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How to import Paper Libraries in Corel Painter

I’ve recently picked up a fantastic deal on Corel Painter 2021 through Humble Bundle. If you’re fast you might still be able to pick it up yourself from here. Among the many goodies were various brushes and paper packs that can be installed. While the papers had an automatic installer for Windows, it was different …

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Things I always forget on a fresh installation of Photoshop

Every few years I end up with having to re-create my favourite workspace configuration in Photoshop. Without fail, I forget where some settings are hidden that I’ve grown rather fond of. Here’s a quick refresher about how to change those. Hide those scroll bars By default, the document is surrounded by scroll bars. It’s clutter …

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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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Adding an Effect to a Source Clip in Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro has an interesting feature I’ve just discovered: applying effects to source clips. This is helpful if every sequence you’ve created needs an overall colour correction and you’ve forgotten to apply it during editing. Rather than fix 20 clips that reference the same footage, we can fix the footage and the effect will be …

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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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How to use Emojis and Special Characters in Photoshop

I keep forgetting how to use Emojis in Photoshop. It’s not all that intuitive, so while it’s fresh in my head, let me make a note of it here. This works for both Emojis as well as special characters. The key thing to remember is that an Emoji is just a regular character typed with …

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Creating soft shadows with Movable Lights in Unreal Engine

I’ve just figured out a small mystery that I thought I’d share with you. It’s about enabling soft shadows in Unreal Engine, specifically with the Movable Light type. It’s the “expensive to calculate” variety, especially when enabling soft shadows. I’d like to use them to get real time good looking shadows for still images and …

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Recipe for Jay’s Belgian Waffles

I found this as a dirty printout in the kitchen and thought I’d best make a note of it before it disintegrates forever. This simple recipe makes around 12 waffles. Feel free to half the amount if you need less: 2 cups of All-Purpose Flower 4tsp of Baking Powder 1/2 tsp of Salt 1/4 cup …

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Pixel Crab: Creating a Voxel Effect in Blender

Voxels have become a popular way to show off pixelated 3D shapes. For years we’ve been trying to make things look smooth and natural, but with retro being a thing right now, voxels can do the same for your pristine 3D objects that Lomo filters can to pristine photographs: make them look a little weird …

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Rectifying your Keyboard Layout in CLIP Studio Paint (fixes shortcut issues)

I’ve been puzzled by something for the longest time: when I inspect my keyboard shortcuts in CLIP Studio Paint, what is defined does not match what I need to press for it to happen. Conversely, defining a custom shortcut will sometimes show a combination I haven’t pressed. That’s just “normal” the Bizarro World of CSP! …

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Creating Keyed Properties in DAZ Studio

I’ve come across Keyed Properties by accident, and was thrilled with what we can use them for. Essentially they let us create a custom slider, whose position behaves much like a little timeline. This has huge potential for anything from an array of facial morphs to various poses or even full body moprhs. It’s the …

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