The Poser Pro 11 for $80 offer has been extended another seven days. It currently has six days left to run. A bargain, even if you only want the incredible bundle of free royalty-free content that comes with it.
DryJack’s Store on Renderosity has a substantial sale on most of his items, with healthy 50 – 75% discounts. He specialises in quality British and railway props for Poser and DAZ.
Some of the items would be useful for steampunk scenes.
Two unique animation packs for DAZ’s Millennium Cat are currently discounted by 55% at Renderosity. Both packs have a .ZIP of Poser .CR2s and a .ZIP of AniBlocks for DAZ Studio.
There’s also more dramatic animations (prance, a jump up, an arch back and arch back and walk away) as Animations and aniBlocks for Millennium Cat 2. Meaning the second such pack, not that there was a version 2 of Millennium Cat.
Even if you don’t want to do animations, there are effectively hundred of static poses to be had here, currently for just $9 for the two packs.
Lots more animated animal pack-demos at AnnieMation’s YourTube channel.
The latter pack is also stated to be “Also compatible with DAZ House Cat with dForce Hair”. I wonder if the first is also? I’ll have to test that, and also see what else can take these animations.
It appears that DAZ have removed the original Millennium Cat from sale in favour of the DAZ House Cat, but I see that the Millennium Cat LE is still listed as being in the 3D Starter Pack. LE offered the same cat but without so many morphs embedded. Many will however already have the original Millennium Cat in the runtimes. While now somewhat superseded for close-ups by the DAZ House Cat and the Hivewire House Cat, Millennium Cat is still useful for artist reference, painterly Sketch renders and Poser Comic Book renders, and it can of course also take Poser dynamic fur and has two Look At My Hair presets. Incidentally, this LAMH presets link also has presets for House Mouse, Squirrel, Lyne’s Fox, an Arctic Rabbit for Lyne’s Domestic Rabbits, Silverkey’s Giraffe and others. All free.
P3DO Explorer Pro 2.8 is back on a 50% discount at Renderosity, for a limited time.
I’d still suggest PzDB as your first choice for indexing and searching across a large Poser/DAZ/Vue content collection, if you can afford it. But it can’t hurt to have a backup option, just in case PzDB ever stops working. For instance, I understand that PzDB 1.3 still has to ping a remote licence-server occasionally, on start-up. Which is less than it used to in version 1.2, where the ping was required at every start-up — but which is still not ideal in terms of having perpetual ‘will last forever’ software.
The 50% off seems to be part of a store-wide giant sale. A quick peep at my DAZ Store wishlist suggests a similar 50% all-site summer sale at DAZ. The latter includes Poser utilities such as aniBlock Importer for Poser and Send In The Clones (scatter and clone scripts, needs AVFix to work), and useful third-party software such as Michael3XprssnMagic (M3 doesn’t have many native expression packs, but can still be useful for comics makers). At the DAZ end of things, LAHM is 50% off.
A couple more toony demos in Poser, with Comic Book mode turned on, of recent ‘closing-down sale’ purchases at Poser Addicts. This shows a couple of the ‘Execution Complete’ textures makeover sets for the Hunterman M4 outfit, both available at Poser Addicts for the next week or so.
The edging of the rubber is not ideal, with stitching done in pixels rather than geometry, but a quick up-res with Gigapixel AI might help fix that.
A quick demo of some the recent closing-down sale purchases at Poser Addicts.
The Battlebot. It’s a standalone found under El_battlebot in Figures and Poses, and takes Hiro 3 and probably M3 poses. The eyes are the main problem, being just simple tubes, and you’re not going to get the head to do much in terms of expressiveness. Not bad for $6 though probably better for photo-real than comics, seen as looming giants across a misty battlefield. Or as a standing rusted hulk, of the sort seen in Castle in the Sky. Or delete the eye-tubes and just have him with a glowing face-plate in a cyber-punk street scene.
The Mayan outfits (‘Tlahuitzli’), which were purchased only for the two Moebius-style hats. They’re found in Poser under MX. The hat is great, with a sort of harness that goes on the back of the M3 figure. The helmet has some slight transparency problems in Poser Preview, but its rosette can be deleted via the Material Room and it can still be Preview rendered ok. Again, not bad for the equivalent of $3.50 each, and there’s nowhere else you’ll get Moebius-hats in 3D. There’s no way I would have got them at full price.
The M3 Scorpion outfit and helmet is found under Royloo. As you can see here, there’s some doubling of ink lines at the front cheek-guards, which would have to be masked with another inklines render, via nudging in Photoshop. Still, it’s a strong complete M3 outfit for $6.
The Poser Addicts store is closing down, with a 60% sale until 15th June 2020. Their flagship FemaSu 2011 alien is one science-fiction artists will definitely want in a runtime, and there are a couple of nice freebies including a Steampunkbike with Poses for M4 and a useful Cigar. There are also curiosities such as a skeleton lion and horse.
Here’s a test $50 checkout, though I will probably trim it back quite a bit. As always with such things, check carefully in your runtimes (using PzDb etc) before purchasing — since you may already have it.
So, with Cartoon Animator 4.2 Pipeline on 50% sale until the end of June, I was asked… what drawing tools still output .SWF in 2020? A few, and one 3D software too.
Obviously the following is about outputting static 2D drawings of relative simplicity and toony-ness, for drag-and-drop into Cartoon Animator 4.2 Pipeline. Yes, I know Flash animation is obsolete etc etc.
* The old Flash drawing and authoring software itself, the best of which is reputed to be Adobe Flash CS6. Its successor is apparently Adobe Animate, with a horrible UI.
* PhotoLine. Been around for decades, constantly developed from Germany, never publicised or marketed. A reasonable price for a perfectly capable graphics/vector editor and extremely lightweight (take note, Photoshop). The only problem is that the interface elements are offputtingly microscopic when you start it up. Changing them is deeply buried in File | Options…
But once the icon size is increased, it can look pretty good…
Apparently you can edit the interface icons, if you want it looking exactly like Photoshop, hem hem.
It also has Actions, just like Photoshop. And can run Photoshop plugins. For $66. A nice find.
* Serif’s DrawPlus (later replaced by Affinity Designer, with the .SWF export said to be removed there). The old DrawPlus is perfectly capable and is available as an X3/X4 DVD (or higher, 2015’s X8 being the most recent) for pocket-money prices on eBay. It seems the ideal solution for those on a tight budget, re: balancing price/power.
* Also, Poser can render and save to the .SWF format. It’s not a drawing software, obviously, but good to know. See my older post on this blog, on wrangling a .SWF from Poser.
* Electric Rain’s old Swift 3D 6.0 (last updated summer 2009) could import 3D models and export .SWF. It was stand-alone Windows software, and mostly seems to have been used as “a spinning 3D logo maker”, though the RAViX engine was quite capable of doing sophisticated CAD-like line art with shading, and version 4.5 introduced a funkier little ‘pen’ setting for basic doodle-like renders.
Others, all relatively expensive and with learning curves:
* CorelDRAW. Probably a good choice for advanced artists, but bear in mind that Cartoon Animator requires relatively simple vectors.
* Smith Micro’s Anime Studio, now Moho.
* Toon Boom, the rival to Moho.
* Adobe Illustrator. Urgh.
‘Software say NO’:
* LibreOffice Draw. Claims to do .SWF, but the test output was empty.
* Inkscape. Doesn’t do the .SWF format, and an ancient plugin no longer works.
* Vector Magic. Nope.
* Flip Boom. A $40 Toon Boom for kids, very easy to use and with .SWF export. Sadly utterly unavailable now.
* Pencil 2D. Once said to have .SWF export, but that feature is now nowhere to be found.
* Synfig, free open-source animation software with drawing tools. Once said to have .SWF output, but it didn’t when tested…
Reallusion has a generous 50% off “all Software Store Packages” until 30th June 2020. The coupon code is either: “COVID19STAYSAFE” or COVID19STAYSAFE — it’s one or the other.
Theoretically this should drop the price on the excellent Cartoon Animator 4.2 to $49.50 for the standard (‘Pro’) version. However the real Pro version is the ‘Pipeline’ — it can load .SWF files by drag-and-drop, and has round-trip .PSD editing of props and characters. Which means Photoshop but also Krita, Clip Studio, and presumably Rebelle and much else that can open/save .PSD files. Assuming the checkout code ‘takes’ I’d be looking at around $89 for Pipeline, with a site member discount.
Looking at the Marketplace after a while away, I like Anton Bakhmat‘s latest scenes for Cartoon Animator.
3D users may also be interested in 3DXchange with a 50% discount, which can wrangle a 3D Warehouse .SKP model to a clean OBJ.
The last P3DO Pro update was December, with many new features added, and this new 2.8 is March/April 2020. Again, lots of new items added and other tweaks, on which the changelog is linked here. Much as I like PzDB as a Poser library manager, this new P3DO 2.8 has to be worth a mere $12.50 just to have as a backup. I believe it also works offline, whereas PzDB needs to ‘phone home’ occasionally, which may make P3DO useful for offline Poser creatives.
Curiously, the DuckDuckGo search-engine seems to heavily censor searches for the software (six results for “P3DO Explorer”, none relevant). Whereas Google Search is happy to provide 14,000 results. I assume that the word “p3do” is now on the Bing bad-words blacklist (DuckDuckGo is mostly Bing, with a bit of Yandex). Yes, it’s 2020 and advanced search-engines are still using clunky old keyword-based censorship. This is yet another reason why DuckDuckGo isn’t something you should use for serious searching, only for quick navigational searches and image searching (on which it’s actually quite good, mostly because it has less spam and fluff than Google Images).
Also, in other discount news, the main Reallusion Store has a coupon code for 50% off everything, also until 30th April 2020. Theoretically that brings the standalone conversion utility 3DXChange 7 Pro down to $99, which will be of interest even if you don’t want to get into the iClone ecosystem.
Pro comics font-makers ComicCraft have announced a New Year’s Day 2020 sale, in which every ComiCraft font will be $20.20 each. Normally they can be rather expensive, from about $29-50. It appears to be a one-day-only sale.
The new P3DO Pro 2.7 was released a few days ago. One of several third-party indexers and content-managers for for Poser, P3DO Pro now has a DUF parser, for a partial indexing of the newer type of DAZ Studio files. P3DO Pro costs $25 for a two-year licence.
Update: The licence is a little confusing, but the maker clarifies it in a comment to this blog…
“P3DO keys don’t expire. Once you have acquired a key you will be able to use that version without duration limit. It is the ability to upgrade to a newer version which is not possible after a given time. Those two years you are referring to is the minimal time with free upgrades [to the user].”
P3DO Pro’s main rival PzDB 1.3 had partial DAZ indexing some years ago, along with iClone and Vue items. The PzDB licence never expires and 1.3 is currently on a discount at $56. However, if you only need a vast Poser runtime indexing then I’d suggest 1.2 is the better and perfectly good option, and it’s also significantly cheaper at $32.
If you can’t afford either, take a look at the free Everything.
It’s the Renderosity Christmas Give-away! Lots of wholly free items, with direct-downloads. Here’s a sampling of just a few of them…
It’s always good to see the release of a new Nursoda character. With his new Fehn he produces not one but two characters, while deftly anticipating the incipient baby-boom among Millennials.
I’m not madly keen on the starry fabric texture, but the alt. version could probably be made a less drab forest-green quite easily, and the character comes with texture templates to DIY with. The distinctive ‘crown’ hat and possibly also the shoes might also be fitted to his other characters.
Fehn is currently discounted at $10.50, and like all of Nursoda’s paid characters is commercial-use (some of his freebie characters are non-commercial, sadly, so you can’t make indie comics or storybooks with them).
I see that I have a mere $11 left in my PayPal as residue from a recent payment for some work. So, yup… Renderosity dinged my PayPal again. They’re getting good at that.