky last week! I thought it would be nice to have him join the other figures on my stream overlay. It seems a simple-ish feat to do, but since I’ve built him from scratch in Blender, then rigged and animated him in DAZ Studio, there were quite a few …

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How to create a Controller in DAZ Studio

Controllers are great little helper dials that can perform a number of functions and make our posing/animation life a little easier. They’re akin to Blender’s Drivers, yet implemented very differently in DAZ Studio. The idea is the same though: make one slider do multiple things, and let DAZ Studio calculate interpolated values. Let’s take a …

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Adjusting Weight Maps for rigged figures in DAZ Studio

In my previous article I’ve explained how to rig a simple cylinder in DAZ Studio using the Figure Setup Tab. While my little cylinder bends, it does so with rather sharp deformations at the intersections to its other parts. The geometry seems to collapse, and in a real life scenario we may find that some …

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Rigging Basics in DAZ Studio with the Figure Setup Tab

Believe it or not, the above picture is the result of trying and failing to understand rigging in DAZ Studio for years. I’ve had many attempts at understanding the official documentation on this subject, but severe lack of knowledge and understanding have kept me from transferring this information into my brain. Like many things, it’s …

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How to disable Smooth Shading in DAZ Studio

Smooth Shading is enabled by default for the Iray Uber Shader. This is in contrast to most 3D modelling packages, which disable this feature by default. While Smooth Shading works best for most organic objects, we may occasionally need the ability to disable this feature in DAZ Studio. Some objects are meant to have that …

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Importing a whole Synty Level from Unreal Engine into DAZ Studio

The other day I thought it would be a hoot to bring in some of the wonderfully modelled low-res Synty Assets and use them together with the high-res characters in DAZ Studio. With access to the source OBJ files this worked out rather well, but it’s a time consuming process importing, shading and saving each …

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How to disable the News Popup in Hexagon

Although I had decided to find the news popup on every Hexagon start “charming”, it wasn’t until this week that I got a tip from one of my supporters on how to turn it off. I must admit that it does get in the way for quick fixes. Here’s how to do it: start Hexagon …

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