New $100 Wacom pen, the “Pro Pen 3D”. This new pen’s… “third button provides additional control options for 3D programs and applications”.
The Blender community has such great content under Creative Commons, on sites such as BlendSwap. But Blender is so often a nightmare to export content from, for people who care nothing about their precious Cycles renderer and who loathe wrestling with Blender’s horrible User Interface. I must have tried at least a hundred such exports from Creative Commons .BLEND files in my time. But roughly 50% of the time you just have to give up, as there’s no way on earth that the mesh and its loading textures are coming out in a viable and easy manner.
So the rest of us are still in need of that mythical simple “blender to .OBJ with textures” exporter. It would export…
* the mesh as .OBJ… automatically excluding lights, domes, grounds and similar scene clutter.
* a proper .MTL file, with clear editable texture references in it (e.g.: map_Ka mapfile.png), rather than a jammed-together block of Cycles gibberish which only Blender understands.
* all the embedded texture .JPG files if they exist, neatly and automatically output in the same folder to work with an aligned .MTL file, so that they actually load up in any another 3D software.
So just a really pure and simple exporter, an exporter which works even when the .BLEND file author has fiddled with all sorts of settings and switches which mess up such a simple export to .OBJ or .FBX.
Perhaps this could be enabled by having BlendSwap enforce or retrospectively apply a simple word-tagging of the core mesh, and also any bitmap textures, inside Blender. The export script would then look for these tags inside the .BLEND and hook onto them?
HandBrake 1.0 has been released to the public, after years in beta. It can do things like: take the huge raw video files from your camera, and turn them into something that’s much easier and smoother for your video editing software to use. The new v.1.0. is free and…
“brings tons of new presets and support for more devices and file types”
Do you have older items in your Poser / DAZ runtimes, which have no thumbnail previews? The free RSR to PNG Converter will scamper through your runtime and make a .PNG thumbnail for every non-thumbnailed Poser .RSR file that it finds. Still works fine in Windows 8.1.
Load | then point at your ../runtime (not your ../content); select ‘recursive’ | let it run (there’s no indication it’s running) for about 30 minutes on a first pass of a huge runtime.
When it stops producing its occasional “RSR count not be converted… Sorry!” messages, and lets you slide the scroll bar, then it has finished its run.
With Poser 11’s new Comic Book Preview mode, a lot of older content with fuzzy/muddy textures can become useful once again — for a cleaner cel-shaded/comic-book style. The underlying model geometries are still fine, so you’d just swop out the older textures for a flat toon style material.
Interesting… I’ve just noticed a utility that claims to auto-fit any legacy V4/M4 clothing onto DAZ’s new Genesis 3 series of figures. It’s Wear Them All – for Genesis 3 Male and Wear Them All – for Genesis 3 Females…
“Wear Them All autofitting clones are created to smoothly fit any Genesis 2 Male, Genesis, Victoria 4 and Michael 4 conforming clothes to Genesis 3 Female(s) using the Autofit feature in DAZ Studio. All clones were made to be the exact projections of legacy figure shapes and can be used with all existing projection templates for Genesis 3 Female to fit every piece of conforming clothing from pants and shirts to footwear and headwear and even hair, as well as any full body clothing in DAZ Studio. Package also includes six clothing smoothers integrated in projection morphs to help smooth up sensitive areas on clothes, oriented especially on the chest area.”
Those without the Nvidia graphics cards needed to run DAZ Studio’s iRay renderer might like to look at the new Reality 4.1 – DAZ Studio Edition. It’s available now and is currently at a 30% discount, along with the 4.1 Poser Edition.
Senior members of various forums are testing 4.1 with DAZ and seem generally impressed with the speed, saying things like…
“… reaches 714 samples at 10 min!! (that’s 23 times faster than Reality 4)!!”
Note that AMD users — whom I presume many DAZ + Reality 4.1 users will be — need to update to OpenCL 2.0 to get these big increases in speed. This seems to be done simply by getting the latest AMD Catalyst graphics drivers installed for your graphics processor (GPU).
Note that graphics GPU drivers offered via Windows Update often lag far behind what’s available on the manufacturer website, to keep things super-safe. So if a Windows Update of drivers doesn’t do it for you, you might see if there’s a newer set available direct from AMD.
Pixar’s Renderman render engine is now free for non-commercial use. Supported by Maya now, Cinema 4D soon.
OTOY has announced OctaneRender 3, calling it a massive upgrade.
I see that Vue users have a $50 plugin for Sketchup-to-Vue…
The Sketchup Vue Exporter Plugin (Version 2015) is a Ruby-based script application for Sketchup 7 and later which exports Sketchup models, sun direction, cameras, and animations into Vue format. The Plugin is accessed directly inside of Sketchup under the Plugins menu. When invoked, it will create a Vue .VOB model file complete with full Sketchup model geometries, components, groups and materials along with a Vue Scene Loader file for automatically importing the model, sun direction, camera and animation paths.”
Although bear in mind that, most of the time, a simple .OBJ + textures export from Sketchup will be good enough — and is free. If you don’t want to wrestle with getting .OBJ support to an older version of SketchUp, Reallusion’s affordable 3DXchange software will do the conversion for you quickly and easily.
The new program is faster, more powerful, more customizable, and supports dozens more file types and applications, including Anime Studio libraries and iClone content. (Full disclosure: I helped out with getting the complex web of iClone file types untangled for the developer).
The new PzDB also has…
* new customizable Launch Buttons
* you can hook PzDB up to almost any program you have
* the database is faster and more accurate
* various bug-fixes
* fixed the product activation system
Hurrah for the new activation system!
“…some users found that their free trial was over long before it should have been, and made others reactivate their products over and over again. “That won’t be a problem anymore,” said Margolis adding, “of course, everyone will need a whole new product activation code, and that will take some doing.”
So it sounds like users who upgrade will simply need to ask for a new serial number. Hopefully for the last time.
There’s a trial version if you’d like to try it out. pzDB is especially useful for those who have accumulated huge 200Gb+ content libraries over the years.