Thursday, August 22, 2019

Import, export, textures, painting ... check this out!

Still having fun wit the new costume ... playing with the textures -- diffuse and bump maps, plus gloss and reflection values. Yes, it's a painted raytrace Also, check out that floor! Love this character, too (one of my own):

Very, very pleased with the results on this -- all done in DAZ Studio 3, of course, with some painting in post, in Photoshop Elements 9 (the 2009 version, when you could buy it outright, own it ... ah, those were the days!). In fact, I was enjoying this so much, I did a second project:

Same character and skinmap, but I switched out the hair. The first wig is the My Rock Star Hair from Neftis (DAZ Marketplace), and this one here is the Aether Hair, from Renderosity...

The other thing I do love about working with raytraces is that you get to PAINT a lot with them. And you can paint on raytraces, whereas if you paint on Iray renders, it looks totally fake. There's so much more art goes into raytraces. Sure, I know Iray gives you more photographic renders, but there's times when I actually want, and prefer art, But...

I've been dying to get the new Xurge costume into Iray, to see how it would render up. Sigh. I beat my brains out, trying everything and anything that anyone could think of, to get it to install into Studio 4.11. What a joke. People on the DAZ forums have been saying for eons, DAZ have "done something" to Studio 4 to make sure it can only use products you buy from the DAZ Marketplace ... and I'm sad to say, I think I agree with that. I cannot get anything I didn't purchase from them to install. So...

I thought, how about we export the product as a OBJ, then import the OBJ into Studio 4.11, and render it? Sounded like a good idea. It's also dead simple ... and to one degree and another it actually works:

BUT... when Studio 4.11 imports the OBJ, it refuses to import it with surface maps "on." Up to Studio 4.10, when you imported an OBJ, it was "ready to go." Well, not now. When it leads, you get a plain white plastic objeft (above, left). There is also no way to add simple diffuse maps to the OBJ. You have to re-do everything with shaders ... fortunately, I figured out how to do it fast, and of course when it renders up, it's pretty stunning in Iray...

...except for one key thing. His face. You notice his face? Compare the face on this model here, to the face you saw in the top renders. That is the same guy, as exported to an OBJ file, right? But the face morphs dropped out. By the time you've got the mapping onto the OBJ, you realize --

That, there, is Michael 4, right out of the box (wearing the Jagger skinmap). The face I designed, for my character, did not carry over through the OBJ conversion. Soooo ... yes, we can get costumes like this into Iray, via OBJ export, but every time, you're going to see the Michael 4 base figure. You can't have the costume and the character you designed. Well, rats.

Still, it's a hell of a nice picture, and I learned a lot, and had a lot of fun. More experiments to try tomorrow, but I know by now, M4 Head Morphs++ do not get copied into the OBJ. I also know that two out of three skinmaps won't apply cleanly to the OBJ. So it's a bit of a crap shoot.

If anyone, anywhere, knows how to get third party content into Studio 4 ... don't keep it to yourself! I'll keep on trying. More soon!
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