I finally got around to looking into DAZ Studio, which Paolo had mentioned in a reply to one of my questions. After having difficulties with nearly every part of the process, I went back to check exactly what he had said about it. Particularly to do with importing the models into Blender. It appears I came away thinking there was more compatibility than there actually is. It actually only said a model was imported into 2.5, and not 2.49.
So, does it not work with 2.49? I'm still trying to stay with the stable release, so I'm more interested in importing models into that, and not 2.5. Especially since opening up 2.5 not only didn't work either, but it was working strangely in general, with the 3d view trembling uncontrollably when trying to rotate the view and very sluggish response when trying to move the objects in the scene. It's either gone wobbly on me or you can't open it while 2.49 is also running.
I don't want to spend a lot of time toying around with DAZ thinking I can utilize it with Blender if it's that limited and problematic. Another problem is that the free models, that are a bit more difficult to obtain than Google 3D warehouse ones, has only resulted in .sit files that don't open anyway.
The basic DAZ interface seems interesting enough, but I'm not even sure what the ultimate purpose of it is. I must admit I haven't fully read up on it (Not much free time to begin with and I've been mostly busy with Blending), but I thought I saw that it isn't really a modeling app. So, is it just for the dressing and posing of the models they provide?
I'm not even sure if my goal with it is allowable or compatible to begin with. I wanted to import some models into Blender to, you could say, "strip them for parts". Borrowing parts that are more difficult but less creatively satisfying to tackle, like hands. Or at least study their construction for tips. If this isn't really possible to do then my time would be better spent developing modeling skills.
Re: Daz 3D & Blender by Paolo Ciccone on Jun 18, 2010 at 3:45:26 pm
Hey James, let me shed some more light in the process.
Daz Studio is an alternative to Poser. The Poser file format, .CR2, is a way of defining bones and joints, plus morph and a few other parameters, so that you end up with a rigged figure that can be used to pose and animate humanoid or animal characters. The CR2 file is specific of Poser and Studio. A few other programs, like Carrara, can import it. The CR2 file stores the geometry of the model itself as a separate .OBJ file, which can be opened by pretty much any 3D modeler. The OBJ file for V4, for example, will not do much good to you because it contains no rigging or texturing information.
One of the advantages of using Studio is that you can change textures and morphs very easily.
In the last few months Daz has added support for Collada export. Blender 2.5 has new Collada import. I tested it and it works, up to a point . For example, I exported an instance of V4 from Studio using Collada and I was able to load it in 2.5 complete with rigging and textures. The success rate probably changes with every version of Studio and every new build of Blender.
Blender 2.5 beta 1 is supposed to be released at the end of June or no much later than that.
I would suggest to wait until that date to try that route.
BTW, .sit file are archives, like zip file, they are not supposed to be opened directly, you have to explode them. As far as I know V4, M4,G4 and the other base figures are distributed with executable installers. Once you run the installer they are accessible inside Studio.
Drop a line in the Daz Studio forum if you need help figuring out the process.
Re: Daz 3D & Blender by James Roberts on Jun 18, 2010 at 4:46:44 pm
Thanks for the clarification, Paolo. It looks like in the end, I'll be best off modeling what I need myself. It seemed like it could be helpful to save the time it takes to model certain parts from scratch, but the selection and compatability issues are pretty limiting.
I wasn't as concerned about the rigging or textures porting over, just the basic mesh object, provided Blender could combine the basic mesh geometry with my own portions. I tried one from the 3D warehouse last night that turned out to be useless, the entire model was made of triangles.
Since you could easily spent most of an evening just modeling a hand or ear, I had hoped to speed things up by reusing some of those parts. In the end, I get a better feeling of accomplishment from creating it myself anyway.
o In the shader panel set the base color to white for skin-maps. Many V4 have poser-shaders which look strange when rendered in blender. The reflection color should be set to a dark grey. Many V4 have it set to an odd color or black which prevents highlights on the skin.
o disable the "traceable" button on most materials with transparency set. Especially for hair and/or eye-materials. With "trace" on you get unrealistic looking results. On the other hand this makes these materials invisible in mirrors and shadows :-|
o DAZ figures usually have a material called "eysurface". Most often this is transparent with a light reflection color. You really should turn the reflection color to black and make this material completly invisible (no shadow-buffer, no shadow-receiving, too). Otherwise it reflects the light in a way that really looks strange (eyes looking like milk-glass).
I'm using poserio for several years now and am very satisfied with it.
I found other tools and descriptions on how to transfer poser/DAZ content to blender here on renderosity. I noticed some links which might be of interest, too.
Hope you find this useful. (Do be aware that the EULA from DAZ3D.com prohibits use of their meshes, or parts of their meshes, in games or any other form in which the mesh itself, or portions thereof, are redistributed. Myst-alikes are okay, since the images are rendered. For some content, special licenses are available, for a fee.)
Also, to find the free DAZ content: There's now a more-obvious link. (Not sure how long it's been up, but I think it's been less than a week, as of this post.) From the opening page at http://www.DAZ3D.com, select the "3D Models" tab at the top. On that page, there will now be a link in the left, vertical nav bar titled "Free 3D Models." All of their current and legacy human figures, as well as a number of other items, are now free. As the Collada export function matures, this remarkable set of resources will hopefully become increasingly valuable and useful for Blender users, as well.