Doctor Pitterbill round-up

Update: I now have a dedicated Poser Pro blog!

The affordable and excellent Poser / DAZ Studio character Doctor Pitterbill (currently $10) has a growing range of clothing and new character styles, some of it free. For example, here’s my basic OpenGL render (from DAZ) of the free Sepit mod wood-gnome clothing set for him

(Tip: to get free Elf Ears on Doctor Pitterbill, give him the facial expression you want. Then give him facial expression #3 from Nursoda’s other DAZ character called Malini the Clown. For some reason, this gives Pitterbill “instant elf-ears”, without changing the expression you want. I discovered this by accident.).

Other add-on characters/clothing sets for Pitterbill are currently: Wild West / Steampunk :: Harpert the Clown :: Torba the Insane One :: Prison Inmate :: Steampunk :: Dracula (also Steampunk / Wild West) :: Sorcerer/Priest :: Dr. Mabusa (horror) :: Jones (Safari / Adventure / Steampunk) :: and A Jester, as well as some sports stuff. All are fairly low-priced. Also take at look at this free top hat and this free 1970s University Lecturer clothes set.

Pitterbill comes with an excellent and large set of expressions and poses as standard, but then so do some of the add-on packs. For instance, here’s the large expressions set that comes with the $6.80 “Torba” add-on for him…

He will also accept body poses meant for other Nursoda characters (e.g. Malik, Malini).

There’s also a set of approved clothing templates for Pitterbill (with a commercial re-use licence from Nursoda, to encourage clothing designers), and a Crossdresser 4 licenced script for DAZ clothing conversion/fitting of other DAZ clothing.

Frankly, Pitterbill looks better than many of the “pro” toon-guy rigs I’ve seen for the likes of Maya in the last couple of years. But he’s royalty-free, commercial-use enabled, and you can pick him up with five outfits for less than $50. His stylized face also bypasses “the uncanny valley”. So it would be very pleasing to see Pitterbill officially in iClone, poly-reduced and rigged with Reallusion bones in both the body and face, and with some clothing that moves with him. Like all of Nursoda’s excellent works he’s a standalone character, so there shouldn’t be any licencing problems with DAZ about the conversion.

Selected animation and 3D books for Spring 2012

Here are some of the cool new books that I’ve spotted on the Spring 2012 publisher lists…

Animating the Unconscious: Desire, Sexuality and Animation from Columbia University Press. 1st March.

Machinima: The Art and Practice of Virtual Filmmaking from respected publisher McFarland. 15th March.

Enviro-Toons: Green Themes in Animated Cinema and Television, again from respected publisher McFarland. Also on 15th March.

3D Animation Essentials, from respected publisher John Wiley. 21st March, but it seems to be available now as a Kindle ebook version.

Character Mentor: Learn by Example to Use Expressions, Poses, and Staging to Bring Your Characters to Life from veteran British instructional publisher Focal Press. 13th May 2012. This is meant for old-school 2D artists, but seems likely to be of value to those making webcomics with characters and poses output from iClone.

ZBrush Creature Design: Creating Dynamic Concept Imagery for Film and Games. Yet another from John Wiley publishers. Out on the 18th May 2012.

Blender updates – better game engine, Second Life exports

A new version of the traditional-but-free 3D software Blender is out. Blender version 2.62, reportly brings…

“notable improvements to the Blender Game Engine” […] “The game engine user interface was polished, editing text objects in the user interface and through the python API has been made easier, full screen and antialiased rendering has been improved, along with various other changes.”

And also of possible interest to Second Life film makers…

“A Second Life compatibility option was added for exporting armatures” [armatures are the basic character-rigging skeletons used in Blender]