One common issue for daz figures is they require literally hundreds of morphs to get the figure working. Plus jcms don’t work anyway with G1 G2 figures that use triax instead, not supported by blender.
Now to help with this we may use a old trick that’s exporting prebended figures. This way we bake some main deformations from daz, then we may also use a corrective smooth modifier to help preserving the volume and shape of the baked deformations. As a side effect this also works better with ik that likes prebended limbs. And exports better to game engines. As a downside effect this will not work to import daz poses since the rest pose is changed this way. So it’s only good for original blender animation.
Below it's an example with G8F, the deformations are not bad considering no jcms are used at all. This technique works fine with G1 G2 too.
Please note that the prebending may depend both on the figure and the outfit. In general a nude figure can be more prebended than a dressed figure, and a dressed figure may require more or less prebending depending on the outfit.
The general steps are:
- In daz studio we prebend the figure as required depending on the figure and the outfit.
- If it is a G1 G2 figure then we add the general weight maps: edit > figure > rigging > convert to blended weight.
- Export to blender as dbz.
- In blender we add the corrective smooth modifier to the figure.
- In blender we merge the outfit parts and add a shrinkwrap modifier to the outfit.
Below an example with G1F and the magus outfit. I prebended the elbows and knees and a little shoulder, but left everything else alone to avoid distortions on the magus outfit. Then I converted to general weight and exported the dbz. Back in blender I added the corrective smooth to the figure and shrinkwrapped the outfit.
Please note that I uncheked "preserve volume" in the armature, since G1 doesn't use jcms and the corrective smooth is responsible alone to preserve the volume and prebended shape.
Overall the magus figure works fine enough and doesn't use any corrective morph.
note. important. The corrective smooth tends to preserve the original shape, so it’s good for body deformations and outfits. But not for face expressions since it tends to diminish the expression itself, so we may want to use a face mask for the corrective smooth.
Please see the depository for test files.
update. March 16 2023
Thomas did a great job with the last commit. It is now possible to import daz poses on prebended figures so we can avoid jcms and still be compatible with the daz poses. To do this you have to enable the global option "Daz Orientation" and check "Subtract Rest Pose" in the import pose panel.
Beware that "Daz Orientation" is experimental and actually uses some heuristic to be compatible with the old system. The only risk though is that some poses may not import completely fine, so you can use the option it won't break anything.
The intended workflow is to only use "Daz Orientation" if you work with prebended figures, otherwise the old system works better for now.