Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Angel and troll ... misadventures, experiments, and hilarious results


Let's do the good stuff first! A good old DAZ Studio 3 raytrace, tweaked up in Photoshop: quick to do, with guaranteeable results every time:


Boy, am I glad I still have Studio 3 on the system! Yes, I "go fifteen rounds" with Studio 4.10 every day, but it's being a bitch to work with: not working properly at all. DAZ has an Installation Manager now which purports to install everything automatically. Hunh? Well, my stuff has been placed into weird "exploded" folders, a directory structure that you can't follow or make sense of, so you can't find anything ... and 90% of the time, when you do stumble over something, although the Install Manager reported that it installed the item, it did did NOT install it, just shoved the installer into the folder!!! Then, when you click to install the older item, the program is lousy with error messages about widgets that don't work and/or are incompatible with ... whatever.

Am perilously close to the end of my patience. Also getting very tired of waiting for tech support, who have taken four days so far to get back to me on a polite, intelligent query. Puffs of steam are starting to come out of my ears. So am trying to thrash through at least some of the problems myself, with a small amount of success.

Managed to cure one of the "trip on startup" problems, so that a Genesis figure will load -- not the later, "good" Genesis figures, 3 and 8, but the original one. It looks like a little plastic Star Wars action figure:

Genesis figure, first look in IRay: underwhelming.
  I know this is the original Genesis figure, and they probably knew they hadn't gotten it right yet, but this is ... pretty awful, puppet-like:

If this is Genesis ... it looks like a Star Wars action figure doll -- and this is an IRay render. You wouldn't believe how baaaad the raytrace looked. Okay, so we want the Genesis 3 at the very least, and preferably Gensis 8. Here's the problem: The "automatic everything" Install Manager swears up and down that it installed them both, male and female. But they're not accessible to the program, being lost among an "exploded" file structure that needs fixing.

Tech support? Uh, hello, tech support? I've looked into this myself, but you soon get popup warnings about optioning "database maintenance:" this can severely stuff everything up. Not going to go there without professional advice. Still waiting... and waiting... Hence, to get good art, I've run home to Studio 3! Those traditional renders might not be trying hard to look like photos, but at least they're compelling as artwork! Bear with me: there's a loooong way to go yet.

Also, I took the plunge and experimented with bringing a TREE into Terragen ... with somewhat hilarious results. It's a nice enough render, and if the tree had been compatible with the program, it would have been very pretty indeed:


If you see this at somewhat larger size, you'll see at a glance what I mean about hilarity:


Uh huh. The tree model is, in fact, incompatible. Yes, it's an OBJ, but it's an oooold OBJ from something like 2011 or 2012. Every leaf is the size of a tabloid newpaper; and every leaf is (!) rectangular! In other words, it didn't load the transparency map that forms the cutout shape of leaves! Soooo...

Well, I learned a lot: I know now how to get an OBJ into Terragen (!) and how to position it, which was a Very Big Issue (sorted), and so forth. And I also know that the existing trees I own are not compatible. However, US$17 gets you this, at Renderosity:


That's Flink's Tree #6 pack, and it says right there on the page, it suits Terragen as well as Vue and what have you. Tempting, isn't it? More tempting than US$100 for a pack of trees from XFrog. Sure, I know you're getting twenty trees for your A$150 ... but I mean, a hundred fifty bucks?! So I might just go for the OBJ trees here, since Flink promises they work with Terragen, and we shall see!

Anyway, I've got IRay working to one degree and another, as a short-term stopgap ... because I'm not plowing money into Studio 4 before the "exploded directory" issue gets fixes, and yet at the same time it's so frustrating! So I am playing with IRay on things where you can just about get away without throwing wads of cash at shaders and lighting packs:


This is worth seeing at large size, and I'm fairly happy with it. It's an old, old DAZ model -- the robot; and it rendered up rather well. That IRay render took about an hour. Tomorrow, I'll experiment with rendering using the NVIDIA video card rather than the CPU. I haven't done that so far because (!) every time I've tried it in the past (albeit with Reality), it's crashed the system. Didn't want to go through that today -- too much aggravation with trying to find the Genesis figures (where did the Install Manager put them???) and trying to make sense of things that didn't install at all, and others that installed, all right, only to be incompatible when they unpacked! Frustrating? You could take a bite out of the furniture.

LOL, more soon.

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