Blog Labels

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)

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Ongoing - Smart+ Prop Scripts And The S.E.Asian Helmet

It's been a while since I posted, but that's because I've been busy actually doing stuff.  If you've looked at  Renderosity's PoserPython forum or DAZ's Developer Discussion forum you might have seen a flurry of questions regarding file-handling. That's because I'm making a couple of improvements to the PropGoto+ / Smart+ Prop idea...

1) I'm taking the figure-matching, prop-positioning, and hand-posing parameters out of the scripts and putting them into a simple CSV format datafile.

2) I'm adding a few extra figures to the supported list - the list's up from 28 to 53 figures:

Aiko 3
Apollo Maximus
Behemoth 2010
Don P5
F202 Dollie
G2 James
G2 Jessi
Genesis (basic figure)
Hiro 3
James P6
Jessi P6
Judy P5
Kirwyn's K
Laura 3
Luke 3
Michael 3
Michael 4
Hiro 4
Miki 2
Project Human Female
Project Human Male
Stephanie Petite 3
The Girl
Victoria 3
Victoria 4
Aiko 4
Stephanie 4
She-Freak 4
The Girl 4
Simon P7
Sydney P7
Alyson2 P8
Alyson P8
Ryan2 P8
Ryan P8
Victoria 1-2
Michael 1-2
Matt Maddie 3
Stephanie 1
Aiko 1
Preteen Boy Girl
The Princess
Miki 4

3) I'm extending the Smart+ idea to cover stuff that goes on the head, i.e. hats and helmets.

Status? I'm testing with a simple bowler hat prop I knocked up. All the figure-matching and hat-fitting data is now in the CSV file. I have both a PoserPython script and a DAZ Script that read the data from the file, use it to match the figure, and use the appropriate fitting data for that figure. So I have a bowler hat that (under most circumstances) will smartprop, (more-or-less) correctly fitted to any of 53 different figures with just two clicks (1st click on the Smart+ Bowler icon in the library, 2nd click to confirm the figure match). And it works in Poser 6 & 9 and DAZ Studio 3 & 4.5

Main focus at present is making a generic Smart+ script (Poser and DAZ Studio) with the bulk of the functionality, and separate prop-specific scripts that do any prop-specific stuff (e.g. apply DS materials) and then call the generic script, passing a few parameters so the generic script knows e.g. whether to put the prop in the figure's hand or on its head.

Once that's sorted the hand-held props should be fairly straightforward. I've already released four props - a sword and three shields - that use the hard-coded Smart+ script, and I've already proven the method for getting that data from the CSV file instead. Of course, I still need to create the individual hand poses for the new figures - but I can use one I've already got as a start for each of them.

No ETA yet, and it's not going to be soon if I try to do all this. So maybe I'll do an initial release of just the hat-fitting stuff, with the bowler hat? If I get things right I can then simply release updates to the CSV file, generic Smart+ script (Poser and DAZ Studio), and Smart+ sword and shields.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Ongoing - S.E.Asian Helmet

With the cable/rope shader and the simple knot I've now got a way forward for the chinstrap of the Asian helmet. So I've restarted work on it, firstly getting the general shape right. Then I'll try fitting it to Mike 3's chin, with one 'M3 Jaw Open' morph I think (the 'Mouth Yell' morph seems the best model to do this for). The basic fits to get the helmet to sit comfortably on the other 28 figures' heads are quite simple, but the chinstrap morphs for each figure are going to take some time.

I think I'll do just M3 and maybe one other figure to start with (any preferences anybody?) and release the model with just two fits. Then I can do updates of the PP2 with fits for other figures as and when.

Anyway, here's a Poser 6 render (draft quality) of the helmet with the new chinstrap being worked up...

Once again I'm rather pleased - it's beginning to look like I've been imagining it. I think the knots may need to be tightened up a bit. And of course the dangling ends need to be joined up and fitted snugly to Mike's chin. (I've seen two arrangements for this: an open reef knot with the chin poking through the centre; and a simple double helix, like the twist below each knot in the render, with the chin poking between the two cords. Not sure which I'll do yet...)

Upate 9th Feb 2013: I've got the basic shape of the chinstrap sorted out now - need to fix the UV mapping and tidy up the mesh. The neck and cheek guards are very basic and need rework. Then I'll try doing a couple of fitting morphs, plus maybe some adjustment morphs for the neck/cheekguards. Here's a test render...
(Slightly) larger image on my DAZ3D forum render thread here - Ancient Warrior.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Ideas - a knotty problem

I find myself in need of some polygon mesh knots for one of my many ongoing projects. I've tried mesh-modeling knots before and found it really awkward. I've tried extruding a profile along a curve and converting that to mesh, but the results always seem to have very high polygon counts. Yes, the meshes can be decimated, or selected edge loops can be removed, but I find the results unsatisfactory. So I went back to modeling a knot mesh from scratch. This time I think I've got it right! Here's a simple dual-cord thumb-knot (which is my immediate need, for my S.E. Asian helmet's chinstrap) rendered from different angles in Poser 6...

I used 'Final' quality, 'Smooth Polys' and 'Use Displacement Maps' for the render, but would you believe that the actual model's only 308 vertices/288 faces? The dual cord is just an extruded pair of 8-vertex circles (slightly overlapped). The knot only required 17 extrusions total!

To get a nice rope-like texture I used my steel cable procedural shader (from the Railings02 freebie I just released): I changed the colours, multiplied the cable equation by the output of a procedural 'Mesh' node before applying it to bump, added some displacement, andadjusted the twist/strand parameters of the cable equation. Here's a screenshot of my settings...

As it stands it's not much use on its own, but the OBJ (and similar ones for other knots) could be very handy for anyone modeling cords, ropes, etc that require knots. Model your own rope, merge the end vertices with the corresponding ones on the knot, et voilĂ . I've done a really simple UV map too...

Anybody like the idea?

Thanks to amy_aimei for sparking the thought with her bow-knot ...

Edit: First batch released 8th March 2013 - see this post for details

Yet another new project - a jezail

I've got so many projects in various partially-completed states that I should really knuckle down and get a few of them finished. But so many new things keep catching my attention...

I was recently reading Ben Macintyre's 'Josiah Harlan: The Man Who Would Be King'. If you know the Rudyard Kipling story (and/or the Sean Connery/Michael Caine movie), or have an interest in Asian history it's a fascinating tale. The photos of tribesmen with their long jezail flintlock muskets intrigued me (and reminded me of the tusken raiders - so that's where the idea came from, eh?)

Anyway, here's my roughing out of the overall shape of the thing (just under 600 faces total at present) plus a simple squatting shooting pose. Both model and pose need a lot more work, but not a bad start.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Freebie - Another set of railings

The railings I've been working on, and the steel cable shader, are now available free on ShareCG and Renderosity Freestuff. Don't forget that you need to be a member at those sites to download, and membership is free.

More inforamtion in the DAZ Freepozitory forum here, and the Renderosity Freestuff forum here.

Best example render to date of the steel cable shader (plus some notes on adjusting it) here.