Technical search updated. My short dive onto DAZ Carrara has had the side-effect of adding more Carrara sites and pages. Now searching across 159 pages and sites.
Category Archives: Carrara
What use is Carrara in 2022?
What would one use Carrara for in 2022? After a few hours with it again, I’d say it still has some appeal for those interest in non-animating NPR / stylised renders…
* Relatively light on system resources, uses multiple cores, stable, 64-bit. Doesn’t demand Windows 10 etc.
* Works with older Poser content, albeit from a very clunky and un-searchable Library.
* Nice NPR rendering on older Poser content, both line-art and painterly. Different and a bit more controllable than Poser line-art / painterly Sketch. Repeatable painterly and line-art renders are not render-size dependent, as they are with Poser Sketch.
* Has toon plugins and native tooning capabilities, and several toon plugins now free including YAToon and Toon! Pro. Neither seem to give very “pro” looking results. For a more CAD-style line-art there’s the Vector Style 2 for Carrara plugin which ships with Carrara. The Carrara 5 Pro Handbook has a chapter on using it. Can export to .SVG for vector packages, via File | Save as… but I had no success at all with it.
* Relatively easy to hide eyelashes for NPR / toon renders. Though, without any automation, such fiddly processes can’t be automated.
* Still has some nice bits in its default content bundle, such as easy-start pre-lit rooms, some nice Solar System planets.
* ‘Make anything glow’, albeit with a bit of fiddliness in setup.
* Can grow / groom fur and hair, and a bit more easily than in Poser or DAZ.
* Has a true Isometric camera / grid (which DAZ and Poser don’t have). Can also export depth data. (I discover Vue also has Isometric, and can import from Poser).
* Multi-pass rendering to Photoshop .PSD output, though it seems odd that NPR “outlines” line-art can’t be sent to its own layer? I would have thought that was vital. Though with a day of work you could probably brew several good NPR render presets that would bypass the need for Photoshop.
* Can apparently import old Bryce .DFX files.
* Has Mimic Pro for lip-sync, built in. I assume it still works.
* Has a ‘3D text extrusion’ tool, which Poser and DAZ don’t.
Difficult to think of things beyond that, things which other software doesn’t do better. You can’t do useful things like make new Poser content in it, or ‘live 3D’ paint a mesh of a Poser prop, as the needed Poser-native export and packaging options are not there. It’s all meant to go from Poser to Carrara, it seems, and not the other way around.
How to remove eyelashes for non-photoreal rendering in Carrara
1. Load a standard figure. Here we have Aiko 3.
As you can see, horrid blocky eyelashes appear in non-photoreal line-art rendering…
2. To fix, enter Carrara’s Model Room. Use the camera to get a good view of the figure’s head. Her ten-trillion control points look confusing, but there’s an easy way to select just the eyelashes.
3. Top menu | Selection | Select by… | Shading Domain.
4. Choose “Eyelashes”. They are then highlighted in red.
5. Select the Scale tool (the ‘twin triangles’ icon), and make them really small. Then select the Move tool, and slightly push them back into the head.
That’s it. Line renders will now appear to omit the eyelashes. You could probably do the same with fat (rather than thin line) geometry eyebrows.
Incidentally, another problem discovered with Carrara. A bit of a deal-breaker, even for occasional work. No drag-and-drop of clothes / poses from PzDB onto the scene/figure, as can be done with Poser and DAZ. Since getting Carrara to see / interact with / load from a Content Library is such a nightmare, then if PzDB can’t be used… Carrara can’t be used either.
And Poser 11, as you can see here, effortlessly gives line-art that is just so much better. And does so in WYSIWYG real-time, and with no need to fix eyelashes…
Raw Poser real-time render, Aiko 3.
The only drawback of Poser is that for best results you need to render line-art, colour flats and shadows, and then composite the three real-time renders in Photoshop. Still, not bad for what now costs $53.
There be Dragons
CARRARA CHALLENGE #63: There be Dragons (July-August 2022), with four contest prizes totalling $195 of DAZ Store vouchers. Deadline: 20th August 2022.
Carrara for line-art
Just a quick look at DAZ Carrara 8.5, so that I know a little more about its line-art features and to be sure I’m not missing anything.
One way of doing it is…
1. New scene | Load figure.
2. Edit | ‘Edit Scene Effects’.
3. Effects Panel, add ‘Filters’ | ‘Toon Part III’ | and edit the settings thus…
It’s now white on black, which you then render and invert in Photoshop.
You can also render normally but with Carrara’s native “Non-Photoreal” engine, after there ticking “Outline” and turning off rendering of Diffuse etc. It seems the better option and the nicer look for line-art. A painterly or charcoal look can be done this way too.
Both are quick. The results of the latter are quite reasonable, in terms of instantly getting a ‘hand inked’ look without needing to then use a Photoshop filter on the lines. It’s quite controllable, though the opacity slider is unbalanced and way too sensitive at the top end. Shadows can be controlled separately from the diffuse. This is a raw NPR render…
What you can’t seem to do is output “Outline” as a multi-pass render layer into Photoshop, along with a ‘Diffuse’ layer beneath it, for further work in Photoshop. You’d need to get them out as .PNGs and then stack them in Photoshop.
It seems you’d probably do better to work up a ‘look’ all done in Carrara itself, and if you spent a day at it you probably could. Sadly there are no NPR render preset freebies floating around the web, offering a quickstart on that.
The ability to work with old Poser assets is good, though Carrara seems to have great difficulty with loading / conforming from a DAZ runtime.
The software’s lack of automation would be a big drawback in production. No recordable/replayable Actions, no ability to write “do this, then that” Python scripts.
Also, as usual, trans-mapped eyelashes are a pain in terms of rendering to line-art. They become black blodges or ‘wings’. No-one else has done so, so I wrote a quick tutorial on How to remove eyelashes for non-photoreal rendering in Carrara.
What’s new for DAZ and Poser – May 2021
It’s the end of the month again, time for another personal survey of new DAZ and Poser goodies.
Update: Thanks to Kevin M. I’ve solved my problem with the infinite scrolling on the DAZ Store, which after a while causes the thumbnail loading to freeze. This had caused me to have to skip some DAZ Store items that were too far back in time. Setting “Items Per Page” to 60 brings back the paginated browsing.
Android X02 for G8M AddOn which adds a cape and cowl to Android X02 for G8M. Also discounted at the CGbytes Store. Here we see it matte, without the shiny chrome plating.
Equally retro is Vintage SciFi Spacesuit for G8F. Nicely done, and it does look like something you might have seen on the cover of Marvel Tales in the 1930s.
Liquidator Mask for Genesis 8. I assume it’s not ‘near fan-art’, but I guess it could be similar to something in a current TV series?
Very little this month, but what there is is handsome. The first Russian submarine. No format specified, but I assume .OBJ?
MortemVetus brings his classic Graycrest for Michael 4 back to the market. Was at RuntimeDNA, so veteran 3D-ers may already have him in the runtime.
When Greycrest is around you’ll be needing the new Conquerors Delight – Burnt to the Ground Hovel from Cybertenko.
Greycrest may also want to stride along Sixus1’s Viking Shores Scene and Props, currently just $7.50 at DAZ.
Cybertenko’s Wolf Skin for Poser and M4. It does not appear to come with a preset for Poser dynamic hair, but someone will surely make such a furry freebie for it. See also Cybertenko’s recent Mari Lwyd head-dress.
Oculus Guard from Cybertenko. A typical D&D style gate-guard monster. Probably lives in the new Ruined Tower.
Free Cake for DAZ Studio. Also Donuts.
After junior has gorged on cake, he’ll be needing to burn off the sugar on the free Big Wheel for Baby Luna, a big ride-on toy bike.
Classic Fairy Poses and Expressions for La Femme, for Poser.
Toon and semi-toon:
MightyMite has a new pack of superhero/villain masks Kitbashers 087 for G3, several of which appeal. I think the second is fairly close to the karate guy in Marvel’s Inhumans, though.
A fine Retro Toon Car and Caravan (trailer-home). So far as I know it’s not fan-art. And there’s a Toon Fly for comedy interactions with the driver.
Another free Toon Car, a sort of off-road dune buggy. Also a Toon Zombie Van. Again, I assume these are not fan-art. Check before commercial use in a comic etc.
Snokulina8 for G8F, a semi-toon character.
Environments and plants:
A complete Pacific Northwest Botanica forest for DAZ Studio.
Wetlands Low-res Plants, for large ponds and lakes.
A shallow-water offshore Oil Platform for Poser.
Little Friends Insect Bundle for DAZ Studio, including a bumble-bee.
Free, Kerya’s Lizard Poses for DAZ Studio and Kerya’s Lizard Poses for Poser. For KenG’s Lizards.
Nostrils Down For Ken’s Tortoise for Poser. Because tortoise nostrils don’t look like terrapin nostrils. It could matter, if you’re making illustrations for an encyclopedia, pet-care guidebook etc.
Yard Things including bird-boxes. Or “snack-boxes”, as cats think of them.
Animations and Still Poses for AM’s Mouse. Video demo.
NM Seashells in 3D. Vue seashore and rock-pool artists may also be interested in these.
Faxhion – Fancy Day for DAZ. 1970s Abba-tastic pop-group textures for Fancy Day dForce outfit for G8F.
Now-Crowd Billboards – Roman Legion. Want 100 characters in the scene, and have no CERN-scale supercomputer handy? No problem, these are all 2D billboards.
Viking Spear and Spear Poses for Genesis 8. Looks like it has just about all you would need for spear hunting and warfare.
Characters and accessories:
A free Private Cinema for DAZ Studio.
RawArt’s Bernie for Genesis 8 Male. Apparently not HD, which is a big plus.
Free Old man grey skin for G8 and G3.
A free Yul Bnunner M4 ZBrush morph for Poser.
Big chunky Summer Style sunglasses for Genesis 8.
DAZ Carrara Presets for Genesis 8.1.
Can you feel ‘the goth revival’ building, among the yoof? Then you’ll be needing the DZ G8M GothZ 3 shorts and boots, and the dForce Dark Vamp Outfit.
Scripts and node maps:
SkinEdit for Poser 12. For Poser 12 only. One-click to make a Firefly character into a Superfly character.
Scripts Manager for Poser 12. For Poser 12 only.
Depth Cue for Poser 11 with Firefly, including a .MT5 material based on the work. I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks an interesting alternative to the z-buffers and is fully documented.
Plugins: A Tutorial Exploring Utilities for DAZ Studio.
Community Art Workshops Using Stonemason Assets.
Reframing: Identifying and Reframing Limiting Beliefs for Artists.
Fantasy Taverns: A Workshop on Multi-Character and Atmospheric Scenes.
That’s it, more picks next month.
Particle Illusion 2019
Particle Illusion was an After Effects 2D particle animation tool that was purchased by Boris circa 2018. They’ve given it a complete overhaul and their new 2019 version is 64-bit, as… “a lightning fast GPU-accelerated engine with a simple, easy-to-learn interface” with many new emitter presets…
Looks nice, but the drawback seems to be that it will only render into expensive high-end video software, such as After Effects and Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, or Vegas Pro. Apparently that’s also true of the ‘standalone’, which is only an editor for the presets.
Sci-fi artists of more modest means will probably want to look instead at the far more affordable HitFilm and its particle generator, if making movies and animation. HitFilm is a sort of ‘affordable After Effects’ at around £250, and can be had for less — plugging the add-on Particles module into its free Express version currently costs £45 here in the UK. The software recently had a total UI overhaul, which must be very annoying for seasoned users — but if you’re new to it you won’t notice that.
For stills one might look first at the affordable Corel ParticleShop and its addon packs, and even the many free Photoshop plugins kindly offered for Photoshop by Richard Rosenman.
DAZ Carrara 8.5 Pro can also load all your Poser and DAZ content, and has “a robust particle system” in 3D. As seen in action here…
The Carrara files for the scenes in the video are free here.
A bunch of high-quality DAZ Carrara plugins are now free
Eric Winemiller kindly sent his DAZ Carrara Digital Carvers Guild plugins open source last summer. Ground Control for DAZ Studio has also now been released for free. Always free, really free, which is what ‘open source’ means. Ground Control imports DEMs (digital elevation maps) into DAZ Studio, along with Terragen .TER files.
Readers of this blog who are here for my 3D comics production posts, will likely be most interested in the Toon! Pro plugin for Carrara, now free in the bundle. Although in terms of what it can do with artistic inked lines it seems to have been superseded by Poser 11.
Survey: 3D to 2D tooned, the software options in 2018
Here’s a concise list of the current toon options for 3D-to-2D comics at 2018, sorted by price.
* Free. Blender has a Freestyle toon module. Powerful but inevitably unfinished even after a decade, and Blender has a very steep learning curve. Apparently Freestyle is easier to obtain good results from if you already know how to model and texture in Blender. May be improved and changed in future.
* Free. Formerly from Google, Sketchup has a small range of impressive sketch render presets suitable for things like buildings and gadgets, and a simple sketch style-mixer so you can make your own. Widely known among visualizers in architecture and product design, quick to render and fairly easy to use. But it doesn’t play nicely with Poser, DAZ etc and is not very friendly to OBJs either.
* Free + modest $s for plugins and content/shader packs. Public videogame engines such as Unity and Unreal. Very steep learning curve, but well supported. Possibly the best choice if you also seriously want to get into making games and have $100 for the relevant plugins. Be aware that output from game-engines may not be print-res.
* $40. The free DAZ Studio has some native but rather fiddly cartoon capabilities, and the paid shader packs Manga Style Shaders and Visual Style Shaders packs ($40, together). But in my experience these are so fiendishly difficult to apply and control and combine, that I just can’t recommend them to anyone who has the easy real-time comics capabilities of Poser 11 (see below). Visual Style Shaders does however offer very nice bases for rendering colour flats of your character’s skin and hair, and these are relatively easy to apply. They would thus provide good bases for drawing ink lines on by hand, perhaps guided by a basic toon outline render. And Manga Style Shaders should still be considered and tested if you’re intent on serious comics production in the traditional ‘zip-toned b&w manga’ style. Note also that DAZ has a well-hidden shader-free ‘Cartoon Render’ setting, but it’s not impressive. There are also lineart rendering plugins such as pwToon and Lineart9000, but these are also said on the DAZ forums to be rather difficult and fiddly to set up and control.
* $80 up (when discounted). Smith Micro’s Poser 11 has an excellent Comic Book Mode (aka Comic Book Preview). This is very easily applied to a vast range of content, and is rendered out in WYSIWYG real-time using the Preview OpenGL renderer. Interesting additional line types are obtainable via pushing Sketch Designer output into just the Comic Book Mode ink lines. Poser also has the P.A.S.S. watercolour shaders [update: now available again, for free]; some good toon cel shader materials (if you dig around a bit, to find them); and the older toon lines mode and some helper scripts can help you to obtain even more toon lines. Professional studios should also note that the Pro version of Poser 11 has a mature PoserFusion plugin to easily send your Poser scene and textures over to Cinema 4D (up to R19). C4D has advanced ‘sketch and toon’ capabilities built in, but you’ll still need to spend a week developing your own custom presets and even then scenes take quite a while to render in C4D.
* $150. DAZ Carrara and either the older and limited $40 Toon!Pro plugin or the newer (2013) free YAToon 2.0. This seems to be the best option for DAZ Studio users, as Carrara handles most DAZ files nicely and can open (nearly) all Poser content and some of the early DAZ Genesis content. Note that 64-bit and multipass render-passes are ‘Pro version only’ in Carrara ($285).
* $200 upwards. Reallusion’s iClone 7 has a very limited Toon Effect filter, which was broken/wonky in iClone 6, but has now been fixed in iClone 7. Fixed as in “it was broken, and now works again”. Works in real-time, but then so does Poser’s Comic Book mode and Poser is by far the better and more fully-featured option. Cheaper too, if you can grab Poser on a discount.
* $400 upwards. The latest Vue 2016 has a fairly sophisticated toon-lines and paint module built in. I’ve spent a few hours with it and although it’s not ideal, it’s a welcome effort at this price point and could certainly be useful for those who overpaint their Vue renders, such as matte painters and concept illustrators. Vue can also elegantly import Poser scenes, with auto material conversion including skin.
* $Lots. There are strong toon capabilities in the “big guns” in 3D, such as Cinema 4D (‘sketch and toon’ is included in the Studio and Visualize versions only) and 3DS Max (toon as various plugins, last time I looked). The latest Lightwave 2018 has a basic cel shading functionality, which is new. I don’t know much about Maya, but I assume it has toon and cel-shading and plugins. 3DS Max always had good CAD lineart output, for the engineering crowd. Third-party plugin renderers can also often do a basic CAD-style lineart render.
Poser and DAZ content survey: new in May 2017
What new goodies were released in May 2017, for the Poser/DAZ content ecosystem? Here’s my survey of what caught my eye this last month…
A new set of matching Greeble City Blocks from Stonemason.
Also some modular Eco buildings to add a bit more greenery to your Greeble city.
UFO crash site looks very cool. Someone will presumably give it an additional texture set in due course, to make it more steampunk / The War of the Worlds? Perhaps also a retro ‘Roswell’ 1950s makeover?
Storm Robot for Poser by Moscowich. A homage to the Mass Effect videogame, so probably not suitable for commercial use.
Med Shells to make a medbot of the Main Frame robot for Poser.
You Medbot (above) could be the robot tattooist in Coflek-gnorg’s new highly detailed Tattoo Salon for Poser, which has a Blade Runner / cyberpunk vibe. There’s also an equally detailed Tattoo Machine.
The AntFarm has an Anti-Gravity Diner and an Anti-Gravity Lift that will fit most vehicles.
Starship Wanda, an unusual fish-shaped spaceship.
Cyberia Dress V4, a basic but rather good-looking 1970s-style sci-fi dress for V4.
Greylien For Genesis 3 Male, from a hand-sculpt in ZBrush and with detailed textures.
There’s a free Mane in fibermesh, which fits the vast herds of Genesis 3 centaurs which have recently been released onto the DAZ Store. Could possibly also enhance an alien G3 character.
Fantasy and monsters:
Any new set from DM is usually worth looking at, and his latest is DMs Mystic AtmoSPHERE. G3F poses, matched to an emissive glowing iRay sphere. It looks perfect for wizards and seers and the like.
Cheech Evolution for G3M and poses. He looks like a remake of the free Poser character Creech, which shipped for free with Poser 8 and which I seem to remember was modeled on a public domain B-movie monster from the 1950s. In his new DAZ Studio incarnation he now has various add-ons such as the deep-sea King of the Deep outfit and poses.
Monster Skulls, including a cyclops.
Death Stalker, an unusual hybrid between an insect and a dinosaur. Just the sort of thing for your explorers to encounter in a Lost World or alien planet.
Legionnaire for Genesis 3 Male. There’s already authentic Roman military gear floating around for M3 and M4, but if you need it for G3M then these do look rather good. They also include fits for a couple of G3 variants.
Satine Detective Outfit for G3F.
Dr. Graverobber by Cybertenko is a complete 1930/40s Indiana Jones outfit for Michael 4, plus whip.
The new Palm Road seems to fit well with Dr. Graverobber. It’s detailed enough for Vue users to also be interested in this.
Temple of Anubis for Poser. A simple but convincing bit of a fantasy Egypt, and it could also easily be imported to Vue. There’s also a new Secret Ancient Catacombs scene.
Pirate Dining, the cabin of a pirate ship. With a bit of work and some candle-light it might also double as the inside of a hobbit-hole. I’m thinking of the scenes with the singing dwarves in Bilbo’s kitchen, at the start of The Hobbit.
Classic Rickshaw, possibly also useful for a steampunk Fu-Manchu vs. Sherlock Holmes type of adventure-mystery.
Old_Revolver for Poser, another high-quality prop and texture set from Dante78.
An authentic Texas Ranger Outfit for G3M, complete with some really nice Wild West boots. Probably needs some “And I just rode thu’ that there desert…” MATs, to dust up the clothes.
Got milk? A traditional milk-churn and related props.
Double Trouble Braids for G3F. A nice Celtic look, and slightly mussed up, which would suit shield-maiden battle scenes. Audrey Hair is similar and shorter, with a pony-tail effect on top. Apparently the Bronze Age people used heavy metal crimped stoppers on the ends of the braids, to weight the hair braid.
Everyday characters and clothes:
Amber for G3F, with hair and everyday clothing. See also the new Real Sneakers 2.0 for G3F.
H&C Casual B outfit for G3M has a nice simplicity about it, while also being quietly futuristic. Designed to work well in close-ups and I foresee quite a few texture makeover packs being made for this set.
A Paris-style Metro Train interior.
An Island House complete with island and ocean.
There’s also a new Downtown Loft : Living Area, new from Stonemason.
Animals and nature:
SongbirdRemix’s bird expert Ken Gilliand has turned his attention to frogs, and he’s just released the Nature’s Wonders Frogs of the World Vol. 2 for Poser. It has those highly colourful, but highly deadly, ‘poison dart’ frogs. Created with Ken’s usual attention to detail and scientific realism.
Animations for the HiveWire Kitten.
Sea Washed Beach Rocks in hi-res for Poser, plus sand and a scene preset. May also be of interest to Vue users who want to do rock-pools and low-tide scenes.
iReal Animated Dandelion for DAZ Studio. Vue users already have a dandelion, but it’s not animated.
Country Ford for DAZ Studio and Carrara, a classic English ford. A useful addition for those with horses, hounds and historic vehicles in their runtimes. Also for stream-dipping scenes with child characters.
Wild Mossy Bamboo Forest for Poser.
The Forest could probably work well with Flinks Mossy Rocks HD for Poser and Vue.
Garden pottery for DAZ Studio. Very nicely textured with weathered textures that get past the ‘3D always looks too clean’ thing.
Vue users also have Ground Cover No.7: Pine Forest Floor which uses instancing to make sure each patch is unique. So you can apply it as an ecosystem on small patches of ground and not get repeating moire patterns.
Plugins and tutorials:
Scene Optimiser for DAZ Studio 220.127.116.11 and later, which allows you to drastically lower the memory required for certain types of scenes, and thus speed up your renders. I didn’t feature this last month because I wasn’t sure how well it worked, or how easy it was to operate. But I find it does work and it works well, making iRay rendering on a CPU ’10-minute feasible’ at 1800px x 1200px. It doesn’t only reduce the size of the big 4000px textures, but also seems to offer many other tweaks. Only for DAZ Studio 18.104.22.168 or higher, as it calls a function in the software that has only recently been introduced. The only frustrating thing is finding the damn thing. It’s under “Scripts” with the utterly obscure name of “V3Digitimes”. Who on earth would look for it under that name?
The Ultimate Guide to Creating Complex Outfits, a big multi-part training series with digital clothing expert Arki. Learn exactly how to make quality long dresses, full-length skirts, long-sleeved and multi-layered outfits.
Poke-Away3! for Genesis 3 aims to help cure clothing ‘poke through’. Often it’s just a case of making the offending body parts invisible, but there are times when that’s not going to work and you might need help from something like this.
DAZ Studio also has a Billboard plugin which gives you 2D billboards that always face the camera. I’m guessing you can probably do this by hand in DAZ Studio, but it’s likely that the plugin makes it easier and faster.
Lastly, currently on $2 clearance is the Poser Format Exporter for DAZ Studio 3 and 4, which from DAZ-only formats “generates Poser format Pose (.pz2), Face/Expression (.fc2) and Hand (.hd2) files from directly within DAZ Studio”.
That’s it. More picks next month.
Poser and DAZ New Content Survey: February 2016
Well, it’s that time of the month again. Here’s my survey of what I found to be the most unusual / freshest / adaptable new content for DAZ Studio and Poser.
Before I start the post, I should note that it’s now official that the Runtime DNA store is being sold outright to DAZ. My guess is that the growing Hivewire3D store will get some of the more Poser-centric RDNA vendors and Poser script/utility makers — and perhaps even get the official Poser forums. I also guess that a few smaller vendors may not want all the hassle of moving elsewhere and their content could just vanish altogether. So… if you have anything on your Runtime DNA Wish List you’ve always wanted, especially if it’s from a small vendor, now might be the time to grab it.
New content-creator Sharktooth shows sci-fi promise with his Nanoflight Jetpack for Genesis 2 and 3 (Manga-Anime Battlesuit and helmet not included)…
The AntFarm has a delightfully designed little Helper bot, in a 1960s Italian retro style…
Sleek Chic for Genesis 3 Female is possibly useful generic sci-fi clothing, for background extras in a large scene.
VYK_Meerka for Victoria 4…
Edit Male Hair for Genesis 3 Males, which has a futuristic/sci-fi vibe…
Elegant for Genesis 3 Female has a nice steampunk / Sky Captain feel…
Rebel Star for Genesis 2 Female will be useful for those making fan-art for the new Star Wars movie…
This month coflek-gnorg has Futuristic Promenade, which can double as a future museum or alien aquarium…
In sci-fi scenes Stonemason has Our Lost Future. A naff name, but a very fine sci-fi-horror tunnel entrance…
How to reach that remote and abandoned tunnel entrance? There’s a highly detailed Expedition Truck for Poser. This looks absolutely outstanding in its attention to detail, range of texture makeovers, and inclusion of a complete interior.
For commercial use you’d want to remove some of the trademarked decals via a little Photoshop cloning. Use of the famous Red Cross / UN symbol should also be very carefully considered, even in non-commercial renders. Diluting the power of the Red Cross brand could cost real lives…
The AntFarm has Explosive Props, always handy for the “Destroy ALL Monsters!” type of sci-fi. You can probably scavenge some similar items for free, given an hour’s searching, but here they all are in high quality and they come with DAZ iRay materials…
Cybertenko’s STRATCOM War Room may be useful for some, with a bit of re-texturing of the screens. It reminds me of early Sean Connery-era James Bond movies (Dr No to You Only Live Twice are the ones worth seeing)…
Need close-ups pictures of meteorites or small asteroids, for your sci-fi? Weathered Rocks come with hi-res 4096px textures for Poser and DAZ…
And there’s also some unusual new Zero-G Pinup Poses for zero gravity portraits.
ironman13 has an amazingly detailed i13 Coffee Shop for DAZ Studio iRay complete with G3 poses.
TruForm has an Italian-style Small Library for DAZ and Poser.
Stonemason also goes with the Italian vibe with The Streets of Tuscany…
Tuscany looks just the place for Vue users to park their snazzy new 3d replica of the vintage 1928 Mercedes-Benz SSK…
Slightly less alluring than Tuscany are the terraced side streets of the northern Midlands and Northern England. Northern Terrace Street faithfully recreates those. Just add half a ton of litter, and choke the roadsides with parked cars…
Jackson’s Field doesn’t look much at first glance, but is fairly unique. It’s a typical scraggy bit of English farmyard, plus a ditch which might suit insect and pond-dipping storybook pictures. If your runtime has small children in dungarees and cute farm animals, who all need some exercise, then this might be the place for them. Jackson’s Field also comes in a DAZ Carrara version.
Dante78’s new Medieval Plantation models may be able to turn your Jackson’s Field into a more medieval scene.
Characters, body shapes, and hair:
There’s now a free Genesis 3 Poser Updater, allowing G3F and G3M to be imported into Poser 11 (previous Genesis incarnations and related props can of course be brought into Poser 11 very easily, via the existing free DSON importer plugin). This new free G3 converter works inside DAZ Studio, converting and outputting a Poser 11 -compatible figure…
There are two fine new characters for Poser 11’s new flagship Pauline character (she comes with Poser 11’s free 5Gb content bundle)… Elly for Pauline and Altea for Pauline…
Also some conforming clothing for Pauline, MMOS-Sweety Set…
Kimi Style for Genesis 3 is a flexible everyday clothing set, which could be livened up with some chunky hiking boots and ankle-warmers.
Doris V4 is a characterful older woman for Victoria 4…
Growing Up for Genesis 3 Bundle is now available, for both boys and girls…
The best-selling Rayn and Skyler G2F/G3F characters now each have a set of distinctive new face/head presets, via the new Rayn’s Friends pack and the Skyler’s Friends packs…
Fantasy and macabre:
1971s has a fine new Fantasy rock house…
Poisen mixes twee and macabre with his new set of heart-shaped CharmZ…
Muud for Genesis 3 Male is unusual and suitably priced. He might benefit from an add-on that pools the mud around the ankles and feet, and has drips and splodges on the floor, like he’s just raised himself up out of a cave-pool and is still wet and dripping. Maybe also a preset to have him become a Lava Man.
RawArt’s Woody for Genesis 3 Male is superbly macabre. Possibly he needs a set of marionette strings, though, as a freebie. And a matching ramshackle/rustic performance stage with spooky light presets…
Nature V4 Hair seems like it’s a nature/faerie hair base that will inspire a few texture makeovers. It might even be amenable to a sci-fi makeover, or could become wood-shavings + nails hair for RawArt’s Woody…
Semi-toon and comics/storybook:
This month saw the release of the way-too-expensive The Guy 7 and The Girl 7 for DAZ Studio’s Genesis 3.
Anime and manga comics makers may like the new Lynn for NearMe. This requires the specialist anime production base-character for Poser, NearMe 1.1…
There’s a new Leotard for Star!…
Sewing Notions is unusual, and seems to have the items a children’s book illustrator might need for a mice-meet-faeries storybook tale set around a sewing table at night…
dhouck has the latest in his Moon Modern Jetsons-style sci-fi retro furniture and rooms. The growing series is not especially well presented by his main store previews, but the range of clean n’ curvy shapes might work very well with the Comic Book Mode in Poser 11.
Not much this month. Australian and New Zealand animals seem to be popular, at present. Alessandro has a new Tasmanian Devil with Look At My Hair plugin presets.
Songbird Remix has New Zealand Kiwi birds and a Kiwi Burrow for them. (They burrow? Yes, apparently so…)
Stonemason has a $800 Stonemason Indie Game Developer License for his content. Good luck in poly-reducing them to run in action games. But for rendered cut-scenes and splash screens, and for other games genres such as point n’ click adventures and gamebooks, they could look awesome. Stonemason has a small gallery accompanying the license that seems to suggest that sort of use.
Lastly, Hologram Image Maker for Daz Studio is very intriguing. It makes a series of video files that apparently then go into Adobe After Effects or similar, and can then be made into a hologram that can be projected by a smartphone into a little prism-like container. It’s not exactly ‘Princess Leia holograms’, but it’s an interesting novelty until the Microsoft Hololens arrives in the shops.
That’s it, more next month.
DAZ Studio & Poser content survey: March 2015
So, it’s been a while since I did a “What’s New and Cool?” 3d content survey for DAZ Studio and Poser. Here’s my selection:
Runtime DNA and LittleFox’s new STAR! character is a pro-quality toon that’s already gathered a growing range of add-on extras. The core would seem to be the character, a CrossDresser 4 License for Star, the Violet for Star pack, your choice of the current hair for Star, plus Intensity Expressions for Star and Flitter Expressions For Star.
Honey Bolt is an unusual but stylish toonbot, with lots of looks and options…
Stonemason’s industrial Sci Fi Interior 2015…
A cloud-floating Sci Fi Marina and matching Sky Yacht, though you might have to take it to Vue as an .obj to do it justice…
Need something to zoom through the clouds and attack your Sci Fi Marina? London224’s MS15 Alien Drone might oblige…
ile-avalon’s Android Repair Kit is amusing…
The Alien Collector, a nice accompaniment to a collection of 3d alien flora and fauna…
Tree of Life is an interesting and detailed alien “pod tree”…
1971s Fishing Village is nicely organic, and looks like it’s located somewhere between Morrowind and Myst…
The price is rather high, but I like the above/below split scene idea of the Muelsfell Victorian Street Display Base. I could imagine making a set of H.P. Lovecraft / steampunk game playing cards with this and some quality lighting and characters…
Stonemason’s new Ruins Of Egypt 1 and The Path To Cloud Temple…
Dante78 has a finely detailed Medieval Training Camp, that could be re-worked as an Iron Age / Roman-era / Saxon structure…
Need a highly detailed camel, complete with all the traditional accessories? Meet Camelia…
Alessandro_AM’s uber-cute semi-toon Bear Cubs. These work with his Look At My Hair DAZ Studio plugin…
His Panda Bear Cub is also available on its own…
Vue users have a detailed 1.3M poly Sci-fi Chamber, though it seems you’re going to primarily use lights to colour it…
Also for Vue, a late 15th to early 17th century English paneled room, though the glass is too modern. A great nobleman might have had flawed crystal windows that looked a bit like old stained glass, a middling noble might have had fine translucent slivers of oak or horn in his window panes, and a poor scholar or alchemist might have used wicker.
… and a detailed Tiki Bar and a steampunk friendly Collector’s Facility.
iClone 6 Pro is now available…
And the design and sculpt tool Curvy 3D 3.0 is also available…
That’s it, for now!
DAZ and Poser Content Survey: Conan the Barbarian
I’ve recently been listening to the audio books of Robert E. Howard’s famous Conan the Barbarian stories from the 1930s.
Above: This picture is actually 3D, not painted.
If you want tasters of the stories in audio, there are a couple that are free online. Such as “The Tower of the Elephant” (and part 2) and “Rogues in the House” (and part 2).
So… I felt like doing a survey of Conan inspired content, made for Poser and DAZ Studio. Conan is of course a giant brooding Cimmerian, a barbarian from the wild uplands. He has strayed into the slightly more civilised nations of the world, but it’s not our world. Rather it’s a forgotten world placed somewhere between the sinking of Atlantis and the start of our own recorded history. So far as I know the Conan character has been out-of-copyright and in the public domain since 2006, so you are free to make comics and posters and suchlike and title them ‘Conan…’.
While there are massive amounts of warrior and hunter characters for Poser and DAZ, I’m looking here for ones that fit with how Robert E. Howard’s own words describe Conan.
Michael 4 users should take a look at M4 Barbarian Warrior Bundle (needs M4 Morphs++) and the M4 Barbarian Poses. The Barbarian Outfit for M4 clothes are very Conan, and the outfit does come with DAZ presets, but the leather textures look rather plain and clean. I couldn’t find any texture upgrades or makeovers for this. The character’s face and neck is also somehow wrong, too thin and normal. Howard says he has massive thick neck muscles and a wider face.
Falcon for M4 is a character with a suitable basic hair base, which might be useful if you plan to overpaint the hair on your render later. The face is also rather good, although needs to be wider…
One for M4 is wilder, perhaps good for fight scenes. But it looks weird and rather oddly female at the top front, and so would probably need overpainting…
Raw Warrior Poses can be also applied to Michael 4. 80 poses in total…
Atlas for M4 (needs M4 Morphs++) has a face that’s nearer Conan’s width, but is too pretty and relatively unscarred for a freebooting barbarian who’s been rollocking about the taverns and battlefields for years. And the eyes are hazel rather than an icy Cimmerian blue. Atlas does however, have good skin MATs, including a battle MAT.
Deus Eris for M4 (needs M4 Morphs++) is also worth a look…
The Freak 3:
For those who prefer more impressively muscled The Freak as a base character, Warrior Lord is fairly close (requires The Freak 3). Swop out the skin, add wild straggly black hair and blue eyes. Make the oddly tiny head 25% larger, and change the face. Dirty up the axe and the leather. Then you’d be 95% of the way to a recognisable Conan.
Achilles Hair for Michael 3 will fit The Freak 3. Just turn it black…
If you want to paint on the hair afterwards, the WedgeCut Hair 2.0 for The Freak 3 might provide a useful base for painting over…
Barbarian Helmet and Sword for Poser is free. Quite old and without textures or specific character fits, but it might still be useful. R. E. Howard does have Conan in a lot of exotic Near Eastern type of nations, so the sword is actually about right for many of the stories.
But for battle scenes, pretty-boy shields won’t do much for Conan’s street cred among the Zingarian low-life. You’ll need a shield with convincing damage and blood flecks, such as Copper and Blood which has big 3000px textures. With it you also get a bonus damaged short-sword of the same quality. Those who know the excellent story “The Pool of the Black One” will remember that Conan gets through the whole adventure with a small short sword. I reckon Howard had a wager with his friend H.P. Lovecraft that he couldn’t get Conan through a whole adventure with just a small short sword/knife. 🙂
That’s it! See you in a tavern in Zamora!
Tutorial: import a Poser runtime to Carrara
A handy new 8-minute video showing how to import your whole Poser runtime into DAZ Carrara. Be warned that the tutor is only importing the small amount of free content that ships along with Poser. Not the massive 100Gb+ of runtime that many long-time Poser and DAZ users will have, which I’m guessing may take considerably longer to import. The video’s tutorial on the import process actually starts at 3:18 minutes…
Survey of new DAZ and Poser content: October 2014
Here are the new releases in DAZ Studio and Poser content, which have caught my eye this last month:
Reality 2.5 for DAZ Studio, the high-end LuxRender rendering plugin. In 32 or 64 bit format, and complete with 120 page manual…
SteamPunk: Streets is another very nice 3d scene from the new content maker Phantasmagorical Scenes…
A strong first appearance by new content creator Retrotech, with Retrotech’s The Tripod. The design looks great, although some more detailed texture makeovers for it might be welcome…
Tripods vs. butterflies? ButterflyMech, a new robot butterfly for Poser…
A new quality V4 Sci-Fi Pilot. Not the best helmet in the world, but the boots and the rest of the suit look very useable…
Bryce 7.1 Pro, Space Construction Kit turns Bryce (free at DAZ) into a Space Art engine…
A rather nice Morrowind -ish Lamplighter house…
TheAntFarm’s new Gothic City is a big space that comes with a full set of Poser and DAZ lights, and looks like an excellent setting for superhero renders…
Zen Garden is a realistic mossy Zen garden for Poser, with very close attention to details and authenticity…
AppleJack’s new AJ Forgotten Hero courtyard might make some kind of entrance to the Zen garden.
Winterland Trees is unusual, in that the trees come loaded with snow and the trees are fairly realistic. Part of the new Winterland landscape collection for DAZ…
The Barlow House Ravenskull Court and Ravenskull Stair Hall are pleasing variations on the ‘old abandoned manor house’ theme…
Poser and DAZ content users have had many gothic revival cemeteries before now, but the new Oak Hill Cemetery Bundle is a high quality bundle of matching props and is less specific in its time-period…
If H.P. Lovecraft had had a car, it might have looked like this. Phantom Ride…
Cases For Curiosities has classy modern museum display cases, frames and plinths…