Hi again! After nine months of hiatus, I’m pleased to say that I’ve regained the jurn.org domain, and with it this blog. Almost everything on the blog still seems to be working as usual, even the Pinterest sidebar gallery. The “Stuff for free” links will be fixed soon. The WordPress blogging software install has been updated to the latest secure version, the Classic Editor plugin installed to rescue the posting UI from ‘makeover mania’, and the blog seems ready to roll again.
I think I’ll do a series of three seasonal “best of new Poser/DAZ content” surveys as a catch-up, rather than trying to monthly ones: summer 2018; Autumn/Fall 2018 and Winter 2018/19. Watch for those here soon.
But first, a quick glance at what’s new or coming soon with tasty creative software since early summer 2018.
* the free open source painting software Krita 4.x has made several vital upgrades, and is now in 4.1.7 which came out just before Christmas. A very fine bit of software, and the laggy brush-engine of version 3 is now really fast and smooth. Lovely brush engine / library too, and brush stabilisation built in.
* SketchBook Pro went wholly free on Windows, though that caused its Android app version to become unavailable on the Kindle Fire tablet. In my opinion, Krita 4.x should now be your choice for desktop painting, before taking the painting to Photoshop for finishing.
* the full 1.0 version of the free open source vector / .SVG software Inkscape is due relatively soon and is currently available in alpha. Sadly there’s still no Illustrator .ai import support for older .ai files — it was such a huge mistake to remove that.
* the Photoshop behemoth continues to roll onwards, and just this week Adobe swallowed the Substance Designer / Substance Painter folks, and will subscription-only it in November. I hear that the very latest Photoshop version also has sufficiently good brush stabilisation to make the Lazy Nezumi Pro plugin defunct, although for inking line-art the latest Krita (free) is probably now the way to go.
* Digital Auto-Painter 6.0, the standalone set of ‘painterly’ picture filters.
* CrazyTalk Animator. Set to be re-named to the bland and un-findable ‘Cartoon Animator’, with the ‘coming soon’ version 4. Whatever the name, it’s still fine software for 2D animation and also for speeding up production of comic-strip / webcomics-style comics, with good balance of ease-of-use and power. Version 4 will bring ‘smart’ IK, motion re-targetting between characters, and more. Version 4 is due March/April 2019.
* Poser continues development and is now in 11.1.1.x and has a new official DevLog which lists changes and has news from the new development team. Access the patches and updated content for Poser from the latest version via the Download Manager.
* The new Lightwave, just revealed, promises seamless and automatic Unreal integration. Which suggests that there may be an easy path there from Poser scene > Lightwave > Unreal. Though there may not be a Lightwave 2019 upgrade to the Poser Pro plugin for Lightwave for a while.
* Cinema 4D had an major update, though nothing in it really grabbed me. The same was true for Keyshot.
* The real-time World Creator 2.0 is built on the Unity engine and I was lucky enough to get a review copy at RC14, and the eight-page review for that was published in Digital Art Live magazine #32 (Sept 2018). Difficult (but not impossible) to use without a really powerful graphics card, though.
* FlowScape is a fun simple real-time ‘natural landscape generator’, built on Unity. As with World Creator you’re probably going to need a whopping great graphics card to run it smoothly.
* Vue has gone ‘annual subscription’ and also changed the user interface. But I’ll be sticking with my Vue 2016 R4, which was the last before the UI changes and other problems started. I have no idea if the tight Poser integration has been retained in the new version, but I assume it has.
* MoI 4.0 (Moment of Inspiration) should be out soon. A nice fairly easy NURBS modeller that’s worth taking a look at.
Carrara 8 is DAZ Studio's official 'big sister' software.
Carrara loads all DAZ and Poser characters and scenes,
and supports LuxRender for top-quality realistic rendering.