New version of ADP’s free Poser to Blender script, with new fixes to run in Poser 12. Scroll down to 10th September 2021 post and install notes…
A very nicely spec’d HP Z800 with “2x Xeon X5670@2.93GHz, 96GB DDR3, 400GB SSD + 9TB, Quadro K620, W10Pro”. Reputable UK refurbisher (I’ve purchased there in the past) and 29 bids. Bidding just ended at a touch under £360, which seems about right — and sets a fair benchmark for future pricing of such a Poser/Vue-friendly budget-behemoth.
Same Xeons as a well-spec’d HP Z600, but otherwise much better specs and a Win 7 serial on the case (because you don’t want to run Windows 10 on an HP Z.., unless you just want a cheap gaming PC — which would be a criminal waste of such a machine).
The Renderosity Store has updated the ‘Freestuff Upload’ rules page.
Blender 3.0 now has an official release-date, 1st December 2021. This will bring its asset browser, aka a Content Library. It will also have many Freestyle and Grease Pencil improvements nailed down (as much as anything ever can be, in Blender), and the new Cycles X renderer. “X-what?”. Think normal Cycles but…
* 2 to 7 times faster
* apparently gets faster with the complexity of the scene
* works like iRay, the speckled complete scene pops in and then the speckles are progressively refined. No more tiling squares running across the screen.
* it overhauls the underlying render architecture, which should lead to further advances in the future.
Poser 11 and 12 use Cycles (branded as ‘SuperFly’), and thus Cycles X seems likely in Poser at some point in the years to come.
But I’m guessing Cycles X is probably not going to be CPU / GPU agnostic, like iRay is. Contrary to all the NVIDIA marketing ra-raa, any recent version of iRay will run perfectly well on CPUs alone. If you have enough CPU cores/threads for it. But it sounds to me like Cycles X will need a hefty and expensive GPU / graphics card.
If H.P. Lovecraft had lived to write The Clangers… the new Report From the Ghooric Zone (2021)…
Now with a long “making of” post with detailed pictures of the monsters.
After being totally bjorked for a while by an unexpected Mac OS upgrade, today sees the official news of the release of the DAZ Studio Update for Big Sur…
The Daz Studio team is pleased to announce […] Mac compatibility to include macOS Big Sur and all previously supported Mac operating systems. The new [v 220.127.116.11] includes a handful of bug fixes and scripting updates for both Mac and Windows operating systems in anticipation of the future Daz Studio 5 upgrade.
No mention of scripts and plugins breaking, for 18.104.22.168 on a Mac. There’s also a new Windows version for 22.214.171.124. Well done to the devs and managers, who must have worked very hard on the Mac fix. Hopefully Apple will give DAZ a bit of warning before their next Mac OS update.
DAZ Studio has new Enterprise Licensing plans for studios creating major productions with the help of DAZ Studio and “large scale” use of the software’s various plugins and content. So far as I can see this changes nothing in the current and long-standing royalty-free arrangement. It just provides “world-class” support to studios using DAZ assets, in a busy work setting where time-is-money. The first such client enjoying the service is Canada’s…
Wind Sun Sky Entertainment [which] has seen exceptional success this year including their […] hit Amazon Prime Original series Invincible.
Invincible has been such a hit, that in May 2021 Amazon renewed the show for another two seasons. Nice to be able to show it to the pros who disdain DAZ and Poser and say… “yup, that’s made with DAZ that is…”.
A recent job ad for a new series suggest their key tools are DAZ Studio and Adobe After Effects.
I missed the news on Reallusion’s excellent Cartoon Animator 4.5, which had an update in July.
Version 4.5 supports export of transparent-background video (.MOV as ProRes 4444) and alpha-masked image sequence (.PNG, lossless, cropped to visible pixels). This means you can just layer the exported animation over your existing video footage, and it should blend in nicely. No green-screening needed, no ugly fringing of pixels at the edges. There’s a new video tutorial on YouTube…
There’s a new free motion-capture Python script for Blender. It uses Blender to… “re-target motion-capture data from Mixamo, BVH or iClone to Rigify, DAZ or custom rigs”.
Sixus1, who many will know from his DAZ/Poser figures, has launched a new website with his own sculpted resin collectables at www.sixus1collectibles.com.
“This store features hand pulled and inspected resin prints in a variety of sizes and options.”
A 4″ tall Ent-like figure is (currently) just $10, which sounds pretty good. No colours, though I presume that table-top gamers then break out the paints and paint them up in their own way.
Project Dogwaffle’s Howler 2020 has been released for free on Windows, although you are “encouraged to make a donation to fund future development”. As noted here on this blog, v.2020 saw… “a revamp of the legacy brush engine, new paper textures, and rationalised de-cluttered media presets”. The latest release is Howler 2022.1, which is several bounding doggie-leaps ahead of 2020. But still only $77 for a perpetual licence. Definitely worth a look, and you’re sure to find a use for it at some point.
QuarkXPress? Isn’t that the ancient crumbly DTP software that your grandpa once used, and which vanished long ago?
Oh, my… how times have changed. The DTP desktop software QuarkXPress is still here and still venerable, yes, but their sprightly annual releases have been playing ‘the tortoise and the hare’ with Adobe since 2015. Six years later it’s catching up in numerous ways, and even surpasses InDesign in many features. Their polished 2021 version is now out, and has .SVG support among other things. I recently took a look at the free trial and was pleased to find it very mature and with annual updates at a one-time purchase of £362 (an annual subscription, but if you cancel then it appears you get to keep the software). Expensive but not the silly prices of yesteryear, and within reach of many. Oh, wait… 50% off for August which puts it about £180…
The cheap and relatively friendly Affinity Publisher and Microsoft Publisher don’t offer HTML5 export at all. Adobe’s equivalent DTP software InDesign still requires a third-party plugin to export an HTML5 layout, and both are monthly subscriptions.
So I’m pleased to find that QuarkXPress seems a viable Adobe-alternative for DTP and the WYSIWYG Web. It is now sitting at a quite nice point in the market, in terms of a reasonable price, superb export features, and having a perpetual licence version. There’s a QuarkXPress 2021 free-trial (Windows 8 and up, v.2018 being the last Windows 7 version). One to look at if you want to make a device-responsive online magazine with creative interactivity that goes beyond page-curls and a few clickable Web links.
That said, it may not be what some will need for making motion-comics or basic 2D interactive Web ‘visual novels’. There is now software dedicated to such things.
As with all major software these days, there has to be a warning as it’s being newly mentioned here: Windows 10 and Mac OS desktop updates may bjork your favourite feature or break the software totally. But that doesn’t appear to be the case here.
You now have to smuggle some types of gaming PCs into some U.S. states. The PC makers such as Dell can’t ship there…
“This product cannot be shipped to the states of California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont or Washington due to power consumption regulations adopted by those states. Any orders placed that are bound for those states will be canceled.”
Even a really rather basic one from Dell, that is little more than a standard £800/$1100 desktop…
Presumably any kind of slightly-powerful graphics production workstations must also be effectively banned in those places? Hollywood, which last time I heard was in California, may be rather annoyed at this… though not quite yet. Because a little research shows the legal problems will only start for non-gaming high-end PCs from 9th December 2021. Time to follow Elon, Hollywood… and move to Texas?
One wonders if the politicians who passed these laws have electric cars standing next to their heated swimming-pools, and how much energy those need.
Anyway, it’s often rather pointless trying to regulate such fast-moving technology. It just shifts things sideways. The politicians have probably never even heard of eGPUs.
3DCoat 2021 has been released, with the all-important UI makeover. For those who don’t know it, I guess it could be described as: ‘ZBrush without the mad interface, combined with Substance Painter without the Adobe shackle’. At least one beta tester appears to have been running it successfully with Windows 7, thus it appears not to be ‘Windows 10 only’ software.
It’s also very nice to see a simultaneous release of the new budget-priced version of 2021 just for painting and texturing of 3D, no sculpting. This is called 3DCoatTextura and currently has a nice introductory one-time purchase price of 79 Euros. I think that’s meant to be a Euro symbol…
Sadly YouTube knows nothing of something called “3DcoatTextura” and assumes you’ve made a typing mistake, but I’m sure there must already be previews and even tutorials on the software out there.
The other one-time purchase alternative would be the new Marmoset Toolbag 4, but that’s $300 and so rather out of the range of most hobbyists. Marmoset 4 also took an absolute age to load a test scene, was less than stable in my testing, had a very unlikable UI and then fell at the first hurdle — simple framing of a figure with the viewport camera… how? Where the heck are the camera controls? I gave up. Uninstalled.