This is why we needed Genesis 2

Michael 6 3d figure rigged jaw showing weight maps.Well actually I’m lying. I think. As far as I know Genesis could have shipped with a properly weight mapped and rigged jaw. Was it a bridge to far at the time? Why not add it as an update post release? In any case a rigged and weighted jaw is one example of G2’s greater articulation. This means we have more control over Victoria 6 and Michale 6 when it comes to crafting expressions and creating other effects, such as taking a fist to the jaw in a bar room brawl.

Other key points of articulation are due to weight map improvements, weighted and rigged toes, and the splitting of the male/female figures has allowed for gendered weight maps. This means breasts are weighted much better, where as with G1 the chest had to be weighted to suit both genders. The improvements are quite obvious when doing comparisons.

Below is a 5 min DIY to see if I could get Genesis’s jaw moving by  by doing a little elementary weight painting.

on a whim

Pure horror. Why did Genesis never have a rigged and weighted jaw?

Yes, I’m still working on the review. As you can see I’ve become distracted somewhat with examining finer details and learning more about the software, involved technologies – building myself into a better, stronger, faster 3D nerd.

DAZ3D’s Genesis 2 and Victoria 6 Review

Looking for Victoria 7 review?
Michael 6/Genesis 2 M review

Genesis 2 ProDAZ3D’s regenesis or devolution?

After much speculation since the first hint of Genesis 2 and Victoria 6 on the 13th of June the release has finally happened. Users are just as divided between the excited, neutral and angry camps as it was during the week long silent build up. Well played DAZ3D. They knew the product would be controversial, as just about everything they do seems to be, and the effect was they didn’t have to do a shred of promotion other than dropping a clanger in the store and springing an image rich, detail deficit teaser thread on their PC forum. Word spread fast and speculation ran at fevered pitch.

So, in the light of a new day as the dust begins to settle all those questions have been laid to rest. Genesis 2 comes as two base meshes; Genesis 2 Female (released), and Genesis 2 Male (presumably – yet to be released). While Victoria 6 is a purchase item the base mesh is available for free (Genesis 2 Female Starter Essentials) and can be downloaded via the DAZ 3D Install Manager or via the site from the Product Library.

For many, the move to separate male and female meshes is a backwards step. Genesis was about flexibility and universal morphing. The argument put forward for the split is that this allows for greater levels of gender specific detail that weren’t possible in a unisex mesh. I think this is a reasonable compromise. Future characters such as The Girl 5 and Freak 6 can be made from a mesh specifically designed for their gender, and we won’t have to worry about a hundred thousand fit/morph packs to put that sexy cyber suit for V6 on Aiko 6. Also, this should improve the quality of outfits as vendors will be free to make more gender specific mesh details. For those who see a universal mesh as the absolute end of 3D figure design there is hope.

Victoria 6 for Genesis 2GenX update in the works

Dimension3D intends to update his popular plugin GenX for use with Genesis 2. For those not familiar with the plugin, it allows for the conversion of morphs from previous figures to work with Genesis. Dimension3D had this to say: “I can’t give details or a release date this time, but I’m planning to add morph transfer from Genesis 1 to Genesis 2 and vice versa as well as direct transfer from generation 3 and generation 4 figures to Genesis 2.”

Genesis is going to be able to access morphs for Genesis 2? This will undoubtedly make a lot of G1 diehards very happy, and all at the same time create a work-around for G 2’s inability to mix male and female morphs. Well, undoubtedly a male morph could be created for G2 Female but being able to bring G1’s flexibility to G2 will be very useful and save time and money for those situations where close enough is good enough. Of course I could be reading too much in to this, but it sounds like Dimension3D is gearing up to effectively merge Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 while bridging the gap between G2 Female and male.

Until such a day as we are graced with an updated GenX there are other approaches to consider. Some users have already created male characters by mixing various morphs – see pg. 35 of the Genesis 2 preview thread.


Out of the box Genesis 2 has auto-fit capabilities for Genesis content, but a separate product (Victoria 4 for Genesis 2 Female) needs to be purchased to fit V4 clothing and textures. This has been one point in particular that has caused angst among users whether, as of yet, they have bought in or not. Presumably fits for other popular figures will be added as additional purchases, as they were with G1. The up-shot here is that, according to promo material, the V4 to G2 conversion is better than the standard V4 to G1 conversion. One significant leap here is with the fitting of V4 based shoes, particularly those with high heels. The standard G1 conversions absolutely butchered footwear, so this will undoubtedly be an important improvement for those of us who are looking for a quick and easy way fit.

V4 to Genesis 2 Auto-fit workaround

Genesis 2 victoria 4 auto-fit workaround

Genesis 2 victoria 4 auto-fit workaround

If that still isn’t enough to entice everyone then there is a work around. Load Genesis > auto-fit desired apparel > save as support asset > figure/prop asset > clear scene > load G2 > find and load the items just saved > auto-fit as usual

The fit won’t be perfect and will likely require a smoothing modifier to cover good ol’ fashion poke.

Genesis 2 Poser Compatibility

poser dson test

Genesis 2 in Poser via DSON

DSON is still the only easy way to get a poseable Genesis 2 into Poser, which is undoubtedly no surprise to anyone, but still disappointing none the less. This comes with all the boons and dooms of the past Genesis/DSON deal, such as the slowdown experienced while using Genesis/DSON content in Poser Pro 2012/9. Thankfully there is an easy fix for this which a surprising number of users still don’t know about. Simply turn subdivision off in the Scripts > DSON Support menu. In any case working with Genesis in Poser is still a slower process than working with other figures such as the Gen 4 DAZ3D figures. This could be a very different experience for Poser Pro 2014/10 with the advances made since the 2012/9 releases, such as the support for the subdivision methods utilised by Genesis 2. I can’t test the theory, but will update this as soon as I find out.

Compatibility with older DAZ Studio versions

Genesis 2 uses the newer .DUF file format and other new technologies such as weight maps, and as such is not compatible with versions of pre 4.5 versions outside an exported .obj, but this means using current versions of DS anyway.

G2 is compatible to the fullest extent only with DS 4.6x, but will work just fine in 4.5 versions (so I hear) but without the new surface/materials. Luckily it comes with legacy materials, so should be fine but might need a little tweaking.

The experience for most people updating from DS 4.5 to 4.6 has mostly been positive, but there has been some report of issues. OS users seem to have got a better deal with this update than has been the case with previous DS updates. With the new advances in DS since 4.5 it is certainly worth testing out, and since 4 or 3X the progress has been huge – not least of which include significant 3Delight upgrades.

Value for money bundles?

Without a doubt the bundles look pretty good. You get some very nice hair props and texture sets (one comes with the basic V6 product) with the Victoria 6 Starter Bundle, and the outfits, one fantasy and the other, a party dress offer a nice bit of diversity and will likely find use with a lot of users. The Pose sets are always useful when you want to do a quick render or if you want to do something more significant and need some inspiration.

The Victoria 6 Pro Bundle is the same again X2!  The quality of the products is of the same or similar quality and will find use in a wide variety of situations. The included outfits are not my cup-o tea, but there might be some texture magic I can pull for my own tastes – something sci-fi!  The hair props and included textures sets are great with lots of mat varieties. Love the fashion hair – everyone loves a bob! Who’s with me? Oh I forgot to mention, the pro bundle has the genitals (must remember the genitals *note*). The texture sets are by well-known and adored artists such as Silver and Countess (yay for tattoos).

No maps!

no maps

Victoria 6 on left with default textures, and Genesis 2 with Bree textures on right. Maps make a difference!

…but where are the Sub Surface Scattering maps? Unless I’m missing something none of the four included texture sets have SSS maps! There are SSS settings, one of them comes with three… but maps? What is maps? Eh, no one on the forums seems to mind this too much, which has me kind of puzzled. If I could just chuck a V5 map in there with my V6 ones I wouldn’t be so confused or disturbed, but we can’t. Maybe this is just me being some kind of SSS lunatic? People seem to be more concerned with a slight fluctuation in the percentage of the sale price.  Of course a little tweaking can fix up a bright red over powered SSS, but you will only get the fine subtlety and control with proper texture maps (so maybe I should just go make one!).

Genesis is the prize

For me the real value of the package comes in the base Genesis 2 figure, and for those of us who can’t sculpt/morph their way out of a wet paper bag, the Victoria 6 morph. The greater level of detail in the geometry is fantastic. The extra detail in the joints as they bend looks a lot more realistic, and all for the cost of a mere 2000 extra polygons. New weight maps and greater articulation in the jaw, ears, breasts, joints etc gives greater realism when posing.

I think Genesis 2 represents quality over quantity, but with the current discounts on the bundles you certainly get both. DAZ probably could have mitigated a good deal of angst by working out a deal to get the V4 morphs into the starter or pro bundle, especially as many Genesis users take it for granted (and why shouldn’t we?). While we’re talking about morphs again I think adding the morph bundle to the pro product would have been a nice touch, but DAZ have certainly been a shrewd with their content/sales strategy this time around. The lack of morphability at this point in the base G2 product feels very un-Genesisish, but if you’re willing to spend the money you can get a very good product. In any case, I look forward to seeing how the figure develops and what the content creators cook up for us.

DAZ Studio 4.6 Upgrade and Huge Sales

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Upgrade to DAZ Studio 4.5 today

I’ve let writing about the DAZ Studio 4.6 upgrade slip a bit longer than I would have liked. Instead of writing or working on any number of other relatively pressing projects I’ve been spending time getting my blog to play nice with Google and attempting to squeeze a little more speed out of my WordPress configuration while making as few drastic changes as possible (no one likes a slow site), but let me not get distracted with the technicalities of self hosted blogging.

So, back to the matter at hand. DAZ 3D have just launched DAZ Studio 4.6 (still free), and what a beauty of a point release it is. For sometime the team at DAZ has been working on implementing a host of new features into DAZ Studio, with features like Pixar’s game changing OpenSubdiv having kept beta testers entertained for some time now.

DAZ Studio 4.6 features Highlights

  1. Subsurface Shader base by Age of Armour (will take a bit of experimentation to get realistic human SSS)
  2. CMS updated to Valentina 5, apparently fixing crashes (esp for Mac users)
  3. Updated 3Delight render engine to 10.0.125 (not the most current, but lots of goodies since last update)
  4. Support for TriAx to TriAx AutoFit
  5. Support for OpenSubdiv subdivision algorithms; Catmark, Bilinear, Loop; adds support for edge and/or vertex weights/creasing
  6. Support for Ptex (no UV unwrapping/seams!)
  7. Support for independent UV set selection on Geometry Shells
  8. Support for Gamma Correction
  9. Support for Surface Selection Sets
  10. Spot Render to  new window (handy for fixing up those bits you don’t like in an otherwise good render)
  11. Support for Hierarchical Pose Presets
  12. Improvements to various CCT tools/actions.

Undoubtedly these are great advancements for Studio. Just taking a look at Ptex and OpenSubdiv in action, if you don’t already have a good idea of what they are, you can glimpse the huge possibilities for rapid and experimental content creation and customisation. The base for Studio 5 has been put down, and I really can’t wait to see what they have planned. DS has come a long, long way since its first release back in 2005. See the DAZ Studio 4.6 announcement thread for more details and all the gossip.

DAZ Studio 4.6 compatibility and plugins

I’ve heard some anecdotal accounts that 4.6 is having some issues with Windows 8, but is working well on many previous Windows versions, and is even reportedly working well on OSX, which is great news for users that have been having a streak of compatibility issues with DAZ 3D programs.

As there were no changes to the SDK all plugins should be working as normal, and I’ve heard of no major incompatibilities.

Sneak Peek Weekend – Platinum Club For Everyone

To keep the action going DAZ 3D have thrown open the Platinum Club to all who come to grace the store. The Sneak Peek Weekend sale has big savings in the continuing tradition of DAZ 3D’s Store.  So, that means $1.99 items for everyone, access to the value catalogue, 30% off DAZ Originals, and 30% discounts on annual Platinum Club memberships. For those of us that are already PC members the deal is rounded off with a 30% discount on Premier Artist products, on top of 46% off selected items such as:



Garibaldi Express Hair System For DAZ Studio

Garibaldi Express Hair System

Look At My Hair

Look At My Hair










Genesis Generation X2



Still don’t have DAZ Studio? Get it now.

Hopefully I’ll have some time to test out some of the new features and have something more substantial on the features specifically, but until then happy renderings.

Daz Studio Sci-fi Content Feature pt. 1

A quick note on Poser compatibility: Most if not all content sold at DAZ 3D has very good Poser compatibility, and often comes with Poser specific configurations.

Looking for part 2?

Affordable 3D Sci-fi content got me to DAZ Studio

Urban Future 4Undoubtedly one of the contributing factors in my decision to jump on into DAZ Studio was the huge and inspiring variety of 3D sci-fi content. Science fiction was one of the major focuses when it came to my short stories and for some time I had been toying with the idea of bringing some of those works into a visual dimension as serial web comics or graphic novels. Anyone who has read much of what I’ve written since finding DAZ Studio probably knows I hold DAZ 3D solely responsible for all but killing my drive to write fiction. Of course I could add a little smiley face there to show there are no hard feelings, but I’m hoping my writing skills haven’t dulled so much that a little light-hearted jest isn’t lost.

Anyway, the recent addition of some great 3D sci-fi content to the DAZ 3D store got me inspired to do a little feature on some of my favourite pieces. Some of these I own, others are on my wishlist (or should be). So, let me start with a name just about every DAZ Studio and card carrying Poserverse member will know.

Stonemason is the name in DAZ Studio and Poser sci-fi content

When you put DAZ and Sci-fi in the same sentence it is likely to conjure many images that incorporate one or more of Stonemason’s masterpieces. His meticulously modelled and textured environments and props have graced thousands – tens of thousands – of still renders and animations made with DAZ Studio, Poser and any number of other render engines. From cyberpunk inspired street environments to retro futuristic art deco spaceship interiors, and on to the post-apocalypse, there is something for every sci-fi genre. And then some.

Cryotube by StonemasonA few months back I wrote a short feature about Stonemason when he posted a time-lapse video to YouTube, showing his process of constructing a cryotube. I remember thinking that it wouldn’t be long before we saw that showing up in the store. Lo and behold… a cryotube! As an upstart modeller, I was very keen to pick it up and have a look over the model in greater detail. Stonemason’s work does not only inspire the production of beautiful art, but also the production of more models. His influence on the hobbyist and emerging/pro levels of 3D will be felt for a long time to come.

And no need to model somewhere to keep your characters in the freezer. Mr Stony has us covered with a place to stash our sleeping beauties and beasties (aptly named CryoEnvironment).With very similar design, undoubtedly intended to be at home alongside the Cryotube and environment,Sci-Fi Consoles 2013, is which come complete with slick screens and “holographic” effects. With these three you could products you could put together an entire short animation or comic.

For a glimpse at the possibilities check out this short test animation.

Mech 2012 Enforcer

Few other mechs released at DAZ 3D are as detailed or formidable, and downright cool as MECH 2012 Enforcer. See here in action saving the developed world from the evils infesting its near future streets.

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One of Stonemason’s most famous collections would have to be his cyberpunk inspired Urban Future street environments, reaching its creative apex with the huge Urban Future 4: Street Level. Straight “out of the box” this place renders like. The package even comes with a custom camera to add a suitably polluted haze to your renders. At $35 – 40 a set they aren’t among the cheapest environment/scene props in the store, but you certainly get what you pay for. And then some.
Pick up the Urban Future bundle (all four sets) and save yourself over $10

Another stunning environment is the gritty decay of “The Ministry”. Sadly this is one of those on my wish list, but the beautiful images (and animations) I’ve seen rendered with this one leave me with no doubt that this is something I want to have in my runtime. I want to play with it, pull it apart, and to an extent emulate.

Planet Lava by StonemasonA recent hit at the DAZ 3D store is Stonemason’s Planet Lava. This baby is an environment in the true sense of the word. It comes complete with modelled terrain and image dome for distant terrain and sky. It also comes packed with lights and camera presets including atmospheric effects.

On the flipside we have Planet Alpine, for those that prefer ice and snow to the heat of a molten hell rock. All this is only a small part of Stonemason’s catalogue at D3D. There are a number of other sci-fi props, robots and environments I haven’t covered here, and then a lot more.

Cyborgs, androids and robots

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As a bit of a posthumanist at heart these guys are one of my favourite sci-fi staples, whether entirely artificial, or a merging of flesh and synthetics. DAZ 3D has a number of great entries into this category. Right at the top of my list is the recent release, Bot Genesis. Before this it was the precursor, Aikobot 2. Bog Genesis is everything that Aikobot 2 was an a lot more. One of my complaints about AB2 was that it didn’t look right when rendered in dark environments. She seemed to be artificially lit due to the way her shaders were set up, particularly in relation to reflections. Thankfully this has been addressed with BG.

A great feature of the newer version is the reconfigured shaders that allow for a mix of raytrace and image mapped shadows. Perhaps best of all is that BG is no longer constrained to female varieties. As the character is designed for Genesis BG seamlessly morphs from male to female and anywhere in between. As far as flexible cyborg/android characters go Bot Genesis is on top of the pile, and cheaper than any of her predecessors (though depending on tastes and needs there might be reason to pick these up too). Win-win-win.

Cyborgs 4.0 by DZFireA good deal less cutesy and with a more utilitarian appeal DZFire’s Cyborgs 4.0 (though I’d suggest they are actually android/gynoids) are designed on the M4&V4 bases, but can and are primarily used as standalone figures. These “cyborgs” are hardy and reliable, at home on the frontlines, in emergency services and in heavy industry. They do come with texture/material options for an appearance acceptable to a wide range of other duties, and the “female” version even comes in a glam variety. They can be purchased as together for a small discount or separately as needed.

TechnoBorg by RawArtThe Technoborg’s origins should be quite apparent to anyone that has even a passing familiarity with Star Trek. Another Gen4 figure, but as the pack is mostly a texture set it can easily be applied to Genesis, and if you have the GenX plugin you should even be able to copy the character morphs to your genesis figures. The technoborg textures are beautifully detailed and come in pasty necrotic style and a more healthy variety (you pick which ones you need). The cyborg robotic details are simulated with displacement maps (not real geometry), so make the conversion to Genesis very nicely.

3D Spacecraft Models

This was where I was going to leave part one of the sci-fi feature, but as the store of a fantastic sci-fi modeller/artist has just gone on sale (40% off everything), I thought I might as well quickly mention DAZ 3D’s premier supplier of space craft models and their interiors for Daz Studio. While there are quite a number of amazing space craft models in the store most are for Bryce and Carrara. Kibarreto has valiantly sought to fix this imbalance with his impeccable designs and texturing, complete with glowing cockpit dashboards. See Kibarreto’s Shuttlestar doing its thing in this gorgeously rendered clip.

Read on to part to of our 3D sci-fi content tour