DAZ noobs read this

A few weeks ago Gyia posted an excellent noobs intro/guide to collecting and installing DAZ freebies, including a long linked list of core / base figures. As far as I can tell, he’s just listing the free figures. Well worth reading.

Quite rightly he says never to blindly unzip a non-official freebie to your DAZ/Poser content directory, even if it has an installer. I’d also have added that, instead, you should find the freebie’s “Runtime” folder and then manually copy all the subfolders that sit below that. Then highlight your main Runtime, paste your copied folders, and allow Windows to merge them with the main Runtime folder.

He already has some updates to his list here and a short guide to the main Japanese DAZ/Poser site here. He seems likely to list more at his his blog (snagging the RSS feed is probably a good idea).

Taking DAZ requests

If anyone who doesn’t have the $200 for the DAZ Game Kit / 3DXchange 4 Pro would like me to convert one of the free DAZ/Poser characters (list one and list two) for iClone, I’m happy to take requests. All I ask is that you first contact the maker, and ask them politely if it would be OK for me to give away the resulting iClone conversion for free. I’ll give them a full credit, and a link, of course.

Obviously it can’t be one of the official or time-limited DAZ freebies.

Streets Of The Med

Large-scale DAZ scene-props such as Stonemason’s Streets Of The Mediterranean can now have their poly-count radically reduced for conversion to iClone. The large Streets Of The Mediterranean weighs in at over 600,000 polys in DAZ…

… because it’s a big complex set…

…which obviously makes it impossible for iClone. But I’m pleased to say that using the Decimator took it down to a manageable 160,000 polys in seconds. With Decimator you get precise control over which bits of the model get compression, and by how much. It was then exported as an .obj. The first time it was loaded into 3DXchange the textures were predictably all lost, despite a valid .mtl materials file with valid texture links. There are only about 15 textures and I could have re-textured by hand easily enough. But re-exporting the .obj as a .3ds helped retain some textures. Even then some of the ivy opacity maps still had to be re-applied in 3DXchange. Here it is in iClone…

Click the picture for a larger version. 100% iClone render (no Photoshop). All 3D, no background picture.

The improbable lighting uses IBL, HDR, bloom, tone-mapping, all the normal iClone lights, plus six of my light_cone_soft props (download) laid in at various angles and opacities. Plus a glow-mapped ball inside the lamp. You can see that the column that Jena is sitting on has been twisted by the Decimator, and the pot on the steps has been turned from bulbous to triangular-planter, but otherwise the set seems fine.

Unreal Development Kit May 2010 Beta

Difficult to believe that it didn’t have these features before, but the free Unreal Development Kit May 2010 Beta [download] now adds… Light Shafts and Height-Based Fog…

Oh, and it seems I was wrong when I said that access to the free version was being restricted to bona-fide indie developers. It’s still free to download, at the moment. Maybe it’s the access to support that’s restricted.