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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)

Saturday, 1 November 2014

What, Genuine Freebies At DAZ Again?

A dozen older items, mainly generation 3/4 stuff, and items that have been genuine freebies in the past...

Not "free if you purchase XYZ product that we're pushing".
Not "free if you're a paid-up member of the Platinum Club".
Just free as in you get it without parting with any cash- you know, "free"!

And apparently it's going to be 'every week'...

I only spotted this because I was intrigued when I saw that DAZ have started advertising at ShareCG  (the 'Free 3D Models Every Week' ad, not the '$5 off DAZ originals' one).
I wondered how they were going to redefine the word 'free' to try and drag in the ShareCG users.
So I was most surprised (and delighted) to discover that some bright spark at new DAZ has actually looked up the word "free" in a dictionary at last!

(Yes, I know that there've been a few genuine freebies at DAZ over the past year - I'm still subscribed to the "Limited Time Freebie Email Message Alert" thread in the Freepozitory thread here which is still a good lead on genuine freebies, and picked up a few via that)

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Notes On My Poser 'Enlightenment'...

Some time back in June (I think?) everything suddenly seemed to come together for the first time, and the pictures I was creating with Poser and DAZ Studio took a huge leap upward in quality. Since then I've been mainly using Poser 9 (even though I have DAZ Studio 4 Pro, and recently bought Poser Pro 2014) and rendering in Poser's native Firefly (even though I also bought Reality for Poser and DAZ Studio).

Lighting: using just two lights (a Diffuse IBL for global/environmental light, and an Infinite for the sun) was the starting point - my worldball freebie uses this lighting setting with a corresponding environment backdrop

Shadows: As important (and possibly moreso) than lighting! I usually turn shadows on for the Infinite (to get the shadows cast by the sun) - sometimes I use depth-mapped, sometimes ray-traced, and I play with the values for each individual picture.

But for me Ambient Occlusion (AO) was the key. I always use it for my Diffuse IBL now (and often for the Infinite as well). I use rather different settings from the default as my starting point:

Ambient Occlusion strength for each light = 1.0

Scene AO options:
- Max distance = 1.0 (I use poser units, so this is 8 feet)
- Min bias = 0.0002
- Samples = 3 (default value)
- Calculate in light (I leave this unchecked)

If I get odd black marks along the mesh lines when I render this is an indication that the min bias is set too low, so I increase it as necessary till they disappear.

Focus Blur: Although it's possible (and quite easy) to set up focus blur in Poser it really increases the render time, I'm not keen on the results, and if the results aren't right I have to re-render. I managed to find the GIMP 'Focus Blur' plugin, and in conjunction with a depth-map render of the scene this allows me to play as much as I want with focus blur in postwork.

Atmosphere: I've only really just started playing with this. Till now I've used postwork...

{Edit 19th October 2014: regarding Atmosphere - Connatic's notes in the "Visible Glowing Lights" thread here were the key I needed. I've now got those settings saved as an MT5 for the Atmosphere.}

OBJ Morph Targets, INJ/REM Poses, And Snarling Tigers

I've recently discovered a few rather nice Victoria face morphs in OBJ format. I know how to load an OBJ as a Morph Target in Poser 6+, and I know about PMD and INJ/REM poses. So I did a bit of searching today a came up with a couple of  quick guides to the twiddly bit that goes between them - how to convert OBJ MTs to PMDs or INJ/REM poses:

" Poser 6 PMD Injection" -

"How to Make INJ & REM Poses for Poser Custom Character Face Morphs" -

I've only tried the INJ/REM version - the instructions are very clear and straightforward. The only thing it doesn't really explain is why it uses 'PBMCC_01'...

(I've also been playing with the DAZ Milllennium Big Cat's head in Blender trying to create a "Proper Tiger Snarl" morph. I've been getting some promising results. And now I know how I'll get that back into the Mil Big Cat when I've finished it)

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

My First Website Update For Over A Year

If you've been looking at the galleries at Renderosity, ShareCG, DeviantArt, Hivewire3D or DAZ3D then you might have seen that I now have quite a large number of pictures uploaded (less at DAZ and Hivewire as they have a PG-13 policy and many (most?) of my pictures include nudity and/or violence). This has inspired me to do something about the 'Gallery' on my website - so here's a link to the gallery page of my website and here's a screenshot...

As anybody who's ever looked at my website knows I don't like the common, normal, popular, or whatever you like to call it way that websites look...

Have you ever watched "Life Of Brian" - you know, the Monty Python film? Remember the scene where the huge crowd are gathered outside his window and he's telling them "You're all individuals." and they all reply in unison, "Yes, we're all individuals." - except for one guy who pipes up with "I'm not."

He's one of my heroes!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Go Ahead, Comment Away!

I've just realized that the reason there's no comments on my blog (other than the "Hello, I'm Billy-No-Mates" one! ;o) is that I've had comments completely disabled all along!

So just in case anybody thinks any of my stuff here is wortha response, please go ahead and comment away.

If nobody comments it doesn't bother me in the slightest - as I've said before, I do all this mainly for my own entertainment anyway!

(I'm going to try and comment on this post myself - just to test it's working now of course...)

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Another Three Weeks Gone By...

I've really been on a roll creating pictures for the past three weeks - check out my galleries at either ShareCG*,  Renderosity*, or DeviantArt* - most pictures have been uploaded to all three.

*Warning for the easily offended and/or squeamish: many of the pictures contain what could be called 'tasteful/artistic nudity'. Other pictures contain what could be called 'realistic sword/arrow injuries' (e.g. blood, quite a lot of it!). For a PG-13 suitable selection of my pictures without any of this disturbing stuff try my  DAZ3D and HiveWire3D galleries.

I haven't forgotten about the promised update to the Smart+/PropGoto+ stuff - I've been continuing with updates and fixes to that: I've added support for Sixus1's Britta, Project Human LoR4es Female, Scrum, Orc, Goblin and Dwarvez, 3DUniverse's Sara, and Adam Thwaites' PollyGon; I've got the Poser version working with Anime Girl Kristin and will be making similar changes to the DS version.

So I'm almost ready to release the update (I think it'll be a sngle update with both the Poser and DS versions included)

But I've now realized that I should add a ':KNOWNPROXIES' datafile section to the datafile - this will hold the X/Y/Z translations and rotations to put selected non-Smart+ props in the DummyHand at the origin. So if the user selects one of these props and runs PropGoto+, then the script can automatically load a DummyHand proxy, put the prop in the proxy, parent the prop to the proxy, move the proxy to the hand, reparent the prop to the hand, and delete the proxy. To the user it will just appear that the ordinary prop automagically moved into Behemoth's hand. And of course the user will be able to add the same support for any prop they like by adding a single line to the datafile.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

So What'sHe Been Up To For The Past Six Weeks Then?

Another six weeks gone by without any post here - how time flies when you're having fun!

About 5 weeks ago I finished and released the DAZ Studio version of the Smart+ stuff - to be honest I think was getting a bit fed up with some of the problems I was having - there's a few stupid mistakes in the release (More on that in a bit...).

I then started looking at doing the promised update to the Poser version. But I wasn't really in the right frame of mind, and decided to put that on hold till inspiration struck again. (More on that in a bit too...)

What to do when the creative forces aredrying up? I do the opposite of most people - I start make another picture!

In my usual fashion I just started up the software, loaded a figure and started rummaging through my library loading props, poses, clothing, etc, deleting and undoing things hither and thither too, until something interesting started to emerge. As often happens the picture took over and told me what to do (metaphorically speaking - don't worry, I'm not stark raving mad!) The result was my 'Warrior Girl' [WARNING for the faint-hearted: Mild nudity and lots of blood!] posted at Renderosity, DeviantArt and ShareCG. Because ShareCG lets you upload several images on the same page I included a second image there to remind me of the way the picture developed).

Then I discovered that Reality was on sale, sufficiently discounted for even a cheapskate like me to give it a whirl. So I picked up both the the DAZ Studio and Poser versions - my first 3D hobby related purchase since Poser 9 I think? I'd used LuxRender before via the Pose2Lux freebie a few years ago, but didn't really have a clue what I was doing and gave up, so time to give it another shot. I'm occasionally getting rather impressive (to me) results - but more often than not the lighting's not working as I want (and that's not the software, it's me not knowing what I'm doing - despite having printed out and read the manuals, something I never do!) I'm slowly getting the hang of it and hope to post my first Reality/Luxrender image... sometime... maybe this year, maybe next.

Then I went back to the Smart+ stuff and got the two major fixes I wanted to do working. I also found loads of stupid mistakes in the DAZ Studio version - Poser code that I'd copied as comments and started converting to DAZ Script, but hadn't quite finished, the DAZ Studio props referencing completely the wrong materials, etc. I made a list and started working through them - that went well. But then ran into problems trying to include support for Anime Girl Kristen - nothing major, but just enough for me to think "Enough! Give me a break!"

So I decided it was time for another picture! One of the comments for my 'Warrior Girl' picture made me want to try an action scene with two figures locked in combat. I started with two guys in boots and combat trousers fighting with Asian swords. It was coming along nicely... and then I deleted the scene AND the backups!

When I started again the picture changed into a heavily tattooed guy in boots, combat trousers, cowboy hat, and automatic rifle, skulking in the foliage with ghostly figures around him. At least that's what it's like in my head - there's a long way to go on that one!


...I decided that I really did want to get this 'two figures locked in combat' scene started - and I wanted a warrior girl, a different one probably, leaping on her male opponent to deliver the final blow. So I loaded V4 and M4 into Poser 9, found a couple of great textures from my library and started playing with poses. I'd left the figures nude because I wanted to get the poses and camera set up right before deciding what armour and clothing to give them. But as so often happens, the scene took over and turned into something completely different - a Gothic horror, the stuff of nightmares - my 'Dreamgirl'...

...she's currently in the Renderosity 'Critique' gallery as a work-in-progress.
The other recent Gothic horror type picture, 'Le Cauchemar', which I've posted at ShareCG,DeviantArt and Renderosity, was just a quick aside I did (if you can call 2 days 'quick'!) when I came across photos of the sculpture of that name.

Anyway, that's where I am at present - trapped in a wonderful, shadowy, world of creeping darkness... unable to escape!

Sweet dreams!

Friday, 11 April 2014

Progressing well - DAZ Studio version of Smart+/PropGoto+

After a few minor problems, the DAZ Studio version of PropGoto+ is almost done. There are no DS-native Smart+ props yet - I've used slightly modified versions of the Poser props (PP2) with associated DAZ Script (DSA) files.

Currently finishing up the DS version of the user guide. DS versions of the datafile and DIY guides still to do, along with any necessary utility/helper scripts.

Hopefully ETA mid-week, around 16th - but no guarantees.

Here we see Posette (CanCan441, in the tiger dress) about to snatch the katana from Jenny (Genesis base female) using the DummyHand proxy...

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Done! Freebie - An Update To My 'PropGoto+' And 'Smart+ Props' (Poser Version Only At Present)

Wouldn't it be nice if smartprops worked with more than just Vicky (or the one figure they're designed for)...

"Generic Smart+ And PropGoto+ For Poser 6+" freebie now available for download from:
- ShareCG:
- Renderosity:

I've just finished a major update to the 'PropGoto+' / 'Smart+ Prop' idea that I used for the dha (S.E. Asian sword), three S.E.Asian shields, and water jar scoop freebies. This package includes all the updated 'PropGoto+' / 'Smart+ Prop' functionality:

  • all the necessary PoserPython scripts (in .py format so you can check out the code yourself if you really want to).
  • Poser prop PP2 and pose PZ2 files that run the scripts automatically, so you can access all the necessary stuff direct from you Prop and Pose libraries without thinking about the scripts.
  • Figure support is now driven by a plain text datafile (in a similar way to the WorldBall - although the datafile's a bit more complex) and you can add support for additional figures by yourself.
  • PropGoto+ will now work with normal (i.e. non-Smart+) props. But you need to use a proxy and follow a short, fairly easy procedure (everything you need is included, and the procedure is explained in the included User Guide)
  • .I've included updated versions of the five previously released Smart+ props - the dha (S.E. Asian sword), the three S.E.Asian shields, and the water jar scoop.
I've also included three PDFs:
  • A User Guide - all the basics
  • A Datafile Guide - how to add/modify/remove figures from the supported figures list
  • A Make Your Own Smart+ Props guide - if you like the way this works and want more

If you have any problems at all please let me know as soon as possible. I did a lot of testing, but I also made a few last minute changes...

Happy Smart+ Propping!
The 3DCheapskate (aka Pete Williams)
30th March 2014

Supported figures:
- DAZ Gen 1-2: Aiko, Michael 1/2, Stephanie, Victoria 1/2.
- DAZ Gen 3: Aiko 3, David, Hiro 3, Laura 3, Luke 3, Michael 3, Stephanie Petite 3, The FREAK, The Girl, Victoria 3.
- DAZ Gen 4: Michael 4 (and Hiro 4, The FREAK 4), Victoria 4 (and Aiko 4, She-Freak 4, Stephanie 4, The Girl 4).
- DAZ Gen 5: Genesis (original base figure only).
- Poser 5: P5 Don, P5 Judy.
- Poser 6: P6 James, P6 Jessi, Miki2, Miki4.
- Poser 7: G2 Simon, G2 Sydney, G2 James, G2 Jessi.
- Poser 8: Alyson, Ryan.
- Poser 9: Alyson2, Ryan2 (and Tyler).
- Sixus 1: Adam2, Behemoth, Behemoth2, HER, HIM, Project Human Female, Project Human Male, Thrusty.
- Kirwyn's: K, KEZ, KEZ-WM, KOZ-WM.
- Others: Antonia, Apollo, Cynthia (BVH), Dawn (Hivewire), F202 Dollie, MayaDoll, The Princess/Heroine (Dark Anvil)

Monday, 24 March 2014

Almost There... An Update To My 'PropGoto+' And 'Smart+ Props' (Poser Version Only At Present)

Still on target, ETA hopefully about a week from now (but definitely not the first of April!)

The documentation's turned into three separate PDFs, still working on them all:
1) A  'How To Use The Smart+ Stuff' guide (15 pages)
2) A 'How To Edit The Smart+ Datafile' guide to add support for other figures , remove figures you don't use, etc (5 pages)
3) A 'Make Your Own Smart+ Props' guide (10 pages)

I've been through a couple of tidying up iterations with the PoserPython scripts - basically trying to convert my usual 'held together with sticky tape, chewing gum, and crossed fingers' code into something a bit more professional-looking...
...just a bit...   ;o)

I've also been playing around with the Smart+/PropGoto+ stuff a lot in Poser 6 and Poser 9, using all sorts of figures to try and get it right from an end-users perspective. I'm having fun coming up with icons - here's the latest 'PropGoto+.pz2' icon (original render for the icon created using my WorldBall - all my stuff ends up feeding back into other stuff!):

It turns out that doing the documentation, tidying up the code, and playing with it all at the same time is a very useful process. It's prompted a number of functional improvements to the code, as well as a lot more datafile validation and error checking.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Almost Ready... An Update To My 'PropGoto+' And 'Smart+ Props' (Poser Version Only At Present)

One of the things that's always really bugged me as a Poser/DAZ Studio user is that many allegedly 'hand-held' props are stupid!  ...that's stupid as in "not smart"... and that's "not smart" as in " not a smartprop"...

If you load up one of these stupid handheld props it just sits at the origin. And if you're lucky enough to have found a smartprop  the chances are that it'll be for Victoria.

Unless you have a smartprop for the specific figure you're using you have to manually move the prop to your figure's hand and get it oriented correctly. Some people might find this easy, or even enjoy it. But I just find it a complete pain in the ****!

The five hand-held props I've already released are what I like to call 'Smart+'. They're smart, in that they'll load into the hand of the currently selected figure like a standard smartprop. The 'plus' is that they will do this for 28 different figures (a mixed selection of DAZ, Poser, Sixus1, and independent figures that I happen to have on my system), and also that a hand pose is automatically applied to grip the prop.

The problem is that each Smart+ Prop used a separate script, and all the data for all the supported figures was hard-coded into each script. I decided that this data would be better in an external data file. That's all working beautifully now.

The original 'PropGoto+' allowed an already loaded Smart+ Prop to be moved from hand to hand and from figure to figure within the scene. I decided that I wanted some way of doing this with any prop. By using a couple of simple helper scripts and a 'DummyHand' proxy that's working quite nicely too.

And last but not least, why stop at supporting 28 figures? I've almost doubled the number now.

I'm currently finishing up a short PDF (with lots of pictures) explaining how easy it is to use, doing some final testing, and packaging everything up.

Hopefully it'll be released in the next week or so...

Friday, 31 January 2014

Ongoing - HDR Lighting For Poser/DAZ Studio WorldBalls

I recently created a couple of scripts to make the generation of worldball environment sets much less tedious/error-prone. Once I'd got these scripts the daunting prospect of going through the whole tedious procedure several times at different exposure settings to create an HDR light probe suddenly became irrelevant. The long-winded, tedious, error-prone procedure had prevented me from doing any proper investigation. But now, with the help of modified versions of those scripts, I can create HDR light probes for Poser and for DAZ Studio's UberEnvironment2 in around 15 minutes. This has allowed me to play around a bit more and work on dentifying the best Terragen Classic exposure settings, Poser root light node settings, and DAZ Studio UberEnvironment2 light settings.

There are several vital elements that helped me get to where I am now, so credit where it's due:

I found that using negative Terragen Classic exposure settings was the biggest mistake - these made my HDR much too dark and I couldn't get things to look any good in Poser/DAZ Studio no matter how much I fiddled and tweaked. However, when I tried using just four exposure settings of  0, +1, +2 and +3 the end results in Poser/DAZ Studio were much better. A picture speaks a thousand words, so here are two Poser 9 renders (top) and two DAZ Studio renders (bottom - DR3.duf) using my worldball with a new HDR set that I'm working on:

In both cases the worldball sun is switched off, so the only light is from the HDR.
- In Poser this HDR light is my worldball IBL with my HDR angular map plugged into it. (Root light node intensity=1.8, Contrast=0.5,AO swithed on with default settings)
- In DAZ Studio both worldball sun and IBL are turned off, and I've used the UberEnvironment2 with my 'convolved ue2ified TIF'* as the IBL. (intensity scale=150%, contrast=75%, 4xHi quality, occlusion with directional shadows)

I'm very pleased with the results!

*I know what that means! ;o)

Friday, 17 January 2014

Picture Time - Dawn Renders

Just noticed that I haven't posted for over a month. That's because I've been having fun creating the largest renders I've ever done - 2000x2000! Now that may not sound too big to you, but on my system it takes the best part of a day to do a render that size...

I've posted the three entries I did for HiveWire3D's "Dawn Of A New Era" on my ShareCG, Renderosity, and DeviantArt galleries - I think? I get confused. So I won't post them here just a smaller composite versions of the three images...

You'll find the full size 2000x2000 versions via the site links in the 'About Me' just over there ===>