Morphs section

Important

Morphs for modern Daz characters will only work if Blender is allowed to Auto Run Python Scripts. See the document on ugly faces for details.

  • Import Units. Import all selected face units morphs.
  • Import Expressions. Import all selected expression morphs.
  • Import Visemes. Import all selected viseme morphs.
  • Import FACS Units. Import all selected FACS units morphs.
  • Import FACS Expressions. Import All selected FACS expressions morphs.
  • Import Body Morphs. Import all selected body morphs.
  • Import JCMs. Import all selected joint corrective morphs (JCM's), which are shapekeys driven by bone rotations.
  • Import Flexions. Import all selected flexion morphs.
  • Import Standard Morphs. Import all standard morphs of the specified types.
  • Import Custom Morphs. Import the selected morph files to the active mesh, or the morphs from all files in the directory. The morphs must have the same number of vertices as the active mesh. Optionally, object properties that drive the morphs can be created, and can be accessed from the Custom Morphs panel.
  • Save Favorite Morphs. Save all file paths to the morphs used by the active character to an external file. 
  • Load Favorite Morphs. Load all morphs in the selected file.
  • Transfer Shapekeys. Transfer all shapekeys from the active mesh to all selected meshes.
  • Mix Shapekeys: Combine two shapekeys into a single one.

Import Units

When we press Import Units, a pop-up dialog appears with all available face units.The list depends on which morphs for this character that was found on your computer.
The All and None buttons select and deselect all morphs in the list, and the magnifying glass is a search field.
Search for all morphs involving the eyes. Press None to deselect all morphs, and then select the three EyesClosed morphs. Press OK to load the morphs.
 
If you started Blender from a terminal window, you can follow the progress while the morphs are loading. The character in front to the morph name has the following meaning:

*    The morph (driven by sliders) was successfully loaded.
!     The morph (driven by bone rotations) was successfully loaded.
-     The morph failed to load.
=    An alternative name (an alias) for the morph was found.
   The morph already exists and does not need to be rebuilt.
+    A new sum driver is created for this bone.

The new Face Units panel appears at the bottom of the DAZ tab. At the top there are some buttons:
  • Adjust Units: An overall factor for all morphs of this type. This is mainly useful for mixing custom morphs for different characters.
  • Prettify Panels: Change sliders to checkboxes. If boolean options appear as sliders, use this button to refresh them.
  • Select All: Select all morphs in the Face Units panel. When selected, the checkbox to the right of the slider is checked.
  • Unselect All: Unselect all morphs in the Face Units panel.
  • Disable Drivers: Temporarily disable all bone drivers to improve posing performance. All morph panels remain locked until drivers are enabled again.
  • Keys: Add category morphs to the active custom keying set, or make a new one (?).
  • Key plus: Insert keys for all selected face units at the current frame (checkboxes enabled).
  • Crossed key: Remove keys from all selected expressions at the current frame (checkboxes enabled).
  • X: Clear all selected expressions (checkboxes enabled).
  • Magnifying glass: Only display morphs matching the search field.
Then there are sliders for the newly loaded morphs. For each loaded expression, we have a slider, an select checkbox, and a pin button, which sets the slider to 1.0 while also resetting all other sliders in the Face Units panel to 0.0.
We can now close the eyes by setting the slider values, either the combined Eyes Closed slider or the left and right sliders. The final pose for the left eye is given by the sum of the combined and left sliders. The sliders are the "raw" morph values. To see the "final" morph values, which correspond to slider values in DAZ Studio, we turn on the global settings Show Final Morph Values, which was done in the picture to the right. More information can be found in the blog post On Raw and Final Slider Values.
 
It may be noted that this button imports the standard face unit morphs, which were originally made for the base character, Genesis 8 Female in this case. Since Aiko is a quite stylized character the morphs do not fit her perfectly. If custom made morphs for your character are available, you may consider loading them with the Import Custom Morphs button instead.

Import Expressions

Expressions work in the same way as Face Units.
There are two files for each expression. Afraid_HD contains the face rig pose, whereas Afraid_HD_div2 contains a shapekey. It also contains a pointer to a dhdm file with the high definition data, which can be extracted with an add-on by Xin. We import both Afraid and Angry morphs. 
The sliders control both the face rig pose and the shapekey values.

Import Visemes

Visemes work in the same way as Face Units.
Here we have show the AA and F morphs.
At the top of the Visemes panel there is an extra button: Load Moho. With it you can import lipsync files in the Moho (.dat) files, which can be created with the program Papagayo from lostmarble.com. Press the button and select a .dat file in the file selector.
  • Relax Animation: Relax the Moho animation to make it more natural.
  • Emphasis: Speech strength,
  • Update Limits: Update limits of open vowels to account for emphasis.
  • New Action: Create a new action.
  • Action Name: Name of the new action.
  • Start At Frame 1: Start the imported animation at frame 1, otherwise start at the current frame.
And now Aiko says "Hasta la vista, baby".

Import FACS Units

An interesting new feature in DAZ Studio version 4.15 is the introduction of the FACS (Facial Action Coding System) morphs, which facilitates more natural looking expressions and more diversity in expressions available. FACS is used by professional animators and utilized in research, such as with facial recognition. From the point of view of the DAZ Importer, the FACS units are just another set of standard morphs. They are available for the updated Genesis 8.1 characters (only female so far), but seem to work for Genesis 8 characters as well. For more information, see the blog post on FACS.
The dialog lists the available FACS units.
Once the FACS morphs have been loaded, a new panel opens up. There are two new buttons at the top:
  • Import FaceCap File: Import a facial mocap animation made with FaceCap (iOS facial capture app for devices with Face ID).
  • Import Live Link File: Import a facial mocap animation made with Unreal Live Link.
 For an example of a FaceCap animation loaded to a DAZ character, see this blog post.

Import FACS Expressions

FACS expressions are morphs that are built on top of the FACS units.

So far only a few FACS expressions are available.
Here are the Afraid and Smile Open Full Face morphs. Notice that these morphs work for Aiko, despite the fact that she is a Genesis 8 Female and does not belong to the 8.1 generation. The morphs are not perfectly adapted to her, but that is because Aiko is a cartoonish character and it is not a matter of generation.
The Angry morphs show some problems with the eyelashes. To fix that, we need to transfer the FACS shapekeys from the body to the eyelashes using the Transfer Other Morphs tool, see below. This problem does not arise for ordinary face units, which are implemented as bone rotations. In contrast, the FACS units are a combination of bone rotations and shapekeys, and the shapekeys must be transferred to the eyelashes.
 

Import Body Morphs

Body morphs are morphs which involve the body rather than face. Note the difference between a body  morph (bones driven by rig properties) and a pose (bone rotations loaded from a file). The interface works in the same way as Face Units.
Here we select all pose morphs for the left hand.
In the Pose Morphs panel which appears we can pose the hand by moving sliders.

A drawback of loading pose morphs is that we can no longer pose the affected bones by hand, because the bones are now driven by rig properties; the bone rotations turn purple.
 
However, we can pose the finger bones on top of the pose morph, using the Make All Bones Posable tool in the Finishing section
The rotation channel ceases to be purple, so the finger bones are no longer driven and can be freely posed. Additional bones have been created on a hidden layer, and the finger bones are now parented to the those driven bones. Therefore, the local rotation is zero. We can now pose the finger bones, but we may need to mute Limit Rotation constraints.

Import JCMs

The deformation of DAZ characters is improved with corrective shapekeys, known as Joint Corrective Morphs (JCM's) in DAZ Studio. The load interface for JCM's is identical to facial expressions. Here we select and import all JCMs for the two abdomen bones.
When the AbdomenLower and AbdomenUpper bones are both rotated 30 degrees around the X axis, we see that some of the corrective shapekeys are active.
We can also see that Aiko's tummy intersects with her skirt. So far the JCM's only affect Aiko's body. We will transfer them to the clothes later.

Import Flexions

Flexions are bone-driven morphs that simulate the flexing of muscles. They are a new additions to Genesis 8. 
When Import Flexions is pressed, a selector of the available flexions is displayed. Select all and press OK to import the morphs.
 
When Aiko now bends her forearm, her biceps muscle contracts. This is admittedly a very subtle effect, since the Genesis 8 Female is not very muscular, but it is there.
 
 

Import Standard Morphs

This is an alternative way to import all standard morphs of specified types. When this button is pressed, a list of morph types appears and we can select which morph types to import.
This tool is invoked by Easy Import DAZ, which is probably where it is most useful.

Import Custom Morphs

The tools above only import standard morphs that were made by DAZ for genesis characters and located at standard locations. However, they can not be used to import morphs for clothes, hair or geografts, nor to import morphs made by other vendors. To import such morphs we use the Import Custom Morphs tool.
A file selector opens, with the file path set to a directory where morphs for this mesh should be located. The options are:
  • Use Rig Property Drivers: Create drivers for the loaded morphs.
  • Category: Name of the category to which this morph(s) belongs.
  • Body part: Part of the character that the morphs affect.
    • Face: Transferred to lashes by Easy Import DAZ.
    • Body: Transferred to clothes and geografts by Easy Import DAZ.
    • Custom: Not transferred by Easy Import DAZ.
  • Treat HD Meshes: How to deal with vertex count mismatch for HD meshes:
    • Error: Raise errors.
    • Create Shapekey: Create empty shapekeys.
    • Active Shapekey: Drive active shapekey.
Navigate to the directory where the full body morphs are located. Select FBMPearFigure and FBMThin, and choose Category to be Shapes. We can select either the .dsf or the .png file, the .dsf file will be loaded in either case. Finally we press Import Custom Morphs to load the morphs.

A new panel called Custom Morphs opens up. At the bottom the category Shapes contains the two loaded morphs, corresponding to the twodriven shapekeys. Each categories contain sliders for the morphs that belong to it, and a pin button to set this slider to 1.0 and all others to 0.0. The sliders in each category can be hidden by unselecting the corresponding checkbox.

The new options at the top are
  • Open All Categories: Show the sliders of all categories.
  • Close All Categories: Hide the sliders of all categories.
At the top of the Shapes box we again have buttons selecting and keying properties. However, these buttons only affect the properties in this category, whereas the buttons at the top affect all custom morphs, independent of category.
 
Turn up to PearFigure to 1.0. Aiko grows fat, but she has not bought bigger sized clothes to match. We will fix that later.
 
In a previous version of the DAZ Importer, there was a separate button to import custom JCMs. This is no longer necessary, because the Import Custom Morphs tool will recognize JCMs automatically and create bone drivers for the shapekeys.
Navigate to the Aiko directory and import all JCMs. We can easily select them by filtering with the string pJCM. Set the category to JCMs and the body part to Body.
The corrective shapekeys are driven by bone rotations when Aiko is posed.
The JCMs section in the Custom Morphs panel is empty, except for a slider that adjusts the overall strength for all morphs we just loaded. This slider can be used to mix JCMs from different characters. Say that we create a character which is 30% Aiko and 70% Victoria. Then we can import custom JCMs for both characters, and set Adjust Aiko to 0.30 and Adjust Victoria to 0.70.
 
 

Save Favorite Morphs

You can save a file with favorite morphs that you load often to different characters, and then import all morphs listed in the file. This is particularly useful in connection with Easy Import, which imports a character and performs all the common operations, including loading morphs, in one click. For more information about this, see Favorite Morphs and Easy Import.
First we must save the file with favorite morphs. Load the morphs that you want to include in the list of favorite morphs. If you want morphs for geografts, make sure that the character has them and they are not merged. Favorite morphs can also be added to clothes, all meshes that are children to the character armature are considered. Then press Save Favorite Morphs and choose the file name in the file selector.

 

Load Favorite Morphs

Now select a different character of the same Genesis generation and the same geografts and clothes. Press Load Favorite Morphs and select the file that we just saved. All the saved morphs are loaded to the new character.

The fingerprint is a string which describes the mesh topology reasonably uniquely. Morphs are ignored unless the fingerprint matches that in the one specified in the json file. However, some morphs are pure bone poses and can work even if the topology of the mesh has been changed. For such morphs it may make sense to enable the Ignore Fingerprint option. Note however that this may mess up loaded shapekeys.


Transfer Shapekeys

So far we have added morphs to the character but not to her clothes. The Transfer Shapekeys tool transfers the body morphs to the clothes meshes.

First there is a warning, however. If you intend to create low-poly versions of the clothes, as described in the Low-poly Meshes section, you need to do so before transferring morphs to the clothes. The reason is that the Quick Low-poly tool only works on meshes without shapekeys.
Select the clothes which you want to transfer the morphs to, and make Aiko's body the active mesh. Press Transfer Shapekeys.
A pop-up dialog appear which let you select the morphs to transfer.At the top of the pop-up dialog there is an option which determines the transfer method. It can take on four different values:
  • Nearest Face: Transfer shapekeys from the nearest face on the source mesh. This usually works well to transfer shapekeys to clothes and is the default.
  • Body: Only transfer between the first vertices, until a vertex with changed location is encountered. This works for shapekeys on the body that do not involve the geograft, because the merged vertices have higher vertex number than the original ones. This method is very fast when it works.
  • Geograft: Transfer shapekeys to the nearest vertex of the target mesh. Note the difference to the Nearest Vertex method. There each target vertex is paired with a source vertex, here each source vertex is paired with a target vertex, and nothing is transferred to unpaired target vertices. Use this to transfer shapekeys from the geograft to the merged mesh. Performance is the same as for the Nearest Vertex Method.
  • Legacy: This transfer method uses the data transfer modifier, and was the only method before version 1.5.1. It is very slow but works well in general.

More information about which method to use in different circumstances can be found in the blog post Morph Transfer Progress. See also Morph Transfer Artifacts.

  • Transfer Drivers: Transfer both shapekeys and drivers.
  • Use Vendor Morphs: Use custom morphs provided by vendors if available, otherwise auto-transfer shapekeys.
  • Overwrite Existing Shapekeys
  • Strength Multiplier: Add a strength multiplier to the drivers.
  • Selected Verts Only: Only transfer shapekeys of selected vertices.
  • Ignore Rigidity Groups: See https://diffeomorphic.blogspot.com/2019/02/loading-morphs-after-anatomy-has-been.html.
  • Body part: Only transfer morphs which affect specified body part.
    • All: Transfer all morphs.
    • Face: Transfer face morphs.
    • Body: Transfer body morphs.
    • Custom: Transfer custom morphs. 
The picture above illustrates how the body part affects which morphs are transferred. The body part can be specified by the Import Custom Morphs tool
 
In the terminal window we can follow how the morphs are transferred. The character in front of the shapekey name means:
+   The morph was auto-transferred and non-trivial
-    The morph was auto-transferred but found to be trivial, and therefore discarded.
*   The morph was imported from a .dsf file.
0   The morph was skipped because only vertices outside the clothing's bounding box are affected.

After the JCM's have been transferred to the top and skirt, the clothes no longer intersect with the body when Aiko bends forward.
 
Finally we use the Transfer Shapekeys tool to transfer the custom morphs that we imported above.
When the morphs have been transferred, the clothes fit Aiko even as she has gained weight.
 
The Nearest Vertex and Geograft transfer methods compute a Numpy array with the distances between all vertex pairs, to determine which is the shortest. If both meshes are large, this array can be huge, and your computer may not have enough memory to allocate it. If this happens, you can revert to the old General method, which should always work. However, transfer to smaller meshes can still work, so only after the tool has tried to transfer the morphs to all selected meshes an error message appears with a list of failed meshes.

Mix Shapekeys

Sometimes two shapekeys in a merged mesh are really supposed to be a single one. Consider e.g. the New Genitalia for Victoria 8. Both the genitals and the body have morphs for opening the anus.
Transfer the PBMG8FAnusOpen shapekey to the genitals using the Transfer Other Shapekey button in the Morphs section. The genitals now has two separate shapekeys, but they don't make any sense separately, as the following picture illustrates.
 
We therefore want to combine them into a single shapekey which is driven by a single rig property. Press Mix Shapekeys. A pop-up menu appears where we can select the shapekeys that we want to merge.
  • Overwrite First: Replace the first shapekey with the mixed one, otherwise create a new shapekey. In this case an extra field appears where you can specify its name.
  • Delete Merged: Delete the original shapekeys.

Then there are two columns, one for each shapekey.

  • Magnifying glass: Use this to filter.
  • Factor:  Multiply the offset with this factor.
  • Shapekey:
In our case we want to replace the PGMAnusOpen shapekey with the sum of both shapekeys, and remove the transferred G8F shapekey, so we use the settings in the picture above.
The two shapekeys have been combined into a single one.

This tool can be used in other ways, too. Say that we have a character which is 30% Aiko 8 and 70% Victoria 8. Then we can import custom morphs for both characters, and then mix them with this tool, settings the first factor to 0.3 and the second to 0.7.