3D Archives

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

How to create Material Presets in DAZ Studio

Material Presets in DAZ Studio describe the surfaces of your 3D objects. A simple object may only have one material zone, but more complex objects can have several. These zones are also known as Shading Domains, which are setup when the object is created in a 3D modelling application.

Material Presets are closely related to Shaders, in fact they work with very similar concepts. The difference is that a Shader describes a single surface, whereas a Material Preset describes which Shader is applied to which part of an object, or more accurately, which Shading Domain shall be rendered with which Shader.

While you can apply a Shader to any object’s surface, you cannot necessarily apply any Material Preset to any object: Material Presets are object specific, whereas Shaders are not.

Let’s take a closer look at Material Presets in DAZ Studio, how to set them up and how to save them to your library.

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How to create a 3Delight Shadow Catcher in DAZ Studio

Cat-CompleteSometimes we need to render images that include shadows without objects to cast them on. In multi-pass rendering for example, where we may have a background and would like to render a figure separately, the figure’s shadows can only be cast if the background is rendered at the same time.

It’s easy to do by creating a plane primitive, have our character walk on that, and turn it transparent. However, if an object is transparent, then no shadows are cast upon it. So how do we solve this conniving conundrum?

With DAZ Studio’s Shadow Catcher function of course! Shadow Catcher is a node (or brick) in Shader Mixer, which will let us do just that: render shadows without the plane underneath it. Let’s see how we can set this up.

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Club Monaco Textures for G2F Shoulder Dress – now available at Renderosity

Main-Promo

We’ve been hard at work on another texture set last week, and yesterday night it has been released: Club Monaco is now available – a set of 12 ravishing textures for the gorgeous G2F Shoulder Dress by kang1hyun (both available from Renderosity).

Club Monaco comes with 12 textures for the dress and 12 matching textures for the shoes.

I’m enjoying the team spirit Julia and I have going on these projects: she has a great eye for textures and patterns, and I’m the technical genius who makes it all work in DAZ Studio and Poser – not to mention creating those promo renders. It’s a bit addictive I don’t mind telling you 🙂

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How to use the Interactive Preview Renderer in DAZ Studio

DAZ Studio 4.7 introduced an auxiliary viewport option with an Interactive Preview Render feature. This is a new panel that can be docked anywhere in your workspace (or free-floating if you prefer). You can find it under Window – Panes (Tabs) – Aux Viewport.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 08.31.03

It looks and works much like the ordinary viewport in the middle, but at first glance it seems to have less options. Observe please: hover over the Aux Viewport to see the familiar camera selection and drawing style appear – they’re just hidden to clean up the interface when no mouse is in the vicinity. Very handy!

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How to fix poke through in Poser with the Morphing Tool

Poser has an ingenious weapon against one of the biggest annoyances of 3D clothing: poke through. It’s caused by the clothing intersecting with another figure (the character, or another piece of clothing), causing undesirable effects. Take this example below: Roxy strikes a pose, and somehow her shirt and pants reveals her skin in several places. …

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How to use the Wardrobe Wizard in Poser

Wardrobe Wizard is a Python script that has been included with Poser since version 8. It allows us to convert clothing that was made for one particular figure and use it on another using a set of intricate calculations.

By default, Wardrobe Wizard will allow conversions between most Poser characters (Rex, Roxy, Simon, Sydney, etc) – but there are add-ons available that allow conversions to and from Genesis, Dawn, Victoria 4 and many others.

The script was not created by SmithMicro, but instead by PhilC who kindly sells these add-ons on his website http://philc.net (the link is also available from within Poser).

Let’s see how Wardrobe Wizard works in Poser Pro 2014.

For this example I’m using Rex’s Polo Shirt and Shorts. The items fit Rex nicely (right), but for Roxy they’re just a little bit too big (left). Just like in real like I guess 🙂

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 10.14.54

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How to create symmetric patterns in Marvelous Designer

Symmetric Paste

Most 3D apps usually have some kind of symmetry function that allows you to make a change on the right side of the model, and as if by magic it appears on the left hand side of the model too. It’s an important feature to have.

Marvelous Designer works a bit different because we don’t “model” objects as such. Instead we create 2D patterns. So how can we tell the app that a pattern is symmetric?

There are two tools that can help us accomplish this tricky task: Symmetric Paste and Unfold. Let’s examine both options.

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How to move the pivot point of an object in DAZ Studio

The pivot point is the location at which the universal manipulator gizmo is shown on a 3D object. From this point you can usually move the object, or rotate it around this very point. Blender calls this the “origin point”, while Carrara calls it the “hot point”. I’m not sure if DAZ Studio refers to it as anything in particular.

The location of the pivot point is of strategic importance, and it may not always be where you want it to be. New primitives and figures usually have it at the centre bottom, which works well for positioning the whole figure.

It can however be undesirable when you’re trying to rotate an object (like the cube below) around its centre. We’d need the pivot point to be at a different position to pull this off.

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 16.19.50

But how do we change its location in DAZ Studio? Let’s find out.

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Murano Textures for Seana Dress – now available at Renderosity

 

Murano-Main-Promo

Inspired by our Bayside Bikini Textures, Julia has been busy last week and made some textures for the beautiful Seana Dress by Nikisatez. It is with great pleasure that I give you our second ever Rednerosity product: Murano Textures for Seana Dress!

The dress fits all Genesis 2 Female characters, such as Victoria 6, Stephanie 6, Aiko 6 and all the other Generation 6 figures. Take’em out for a stroll this summer with a pretty dress and 8 new additional textures from us 🙂

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How to lock objects in Carrara

It happens to me time and time again: I want to select an object in a busy scene, move it from a far away view, and it turns out I’m actually moving something else – perhaps the ground plane, or vital objects in the background. Wouldn’t it be nice to lock objects that you never …

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How to reset surface materials in DAZ Studio

When texturing an existing model, I find it helpful to start from scratch and apply a simple basic material to an object. The same is true if I’ve been modifying something so much that I forgot where things went awry, and a “reset surfaces” button would be handy. The good news is that there is …

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How to reload image textures in DAZ Studio

When you edit textures outside of DAZ Studio and save them, they won’t show up on your models until you reload them. In DAZ Studio, the command to do this can be found on the Surfaces Tab. Find the context menu at the top right corner of the tab (three lines and a triangle). Select it …

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How to subdivide an object in Hexagon

Hexagon doesn’t really have a subdivide function that quadruples the number of faces of an object (like ZBrush for example). But there is a trick we can use to add this functionality. Take Hexagon’s cube primitive here. All we can do is to specify one without subdivisions. If we need more, we’re stuck. There is …

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How to reload image textures in Poser

When you edit textures outside of Poser and save them, they won’t show up on your models until you reload them. In Poser, the command to do this can be found under the Render Menu – Reload Textures. I don’t think there’s a keyboard shortcut for this. Poser has the option to display Photoshop PSD files …

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How to populate the Custom Tools Palette in Hexagon

On the very right hand side of the Hexagon’s toolbar is the Custom section. It sits there unnoticed and unpopulated by default. We can turn it into a handy modelling companion by populating it with a few select tools that our overworked brains can never remember where to find. To add your own tools, simply …

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How to use sunlight and moonlight in Carrara

Carrara can provide realistic sunlight and moonlight as ambient light sources. To use either of them we need to set the scene’s atmosphere for those to come to life. Here’s how to do that. From a default scene that comes with a distant light, select the scene itself, and under the Atmosphere properties, choose either Sky or …

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Slicing and Dicing: Tessellation Tools in Hexagon

Tessellation is a rather abstract term in the 3D world. All it means is to “add more edges” to a polygon. There always seems to be a complex technical term for things, and a more human one (like “polygon” and “face”). Tessellation can be used to subdivide an object in controlled places. Say you had a …

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How to apply Materials across all parts of an object in Poser

The Material Room in Poser can be a tad intimidating. It actually looks more complicated than it is: knowing what does what is key to success here. Today I’ve setup some new materials for a dress which had several material zones. Applying my maps to the first zone, it would be very tedious to apply …

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How to apply textures in Blender (Cycles)

Adding textures in Blender depends on which render engine is used. In this article I’ll discuss how to do this for Cycles. I’ll explain how to do this with Blender Render in this article.

First we need to make sure that Cycles is our render engine. Select it at the top of the app. This will change how materials work, so if you’ve got anything interesting setup with Blender Render, you’ll have to rework it all.

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Now select the object you’d like to assign a texture to and find the Materials Tab in the properties palette (it’s the little orange round checkerboard icon). By default the material only has a diffuse colour assigned.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 18.16.28

Under Surface, select Use Nodes. This will require us to work with the Node Editor in another viewport. I understand that there’s a different way to setup materials and textures in Cycles, but I find the Node Editor much easier to grasp. 

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Getting started with UV-Unwrapping in Blender

Unwrapping UVs is tough – no matter in which application (apart from ZBrush perhaps, where everything else is really difficult). Here’s how to get started with UV Unwrapping in Blender.

Load an object and make sure you’re in Edit Mode. This is only allowed with a single object selected. Disable any subsurface or smoothing that’s applied on the object so that we have less vertices to work with.

Next switch to the UV Editing workspace (UV View on the left, 3D view on the right). It looks something like this:

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 17.13.19On the right hand side, make sure the Shading/UV tab is showing – it contains some vital tools for this endeavour. Choose edge selection and start marking seams for your unwrap. It’s easy to ALT-RIGHT-CLICK to select edge loops, or use the Select Menu for more funky options. 

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How to use the 2D Symmetry Tool in Hexagon

Hexagon has a 2D Symmetry Tool that allows us to mirror curves and other 2D shapes. It works a treat, it’s just not very intuitive to use. Try it out: select the curve or 2D object you’d like to mirror and select the tool. It’s under Lines, the icon with two quarter circles and a line in the middle. You’ll …

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Getting started with Bullet Physics in Poser

RigidBody2

Bullet is an open-source physics engine which was integrated with the release of Poser 10 and Poser Pro 2014. It allows us to use soft and rigid body dynamics in our scenes.

Rigid bodies are solid objects that do not deform when they collide with other objects. Think of bowling pins that are hit by a ball. Soft bodies on the other hand deform upon impact, like cloth or rubber.

I had always assumed that Bullet Physics has something to do with projectiles being fired from guns, perhaps for use in game engines. Turns out that it’s just the name of the engine itself, which is also part of many other 3D applications like Blender.

Here’s a quick overview on how to use this thing in Poser.

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How to create primitives in Poser

Primitives are simple 3D objects such as cubes, spheres, planes and cylinders. Most 3D applications can create them – but Poser cannot. Therefore, trying to hunt for a menu such as Object – Create Primitive will be in vain. Hence, you cannot create a primitive in Poser. At least not that I know of. There …

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How to import 3D objects into Manga Studio 5

There is a (completely undocumented) way of importing 3D objects into Manga Studio 5 scenes. While you won’t find this described in the handbook, or even anywhere on the menu, it does work – if you know how. This works with both the EX version and the non-EX version of Manga Studio 5. It’s as …

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How to remove old renders in Poser

Poser likes to keep old renders around in what it calls the Render Cache. It allows you to pull up a previous render and compare it to another one. In the Render Tab, at the bottom of the screen, you’ll find a black and a white triangle icon that let you select previous renders. But …

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How to join or connect objects in Hexagon

The Bridge Tool allows us to join two parts of an object together, either by selecting polygons or vertices. Simply select the parts of each object to be joined, then hit the Bridge Tool under Vertex Modelling. You can also select the Bridge Tool, then select both faces or points in question and hit validate. Predictable …

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How to use the Edge Tools in Hexagon

We can do rather amazing things using the Edge Tools in Hexagon (under Vertex Modelling). The options are slightly confusing though: The first option is a combination of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th option. You can create a new edge, extract inwards, outwards, filet around or move existing edges of your object. Here’s how to use it: select …

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Bayside Textures for Victoria 6 String Bikini – now available at Renderosity

Main-Bayside-Promo

I’m very pleased to say that a texture pack I’ve made for the V6 String Bikini is now available on Renderosity.com! It’s called Bayside Textures, adding 12 beautiful new materials for both DAZ Studio and Poser users (the latter thanks to the DSON Importer).

This is my first ever Renderosity product – and hopefully not the last 😉

Most of the patterns were created in Manga Studio back in 2013, and it took me two years to turn this into a product. As my wife says, better late than never.

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How to change Node Selection Highlighting in DAZ Studio

When you hover over any object in your DAZ Studio scene, surfaces highlight orange by default. This is a nice feature, but it can get annoying when all you see is bright orange and you can’t see any other objects anymore.   DAZ Studio 4.7 and earlier In DAZ Studio 4.7 and prior, this behaviour …

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