I’ve been looking at the DAZ Digimi Game Developer Kit ($105/£75 + local sales tax), for converting high-poly DAZ/Poser characters to low-poly iClone characters, and checking out the chatter on the forums. There are a lot of tedious “i wantz a Mac verhsun!” posts to wade through, and people who don’t know you have to have the very latest beta of DAZ Studio to be able to use it. But also a couple of informative snippets from the forums…
“Yes, this [Digimi Game Developer Kit FBX exporter] is an updated version of the FBX Plug-in for DAZ Studio and does include a number of new export flavors.” – DAZ Product Management.
“There are no plans at this stage to bundle the products [Digimi Game Developer Kit components]” [with DAZ Studio 4] “but I can’t guarantee that they won’t be bundled with a DAZ Studio Advanced Game Edition” – DAZ Product Management.
“Decimator just reduces poly count, it won’t remove objects or parts of objects [like 3DXchange can]”
“The Decimator and Texture Atlas work without destroying the UV Mapping. UV boundaries are retained throughout the process.”
“All the products on developer.daz3d.com have a new EULA that allows them to be distributed with games”
Nothing has changed on DAZ licensing, as regards depicting DAZ/Poser characters 2D stills or movie projects. It only changes if you want to include your decimated characters in videogames. Quite where iClone .project files fall, is a little unclear — are they games or movies?
Several forum users point out that the resulting models might not meet the tight specifications used by commercial game developers. But then I guess most small indie developers are developing just for powerful desktop gaming PCs, and so don’t have to think about the tight demands of the gaming consoles. Apart from a possible increase in joint-flexing problems when animating sub-30k action-movie character moves, such problems appear unlikely to trouble iClone users?
The ability to get properly textured clothed DAZ/Poser characters into iClone seems especially valuable, and apparently the Texture Atlas respects opacity. But I guess “floaty” clothes / skirts / hair would all become rather static in iClone. For those kind of characters, and for an army-of-thousands scene, I’m thinking that green-screening in DAZ Studio + popVideo conversion might be a better and cheaper solution than the Digimi Game Developer Kit.
iClone users with DAZ/Poser models are also going to loose the ability to animate the face / lip-sync, although some jaw-bone animation may be possible. I guess CrazyTalk and popVideo could come in handy there, to make a popVideo clip that could serve as a “face plate”?
Videos of the Digimi Game Developer Kit are here.