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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...

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