Wednesday, September 23, 2020

DAZ Importer Version 1.5.0

No show-stopper bugs have shown up in RC2, so it now becomes the stable version 1.5.0. RC1 has been deleted from my dropbox account, to make sure that nobody downloads that by mistake. The development version now becomes 1.5.1.

DAZ importer v 1.5.0:

Documentation (wip):

Friday, September 18, 2020

HD Meshes and Geografts, Revisited

We noted in a previous post that HD export does not work so well for characters with geografts, like genitals. The reason is that the export script exports the cached geometry, which is what DAZ Studio displays in viewports and renders. Normally all geografts have already been merged with their parent meshes when DAZ Studio displays them, so that is what is being exported to Blender.

However, frequent commenter engetudouiti pointed out that if we enable the geometry editor tool before exporting, the HD meshes are exported correctly. This works because the geometry editor keeps the graft item fit to actor, but at same time separates meshes, so the base and graft meshes keep their individual current subdivision resolution.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Baking Normal Maps

This post is a continuation of High resolution Meshes and HD Meshes and Geografts.

A HD mesh behaves in many ways as the corresponding base mesh because it has the same topology, while the high-frequency details show up in renders. However, there are still reasons that you will want to bake normal maps from the multires modifier and apply them to the mesh at base resolution. In particular:

  • Performance. The extra geometry is still present, even if it relegated to the multires modifier, which affects file size, memory consumption, and viewport responsiveness.
  • If you want to export your mesh to other applications, e.g. a game, since the multires modifier is Blender specific.

Tutorials about how to bake normal  maps from multires can be found on the internet, but the process is not very straightforward and quite capricious. There are a number of caveats, such as

  • The material used for baking must apparently be the first one. It is not enough that it is the active material.
  • The viewport levels in the multires modifier must be set to zero. This is because the difference between the mesh at the render level and viewport level is used for baking.

Moreover, DAZ meshes typically have multiple UDIM tiles, each of which  must be baked separately. 

For this reason I implemented a tool to Bake Normal Maps, and another to Load Normal Maps that have been baked with the first tool. 

Friday, September 11, 2020

HD Meshes and Geografts

Update September 18, 2020. 

engetudouiti found a way to export the individual HD meshes so that lower subdivision levels can be built, even in the presence of geografts.



High Resolution Meshes

Many DAZ meshes come in high resolution. Such HD (high definition or high density) meshes can be exported with the Export HD to Blender script, but once in Blender there was not much one could do with them. With the release of Blender 2.90 last week, this has changed. There is a new tool in the Multiresolution modifier that takes a HD mesh and rebuilds the lower subdivisions levels. Following a suggestion by J Cade, the DAZ importer now uses this feature to build multires meshes from HD meshes.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Strand-based hair

One picture says more than 1000 words.

Update 9/11: Hair materials