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Pussycat Catnap

Blender alternative: Daz3D Studio & Hexagon - free for February, can do collada exports.

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http://catnapkitty.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/breaking-news-for-february-only-daz-studio-pro-bryze-7-and-hexagon-2-5-free-from-daz3d-for-february-giving-sl-mesh-creators-a-powerful-suite-of-apps-to-work-with/

 

Short:

Model something in Hexagon, save as obj. Import obj into Daz Studio Pro and save as Collada.

Instant win. :)

This is a set of tools with much easier to grasp UIs than Blender, having been make for a commercial hobbyist audience in mind - unlike Blender which seems to have been written for people who speak binary... :D

Hexagon also has a native tool within it that exports to sculpty-map format.

http://www.daz3d.com/

 

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My experience is that only a fraction of what is exported as collada from DAZ Studio 4 (DS4) actually imports into SecondLife. I simply gave up this route as being unreliable. 

As for exporting from Hexagon to DS4, the Hexagon bridge will send a model directly into DS4 and vise versa, so you don't need to do the export for this to work. 

Also the DS4P has an FBX export module, and it might be more reliable to use the Hexagon bridge to send a model to DS4P, then exports as FBX and run through the Autodesk FBX to collada converter, but also here your milage may vary. I found it works at times, other times not. 

I have not tested this after the DS4P 4.0.3.47 upgrade (last week) and with the 2012 version of the Autodesk converter. 

I currently export all my Collada from Cheetah3D (Mac app) which is very good for non-rigged items, and works great with rigged too if you run the .dae file through a filter to make it fully compatible for SL upload. 

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I did a test again with the 4.0.3.47 PRO edition of DAZ Studio, and even creating a simple cube primitive with export as collada for SecondLife generates an error message in import to SL. 

2012-02-07T12:47:41Z INFO: doLoadModel:  Error with dae - traditionally indicates a corrupt file.

 

 

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thanks for the tip. imagine if you just bought daz last week for $430 and this week they are giving it away free plus another $400 worth of software. makes me wonder if they have any paying customers at all otherwise wouldn't they worry about offending them? maybe they have some big upgrades about to roll out for the paying customers.

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DAZ do this kind of thing from time to time... and no doubt annoy customers as you suggest. However (if I remember correctly from when I used to be a regular customer there), DAZ have a 30-day money back guarantee in place, so any customers in the past month would be able to get a refund AND retain a free version of the software.

DAZ tend to make most of their income from content sales - both inhouse and from third-party creators who list with them (DAZ take about a 50 to 60 percent cut of the sales, depending on whether the creators are "power sellers" etc). My guess is that with the real economy being slow, they are offering up their software as a way of attracting new customers, who will potentially becoming BUYING customers of the content on offer. But there might be some big upgrades on the way too - DAZ tend to be regular with updates for DAZ Studio and Bryce. Poor Hexagon seems to be an abandoned child though... a shame that.

.....

Keep in mind that Hexagon on its own won't be able to do everything you necessarily need for SL. As far as I know, it can't do rigging etc. For the "missing links" I simply use Blender - currently for DAE exporting, converting quad meshes to triangles (Hexagon is a bit inefficient in that regard), and eventually probably for rigging when I am ready to tackle it.
You might ask "why bother?" with using Hexagon. Well, for me, I have been using it for several years now, and I am familiar enough with its interface to get the job done easily. To migrate to another software package would mean learning a new interface from scratch, which I don't really feel the urge to do currently. Hexagon does most of the things I need quite admirably, so I see no reason to throw it away.

Also, keep in mind that it isn't unusual at all (for 3D work in general) to jump between several programs to result in a finished mesh. Many programs have specific strengths for certain tasks in the workflow, so there's no harm in exporting from one program to another to get the best result.

Hexagon, although it can't do EVERYTHING needed, is still a very viable option for mesh making. Definitely worth considering adding to your software toolbox for sure, especially at its current "bargain" price.

:matte-motes-smile:

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Hi,

Typically Daz gives away the  basic Daz3D Studio not  the Advanced or Pro version.  The basic version is normally $50.00 not  $400.00.  In either case  $40.00 saved is still nice and gives you a chance to work with the program before  deciding to spend the  $400.00.  Daz is also very liberal with allowing you to reset your downloads and update content previously purchased.  All in all I really love Daz.

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Hey Rev!!!

I been playing with Daz quite a bit lately, especially rigging. Yeah, animation creation is nice in Daz, but I'm more interested in it to make videos. So, I had this bright Idea to use the SL avatar as extras, as they are much more low poly than the Genesis character. Plus, since I've made a number of clothing items already for the SL avatar, these will work out great. This is a quick video that I just created, playing around with the SL avatar, camera movements and lighting. I think I failed with lighting, lol. Also, I added eyesballs to the SL avatar, notice how he looks down the whole time. That was a weird, and only happened on the finally renders, but I figured it out now.

The hair is Daz hair, and I added finger bones to the SL avatar, and a jaw bone.

 

Considering that Daz studio has specific capable SL animation export built in, I bet it would not be too difficult to get the creators to make the Collada export compatible. I've been playing around with Daz pretty hardcore the past 6 months and the tools can be amazing. It is not really for creating meshes, but it's rigging and morphing tools are pretty easy and straight forward, once you understand them. When or if I ever do a Werewolf/Lycan video, I will definitely be rigging movable ears and whatever else I can get to move, lol. We should all shoot Daz studio an email, if not for just rigging and exporting avatars.

Here's a better look at the skeleton:

Modified-SL-Avatar-in-Daz.jpg

 

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Gavin Hird wrote:

As for exporting avatars, you could always go for the commercial game developer lisence at $2500 a pop. 

Not sure if they would allow it into SecondLife though. If they would, it would amost be a no-brainer to lisence Genesis for SL. 

Oh, sorry, that is not what I was saying at all. The Genesis character is WAY too high poly to even think of using in SL. That, kind of, is the whole point of the Genesis character. What I was talking about is importing your own character models and then using Daz to rig it. When it comes to rigging and animating, it does get much easier or much more powerful.

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Ah, ok – got you :smileyhappy:

Actually the base Genesis at sub-d 0 (which is the one you must use when creating morphs in say Zbrush) is only 17k polys.

According to a DAZ forum posting this morning a 7k game ready Genesis will be available  mid April.

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Gavin Hird wrote:

Ah, ok – got you :smileyhappy:

Actually the base Genesis at sub-d 0 (which is the one you must use when creating morphs in say Zbrush) is only 17k polys.

According to a DAZ forum posting this morning a 7k game ready Genesis will be available  mid April.

 

Well, that sounds cool, but I don't know if it is worth that kind of money without all the morph packs. If they included all the morphs and lowered the price for the 7k, I'd consider buying a license. I'd do it for all the monster types I could create for my animations, and I'd pay more if they did something similar for animals. Techinically, most animals use a similar frame and I could see creating enough morphs to make a figure that could be a wide range of animals.

 

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Revlon Benoir wrote:

Hi,

Typically Daz gives away the  basic Daz3D Studio not  the Advanced or Pro version.  The basic version is normally $50.00 not  $400.00.  In either case  $40.00 saved is still nice and gives you a chance to work with the program before  deciding to spend the  $400.00.  Daz is also very liberal with allowing you to reset your downloads and update content previously purchased.  All in all I really love Daz.

The February offer was Daz Studio 4 Pro for free.

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