Learning Dark Arts

Come learn the art of 3D computer generated art and animation. This blog deals with the lessons learned and the art created by Robert G. Male using DazStudio from Daz3D. Also covered are the ancillary software, tools, techniques, and processes needed both before and after rendering in the 3D software.


Spell casting woman.

R.M.T.P. Co.


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November 20, 2007

Limited Range of Motion

Yes, you heard it here first; I've lost the ability to bend my arms and legs certain ways. I don't know when it happened exactly. I don't think it hurts. Well, at least it doesn't look like it hurts. Then again, unless I move my mouths to tell me, silently, that it hurts, how would I ever know? Of course when I say my parts, well not the one's I was born with, just the ones I have in Daz3D. What? You think I should speak of Aiko, Victoria, David, etc as if they were real and owned their own parts? Here's the low down, without all the obfuscation.

Once upon a time, lets call it Daz1.4 there used to be a dialogue box that appeared when I loaded a character. That dialogue asked me if I wanted to load the figure with the limits left on, or the limits turned off. It was a new box that wasn't there in the previous version of Daz3D. At first I thought it was annoying, but then I saw what it could do. With the limits turned off the character could do things that no real body could do. This is important, because some of the limits are, well, too limiting. While I can always seem to sink hands into bodies, there is only so far any limb will bend. Now that I can no longer turn the limits off, I cannot get the full range of motion that I need. A character can kneel for instance, but cannot sit on their feet. They can't bring their thighs close enough to their chests. Does anyone know if that limits setting is still hiding somewhere in Daz1.8?

Music: A Secret Place by Megadeth.

November 15, 2007

Feeling Stupid

A night or two ago I got in on the special sale for Vanessa for V4. Again I have lucked into an excellent set. I bought the bundle with the character maps and poses, and it's own hair--the hair even comes with poses as well as mats, I love that--which was bundled with a dress for the character. In addition I bought the "Fantasy" mats for the dress. All in all an excellent haul especially since I used this month's Platinum $5 thingy. There is a lot of stuff in Vanessa's set. There are three body injects, three face injects, there are morphs apparently for Aiko3 and Aiko3 Realistic. I don't know that I've seen the Realistic one before. Then there are the makeup mats, eye colours, and eyeliner colours.

The hair as I said has its own poses. Here's where the stupidity begins. There is a folder of mats to change the colour of the hair, and then there is another folder to change the colour of the bangs. One slight problem... I do not see any bangs either before or after renderings. I do not see where to turn the bangs on or off. I ran through all the dials for the hair and I could not get the bangs to appear. I went back and looked at the pictures for the character on the site, none of them show her with bangs. I applied the bangs' mats to the hair both before and after the regular hair mats. Still nothing. Where am I going wrong? I even tried the mats on a different hairstyle, one that had bangs, and guess what? The bangs on that hair disappeared. I just keep shaking my head. What gives?

Music: Gimme the Prize by Queen.

November 8, 2007

Today's Gripe LOL + Tonne of Free

I picked up ps_an165_Cryolophosaurus.exe and installed it (twice) and I cannot find the actual figure anywhere in any of my Daz folders in the Contents window in Daz Studio 1.8. There is one material file within the Studio folder (I have "Content", "People", and "Studio"). When I ran the install I told it to put the files under "People". I have looked everywhere though. I have since re-downloaded it. Still nothing. Today though I got a message from Daz, delete the old one. Clear web caches and such, reset the download, and try again. So, we'll see.

At one point I feared maybe I'd reach some kind of limit on sets and models that can be loaded into Daz3D. Silly, but I wondered. Then I put in all the Platinum freebies I snagged and no issue with any of them. I was given a Medieval Village Smithy, Victoria 2, 3, and 4, Stephanie Petite, Michael 3, David 3, Aiko 3, Hiro, The Freak, The Girl, two ages of children, a pair of teens (I think), and a baby. Then there was a Trenchcoat, a three-piece suit, beards, desert solider gear, futuristic soldier gear, an outfit or two for Victoria, another for Aiko, high heels, a bikini, a mertail, and by way far the best hair for Victoria I've gotten yet (MariaHair). Then there's two or three dragons, a horse, big cats, house cats, dogs, undersea life, a gremlin, an elemental, a gargoyle, a plant pixie, something called a tawhak, a gazer (aka a Beholder), Stonehenge ruins, and a general enviroment. Wow... I'm tired just typing that all in.

Music: Steel Meets Steel by Hammerfall.

November 6, 2007

All of this Free Stuff and Still I Complain

Over the weekend I discovered that Daz3D gave away a cartload of models, figures, animals, creatures, and a location set to its Platinum members, of which I am one. Kindly blog readers at Artzone have told me--after I asked--that I should have seen an email about these items. If I did I don't remember it. At least I hope it's me not remembering and not that the email got eaten. It makes me think I may have to frequent that one forum without a tip off from an email first. Any way, here's what happened. I downloaded a new freebie, one that I don't remember getting in an email. I was looking for the answer to a problem, a problem for which I wrote an Artzone blog. So I went back to Daz3D to download the freebie a second time, in case the file was just corrupted during download.

The problem with this freebie is that I installed it twice and can't find where it installed to except for one file that doesn't do anything without the rest of it. Nice software problem that. Downloading it a second time and installing it a third hasn't helped. So I have to go find someone to which to complain. Now I know where to go to complain, but I tried that on Friday and the process relies on a form that won't send its information it just sits idle for half an hour and then expires. I tried twice before giving up, because at the time I was only sending them a note about a small issue, one that was fixable. I didn't know what I would come across this much bigger and as far as I can see unfixable problem, at least one that I, the consumer, can't fix for myself. I'll have to tell the uninitiated about the cool freebies next time.

Music: Judgement of Heaven by Iron Maiden.

November 1, 2007

Missing Files

Sometimes I will install a new figure, or set, or whatever and then I will open Daz3D and go to try it out and an error will come up that a particular file needed for the item cannot be found where it should be. Recently I made note of this when I installed and tried out the evil anthropomorphic tree-monster Scraac. The file " DRScraac.obj" was not where Daz expected to find it. I ended up tracking it down to "...DAZ\Studio\content\People\Runtime\Geometries\Creatures\DRScraac.obj" which seems like a sensible spot to find it, but it was looking for it somewhere else. Sorry, I didn't note where it couldn't find it. Without the file it doesn't load the figure.

I just find it kind of odd that this happens now and again. There is a chance that it only does this with some of the freebies, so I can't exactly complain. Though if some of the makers of these packages see this, or get wind of it, then at least something might come of it. I know, I know, I should track down this one since I have the name to look for the set. In fact I'll go look now... Well Scraac is done by Dinoraul, but other than getting a list of other sets I don't see a way to make contact. Anyone have a suggestion about getting in touch with Dinoraul? Anyone have any comments or suggestions about other sets where the files have been misplaced?

Music: Glory to the Brave by Hammerfall.

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Robert G. Male

Name: Robert G. Male
Location: Ontario, Canada

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