Morphs section version 1.2

When a Genesis 3 character is loaded, the face bones can be posed just as any other bones. However, once we add facial expressions, the face bones are driven by object properties and can no longer be posed directly. This is unfortunate, because you may want to tweak an expression to make it perfect.

The face bones can be made tweakable by adding an extra layer of bones parented to the driven ones. To achieve this, press Add Extra Face Bones. The face bones seem to disappear.

The tweakable face bones have been moved to bone layer 2. The driven face bones, which can not be moved, are located on layer 32.

There are three standard types of morphs, called Face Units, Expressions and Visemes, which can be loaded easily. Enable Show Expressions to display a list of available expressions. Select the expressions that you want to load, and press Load Expressions. The other standard morph types are loaded analogously.

The loaded expressions can be posed from the new Expressions panel. Since the morphs are driven by rig properties, posing works with file linking.

The rig properties can be keyframed by right-clicking on the property. If the automatic keyframing button is active, the properties are automatically keyed every time they are changed.

The number of facial expressions can be quite large, which can lead to problems for Genesis 3 and Genesis 8 characters, where expressions are implemented with face bones. Namely, in Blender a bone can not be driven by expressions longer than 256 characters, and this limit is typically exceeded if you load all face units, expressions and visemes. This does not result in an error, but there is a warning in the terminal window below, and some expressions may not work as intended.

There are two ways to avoid this problem. Either you load only those expressions that you will really need, or you enable Use Handlers before loading. With handlers more expressions can be loaded before problems with Blender's limitations  is encountered.

To import more general morphs, press Import Morph(s). This button imports shapekeys to the active mesh, so the number of vertices must be correct. If the rig is selected, the morphs are imported to the child mesh which is recognized as a character.

It might not be so easy to find the path to the relevant morph files. To facilitate this, you can find the path to the active object in the Utilities Panel. Hover over the URL property to see the full path to the file that defined the active object. The associated morph files can usually be found in a nearby location.

Press Import Morph(s) and a file browser opens. The import options are:
  • Load All: Load all .duf and .dsf files in the given directory.
    • Include: When loading all, only include files containing this string.
    • Exclude: When loading all, don't include files containing this string.
  • Use Drivers: Create rig properties to drive the morphs. The properties appear in the Custom Morphs panel.
  • Category: The category in the Custom Morphs panel in which the properties appear.
  • First Word Category: Automatically create categories based on the first word in the file names.
With the rig selected, the loaded morphs appear in the Custom Morphs panel, under the category specified in the previous step. Changing the property values changes the form of the arm armor.

Some vendors implement facial expressions as poses. For this reason, it may be useful to treat poses in the same way as morphs, and use rig properties to drive poses. However, drivers can be created for all kinds of poses.

Press Import Driven Pose(s) and a file browser opens up. It displays DAZ files but also image files, which are often used as icons for the DAZ files. To see the icons, the display mode must be set to Thumbnails in the top bar. The import options are:
  • Load All. Load all .duf and .dsf files in this directy as driven poses.
  • Includes. When Load All is selected, only load files containing this string.
  • Excludes. When Load All is selected, don't load files containing this string.
  • Convert Poses: Attempt to convert poses to the active rig. This makes it possible to use poses for other DAZ characters, and also for the MHX and Rigify rigs, possibly with some loss of fidelity.
  • Selected Bones Only. Only create drivers for selected bones.
  • Translations: Drive bone translations. Facial bones are mainly posed with translations.
  • Rotations: Drive bone rotations.
Limitation: We can only import driven poses that are implemented directly as bone transformations. Some vendors implement poses by setting morph values. The DAZ importer does not support such driven poses, since it would likely lead to update problems.

Select either a .duf or .dsf file, or an image file with the same name to load the driven pose.

The pose now appears in the Custum Morphs panel. The property and category names are deduced automatically from the file and directory names.

And here is the results when the Load All option is enabled.

There might be some shapekey without a rig driver, either because it was created directly in Blender, or because it was imported with the Add Driver option disabled. This means that this shapekey can not be used with file linking. To remedy this, press the button Add Driver to Shapekey shapekey-name.
The shapekey is now controlled by a rig property, which appears in the Custom Morphs panel under the Shapekeys category.

The final button in this section Removes All Morphs and drivers from the current character. Afterwards the Face Units, Expressions, Visemes, and Custom Morphs panels all disappear.

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