Introducing Rosie 5
Rosie is the main protagonist of All my adventures.
My first version of her as a 3D/CG actress was a custom add-on for the computer game, Neverwinter Nights, by BioWare. I was using Gmax, a free version of 3ds Max from Discreet, who developed max back then, and later 3ds Max 5.
Next came a not-so-great Poser (5) Woman version when I was first discovering Poser and animating (outside of a game environment) 3D figures.
This was followed by Daz3d's Millennium Woman, Victoria from the first generation to the third, Victoria 3
The image here is one of the Victoria 3 versions vs the Millennium Dragon.
...and when I (finally!) found and bought Carrara 8 Pro (still in beta at the time), Victoria 4 and a slew of support content for her was included.
Rosie remained a V4 figure actress for a lot of years as I learned Carrara. I was a strong supporter for Genesis (1) during the beta phase of the Carrara 8.5 Pro Upgrade and even made a few versions of Rosie using Genesis. Here's a first try demonstration, as I was being hopeful that the Carrara community would more widely accept the new upgrades.
Still, the "Official" version of my Rosie Hero remained V4 for years still after that. In fact, I just switched her over to Genesis as I was building this website!
I have a large collection of gear for V4 and M4 but I was also more comfortable working with that generation. I still enjoyed using Genesis for background people, monsters, animals, etc., and am ultimately glad that I supported its integration with Carrara's amazing workflow.
After seeing the "Alita Battle Angel" movie for the first time, I knew that I could no longer put off using Carrara's Dynamic Hair. At the same time, I was convinced that this was the best time for me to (finally) make the switch to Genesis for Rosie.
I had a lot of fun, but I really like the more lifelike shapes of Genesis 2 and 3 over what I was able to achieve with 1, but my already amassed collection of assets are difficult to work with on Genesis 2 and 3 (in Carrara), and neither are officially supported in Carrara.
I remember talking about this stuff (long ago) with my dear friend, WendyLuvsCats, from the Carrara Discussion Forum where she had suggested a marvelous tool available at Daz 3D that allows Generation 4 (V4/M4) figure morphs to be 'Injected' into Genesis and, with addons, newer Genesis morphs from 2 and 3 can also be used. There's also one for Generation 3. This tool is called Genesis Generation X2 (GenX2 for short) and it's incredibly powerful and easy to use. It was a total game changer for me!
Introducing Rosie on YouTube
Making this video was a real adventure.
For one, I really wanted to show people what I was working on without having them have to wait for a movie that isn't in full production phase yet and, with my lack of time for working on this stuff I felt that I needed a springboard project to help inspire me to get this site launched.
I was right, I think.
This project had me animating and rendering like crazy. That's the part I'm fairly used to, but since I added Subsurface Scattering (SSS) to her and the Big Dynamic Hair, renders take much longer than I was used to. For example, when Dartanbeck walks in in the beginning it took eleven seconds per frame to render while it took over four minutes for most of Rosie's. Dartanbeck 5 still isn't finished, so isn't using SSS yet.
While I waited for renders I wrote a simple, rough script to help keep myself on track and to help me visualize what more I needed for renders.
As my list was nearing completion, it was time to pull out DaVinci Resolve.
This video is made up of an awful lot of pieces. I had to play around a bit to get used to how I would tackle the main timeline of the movie, since every single tiny part is an "Effects Shot" (requires visual effects compositing - VFX). Again, a lot of fun!
By the time my rough timeline was completed in Resolve my rendering was complete. I knew I could (and would) have redone some things at higher quality render settings - especially with the dynamic hair, but this video isn't the end result, it's a springboard!
Being my first completed video in Resolve, as expected I had to scrap my first try and start over. I learned a lot! I have been studying DaVinci Resolve(movie editor), Fusion(VFX) and Fairlight (audio) and felt really comfortable using it, but 'knowing' what to use as the backplate for each piece of the motion picture takes practice - experience. By the end I was already seeing ways that I could (should) have done things much better, and done much more with it. Again, that's not what this was all about except that it really was meant to teach... and it did!
As intended, this video "Introduces" the progress I've made to create the latest version of Rosie, my Hero. It's meant to be brief, so there are a lot of details unmentioned within, like the SSS mentioned earlier.
In Carrara 'Fit-To' Genesis 1 works really well for most Generation 3 and 4 clothing, of which I have a in abundance!
To keep the video brief, I've decided to use articles on this site to help keep the main purpose of the film intact, while also offering further information, advice and inspiration about some of the subjects that just got glanced over.
If you've come for more information as promised, here you go!
Character Design - Includes Shader Creation
Also check out:
New to Carrara or just have questions about a particular feature or issue you're having? Check out the Carrara Info page and the wealth it contains with links and videos to help you figure things out!
Also check out Carrara Plugins to make sure you have Carrara up-to-snuff for what you want to do. Many of them are Free!
Have a Question? Just Ask!
I love to help others as best I can. This is a rather broad topic: CG Filmmaking, so my articles on any particular topic may not answer your specific question.
Most of the questions directed to me are regarding Carrara or How did I do this?
For these sorts of things, post your question at the Carrara Discussion Forum (or another appropriate category) at Daz 3D.com forums, and if I don't see it right away, someone else might. They are such a friendly and helpful bunch! I've learned so much from that forum over the years!
For a more immediate question directed to me, log into those forums and Send me a PM!
What isn't mentioned at all in the video (intentionally - brief, remember?) is what it took to actually make the video. Yes, Rosie 5 is made up of some pretty cool things that have already been evolving even since making this video (I just finished it prior to writing this), but I don't mention Dartanbeck 5 at all, and he's the host.
Lots of scene creation, lighting, setting cameras, action, etc., leading to hours upon hours of rendering - not to mention setting up a lot of hair simulations.
Adding Dartanbeck 5 was a last-minute afterthought. You see, Dartanbeck 5 is still a work in progress. It occurred to me to add him (but only that short intro scene) as I was recording the dialog. So that adds some new topics to write/record video about, like Mimic Pro for Carrara, Hybrid Conforming/Dynamic hair and using VWD (Virtual World Dynamics) Cloth and Hair along with Philemo's VWD Bridge for Carrara.
None of the amazing products used to assist with Animation have been mentioned - only slightly hinted at in the end credits. Motion Capture aniBlocks(aniMate 2), PZ2 (Poser) and BVH as well as sme amazing scripts that help convert from one source figure to another.
Planning out how the actors and scenes cooperate to establish a final motion picture is a whole subject all its own, along with ways to organize it all in a way that doesn't become a complete mess when the time comes to blend it all together. Again, it can be an easy thing to understand but it takes practice - experience to start getting foreseen results.
And then there's the act of actually performing those filmmaker editing steps, but in a case like this each and every little piece is a VFX shot, often requiring many strands of visual effects for just a few seconds.
Sound? There is no sound in space! Well, there aren't any raw tracks of sound in any CG shot. This video was just dialog with opening and exit stingers of music, but most of our work will require foley sounds to make actions actually mean something and feel more expressive.
This video was just the thing I needed to springboard off of and initiate the videos and articles that this site is meant to be all about - so, yeah... I really feel as if I've accomplished something here!