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Ongoing (22) Freebie (15) Shields (12) Scripts (7) Ideas (6) SneakPeek (6) Architecture (5) WorldBall (5) Tattoo (4) PictureTime (3) Armour (2) Shader (2) HDRI (1) Hats (1) Poser (1) Sources (1) moan (1) website (1)

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Freebies - Poser Shader For S.E.Asian Shields (Final? Version)

Now available for download from ShareCG or Renderosity Freestuff

Please note: this shader is for Poser ONLY (tested in Poser 6, 8 and 9) and will NOT work in DAZ Studio. I will be doing a DAZ Studio version in the near future.

For more info and screenshots of the shader network see the ShareCG page.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Sources - Where That Whole Shield Thing Started

For anybody who's interested (and to keep my source material in one easily accessible place), these are the photos that started me on this S.E. Asian shield project - nice big, clear images that gave me a great start (composite below)...

They came from a thread somewhere on the VikingSword forum (I'll post the direct link when I track it down - till then I hope it's okay reposting the images here?).

There were also photos of a few other shields (composite below)...

Those images weren't so good (and I had to make up the centre part of the design on the narrow shield).

I started to find a few other images by Googling 'thai shield', 'asian shield', but they were much smaller. Here's the source for the second set of textures:

And the third:

...although halfway through I discovered a much better photo of the rectangular shield...
And the fourth (a much simpler trio!):
And the fifth:

You can now make an informed judgement on how good/bad my attempts at recreating these were.

(All images in this post are 90% quality JPGs exported from GIMP after compositing the original images. Image sizes are as per the originals)

If anybody objects to my posting these images here on copyright grounds please contact me and I'll remove them.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Freebie - Final Batch Of S.E. Asian Shield Textures Released

I've just released the fifth design for each of the three shields. Now available for download as a freebie at ShareCG and Renderosity Freestuff.

One new design for each of the three shields - 'new' and 'worn' versions of each design (Poser/DAZ Studio materials). Includes a greyscale mask for each of the three designs (for use with the previously released shield shader)

Check the image at the bottom of the next post to see the source photos I worked from...

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Ongoing - Old Water Jar / New Late Empire Roman Shield

Something Old: A Water Jar - Just rediscovered one of the first models I made, an Asian water jar with wooden lid and coconut scoop. It wasn't UV mapped so I started playing with some Poser procedural textures. I was having fun with that, and decided to incorporate them into a little scene - Behemoth preparing to play a little joke on F202 Dollie. Here's a small version (full size cropped version at DeviantArt, DAZ3D and Renderosity)...

Something New: A Late Empire Roman Shield - My first version of a Later Empire Roman shield is modeled - size and shape based on another one of the Duras Europos shields. The metal edging may not be historically inaccurate (rawhide edging was apparently more common - metal was more usual in earlier periods), but I just felt like trying to model it! The blazon design is a simple Chi Ro, based on a picture I vaguely recollect(?) from when I was a kid (so probably historically inaccurate too!). Poser 6 renders (3 separate ones overlaid) below - I'm very pleased with this so far! (But I just realised that in my whole runtime I've got nothing that even approximates to a Roman legionary's clothing...)

These shields were apparently covered with linen or leather and then painted, so I used my simple DMS again (I far prefer the 'worn' look): the 'chi ro' image (red on pale yellow - sort of old paint) is the upper layer, and a linen (just a 'Weave' 3D texture node into the bump channel) is the lower layer; the wear mask is the usual one (the result looks good at some sizes, but is prone to moiré patterns at others). The metal bits are a very simple metal shader I'm playing with (colours, a bit of noise for bump, and a smidgen of reflection).

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Ongoing - Reinstalling My Runtime / Status Of Freebie Projects

I've been spending a lot of time over the past week (and weeks to come, no doubt!) simply reinstalling my whole runtime - a monotonous, mind-numbing process! The default installation subfolder structure in each Poser library (i.e. Pose, Props, etc) was too confusing and inconsistent - I simply couldn't find stuff I knew that I had! So I'm taking this opportunity to rework the subfolder structure, and I now have a logical (to me) and consistent subfolder structure. I'm having much more success finding stuff now! But I'm still only half-way through the reinstall...

(I'm really glad I rezipped the runtime for each DAZ item I bought [well, my alter-ego did the actual buying] individually - it's simply a case of extracting from the zip, i.e. one drag-and-drop. I really hated those DAZ installers - if I had to rerun them all I'd go mad!)
For anybody who's wondering how my freebies are coming along (and as a reminder to myself!) here's a quick status update on the projects I'm actively working on (no particular order):
1) S.E.Asian Shield Designs: Waiting to scan my drawing of the fifth design for the narrow shield. Then I can do the mask/texture images, create the MC6, PZ2 and DSA material, and release.
2) S.E. Asian Shield UV Swapping: (only between the rectangular/narrow shields) Thanks to feedback on the Renderosity forums I've got this working with 'alternateGeom' in the PP2 and an OBJ with an alternate UV map. Works from a parameter dial in Poser 6. In DS3 it works from the UV_Mapping group on the parameters tab, but with the alternate UV mapping selected everything on the Surfaces tab is set to default, i.e. plain grey. Still need to sort that out. Hoping to release this with the textures mentioned above in (1).
3) Displacement/Bump Sarong: Principal proven, it basically works. I plan to do versions for M3, F3 (for my 'Yak' character) and V3 (along with a similar style top) for my basic S.E. Asian characters. The idea is to use my Dual Material Shader (DMS) and do a script (PoserPython and DAZ Script versions of course) so that they can be used with any M3/F3/V3 skin texture. (I'm not quite up to creating my own skin textures yet...)
4) Dummy Hand and GotoDummyHand Script: Principal proven. Working out some x/y/zTranslate/Rotate values to put specific props in the dummy hand to try and come up with some generic values to use in a script (realised of course that the script will be able to tell if the props translations/rotations are zeroed, and can inform the user).
5) Roman Scutum (Early Empire): Looking good! Using bevel and subdivision in Blender works nicely. I think the edging and boss rivets will probably be a morph, or hide/show geometry. Need to think a bit about 'Smart+' versions, since the shield needs to be rotated +45 in Z for a correct right-hand grip, but -45 in Z for a correct left-hand grip when I use my PropGoto+
Just realised why using SubD on my models in DAZ Studio screws everything up: (a) Some of my models are made from separate, unconnected meshes and they split apart when SubD'd; (b) SubD does NOT interpolate between the existing vertices as I thought (don't know where I got that from!), it MOVES the vertices, so that explains why the shield designs are warped after SubDing! (Realized what was going on when I actually paid attention to what was going on when I applied a SubDivision modifier in Blender!) I think I'll do the subdivision in my model in future, rather than assuming the user can do it.
6) Triple Material Shader (TMS): Poser version more-or-less done - looks good with the S.E.Asian shields. DAZ Studio version to do. I'll probably release the Poser TMS separately first, and release the DAZ Studio version later.
7) Simple Claw Hammer: A very basic model I created for testing my DummyHand idea. Maybe worth tidying up, UV mapping, texturing, turning into a Smart+ prop and releasing? Maybe do a range of simple items to prove the PropGoto+ isn't just for swords and shields?
8) More 'Wear' Patterns: I did a single wear mask for my S.E.Asian Shields, and created a blood-spatter mask (courtesy of a used teabag and a sheet of paper!) to do my 'Yak Grot' picture. I want to try and improve on this. Currently playing with ideas.
9) Sak Yant: Started hand drawing my own versions. It's going to take some time! These are intended to be part of my basic S.E.Asian character set in (3).
10) More Shields: There are a nice range of single-handed historical shields, so I plan on doing several different types:
Roman Shields: Both Early Empire (semi-cylindrical rectangular and oval, based on Duras Europos and Kasr el-Harit (Fayum) originals) and Later Empire (flat oval, based on Duras Europos originals).
Celtic Shields:
African parrying sticks:
Egyptian shields: found some nice ones on a LARP forum, need to find the original sources (and check they didn't have an forearm strap!
11) Tiling Textures: I haven't forgotten these - just got side-tracked! I was trying to make a worn goldleaf-on-stone texture for a tiling naga-scale freebie (not yet released). That texturing problem became my DAZ Studio SDMS beta freebie, and developed into my Dual/Triple Material Shaders (DMS/TMS) project. And that brought my S.E.Asian Shields project back off the shelf!
12) Shields with a handgrip and forearm strap: These are more of a problem, simply because I need to make the forearm strap fit my list of 28 figures. But once I get the first one done...
13) PropGoto+ and Smart+ prop improvements: I mentioned 28 figures, but I now have Poser 8 and Poser 9, plus Miki 4 and GND Tyler, so there's a few more to add! Also Behemoth 2010's hands are in a slightly different position.
Also been thinking for a long time that it would make more sense to have the data for the supported figures array, the handgrip pose array, and the prop translate/rotate array in an external file. Need to read up on file parsing in PoserPython and DAZ Script...

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Ongoing - Status Of Shields Projects

Got that latest design for the narrow S.E.Asian shield completed on paper - now I need to wait till I can get to a scanner to get it from pen-and-ink to ones-and-zeroes.

In the meantime I've decided to do some other one-handed shields to work with my PropGoto+ script, so I can make Smart+ props for them too. Roman shields, Viking shields, African parrying shields, and Medieval bucklers. Here's my first stab at an early Empire era Roman legionaries shield, based on the Dura Europos - i.e. c.106x86cm, curved to a 66cm chord, 5-6mm thick (source info from , wikipedia , , and ), although I've made the umbo (boss) an elongated hexagon as opposed to a square - don't know why I did that?

Very basic model at present - 412 vertices, 412 faces. Boss needs to be more rounded (only 8 vertices round its circumference - you can see from the handgrip), shield corners need rounding, all edges need beveling, etc. Here's Jimmy doing the old "Hail Caesar!" with it...

Not sure whether to model the rawhide edging and the the rivets on the boss, or to leave that to bump/displacement in the texturing.

P.S. Image Upload Problem: Seems to be a FF issue (clearing cache/cookies, Ctrl-F5, disabling addons/plugins, restarting browser and logging in again doesn't help), since it worked fine from IE.

Note for future - For Republican shields check the Kasr el-Harit shield, e.g. at - 120x64cm, so taller and narrower.