Poser Prop Importer for Blender

For converting tricky static DAZ/Poser props, there’s what looks like an interesting time-saving freebie — the Poser Prop Importer for Blender

“Set your content directory and it lists all of your prop sub folders and props. […] The script reads the .pp2 file, locates the .obj file. […] Locates and loads any texture slotted as ‘Texture Map, Transparency Map or Bump Map’. [then] creates the objects and applies all the materials and textures. […] Any texture labeled as an Alpha map will automatically have the Alpha slider turned all the way down as well as having the Ztransp button clicked on as well.”

I’m pleased to say the site gave me the download without making me register or go through a tedious checkout process. Unfortunately you need to get access to the Blender scripts directory to install it, which is a complete and utter pig to do. They hide the secret scripts folder away in hidden folders, which Windows’ security makes inaccessible and a dot prefix makes invisible. Grr. This is why people don’t use Blender — it always seems to take the hard route to do something that should be simple. That’s the legacy of the Linux-heads I guess, who never saw a simple app install that they couldn’t make into an all-night dependencies chase. For the next version of Blender, just have a normal C:/Program Files/Blender/Scripts directory like everyone else, please? Sigh

The maker of the script also has a basic Blender humanoid rigged skeleton for just 50 cents. I’m wondering if it would be possible to stick the textured .obj bits to the skeleton, then export as FBX?

But for a more robust method of converting DAZ/Poser characters to iClone, it now seems the only way to go is the new Windows-only Game Developer Kit ($105 + your local sales tax) and 3DXchange 4 Pro. The Game Developer Kit looks very impressive, although apparently you need the beta of the very latest DAZ Studio Advanced for it to work?

Cryengine2 for animation

Beautiful real-time game-engine rendered animation, using the Crysis game engine, Cryengine2…

The engine is only available to developers, although Develop magazine claimed a few months ago that Crytek intends to release a “standalone free engine” which will be “up to speed”(?) with CryEngine 3.

Also a lovely looking visualisation (until it goes into heretical first-person shooter mode) at what Monkey Island might have looked like in real-time 3D, made using the same game engine…

Cryengine and Unreal Engine seem to be the two “big dogs” for indie developers at the moment, but Unreal has apparently recently tightened up on who gets access to the free version. You now have to have a few kosher references to get it, apparently. There’s also a planned game engine for Maya, which may or may not eventually be in the cheap $350 student/teacher edition. And there’s a huge list of free engines, with the ones I’ve actually heard of being the basic-but-promising Blender Game Engine (Wikipedia policebot sayz: “This article may not meet the notability guideline” — durh), Panda 3D, and the free version of Unity 3D (which I’ve looked at before on MyClone). The full list of free game engines is at DevMaster’s Game and Graphics Engines Database.