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.

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Spell casting woman.


R.M.T.P. Co.


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December 15, 2008

Cry Christmas Havoc and Let Slip...

...the Santa-hatted dogs of war!

Sorry, I know I said I would get into the eye texture troubles and tribulations this week, but two things changed my mind. First, this is my last scheduled blog of the year. Iím giving myself another short vacation. Second I was reading my emails from Daz and there was this intriguing package called the Christmas Havoc Bundle. There are twenty-two products available for $10, or for $7 if youíre lucky enough to be a Platinum member. There were a few parts of the bundle I immediately gravitated toward. Going down the list was Holiday Joy for Aiko19. I had no problem adapting it to just Aiko3.0. Then thereís Vixen for Victoria 3; Santa needs a nice-kind-of-naughty elf. Thatís followed directly by the Ice Princess package, which has a nice character map and some props.

I havenít had a chance to use them but Iím sure they are very nice. There are Santa suits for David, Michael 3, and even for the Freak. Thereís even a Santaís Hair and Beard that I can only gather will work on anyone with hopefully a modicum of fiddling. As if that werenít enough there is a Victorian Street Front that I glossed over and is first on the list. Iím always up for location sets. There are two different snowmen, one with skates and skating poses. Thereís a Toy Solider and Toy Train, which should be cool. Finally, there is a Shepherd for Michael 3 outfit. Iím sure I can find several uses for it. Of course that isnít everything. One thing I did want to mention was that there is Jacob Marley maps for the 19th Century Suit Pack for Michael 3. Not terribly useful to me at the outset but perhaps of some use for textures without the original outfit parts.

So, unless I pop in for some kind of just before New Years blog, this is it for me. Iíd like to extend my warmest wishes in this festive time of year whether youíre having a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, or just a day off from work. Also, be sure to have a safe and happy New Yearís Eve and day. Until 2009...

Music: Deck the Halls from Twisted Sisterís Twisted Christmas.


December 8, 2008

Picking Up the Pieces

While DazStudio 2.1.1.113 is a little finicky on loading difficult files it now appears that all of my file will open now! Some need a fair bit of patience though, of the kind that requires me to tell it to open the scene and then sit and do nothing, not even move the mouse really and wait a good five minutes or more for it to open everything. Using the Surface Selection tool in complex scenes can also lead to a video driver crash that takes out the C++ used by Daz and thus Daz itself with no error codes given or logged. I learned this while working on my formerly unreadable creature design. I also turned its file into a quicker loading one that isnít so finicky thanks to the replacement of some parts with primitives. The creature is designed using several parts of different models.

The creature I have designed is called a Gappon. The basic body structure is reminiscent of a hand. It has a broad flat body, a gaping maw, two head-like structures on long necks, three arms, and a long sinuous spade-ended tail. If I had access to a more basic building program I would modify the hand-like shape to be less hand-like. As it stands I used Michaelís hand. I added three more scaled down hands to the appropriate fingertips. The maw is a Blood Bug. The heads are Allosaurusí heads. Each head has three eyes. Here is where I ran into trouble. I already had four Michaels and two Allosaurus. Adding six Victorias for eyes was too much so I went with sphere primitives. This added a difficulty in creating the textures, which I will get into next week.

Music: Picking Up the Pieces by Quiet Riot.


December 1, 2008

What Dawn Breaks in New Daz?

The new Daz2.3.3.118 is the answer to my prayers to end my frustration. It opened and rendered images that 2.1.1.113 left unloadable or un-renderable. This was a great relief to me. Something has absolutely amazed me though. I click New in the file menu now and the scene disappears almost instantly, no more taking longer to clear a scene than to open one. Yay! This greatness is not without a hitch. I opened one of the previously troubled scenes and the surfaces on my Fallen AngelWings_1 look odd and they do not render but instead cause some kind of Strength 2 Error in 3Delight, but that certainly beats a scene that will not load and I've had experience before with 3Delight trouble in new versions of DazStudio and have no fear it will be trouble for long. Even if, I still can alter the scene.

I just crashed DazStudio and it wants me to send a bug report. Excellent! The process is a little long the first time, but with such an improvement it's worth it. Alas, after more file testing I see some scenes are still unloadable such as my half-snake half-woman, and apparently other scenes with the Python. I also had a harrowing moment where one of my works in progress seemed to cause the program to stop responding, which circumvents create a bug report to send. Obviously some bugs still need to be worked out, but at least I can get into some of my 'lost' scenes. Among the still unopenable is the creature I was designing. I may have to start it over using other methods since primitives are now safe again. Next time expect a discussion on just what I'm going to do.

Music: Wrathchild by Iron Maiden.

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Robert G. Male

Name: Robert G. Male
Location: Ontario, Canada

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Suggested Reading:

This scary book

available at Battered Spleen Productions™.


Suggested Listening:

This free scary audio book

available at Battered Spleen Productions™.



Learning Dark Arts is a presentation of

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