Well here we are. I've been dreaming about adding Blender to my mix of tools ever since they made that major switch to 2.8, but today we're here as a biproduct of the whole Bridging Technology concept.
Before the newer interface, nah... it just felt too much like I was going to throw out my back trying to figure out how to get started, but that feeling was Only due to the fact that I already have a very comfortable and powerful workflow through Carrara.
I know that a few folks comment to me that Carrara "is an old clunker that will never get any more developmental love" sorts of banter. Well perhaps to folks who have been pursuing and/or adopting different ways of doing things, sure...
But Carrara truly has everything someone "like me" needs to create really extraordinary works - I truly believe that and hope to prove it!
That said, the new Blender reminds me a lot of my wonderful Carrara - not at all in how it works, interface, layout or anything like that, but in the fact that it's got all manner of everything packed under its hood - and all of it is made to greatly assist the user in putting art in motion, which is what I'm after.
I'm excited to see how I fare in this amazing software. Where and how do I begin?
Daz 3D Stuff
Let's start with what we know - in my case, Daz 3D characters and stuff.
Truly, the thing that pushed me over that edge to finally start looking closer at Blender was Daz 3D offering a new Daz to Blender Bridge. So when I installed Blender, that was the first thing I tried - and it worked. I still had no clue what to do next. I really felt like an alien in a strange land - but it worked, and Rosie 8 has nothing basic about her - her clothes and hair are quite tweaked to work with her very custom size and shape. I considered this a big win for both Daz 3D and Blender at this point even though I felt so lost at the end of it.
Well now that I know that works, maybe I should begin learning some basics about Blender.
When I downloaded Blender a page came up with introductory training videos, so I went there next. Wow. This fellow does a wonderful tutorial - and there are a Lot of them! If you haven't gone through them yet, here they are: Blender 2.80 Fundamentals
While I'm at it, you can
I'm working my way through them, but I also want to dig for more User material and perhaps find some stuff regarding what I might consider a target workflow for what I want to do.
What Do I want to do in Blender anyway?
Okay now this is cool!
I'm not sure if he's voice acting this or if this is how he really talks, but this guy has personality - that's the very first thing I noticed when I watched one of his videos as I was searching around for stuff.
Witty and methodical, he ran through a whole bunch of detailed information about (and only about) the subject of the video - and it was done.
Now I'm one of those people who doesn't mind sitting through long tutorials and demonstrations. It's like TV to me except that I don't watch TV - I watch stuff that either educates or inspires me. After all, have you seen any of my many early videos? I can really ramble on, and I had no clue how to speak tutorials or edit them.
I was basically just talking to my Carrara friends answering several questions from several people, without ever mentioning the actual questions. I look back and hope that I've learned my lesson! Let me know ;)
Royal Skies really has entertaining videos, and when I picked a playlist and started my way through it, I quickly discovered that this guy is giving some really great information and a Lot of them are less than five minute videos.
Seriously. It's cool because we see and hear the whole topic, but when it comes to something we really need to figure out, we just need to go back and pay closer attention to the details he's giving us!
Daz 3D to Blender Bridge, by Daz 3D
In true Blender form, Daz 3D's bridges are Open Source, which I think is really cool. I also think that it's really cool that Daz 3D put some folks into a team with the sole purpose of making bridges to other popular software - software that truly begs for the ability to utilize Daz 3D's incredible figures and all of their abilities and add-ons.
It's not hard to find negative static around any of these bridges. But I hope that folks actually understand that this truly is the very beginning of all of this, and that even a small team of developers is awesome compared to none.
They'll all grow into some really magical tools - at least that's my outlook on it.
Diffeomorphic Daz Importer
Thomas Larsen has developed and continues to develop and improve upon an incredible addon for Blender that not only helps to import Daz figures into Blender, it also has many handy tools to assist in turning that import into something very usable in Blender, with options depending on our preferred methods of working.
There's a little bit to understand to use properly, so I'll be making dedicated pages for installing and using this tool and cover the options we have available to us.
He has also created another addon that assists even further, the Diffeomorphic BVH Retargeter, which we'll also talk about further
My Diffeomorphic Pages
Blender Zone is still in its infancy, since I've only just begun this journey. Stay tuned for more to come....