Cute sci-fi character – one of the current 3D prints offered by DAZ 3D
I’ve put so many blog posts on the back burner over the last several months that there really is no best place to start. So many cool things have been going on in the 3D enthusiast arena. Hell, I didn’t even do a write up for the amazing DAZ Studio 4.7 release back in November last year. At some point a blogger needs to pick an interesting piece of news or topic and dive in.
DAZ’s move into offering 3D a href=”http://www.anrdoezrs.net/links/6269025/type/dlg/http://www.daz3d.com/prints”target=”_blank”>printed sculpts of their content is just one such interesting piece of news. Most of us with an interest in technology and 3D arts have been following the development of 3D printing with great interest. To hold your very own 3D creations and fill your man cave, living space, workstation etc is a very appealing idea. 3D printer “nutters” have been doing this with varying levels of success and sophistication for years now, but the technology has remained too expensive and primitive for the general home user or commercial scale production, though it is now starting to filter down into the mainstream. Point in case, we have DAZ 3D now offering the service.
Currently DAZ is only offering a small range of printed figures, possibly as a trial phase, but appear to be poised to roll out the service for fully customised creations. The 3D printing promo video (above), and the 3D printing section of DAZ’s website clearly suggest as much.
While there are only four items to choose from right now, a number of very lucky DAZ 3D customers received a free promotional print of this very spiffy sci-fi character. Congratulations to all you lucky recipients, you have my most sincere jealousy
The butt-kicking warrior students from Beacon Academy are back! RWBY season 2 is just around the corner (online premiere 24th July). Just yesterday the trailer for the 3D, beat ‘em up and RPG inspired anime premiered at Rooster Teeth’s very own convention (RTX). Obviously, as posted above, the trailer is now available online. The second seasons boasts better visuals – gone are the black silhouettes that constituted character extras. This in itself will please many, but visuals have been improved in many other areas including shadows and greater utilisation of Poser’s physics engine for hair and cloth (perhaps other stuff too – not sure).
RWBY Production Diaries – Interesting Tidbits
During development a number of “Production Diaries” were filmed and offer some interesting insights into how the anime is put together. Areas covered (albeit far too briefly) include: modelling, uv mapping, texturing, motion capture and animation, voice acting and sound effects. Though us 3D nerds would have sunk our teeth into deeper production diaries, there were some areas clarified from earlier technical discussion that took place at the previous RTX and elsewhere online.
I found the section on animation particularly interesting. It has been known that the RWBY team use a mix of motion capture and keyframing, but it was never clear how much of either was used. As it turns out much of the fight sequences are animated with traditional methods. Motion capture, on the other hand, seems to be heavily used for scenes that are heavy on character interaction, where emotion and subtle nuances are more important. Given Monty Oum’s previous projects this approach is not so surprising. This guy has built a cult following with his rapid paced hand-animated fight scenes.
RWBY: Inspiring and Guilty Pleasure
The work Rooster Teeth do with Poser on RWBY and Red Vs Blue continues to be inspirational, and I have to admit I have become a little intrigued with the plot. What are The White Fan up to, and is going to what about them? Any bets the young women with their male sidekicks (makes for an interesting change of pace, doesn’t it?) won’t be pushed to the fore of the coming conflict? No, I thought not. Of course a bunch of children with insane weaponry and magic will once again save the world. And why not? Adults are far too busy playing Politics and Tycoons™ to get involved with such noble endeavours.
For a limited time Smith Micro is offering Poser Pro 2014 for $199, which is about 60% off the regular price. Upgrades from previous versions of Poser are also on discount, ranging from $140 for older versions down to $100 for Poser Pro, Pro 2010, and Pro 2012.
What’s So Good About Poser?
Considering the amount of content and features Poser Pro 2014 packs, this is a pretty darn good deal. For DAZ Studio users looking for something a little more robust, while still very cost-effective, Poser might just be the way to go. I personally use both. I love the additional features of Poser, especially the easy to use “indirect lighting”, physics and animation tools. I prefer DAZ Studio for its user interface, integrated 3Delight render engine, and native Genesis support.
Poser Pro 2014 features include:
Full rigging and weight mapping
Physics simulation – Soft and hard body dynamics (cloth, hair, jiggly fleshy bits etc)
Hair creation tools
Fitting room (refit clothing designed from one model to another)
Advanced OpenGL preview – high quality shadows and materials
Node-based material editor
Indirect Lighting (Global illumination)
Image Based Lighting
True HDR support
Robust animation tools
Pixar subdivision surfaces (OpenSubdiv)
…and much more.
Also hard to pass up over at Smith Micro, is Pret-a-3D’s Reality 3 for Poser (currently $27.95). For those unfamiliar with the product, it is an scene translator and exporter for LuxRender, which is a physically based unbiased render engine. Essentially LuxRender is capable of producing physically accurate images as it closely simulates the behaviour of light and how it interacts with materials and objects.
Skilled use of the render engine can and does produce photorealistic images. The main drawback with LuxRender and unbiased rendering in general is that it is typically much slower than biased engines like Firefly (Poser) and 3Delight (DAZ Studio), though with the continued development of LuxCore, much faster GPU rendering methods are becoming more feasible.
A Note on Poser 3 for DAZ Studio
The good news for DAZ Studio users (that have been waiting, both patiently and otherwise) is that Reality 3 for DAZ Studio is in rapid development and will contain new features not yet in the Poser version. Paolo Ciccone, the developer, regularly posts updates on development progress at Pret-a-3D’s blog.
Greetings fellow 3D enthusiasts! Some cool news out of the DAZ camp for you all today. In celebration of her first birthday this weekend (11:59 PM MST Sunday June 29th, 2014) you can pick up Victoria 6 for free. For those new to the latest generation of Genesis figures, you will have to download the Genesis 2 Female base figure (also free). The Genesis 2 base figures, female and male, are both available for download direct from your “Product Library” at DAZ 3D and via the DAZ Install Manager (DIM).
There are a lot of DAZ Studio and Poser users out there that have yet to dip their feet into the Genesis 2 pool, even as far as installing the base G2 figures, let alone grabbing either the latest Victoria and Michael incarnations. Can we hope to see a similar offer for Michael 6? Let’s hope. So, if you haven’t yet picked up the figure the time is now. Pass the word along.