Winners and videos for the Cartoon Animator software’s annual ‘Animation at Work’ 2023 Contest.
The winner in Nandor Toth, from Hungary…
Winners and videos for the Cartoon Animator software’s annual ‘Animation at Work’ 2023 Contest.
The winner in Nandor Toth, from Hungary…
A new UserScript for Amazon Historical Prices. Useful for those tracking big purchases such as graphics cards over time, and months ahead of any possible purchase. Perhaps also useful for spotting trends (e.g. “a three-day discount, every six weeks”). The open-source code looks fine to me.
V3 to V4 pose converter, via DAZ Studio. For free, mostly… probably.
Does it work? I tried it. Here’s the step-by-step tutorial.
1. Get the free “V3/A3/GV3 Pose Transfer to G8F” script (choose the second updated .ZIP file) for DAZ. Then the free “G8F to V4/A4 Pose Transfer” script. You need to be signed in to the DAZ Forums and Renderosity to get these.
2. Unzip and combine the two script-sets into a sensibly named folder. Such as “V3 to V4 pose converter”, so you can find it under Scripts in the DAZ Library in future. Install the folder as you usually would. Load DAZ Studio. Check in Scripts inside the DAZ Library, to see the folder installed correctly.
3. In DAZ, find and load a V3 base figure to the scene. Go: Poser Library runtime (you linked it, right?) | Figures | DAZ People | V3.
4. Find and load a suitable V3 pose.
5. While you’re there, also load a standard V4.2 to the scene. I could not get the second DAZ script working with a plain V4. It must be V4.2.
6. Now go back up to the main DAZ runtime in the Library. Load a G8F in the same scene.
7. Drop all figures to the Floor, just in case (Select figure, Crtl + D) and space them out in the scene. Now save the scene for a ‘quickstart’ in future.
Start the V3 to G8 script. Once the script has started it will prompt to you select the hips of each figure. Once this is done, press OK.
8. The script is really quick. Once done, Ctrl + D to ‘drop to the floor’ again, just in case. Yes, G8F took the V3 pose…
This was where I found out that old V4 doesn’t work, and that V4.2 is required.
9. Now do the same with the G8 to V4 script. The result here with a V4.2 is fairly good, except for the “thumbs up” and the “elbow/thigh contact” which will need adjusting later.
10. Then go back into the Library Scripts and locate your Poser Format Exporter (aka PoserFormatExporter), which is still working in DAZ 4.21.x. This vital add-on script for working with Poser is currently paid at $7, but was free in the past for many years. You may already have it installed, or have got it in the distant past and can thus re-download it from your “Purchases” library at the DAZ Store.
Select V4.2 in the DAZ scene and use PoserFormatExporter to save out the V4 pose as a .PP2 file for Poser. I had success with the following settings…
11. Load Poser, load a v4.2 figure, then drag-drop your newly made .PP2 pose onto the figure. She will take the pose. Make some final small adjustments and save the pose into Poser natively.
Done. The result is far more accurate than a straight “drop a V3 pose on a V4.2” attempt. As you can see in the results seen below, where we have intersected feet/knees, fist hitting the head, no toe/foot bending, and one hand with scary ‘flying fingers’ which would take a lot of correcting. I suspect the fist is also bunched too tightly…
Nope, there’s no batch. It’s ‘one at a time’, as you need the old V3 pose on a V4.
Not tested with ‘M3 to G8F to M4’, but I guess that may be possible. The scripts are open text files, so they could be adjusted as needed in response to any error messages.
Yes, it’s another survey of the new goodies for Poser and DAZ Studio users, the first since my last survey — which was at the end of July 2023.
The big news in Poser is that the Mac version of Poser 13 has released, and in the very latest Poser (13.1.469) there are “real-time Comic Book Preview improvements”.
Space Station Construction Set for Poser.
5,000 years later, when humanity has moved on to colonise the galaxy… the space station might look like the new free Space Wreck for DAZ.
A generic future-hallway Terminal. Perhaps it could also be a robot charging-station, if you added a couple of cables. Although in the future the charging will likely be done constantly by under-floor induction, Dalek style.
A free Streamers Room with a sci-fi vibe. For DAZ and Poser, and also has an OBJ folder.
Could be paired with this free Funky Armchair…
A free levitating Ride-on HoverMower. Just the thing for mowing all those solarpunk ‘green rooftops’.
A free Horse drawn carriage. Possibly pulled by a steam-horse.
Aetherial Disruptor for DAZ. A giant steampunk/dieselpunk machine.
The Disruptor could be paired with the new Industrial Warehouse Filter Tanks.
Or the new Industrial Warehouse Monitor.
Wild West Outpost which could easily be retro-fitted for steampunk.
dForce Warrior Monk Outfit. Could also be an outfit for a snake charmer.
And here’s The Snake for DAZ Studio. Rigged, with morphs, skins and poses.
M3 Extreme for Poser. For use with M3 Low-res, so you can have an army of them in a scene.
Free, Fangs for P6 Jessi.
Toon Kids for Genesis 9 (poses ONLY).
Birthday Present Gift Boxes. Simple toony boxes.
DAV Yasaki for Genesis 9, a new semi-toon female with outfit.
Cartoonized for Genesis 9. Supposedly… “effortlessly transforms any character into a captivating cartoon version, all while preserving their distinctive features.” Most of it’s in the addition of big eyes, by the look of it.
Figures, poses and clothes:
The Sleuth, now updated for Genesis 8.1.
A free Merlin for Apollo Maximus, Make your old Apollo Maximus look like Merlin the wizard.
Free Fluffy High Heel Sandals.
Free High Heels and associated Pose for La Femme for Poser.
V4 graft for Genesis 9… “Use V4 MAT poses and/or textures on Genesis 9. This is a wardrobe piece that allows you to use V4 textures and full material poses on G9”. Free, not tested by me as yet.
Free Seam Guides for LaFemme for Poser.
Universal Hands And Feet Control for DAZ. Panel based controls.
Tossed Plush Toys for DAZ.
Simple vintage Hooks, for satchels and the like.
Time Machine for Genesis 9. Simple controls for an “age spectrum from infancy to old age” for the new G9.
Peep, a stylised “fluffy chick” for DAZ and Poser.
LoREZ Gazelle with 22 poses.
Gremlin, a fine fancy roost-ruling chicken for Poser.
Nature’s Wonders Ladybugs (aka Ladybirds in the UK). Ten species including the classic 7-spot red.
A free basic Horse Blanket for Horse 3. No securing straps.
Free, low-poly Nature’s Wonders Aphids. Could also be scaled up, to become 1950s b-movie monsters in a misty Poser-to-Vue background?
Lorez Rat – Strand Based Hair. Requires the Lorez Rat.
Landscapes and plants:
PlantCatalog: swamps and wetlands has been released.
Free, the Ancient Egyptian Game of Mau Mau.
A Roman Garden courtyard for DAZ.
dForce AQ Merovingian Warrior outfit for Genesis 9.
A free Vintage Ear Trumpet.
A cheesy 1870 ‘riverboat girl’ bar-room costume, the Just Class Dress for G8F and G9F.
A stained hillbilly “Grampaw Shootemup” dForce Union Suit Outfit. he’s “a’ gonna git that gal back frum thet durn river-boat”…
1910s Rolls-Royce Armored Car for Poser, and there’s also a separately sold DAZ version.
1970s hippy overalls for Genesis 8 Female.
The Old Railway Cutting. A large disused city railway of the type often seen in the 1970s and 80s after the line closures of the 1960s.
1980s style Bumper Cars for Daz Studio. With fairground enclosure.
Dynamic Clothing ToolBox for Poser. Simplifies “the full process to import the OBJ file, then add material zones to constrained, soft decorated or rigid decorated groups”.
Script Runner for Blender. Making it easier to find and run Python scripts in Blender.
How to Install PD Howler 2024 and play with 3D sharks. The latest Howler is said to be 9x faster, due to an innovative new CPU/GPU combo.
Brush Brilliance: Mastering Photoshop Brushes with your Renders. To add water, debris, snow, rain, rips etc.
Comic-book production helpers:
Krita 5.1 Tutorial: Intro to the Comics Manager. Krita is the free 2D painting software.
Mojo Moo for Krita 5. The latest comic-book production helper add-on for the free Krita. Free.
Free or “pay what you want”, a Toon Shader MatCap Pack, supposedly “for any 3D software”. Untested by me.
OpenPose for Poser 12 and 13. Send AI-ready poses and hand-poses to the Stable Diffusion AI, from Poser.
Convert any image to lineart with SD’s ControlNet. Looks promising. I wonder if the prompt “in the inking style of Jack Kirby” would work in combination with this method.
“The Train is Leaving the Station… Get On Board With AI Art NOW… or Waste Years Playing Catch-Up Later” makes a good case.
On the other hand, maybe you’ll want the free “Not AI” – the transparent PNG logo set.
That’s it for August and half of September 2023. More at the end of October.
Ken K has released OpenPose for Poser 12, which provides the first ‘Poser to Stable Diffusion’ pipeline.
The Video Demo suggests it’s useful for speeding up the feeding of SD with exact poses, and it looks especially useful for hands.
The free alternative might be a .BVH to OpenPose converter. But no-one seems to have made one, which seems rather amazing. Everyone wants to do it from analysed video rather than 3D figures. So Ken’s new product seems unique.
But it still doesn’t look like it offers the ‘character and clothing/hair consistency’ needed for a comics storyline.
Reallusion’s Cartoon Animator (formerly CrazyTalk Animator) has a new Motion Pilot feature. Seems to be a motion-damped mouse-cursor, so you can easily draw an editable motion path. But it has adjustable settings, as you can see here…
For full details see the Motion Pilot demo video.
Feeling a bit bogged down in a damp autumn / fall season? E-on has the perfect new PlantCatalog update… Swamps and Wetlands for Vue.
Moho 14 is a big release for the 2D animation software (formerly Anime Studio). New graphics-engine, “near” real-time preview, new intuitive drawing tools for the new engine. Still no restored Poser import, but lots of other new features.
They also have a new 38-video beginner’s course YouTube Playlist.
Poser 13.1.469 has been released. Hurrah, some improvement of non-photoreal rendering. Unspecified…
– Improvements to Comic Book Preview Draw Last feature.
Sounds good. Also, for photoreal…
– Major changes to subsurface scatter on the PhysicalSurface root node, ‘Burley’ set as Subsurface Method default.
– More improvements to subsurface scatter.
And some 2D picture export fixes…
– Added pref[erence] in General Preferences Render tab, to not export original render.
– ‘Copy Picture’ correctly pastes to 3rd-party paint programs.
– PSD Image export no longer shifts to a darker color space. SRGB successfully converting on export.
Plus some changes that may make Mac users happy…
– On the Mac: Enhanced backward compatibility on Mac OS 10.15 (Catalina) or better.
– On the Mac: The PostFX window scene preview properly fits and is better centered.
The version was 13.1.449, before this new update.
The leader in AI text-to-speech voice, Poland’s ElevenLabs, is now out of beta. Now supporting 28 languages in ‘Eleven Multilingual v2’. Can be paired with Professional Voice Cloning, which should mean that those with the correct intonations in the input can also get these in the output in another language. They also have a ‘Voice Styles’ library.
The newly added languages are…
Chinese, Korean, Dutch, Turkish, Swedish, Indonesian, Filipino, Japanese, Ukrainian, Greek, Czech, Finnish, Romanian, Danish, Bulgarian, Malay, Slovak, Croatian, Classic Arabic and Tamil.
The Pricing is nice, though no PayPal. Someone making a short 90 minute audiobook per month would need the $22 a month subscription, but the free and starter tiers are very reasonable. Especially so for those making short 12-20 minute animations with Poser and DAZ.
Poser could be the ‘killer app’ in creative AI, in terms of usable graphics production for storytelling.
Imagine an AI that takes what you see in the Poser viewport, and works on that, giving you 98% consistent character renders which would allow the creation of graphic novels etc.
The aim would be to keep all character details consistent and stable, while also ‘AI rendering’ the viewport into a consistent professional ‘art style’. Auto-analysis of a quick real-time render from the Viewport might be needed (already here, elsewhere) and auto-prompt construction (already here). Perhaps there might be some on-the-fly LoRA training going on too, behind the scenes. Then, the AI image generation would be done.
You can kind of do all this now, outside of Poser, using Poser renders. But what if it was all neatly integrated into Poser, and ran on SDXL? All those royalty-free runtime assets then become super-valuable, since with their aid you can easily get the AI to do exactly what you want. Face, expression, pose, clothes, camera-angle. Hands. All output by the AI to the usual masked .PNG file, ready to drop over a 2D backplate in Photoshop. In three clicks. And all consistent between images, enough to satisfy even the most fersnickety regular comics reader.
The aim would not be to go wild, but to get something very close to the arrangement and content seen in the real-time viewport. It doesn’t necessarily have to be done by Bondware/Reallusion either, since Poser is Python 3 friendly and very extensible. All that would be needed, perhaps, would be to open up PostFX to be able to run a Python plugin that applies its own FX on real-time renders.
So imagine Poser’s Comic Book Preview or Sketch rendering, but done by an AI on a purpose-built ‘AI-native’ PC (coming in 2025 in retail, if not before). With No Drawing Required™ and Character Consistency.™ Let’s call it SuperFlying Dreamland.™ 😉
AI-powered auto sound-effects for a video. Finds… “the right sound-effects (SFX) to match moments in a video”. A task which can take a day or more of finding, for a long video. Plus the trimming, volume balancing, and slotting in to the video.
Of course it’s not going to do much for Tom & Jerry style animation SFX, compared to the real thing. But I guess for regular normal Powerpoint things (“that’s a dog, it barks, get bark-sound”) it could be useful for those making a ‘holiday-photos slideshow’ presentation.
And it may also save time for creatives. For instance this could interface in interesting ways with the giant Freesound library’s new simple taxonomy. (“That’s a dog, it barks, get links to top-12 bark sounds on Freesound”). That would save some time. Not so much a new ‘recommender’ system (they’re always dim-witted), but more a new creative ‘options bundler’ system. Likely to find a place within the emerging and more complex AI-powered script-flow workflow software.
A reminder of the Renderosity Animation Contest. The deadline is a bit close now, but a fast worker could do it: 30th August 2023. And don’t forget that Renderosity’s Poser software does real-time rendering of toons, via the easy-to-use Comic Book Preview feature.
Gift certificate prizes, no Poser 13 licences.
The featured artwork makes the mistake of ‘black on black’, a fundamental mistake which is beloved of 3D people trying to do a comic look (I blame Batman and Catwoman). Try to keep your character as ‘readable’ by the eye as much as possible. If you look at how a master like Brian Haberlin does it in his comics, he’ll often have a faint ‘fog layer’ across the whole background, as well as a ‘holding line’ around the character.
The left pigtail cannot be distinguished from the scenery.
Poser 13.1 is now available, and includes the new Mac version alongside the Windows version. It’s a free update for Poser 13 licence holders. Lots of rendering quality improvements for SuperFly (Poser’s version of the latest Blender Cycles). See the linked page for the full list.
No mention of changes to the Windows OS spec, so you should be able to run it back to Windows 7 (though without access to store-purchased third-party scripts on Windows , and likely with no helpdesk support).
No changes to PostFX on Windows, to OIDN de-noising, or to Poser’s unique abilities with real-time comic-book line-art, Firefly line-art, and Sketch rendering.
The current released version is 13.1.449.