The venerable Lightwave is now back, newly led by a team of veterans from the NewTek years. They’ve released a new version for Windows. Lightwave 2023 adds plugins for GPU-accelerated fluid turbulence (smoke, fire etc), a 3D sculpting plugin, and it can now use ‘instancing’ for quickly populating a 3D scene. Including a new Vue-style ‘paint the instancing onto the scene’ brush designed to work with things like “rocks or vegetation”. Plus an integrated OctaneRender, and it sounds like you might even be able to use this for free on a single GPU(?).
A quick demo of the Grotto’s Vampire for Michael 3 Poser figure from Renderosity, which I had in this year’s ‘Black Friday sale’. Rendered in the Poser software, with some ‘secret sauce’ for the final rendering.
Install and load:
1. Install both .ZIP files to the Runtime, as usual.
2. Figures | DAZ People | and load Michael 3 to the Poser stage. Select BODY rather than Hip. No special M4 morph packs are required.
3. Figures | Grotto’s Vampire | add wings and tail to M3.
4. Pose | G VAMPIRE MORPH-MATL | and load GROTTO VAMPIRE ALL. This loads the morphs. There are 60 custom morphs with dials.
5. Pose | G VAMPIRE MORPH-MATL | and load GROTTO VAMPIRE. This loads the default textures.
6. Pose | G VAMPIRE POSES has a range of preset poses for the figure. See also: Expressions | G VAMPIRE EXPRESSIONS and Hands | G VAMPIRE HANDS
7. Save the base vampire figure to the Library, choosing “Whole Group” when prompted. Now you won’t have to set up the figure again in future.
Here are a few demo render in Real-time Comic Book. Less successful at taking line-art than Mr. Happy, a figure from the same maker. But still well worth having, packed with morphs, and it can take M3 poses and expressions. Possibly also additional M3 head and body morphs.
OK. Now a little experiment. Render to a basic real-time Comic Book + Smooth Shaded render. Make it a 768px square .PNG from Poser…
I then tried “rendering” it with AI. Specifically with InvokeAI and the epicRealism v5 photoreal model. I dropped the .PNG into a ControlNet (‘Canny’ edge trace) and after a few goes and some tinkering with the text-prompt I had this in about six seconds…
The final prompt was…
Positive: A vampire at night, kneeling on a building in Gotham, stormy night, red eyes, dead shiny meat skin, fangs, wings, high detail, dramatic lighting, film-noir lighting
Negative: Batman, female.
Is it Poser, is it AI? It’s both. Just another way of rendering.
More Black Friday notes.
The usual DAZ and Renderosity sales.
The worthy 2D animation software Moho has 40% off both the Debut and Pro editions. Use the discount code BLACKFRIDAY at the checkout. Moho can also now be had mailed to you on physical media, for those with flaky Internet connections (or none at all).
OctaneRender Studio has discounts on subscriptions. Last time I looked, DAZ Studio could run Octane.
Richard Rosenman’s worthy Photoshop plugins have 40% off. Add the discount code BLK40 at the checkout.
30% off all Mediachance software with BLACK2023 coupon code.
Clip Studio Paint has discounts on both editions. Note also “One-time purchase of version 2 will get a free update to version 3 when that’s released in March 2024.”
TyranoBuilder Visual Novel Studio, 35% off. Steam only.
XP-Pen has substantial discounts on its worthy ‘draw on the screen’ pen monitors.
QuadSpinner has discounts on Gaea pre-orders.
Planetside Software has chosen Black Friday to release of Terragen 4.7. Improved exporting of clouds and terrains.
Yes, I got InvokeAI 3.0 installed on Windows 7 and it’s working fine with my new RTX 3060 card. I’m now a proper member of the PC desktop AI-ing crowd!
All a Windows 7 install needs is a slightly earlier cudart64_110.dll placed in the following locations in the InvokeAI installer folder structure:
And then it installs and runs without any OS errors.
Black Friday is still a week away, but some are jumping the gun. Topaz has its usual discount offers on software such as Gigapixel AI. And e-on’s Vue 3D landscape software has…
“Save massive 40% on all annual licenses of VUE & PlantFactory and PlantCatalog until 5th December 2023.”
Yes, it still imports Poser scene files.
Beware of integrating any AI face-swopping technology from the open-source InsightFace developers. Because they appear to be getting very screwy on the legal side of things, for instance issuing several takedown notices for benign third-party YouTube videos… in which a well-known and respected YouTuber simply shows the technology. InsightFace’s products are thus not something you would want to use in your animations or graphic novels, I’d suggest, in case of legal problems with future licencing and distribution of your work.
It’s the start of the pre-Black Friday, pre Christmas big releases. A biggie, the Blender 4.0 Release Candidate is expected on the 14th November 2023. New is…
– An updated UI (again, will it never end?). There’s even a whole new UI font. Huge UIs menus can now be searched, which is something.
– The vital Principled BSDF node “had a full rewrite”, seemingly enabling slightly better shading and shadows. Hair shading is also a little more realistic, at least considering it’s 3D hair.
– The Anisotropic shader is gone, and Specular BSDF is on the way out.
– The Asset Library is now an ‘Asset Shelf’, under your workspace and viewport.
– Developers can now hook external render engines into Blender.
– User-colored wireframes for 3D meshes.
– Lights now can be textured, and also made to only affect specific parts of a model or figure.
– Nodes can now have collapsible sections.
– “Transparent images in the File Browser now have a checkered background” like in Photoshop. Thumbnail previews for .SVG vector images.
– “Mesh to Volume” node now creates proper volume fog, via OpenVDB.
– Various modelling and rigging changes, which are breaking people’s rigs.
– The minimum OpenGL requirement is now 4.3.
Some of these will likely feed through into Poser 14 in due course, since Poser’s SuperFly is Blender’s Cycles re-branded.
Time for another survey and pick of what’s new for Poser and DAZ, and related software and AI. My last such survey was 17th September, so this is a six-week survey rather than a monthly survey.
Technomages Corridor for Poser, and also available for DAZ. From 1971s, and his models always toon nicely in Poser’s real-time Comic-book mode.
Coflek-gnorg’s Headpiece Interfaces for V4/M4, and G8.
A helmet-hood for G8M Helmet 002 MMKBG8M, looking useful for the guards of the hyper-tech lab in your sci-fi story.
A free Tank Breather freebie for V4 through G8.
Is that a Vogon or Cygon or Moron in your spaceship’s alien specimen tank? Find out with the new Cyberpunk Alien Scanner Collection.
dForce Leeloo Bandages for G8F, though obviously for Fifth Element fan-art only.
DMs Omega Interface machine and set.
PBR Alien Rock Shaders for iRay in DAZ Studio.
The Command Deck Crew Poses for Genesis 8 and 9. Requires the Command Deck scene.
Space Suit Outfit for Genesis 9. Plausible as a near-future exploration spacesuit.
Steel Battalions for Cybertenko’s recent Steampunk Soldier Uniform package.
A pre-made Witches Workroom for DAZ Studio.
Free Fantasy race morphs for Genesis 8 & 8.1. “Morphs to turn your characters into most of the core races for D&D 5E. Elf, Drow, Dwarves, Halflings, Gnomes, and Half-Orcs.” Requires the free SY 200 Morphs for Genesis 8 Head & Body.
City Watchtowers for DAZ Studio. Four different types, including one that could double as a rustic fantasy light-house.
The romantic fantasy Halley Hair for Genesis 9.
Flat Spooky Portrait Morphs for G8F. Flatten G8F, put her in a picture frame, desaturate to B&W.
A slightly stylised Dead Place 3D vignette.
A free Trash can and lid with morphs. Definitely looks spooky to me!
The trash can is probably where the Spooky Banshees for DAZ Studio hang out.
iRay WebWorx, hand-crafted iRay web meshes without spiders. Lots of other recent Halloween items are over at the DAZ Store, mostly looking like movie, TV, game -influenced stuff.
A free toony Caterpillar for DAZ Studio.
A set of poses, RA for Pink 2. Pink 2 being a small toon figure that ships free with newer versions of Poser.
Figures, poses and clothes:
Now on the Renderosity store, the flagship Poser female figure La Femme 2 Pro.
Temesta’s Octavia for La Femme 2. “LF2” appears to be a somewhat agreed search term to use on the Renderosity store, to find characters for the new La Femme 2 base figure.
Three conforming tails for Poser figures. The maker says “they conform well to all the figures I’ve tested”, which look from the preview like V4, A4 and perhaps a Genesis import to Poser.
STZ Cooking poses for G8F, possibly useful for making illustrated tutorials.
And for underneath the Pastoral Summer outfit, D-Force Daisy for G8F and G8.1F passion-killer underwear.
WC Dimetrodon for DAZ Studio.
Millions of years of evolution later, Dimetrodon looks more like the Songbird ReMix Chickens. Has male and female variants.
DS Fantasy Owl. Based on a barn owl, but it looks like it has far bigger wings.
At the DAZ Store, a Large Stable for your horse collection.
Landscapes and seascapes:
Pyramid bridges set for Poser, also available for DAZ.
Paid Rough Seas models for DAZ Studio.
A free Snow scooter for traversing your winter landscapes.
Rubies for Rolls-Royce Armored Car. Texture makeovers for the First World War armoured vehicle.
1935 Potex 62 aircraft in OBJ.
Expert Soldier: Poses for G8M. Looks useful for vintage recruiting poster artwork.
1950s Vintage Dress for La Femme and LF2.
A classic English Village for DAZ Studio.
Mid/late 1980s style Leather Outfit for Genesis 8 and 8.1 Females.
Scripts and utilities:
Code 66 Toolbox – Volume 4 for DAZ Studio. Lights Converter, Object arranger, Duplicator and more. I suspect this requires the base Code 66 add-on?
Proteus: Level Set Morphing for DAZ Studio.
How to (easily) combine all materials for a figure into one material, for Poser 11 or higher.
A video on saving memory and diskspace in Poser, and another warning don’t activate Poser’s ‘Use File Compression’ option.
A video on using real world colour temperatures in Poser and how to export rendered figures with a transparent background and shadows. One video has the possibly important comment…
“if you are using Superfly rendering, instead of tinting the color chip of the light to simulate actually daylight, attach a Blackbody node to the Light node to emit a more accurate daylight color temperature. Anything in the range of 5500 – 10000 degrees Kelvin will simulate a blue-tinted sky or shaded area.”
How to have a figure walk along a path in Poser 13.
Your free V3 to V4 pose converter, that creates more or less accurate conversions.
TriAx Figures from Old Parametric Figures for DAZ Studio. “This 69 page tutorial takes you step by step through the process of doing the conversion yourself with Aiko 3. At the end of the process, your TriAx A3 can wear A3, V3, M3, G3F, G3M, G8F and G8M clothing and hair using autofit technology”. Interesting.
Creating an animatable target light in DAZ Studio.
A new video on Mimic Pro for DAZ Carrara – a Basic Intro. Mimic being for lip-syncing of characters.
An unusual MAT in the form of Grid Suit for G8F in DAZ Studio. Useful for comics makers who need drawing guides for draw-overs.
On YouTube, The Secrets Behind Classic Inking Techniques.
Poser is now at 13.1.518 (October 2023). Related videos: Principled Volume Shader in Poser 13! and Saving to the content library – A great improvement.
The mature 2D animation software Moho 14 has been released, along with a long free Webinar – What’s new in Moho 14.
3DCoat now has Live Booleans.
PD Howler has PBR and a new PBR basics – metallic appearance video tutorial.
At the Internet Archive the old Mojoworld 3.11 Pro and also the software’s PDF manual and two key tutorials. An install of Poser 6 is required to import .PZ3 files to a MojoWorld. The software’s old Quicktime QTVR ‘360-degree bubble’ can be fairly easily converted to modern 360-degree VR formats.
The Painter 2023 Humble Bundle, an offer now on for a limited time.
Photoshop Elements 2024 is released and at last has a dark mode.
It looks like the chance to buy Zign Track 2 for Poser has vanished. The software offered ‘stick bobbles on your face’ marker-based facial mo-cap for Poser figures, working with a standard webcam.
Videos for the InvokeAI 3.2 Release and 3.3 Release. InvokeAI is perhaps the best starter UI framework for new generative AI users, provided they’re already used to the sort of complexity required in 3D software. See also the tutorial Use InvokeAI’s ControlNet with any 3D software to generate the poses you want with automated OpenPose estimation from a basic Poser render…
Skybox AI – seamless 360-degree VR bubbles from text prompts and sketches. Five free goes, then you sign up. Impressive and fast, at the moment.
That’s all. Don’t forget to support me with a $ or two on Patreon, please.
More picks before Christmas. May all your Black Friday bargains be $20 items reduced to $2.99!
Have you ever thought, “I wish Windows and Windows apps had the equivalant of a browser’s UserScripts and CSS Styles”. Now they do, in the form of the freeware Windhawk for Windows. Version 1.0 released at Christmas 2022, and it’s now in 1.31 (April 2023).
Dark mode for Notepad? It’s here. Replace any text with any other text, in any Windows program UI? That to. Force dark mode in the new Microsoft Paint? Yup. There are many more mods, including ones that add much-missed Windows 7 functionality to later lesser versions of Windows.
Yes, it injects code into a running Windows process (not into critical system processes). Your anti-virus and PC may freak out at that, especially in Windows 10/11. But source code is available for all mods, and there’s a central repository which checks the code before adding the mod.
Possibly especially useful if you have a fine bit of creative software which lacks the dark mode that artists like. Dark mode for Poser, anyone?
Google’s .webP security debacle: how to fix it, or just block .webP as much as possible. Includes links for the fixed libwebp.dll for various software, and the fixed WebP.dll required by the popular IrfanView image viewer.
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 .PZ2 file for Poser. I had success with the following settings…
11. Load Poser, load a v4.2 figure, then drag-drop your newly made .PZ2 pose onto the figure. She will take the pose. Make some final small adjustments and save the pose into Poser natively.
Done. 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.
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…
An alternative ‘drag and drop’ of the pose, direct to a V4.2 in Poser. Doesn’t work properly.
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.
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.