OnlyFreeTurboSquid. A handy UserScript for your Web browser, that…
“makes it so you only see free things on TurboSquid.”
OnlyFreeTurboSquid. A handy UserScript for your Web browser, that…
“makes it so you only see free things on TurboSquid.”
ArmorPaint (aka Armor Paint or Armour Paint) is an open-source standalone for painting on 3D models, including with PBR. Very like Substance Painter, but free and with no subscription shackle. Or… sort-of-free. It’s 16 Euros on GumRoad, where your $20 also gets you the latest builds dropped into your GumRoad Library. Or you can compile an .EXE yourself for free from the source-code — if you have a few hours to spare, a copy of Microsoft Visual Studio (free, when last heard of) and a YouTube tutorial handy.
ArmorPaint has had a couple of big updates, and the latest is now 0.8 (19th January 2021). There was another big update you may have missed hearing about, this time last year. There’s a YouTube video for ArmorPaint: Four key new features, January 2021…
“Added Viewport cel-shader plugin”.
Nice. It’s ‘two-clicks’ instant too, and it appears there’s no need to fiddle about with setting up special toon materials. No lineart on the edges, though you might paint along the seams. For the huge list of fixes and changes, including new .SVG import, see the Changelog.
There’s a Blender bridge, but as yet not ones for Poser or DAZ.
Apparently the freeware Materialize, from Bounding Box Software, is said to work well with ArmorPaint as a flanking ‘assistant’ software. Materialize can “create an entire material from a single image”…
I found another handy bit of simple old-school Windows freeware, Height Map to OBJ. Note that it needs a square height-map, not an oblong one, or it will give “out of memory” errors.
It does smoothing as it exports to a mesh, effectively removing the unwanted “terraces” which can be so difficult to remove from the greyscale heightmap itself. At the cost of smushing away fine details. But these could potentially be added back with software which can add erosion and other “re-detailing” to an OBJ terrain.
The resulting OBJ loads into Poser fine and fast at 20%, and then needs a 700% scale-up on the Y axis. Once in Poser it’s quite biddable. Here a 10-mile wide white terrain is being ‘textured’ purely by four lights in the Poser OpenGL viewport, with Comic Book mode providing the ink lines. On its own it won’t impress, but it would provide a good starting point for a hand-drawn tourist map, etc.
So far as I know there’s no Vue-like “show different texture types at different height elevations” material for Poser, aka a ‘distribution shader’. Possibly with Poser 12 such a thing will be enabled? Or could a script build such a thing on the fly, by inspecting the mesh?
With far more of a learning-curve, TerreSculptor is now wholly free and will also import a height map and export an OBJ mesh. The OBJ is far less biddable, though.
Time for another monthly survey of the recent goodies released for DAZ Studio and Poser.
As usual, freebies are not covered here unless they have “commercial-use”, or are scripts which the maker doesn’t want sold by others, or are such obvious fan-art that everyone should know they can’t be used commercially.
All the sci-fi energy went into cyberpunk on the DAZ Store this month but — while they’re pretty — I assume they’re all ‘near fan-art’ for the big new 2077 mega-game. Which I hear flopped so badly it was taken off sale and buyers were refunded. Ouch.
Sci-Fi Debris Field. A simple foreground vignette scene, ideally for a vast structure looming in the fog behind. But effective and detailed.
v176 Iray Cobblestone Textures for DAZ.
Need a rest after your ostrich ride? Slump down in a free Armchair.
A free Drinking Fountain, of the sort you might find in the old streets of continental Europe. Useful street clutter for your steampunk scenes.
Not a Human Skull Morphs, which look ideal for unusual display-cases in your steampunk museum.
The Living Doll Bonnet. I assume the pins, dollheads and candy could be removed, to allow it to be given it a more sci-fi / Moebius makeover. I also assume it’s not fan-art, but I guess it might be similar to something from a game or movie. As usual, do your research before you commit to using renders from a Poser/DAZ item for a commercial project like a graphic novel.
A new addition to the fine riverine / island props of 1971s, a Pirate watchtower.
And swimming beneath the watchtower? Definitely the new Fishsnakes.
When the Fishsnakes attack, you’ll be needing the new Archery Animations for Genesis.
It’s plain Sparrows vs. fancy Pet Shop birds at HiveWire. The closing-down sale ends 4th January, when they load up the Ark and sail many of the animals over to Renderosity.
The Philosopher’s Egg store, that I haven’t been ignoring, just lost track of. Foxes, Wolves and Dog Breeds, all for the HiveWire Big Dog.
My Furry Friend Poses. Cat meets human, cat wins every time…
dForce Petite Style Dress and Scarf Set for toddlers.
A new Hr-240 hair by quality hair-maker Ali.
Toon and semi-toon:
Race Car for Blender. Obviously only for Whacky Races fan-art.
Free Fancy Cats for Melody and Micah.
Mighty Mite’s Mega-Kitbashers’ Freebies 2020 for Daz Studio. With “stick-on” geometry that may be useful for those who use DAZ to produce “trace-over” renders for comics production.
Free Decorating the Christmas Tree poses for G8F and G8M. And a free Mistletoe prop.
Waiting for Santa, a free Christmas doggie-house.
New from quality scene-maker Raffy Raffy, a $10 Polar pack-ice mega-environment for Blender.
To get your shivering scientists across that lot you’ll be needing the new free Wooden Sledge. Possibly a new DAZ conversion from Bryce?
A Carrara Nightshirt for Genesis. DAZ Carrara can load the early Genesis figures.
Nonesuch Court 2 for DAZ.
A free Windmill of the farm water-pumping variety.
A worn Painting workbench for Blender.
Textures for Snub-nosed P-40 Warhawk, for Poser.
Characters and figures:
Realistic Skin Shader for Keyshot. The latest Keyshot 10 apparently now handles hair/eyelash transmaps properly (I still haven’t had time to test that), and so some may want this for their DAZ-to-Keyshot experiments with figure imports.
Passiflora V4 by Tempesta3d, noted here because it’s a now-rare V4 offering and has a high quality skin MAT.
Copper Twinklefoot, a ‘late Michael Jackson’ a-like for DAZ, with a dash of Woebegone Alley for some of the morphs.
A simple free Mini-dress for La Femme. Possibly useful for recording YouTube tutorials where she needs to be covered up, but without looking either a frump or a floozie.
Scene addons, utilities and scripts:
Dreamlight’s Instant Fog for DAZ.
Feet Lock/Unlock script for ALL Genesis Figures. With a handy menu.
Three working scripts to load Poser’s saved render presets. For the first time, Poser’s Sketch .PZS presets can also be loaded by a script.
Restore Default iRay Engine Render-settings for DAZ Studio 4. It already has a “Defaults” button, but this may be of use for scripting-of-scripts.
Ok, that’s it for 2020. Onward to 2021!
Don’t miss the nice final-days gifts from the Renderosity Christmas Calendar. Tempesta3D’s “Emiko La Femme” character and skin MATs (said to need Poser 11’s La Femme Pro v.2.0, but may work with the non-Pro?); 1971’s “House on Suburb”; and 3-d-c’s “FHM-110 Bounty Hunter Spacecraft”.
“House on Suburb” could be paired with the free “Aire de Lecture” set.
How to quickly show/hide your Dock Area panels in DAZ Studio? Also known as “the sliding side things” that hold tabbed panels such as the Content Library, Materials Surfaces etc, and which can slide in and out from the sides in the “City Limits” UI layout preset.
There appears to be no keyboard hotkey already set up, for having these slide in and out. But this can be done in 12 milliseconds by using the free and official Dock Area Toggle script. Who knew?
Great, so how to install this script and get it working with one keystroke? Or better still, with a single mouse-gesture?
1. First, save the script by clicking on its name on its demo page. It will download.
2. Copy the downloaded script file and paste it to ..\Studio4\content\Scripts — and optionally make a 91 x 91px PNG of the same name, to give it a pretty icon.
3. Open DAZ and your Content Library, and navigate to your Scripts folder. The toggle script should be up above the other script folders. Right-click on the script and choose Create Custom Action…
Accept with the default settings.
4. Up in the top there is a now a new menu-bar item, called Scripts. The dropdown shows the newly added item there.
5. Nice, but it’s still a bit “reachy and clicky” for something you could be doing several hundred times while making a picture. So, next we press F3 to bring up the Customize panel. This used to be accessed via: Top Menu | Window | Workspace | Customize, but now seems to have been removed from there. Pressing the F3 key on the keyboard still does the same thing, though.
So F3 has opened your Customize panel. On the left we see up top a section called “Custom”. Expanding this we see the newly added script located down at the bottom of the list. If you want to start over, you can right-click it now and delete it, then click Apply then Accept.
However, also available via a right-click here is a very handy “Change keyboard shortcut”.
Try setting this to something like SHIFT + P which is a Weightmapping Brush shortcut that 99.9% of DAZ users don’t use. Don’t forget to then again click Apply then Accept.
Now, you might think, “SHIFT + P, that’s going to be an awkward of finger-yoga on the keyboard”. Ah, but we’re not going to use the keyboard, we’re going to be clever and use a mouse-gesture to call the keyboard shortcut, and thus trigger the toggle script.
6. Install the free StrokesPlus utility. I much prefer this older version of the freeware. Set it up as seen, to use the right mouse button. Go to its Actions | Global Actions section. Choose an easy-to-remember mouse-gesture like “P”…
And attach to this gesture the code command…
Note that capitalisation is important. acSendKeys works here, acSendkeys doesn’t. Using normal quote marks rather than fancy “.” curly quote marks may also matter. This command triggers SHIFT + P on the keyboard when you do the gesture.
Ok, all the set-up is finished. You now right-click on the mouse, draw the “P” shape on the screen, and the DAZ script is called and toggles the Dock Areas open. Do it again and they close.
7. Optionally set StokesPlus to start with Windows, by placing its shortcut in your Start-up folder. Its mouse gestures are also very useful in simply going quickly back / forward in your Web browser for which you want…
… and you can set it to teach your mouse all sorts of other tricks.
8. Back up the downloaded DAZ script somewhere safe.
9. Now that you know how to do it, other scripts can be placed up top on the top menu bar. And potentially be given mouse-gestures.
10. You can also explore the F3 “Customise” menus and delete from the UI a lot of buttons you never use, and add in more useful items on your ToolBars. Never going to Convert TriAx Weight to Node Weight? Or Edit Dform Joints? Nope, me neither. Delete their buttons and add in some useful stuff.
Just released, 2,262 free NVIDIA vMaterials 1.7.0 Presets for DAZ Studio.
NVIDIA vMaterials are an official free 1.5Gb… “curated collection of MDL materials and lights representing common real-world materials”. MDL here means Material Definition Language, and this is said to be… “designed for physically-based rendering” (PBR). The materials are open source, so can be used in commercial renders, as can the new DAZ mega-bundle.
Judging by past partial conversions of earlier vMaterials packs, you will likely need to be rendering them with a recent iRay version — which means a recent version of DAZ Studio.
Freeware that makes 3D extruded text as a mesh? Back in the day, everyone was doing it. And their chimp, too. Actually I’m fairly sure I once saw Michael Jackson’s pet chimp in a 1980s pop video, and it was coding a ‘3D spinning text’ app on an Amiga 6000. But most such freeware has gone the way of… poor Michael and his chimp.
Poser 11 has a basic “type text, turn it into a 3D mesh” tool, built in, for easy labelling of 3D diagrams, cutaways and suchlike. But the resulting text is a flat mesh and cannot be extruded or “fattened up” into full 3D.
Are you then going to load up DAZ Hexagon or Photoshop, just to do make some fat extruded 3D lettering? Or wrestle with SketchUp (which generally hates OBJs, without a lot more wrestling). Or Blender, which would be like using an atom bomb to swat a fly.
Nope, you’re going to dig up Armin Muller’s kewl bit of Windows freeware that’s dedicated to just this one task. It’s called Elefont 1.4. It’s not pretty, but it still does the job.
Brycemania still has Elefont 1.4 in its freeware offerings for public download, along with a mfc42.dll some users of older Windows OS’s may need to run it. I ran Elefont fine from Windows 8 without the DLL. For future reference Archive.org has also saved Elefont 1.4.
It’s a simple 3D text maker used by Bryce users. You type in text, choose a font from your PC, choose a bevel type from a list of about a dozen, get a real-time preview. 3D text is created and saved out as a mesh. Though sadly it never exported to OBJ. Just to the Bryce .DFX format, and the PovRay/Moray .UDO format. But there is an easy way to get .OBJ in 2020.
Here are the controls, labelled. Q and E are both controlled by mouse, hold + drag, then you get a sort of “invisible slider” and real-time feedback from the mesh on the window as the slider adds more faces or the mesh is extruded out.
Here you see extrusion in action…
And the basic level of exported mesh…
And the choice of bevel edges…
Ok, so you have your .DFX file. Poser 11 can import .DFX directly, but not it seems the ones written by Elefont. Pity.
The current Bryce can still open Elefont’s .DFX fine, although they come in laying on the ground and need to be rotated to face the camera. DAZ’s Carrara can also apparently import them. Both can then export to .OBJ format. The problem there is not everyone has an old copy of Bryce or Carrara installed.
Thus a free conversion utility is needed. Meshlab? No, surprisingly it ‘knows nuuurthing’ about importing .DFX files, though apparently can write them.
The solution is to use the freeware PoseRay utility from the old POV-Ray crowd, who back in the day were working with Bryce and Poser. As such this utility handles both .DFX and .UDO and is very simple to use. Just remember to uncheck “Reorient” before you import the .DFX file.
It’s a simple Windows freeware file-conversion utility, and as such doesn’t require you to either have or launch DAZ or Poser.
Your OBJ then outputs with a MTL file. This loads to Poser fine and is correctly oriented on import to Poser and other software. It can then be made to spin. Possibly by a toon chimp.
So the quick workflow is:
1. Elefont. Type in your text. Set high quality, font, extrusion, bevelling.
2. Export to .DFX file.
3. Load PoseRay, turn off “Reorient” checkbox. Then import the .DFX file.
4. Export to OBJ. Load to Poser or other software with default settings. Poser will stand the lettering up in the correct way, and I assume DAZ Studio will too.
Are you planning to have a new NVIDIA graphics-card sitting in your Amazon locker, soon? Then you may be wanting the free portable NVCleanstall. This installs just the required NVIDIA card-drivers… without all the bloated brandware and junkware that NVIDIA packs in along with them.
However, it’s uncertain if this utility will know about the NVIDIA Studio Drivers for DAZ Studio. I guess you try it and see.
An update on the recent G’MIC filters release in .8BF format. If some of your saved “Favorites” presets no longer work after this, the solution is to tick the “Internet” check-box and run the “Update filters” inside G’MIC. This then gives you the extra super-secret “Testing” folder of filters that you didn’t have before. Also some extras in the “Artistic” folder. Your G’MIC install is now complete, and all your old custom “Favorite” presets should now work.
Renderosity’s 24 Days Of Christmas Advent Calendar is popping up some curiously un-seasonal selections, but I’m not complaining when it makes old content such as ‘Battlefields: The Ridge’ available for free.
Long unavailable, this is Coflek-Gnorg’s superbly-made First World War ridge trench emplacement for Poser. Grab it while it’s available. Also today, we get an “Alien Organics” materials packs for Poser and iRay.
Would you like the free G’MIC filters running in Photoshop, for Christmas? And in PhotoLine, Serif Affinity Photo and IrfanView too? Santa has visited early, on that one!
Yes, the latest G’MIC has been successfully ported to the old Photoshop .8bf plugin format. It’s been a year of work, in an official project, and is stable in 64-bit.
Be aware that if you have saved custom “Favorite” presets, some may no longer work after installing this. This is because this G’MIC is incomplete, and this incompleteness will affect presets on all your other G’MIC installs (Krita, Paint.NET etc). The solution is to tick the “Internet” check-box and run the “Update filters” inside G’MIC. This will give you the extra super-secret “Testing” folder of filters (and perhaps others in other folders) that you didn’t have before. G’MIC is now complete and all your custom “Favorite” presets will now work.
Fantasy Attic’s Annual Christmas Freebies Advent Calendar is back online. The site had been moving hosts over the last week or so. So far, the gifts include a useful “quick drape” set of base lights for an illuminated Christmas tree.
If you were somehow thinking of doing ramped toons with Poser 11’s Cycles-based SuperFly rendering, rather than in the fast real-time Comic Book mode, there’s now a new free .MT5 Poser Cycles Color-Ramp to help with that.
But, as Poser’s own Charles Taylor advised in the recent Poser 12 Early Access webinar, basically… don’t try to use SuperFly for toon. I agree, learn to use the Comic Book mode properly instead. Real-time, fast, great results if handled correctly.
Still, I guess the ramp might be useful in other complex node setups that you need to port from Blender to Poser.