“Poser 12 : with new features demonstrated”, a webinar with Charles Taylor happening this coming Sunday. Will we also get some hints about what will be coming in the full December version of Poser 12? I guess we have to wait and see. Booking now.
What do I get if I move from DAZ Studio 22.214.171.124 (approx. midsummer 2020), to the very latest version 126.96.36.199.. (just released yesterday)? Here are the things I noticed in the Changelogs…
* Various Quicktime (3 to 4) upgrades, and dForce and iRay updates. DAZ Studio now runs iRay 2020.1.1.
Does this speed up rendering, as has happened in the recent past? No, it seems not. The official iRay devs’ blog talks of “lots of RTX related stability improvements” for iRay 2020.0.2 (May 2020), “many many fixes (features, general stability and memory usage)” for 2020.1.0 final (mid August 2020), and the most recent 2020.1.1 has no details mentioned on the blog. One imagines that if there was a speed boost for 2020.1.1, it would have been mentioned there. Thus it seems to be stability and memory improvements for iRay, rather than speed boosts. However, 2020.1.1 does support the new NVIDIA 30-series cards, so if you’re one of the lucky few who have one then yes… you get faster rendering in iRay.
* iRay render settings now include Environment > Matte Fog > Matte Fog parameters.
This appears to render the scene with a very uniform white haze, the application of which can greatly speed up render times (according to forum tests). I imagine the use-case here may be that three renders of the same scene/camera are made, and the two foggy renders are then masked and feathered and then blended in Photoshop. One would thus get a ‘ground fog’ layer and a ‘distant depth-haze’ backdrop layer which blended well with the straightforward scene, but with a relatively low overhead in additional render-time compared to using volumetrics? Just my guess.
* “Basic OpenGL” is now labelled “Viewport”, and “Intermediate OpenGL” is now labelled “Multi-pass OpenGL”. DAZ Studio now requires OpenGL 4.1 as a minimum.
A year ago I updated my main desktop from OpenGL 4.2 to 4.5, and the Xeon workstation runs 4.4, so that’s fine.
* There’s also the new Filament in the latest DAZ Studio, which is Google’s Android/mobile-friendly open-source real-time renderer.
At present 4.14.x is Windows 64-bit only (not compatible with the latest Mac OS, Big Sir) and obviously not yet a suitable replacement for OpenGL, though they’re promoting Filament for “faster viewport” rendering. But… what was so slow about the instant real-time OpenGL? Nothing. There are a few people who are occasionally heard implying that OpenGL takes a while to “render” for them, but I’ve never known what they’re talking about. Even saving out an 8k render takes only a second. It’s instant, in real-time, and it always has been. And anyway Filament still doesn’t look anything like your final iRay render, so it’s not “what you see is what you get” like iClone or Blender’s Eevee. The test renders I’ve seen look terrible. Filament is something to ignore and come back to in a few years, I’d say, when all the wrinkles have been ironed out and it’s fully cooked. But by then we may all have $600 real-time iRay ray-tracing cards, and a real-time WYSIWYG viewport.
* The specs say NVIDIA graphics-cards drivers are a ‘must’…
…but I’ve seen that before. They’re not, unless of course you have the relevant NVIDIA card, in which case… yes. But CPU for iRay is quite possible. I saw no mention in the Changelogs of any removal of iRay’s ability to use the CPUs for rendering. With the aid of the wonderful Scene Optimizer I can render a non-complex scene quite nicely via CPU on the non-NVIDIA desktop, and on the Xeon workstation I can even get a real-time iRay Viewport running on CPUs only.
Sprite Fright: A Horror-Comedy will be the next Blender Open Movie. Or, as as they now are, a ‘Sort-of-Open-Movie’.
Other good news from the Blender crowd is relevant to those who have Poser 12 up and running… the next version of Cycles just landed over at Blender, and it’s “up to 14% faster”. It’s already in the latest Blender 2.92 builds, and I imagine Poser 12 could have it by the time it properly launches in December. Poser’s iRay competitor render-engine SuperFly, for those who don’t know yet, is a slightly tweaked version of Blender’s Cycles.
So, with the Poser 12 Early Access release out the way… when exactly is Black Friday this year? It’s set for Friday 27th to Monday 30th of November 2020. Monday being “Cyber Monday” which some brief digital/software sales wait for. Not long to go!
Poser 12 Early Access is now available on Windows, here, as a Trial and a purchase for Poser 11 owners. The Trial can apparently run happily alongside your existing Poser 11.x.
New items of information on the new pages are:
* SuperFly rendering (the Poser equivalent of iRay) is now based on Blender’s Cycles 1.12 (it’s possible they mean 1.2?) Forum chat suggests this upgrade breaks some of the materials in old Superfly materials/shaders sets and skins.
* Inclusion of “Intel OIDN, an A.I. based image denoising system” for SuperFly. The SuperFly ray tracing support and Adaptive Sampling had already been announced. It appears that the denoising is located in the UI on the… “New post effects palette for denoise and more.” The palette’s other ‘post’ effects are said to be only basic items like Saturation, at present, though there will presumably be more and more artistic ones in due course. Though I suspect we’re not going to get a full in-Poser multipass compositing engine, working in tandem with repeatable automation.
* New Material Management tab, which had previously been announced but for which we now have a screenshot…
* “HiveWire3D’s Dawn, Dusk, Baby Luna, Gorilla, and HiveWire3D’s Horse all feature SuperFly materials.” Which I assume they didn’t have before. They’re found in the freebies bundle. No news of any additions of new figures to this freebies bundle. There is also a new automated content-installer feature, but you can still install the old way via manually unpacking .ZIP files and then a careful cut-paste into your runtime. I assume that the L’Femme and L’Homme base figures are also still in the big freebie bundle, and that their skin renders fine in the new SuperFly version. Presumably these flagship figures will still be the base versions of L’Femme and L’Homme, and not the paid-for Pro versions.
* “21-day full feature, free trial.” Windows 10 is specified, but forum talk suggests Poser 12 can run on Windows back to Windows 7.
* Importantly, note that this release is only Early Access and thus… “You must currently own a copy of Poser 11 to upgrade to Poser 12. Only valid licensed copies of Poser 11 are eligible for upgrade.” I assume this also applies to the Early Access Trial.
* Update: Apparently Poser 12 Early Access broke DAZ Hexagon export for Poser, re: the scale setting being a bit different than it was. TSoren on the forums suggests the following conversion numbers should work with Hexagon for Poser 12: “Poser  to Hexagon, export % value 26212.8 Hexagon to Poser , import % value 0.381493011048”.
So… version 12 is not getting me to stump up $130, at least as it stands in Early Access. Perhaps it will when “features are finalized” in December 2020, or at the first patch early in the New Year. At present it has some nice tweaks for the SuperFly photoreal and raytracing crowd, but nothing new for anyone who wants to use Poser’s unique non-photoreal features. Indeed the broken SuperFly skin/material shaders and the script-breaking move to Python 3 are active disincentives to upgrade, until things are fixed.
There are some good things though, simply by their absence — there’s been no big UI “makeover” and no move to a subscription payment basis.
Welcome to another survey of the new releases for Poser, DAZ Studio and related software, in October 2020.
Mobil Drone Gunner for Poser, with a faintly Moebius look that I like.
London224’s MS20 MicroWave Canon for Vue 9.
1970s NASA style Space Colony in Blender from Raffy Raffy, although it appears to be too huge to export.
Coflek-gnorg’s Colony Reactor for Poser and DAZ.
Oso Alien Scenery for Earth-like terraformed worlds.
The Awful Emperor HD for Genesis 8 Male. Possibly Dune fan-art? The fuzzy renders don’t inspire confidence that the suit is as HD as the figure.
PW Power Trimaran for DAZ Studio, with detailed interiors.
Pit Lane Poses and Props for Genesis 8 Male. Meant for grand-prix motor-racing, but could equally well serve for scenes showing the servicing of sci-fi speeders and one-man spaceships.
Electron City Scenes, a Tron-like ‘digital city’.
Observatory, low-poly and Blender only. Might be difficult to extract to OBJ, but is only $10.
The Zephyr, a Japanese style fantasy steampunk train engine.
Meshbox are releasing their old Steampunk series as Poser standalones on Renderosity. The modelling is excellent, but in 2020 the Meshbox textures often leave something to be desired. Being either fuzzy (fixable with Gigapixel AI) or a texture atlas that prevents drag-and-drop re-texturing. Clockwork Steampunk Spaceship; Clockwork Steampunk Airplane; Clockwork Steampunk Trolley (tram); Clockwork Steampunk Car; Clockwork Steampunk Zeppelin and Clockwork Steampunk Digger.
Little Ones Winter. dForce outfit and textures for 3D Universe’s Little Ones for Genesis 3 Female.
Just Kids Halloween Pose 01 for G8.
dForce Time For School for Genesis 8 Females, a classic British school uniform.
dForce Sunshine Girl Outfit for Genesis 8 Female with straw flip-brim hat.
Broken Picket Fence with Vines for Poser.
The free CreepyJack Lanterns for Poser.
The free Cat Disguise for Poser and DAZ.
Fireflies, simple stylized toon fireflies. Free. Could also be used as inking guides for hand-drawn toons.
The free G8 Toon Fantasy Characters 1, with toony features at the lower heights. The Halfling is confusingly named, as it’s not LOTR. “Fae” would have been better.
The Current Daz Freebies page has updated, and has toon unicorn horns and other accessories.
4 Elements for Fehn, for the Nursoda figure, plus free male facemorph and headmorphs. Difficult to find, among the out-of-control ‘PNG tubes’ and ‘holiday snaps’ problem on Renderosity Freestuff, but I tracked them down.
Weathermans Home, a free fantasy home with accessories, possible props for your male Fehn.
Plants and landscape:
TruForm’s fine new Greenhouse.
Australia Botanica packs for DAZ Studio.
Not much in realistic animals this month, just the Dire Wolf for Daz Dog 8, with DAZ hair and a several coats.
Any release from Dante78 is a treat and Medieval Small Village Castle is excellent and also affordable. Poser, and can be used in DAZ with some “minor modifications”.
Citroen Kegresse for Poser, a detailed model of a tracked desert expeditions vehicle of circa 1920s-1950s.
Vintage Server Props, perhaps also suitable for your steel-eyed missile-men of the 1960s.
Old Train Interior, done by HD specialist ShaaraMuse3D. For Poser and DAZ. It’s not just the compartment, you also get a washroom and the complete carriage.
A detailed GWR Mica B Refrigerated Van for British goods trains. Given a weathered and rusting re-texture this may also interest Vue users, re: an ‘old rusting van in a flowery field’ picture.
Precinct Props is yet another 1940s style Private Eye office, though the ceiling light is too modern and would need to be replaced.
Boho: Dynamic Dress and Vest for La Femme. Believable Fall/Autumn wear for La Femme, with a retro 1940s feel.
Winter Outfit for Genesis 8 Female. Believable Fall/Autumn wear for G8F. Free.
Tattered Kiplenut for Genesis 8 Male, a classic Autumnal scarecrow.
Now-Crowd Billboards – Romans, for populating vast Roman Empire scenes.
FullHead for G8M, full strand fiber matching hair, eyebrows and beard. Could be good for Biblical characters.
A re-release of The Professor for M4. I’m fairly sure this used to be at RDNA.
Plugins and scripts:
Instant Fog for DAZ Studio from Dreamlight, said to be light-reactive. Impact on render times unknown.
HeadShop 13 for Genesis 8 has been released. Improved texture blending and a new wrinkle map.
Mesh Grabber Bundle for DAZ Studio on Windows.
Genesis 8 Male for Genesis 2 Male clones. Easily fit G8M clothing onto a G2M figure.
Tutorials and learning:
Currently on FastGrab at just $6, the key introductory Flowcape tutorial by the maker of the software. Flowscape is the $10 real-time landscape maker.
Ok, that’s my picks for another month. Note that Poser 12 will be released on Monday 2nd November in its Windows Early Access form (Mac is due in December). Also note that the Teknology3d store is now back online.