How to import your old runtime content into DAZ Studio 4

Many people will be about to install DAZ Studio 4 Pro, which they downloaded as a freebie earlier this month. This post is about successfully navigating the nightmare of trying to install your old DAZ Studio 3 content runtimes into the new version 4.

In trying out the DAZ Studio 4 beta trial, I hadn’t bothered to try to import my old DAZ content library. But now I have the final-final version, I wanted to see the old content in there. It’s actually quite easy and fast to do this, but you’re likely to spend hours being utterly baffled before you find the right hidden button. I know I was. It would be nice to think that the Help files would have been some help with this. Sadly, they’re all missing. And the forum help on this topic is generally impenetrable — in only one answer did I finally find a line that actually gave the right advice.

These are the three areas of the Content Manager area that let you right-click on them, and then offer a bewildering range of methods to find and/or import the old content…

None of these methods work, in terms of actually getting your old content to show up in the Content Manager, except for this one…

Quite why “Import Mapped Directories” is hidden away in an obscure right-click on such a tiny and un-labelled Content Library tab, I have no idea. Instead of showing us the whizzy new Genesis figures and a prominent link button to the DAZ Store, DAZ should know enough about its users to know that the very first thing they will likely want after install is… all their old content back. There should be a giant button in the middle of the screen right after install, to do this. There isn’t. Thousands of would-be DAZ Studio users have given up in despair on this point, and just gone back to using version 3, judging the great many forum posts on the topic. Sadly it’s just one more failure, in an epic string of fan-relations disasters made while trying to launch DAZ Studio 4. Which are all redeemed somewhat by the Big Freebie giveaway, but they still rankle…

Once you do get it working, the Content Manager is still much the same classic of un-usability as before (now even worse, in some respects) — but at least it now has tagging and keyword search.

Free subway for iClone

Got monsters? Want to put them in some creepy tunnels? Here’s CHS Entertainment’s free Creative Commons Attribution Subway Track for Blender, now converted by me for iClone and reduced from 290,000 polys to just 29k…

Download here as an iClone 5 project file, ready-lit.

Click on the picture for the large version.

You can also remove the lights and train track, by lowering their opacity to zero, to make it a generic tunnel. Flood the floor with water for even more graphical coolness.

Mothhead, new showcase art-game for Unity 3.5

It’s always good to see another art-game come along. The art-game for 2012 looks like being Peter Konig’s Mothhead which is due to premiere at GDC in early March. It’s been made with the free / open-source Unity game-engine — the same powerful real-time engine that iClone is rumoured to be going to link up a production pipeline to in 2012. Konig was the lead sculptor / monster-designer on 2011’s pre-production visualization sessions for H.P. Lovecraft’s At The Mountains of Madness, and has teamed up with Massive Black to make his game…

“Based on the eerie mixed-media sculptures of Hollywood maquette maker and concept artist Peter Konig, Mothhead is an art game that defies easy categorization. Made in collaboration with Unity, creators of the artist-friendly Unity 3D game-engine, Mothhead stars an unlikely hero — a bizarre, alien-like creature with a moth for a head.”

Games Radar has a preview profile of Mothhead and its team, and also an interview.

Mothhead will be able to take advantage of the graphical goodies in Unity 3.5 (now in public beta, and looking like it’s kicked Blender’s game-engine into oblivion), such as…

* a new Particle System.

* “high-performance automated path-finding and crowd simulation for characters”

* “new linear space (gamma correct) lighting and HDR rendering”

* “brand new multi-threaded renderer”

* Google Chrome Native Client deployment (play the game in real-time, in your Web browser, without plugins)

All of which may (hopefully) become available to iClone users to render their scenes in, before too long?

Mixamo auto-rigger

Royalty-free animation-clip vendor Mixamo has announced they’re releasing…

free scripts to auto-rig 3D characters in less than a minute using either Maya or 3DS Max”

“The released scripts automatically convert the automatically-rigged character into a Biped system (or CAT rig) in 3DS Max while creating a custom IK/FK control rig for Maya users, making the animation editing process much faster.”