Making Rosie 5
Switching over to Genesis ended up being a real treat for me.
Yes, it took a lot of work and long hours of test rendering along with the generosity of Carrara forum members with their amazing "How To" knowledge and willingness to help.
The hardest part for me is the fact that Rosie 4 had been such a fun figure to work with I really grew attached. Animating and working with lighting and shaders... I really learned my way with R4 but I eventually saw how an upgrade to a Rosie 5 would be a better fit for the changes to come.
Alita Battle Angel!!!
I was without a computer that could run Carrara (and what I wanted to do with it) efficiently. Sure I could open it and do some simple things, but character works took hours (literally) when my currently broken Carrara machine would takes just a few minutes.
It was during this dark time when my awesome wife, the Real Rosie, bought me a movie called Alita Battle Angel. Yeah... she must really have me pegged, because this movie and, just as importantly all of the 'behind the scenes' extras that come with it was a real game changer for me!
This movie (and the extras) really got me excited to finally start using features that I have been putting of for far too long.
Things like dynamic hair and subsurface scattering and getting more into using visual effects to create motion pictures in layers instead of trying to get every little thing in the initial 3d render.
Genesis 1 or 2?
I really like the human shape of Genesis 2 figures but they're not entirely (or officially) supported in Carrara. They work, but things like auto-fit from Genesis 1 to 2 don't work. I have an extensive library of support items for generation 4 (M4, V4 and their family) figures and they work quite well with Genesis 1. So I immediately contacted WendyLuvsCats and asked if she could remind me of the tool she used to add other generation morphs to Genesis, and if she would recommend I use it for what I was trying to do.
Genesis Generation X2 was exactly the tool I needed to bring about a new Genesis 1 Rosie character!
The base product allows us to transfer Generation 4 morphs to Genesis 1 (the Generation 5 figures). With an addon, we can do the same from Genesis 2, and another addon gives us Genesis 3 and, yet another (that I don't have) for Generation 3 shapes.
With Generation 4 morphs, if we can INJect it into V4 or M4, etc., we can transfer it to Genesis. With Genesis 2 and 3, if we own it (and have it in our Data folder!) we can transfer it to Genesis. It's really that simple!
So I was able to bring all of my favorite Genesis 2 Female shapes, expressions and utility morphs over to Genesis 1, which makes a HUGE difference in how well Genesis works in Carrara!
Using Poke-Away! for Genesis is a real boon to fitting clothing better, especially when the character's shape is so distant from the main base Genesis shape. Poke-Away 2! for Genesis 2 Female(s), however, is much easier to use and gives better results, in my opinion. So with GenX2 I was able to give Poke-Away 2! to my Genesis 1 figures!!!
This all comes back to how true it can be when HeadWax mentions using Daz Studio as a plugin for Carrara! :)
Using GenX2 is quite simple to use - especially if one takes the time to read the included documentation, which I always recommend.
Rather than giving GenX2 a tab on a side panel, as mentioned in the instructions, I docked mine on the bottom panel with aniMate 2 and the Timeline. This way when I'm using GenX2 I can drag the panel upward filling the entire workspace. Works great for me!
Helpful Hint: When using Genesis 2 morphs on Genesis 1, dial back any "Base" shapes on the Actor and dial up (fully) the Base Genesis 2 shape or and of the Genesis 2 shapes won't look the way they should.
Example: I use Genesis 1 Base Female so that I have V4 UV mapping. So I load in the Base Female and dial Base Female shape down to zero, then dial Genesis 2 Female Base Shape all the way up to one before dialing up Gia 6, Aiko 6 and Keiko 6.
It's fun to experiment. In the ten years I've used Rosie 4 (V4) I've amassed a decent collection of expression morphs. Well one of the first things I started collecting for both Genesis 1 and 2 were expression morphs as well. So I just loaded Genesis 1 up with all manner of expressions.
I also put a lot of the different shaping morphs for V4, TheGirl 4 and some of the awesome detailing morphs from Stephanie Petite 4 and then pretty much all of the shapes that I have for Genesis 2 Female.
Along with all of the shapes I've collected over the years for Genesis 1, this gave me a HUGE playground onto which I could try out various shapes against a multitude of expressions!
This is a great way to design a character. Just give yourself an enormous selection of shapes so that, no matter what tweaks need to be made, you'll have something - many things to try.
Remember - Have Fun!!!
Cleaning it up
In this design process I work fairly quickly to get a good initial sculpt of the character I'm trying to create. When I have a good start and am happy with how things are going, I make notes on what morphs I'm using. I'm really only concerned with Shaping morphs at the stage.
I make a shape transfer NLA pose, store that in my Clips browser and close the scene (I actually close Carrara) without saving.
I reduce the morph collection to only the shapes I need to make my Carrara version more efficient and with fewer unnecessary parameter dials in the way.
I almost always leave ALL of the expression morphs with every Genesis character I create.
Finally I load in my Character Template scene and a fresh copy of Genesis and load the NLA Shape Pose to get my initial sculpt back. This is where we see more clearly if we might have accidentally removed too many shaping morphs in the above morph reduction process!
This is the "proxy" Rosie 5 I made during the period of using my lowly laptop.
How long it took to do anything on that poor thing told me right from the start that I was only going to play around with this to get acquainted with how everything works, and to start driving ideas into my head - but I would be starting from scratch again when I build my real Carrara machine.
In looking back at this test render, I can see why I liked this version so much. She's based on 3D Universe's Jazlyn for Genesis character but using a Genesis 2 Female body combination.
I really like the curls in the hair, but that's one of the things that causes a lot of flickering when making hair this long dynamic.
More to come on this subject:
Animating Genesis - Body Motion
Animating Genesis - Working with Emotions
Creating versatile changing shaders
Custom Artificial Subsurface Scattering
Keeping it all together - Carrara's Browser
A Quick Look at DaVinci Resolve (link to Article) illustrates my baby-steps into using Fusion within Resolve to create the Introducing Rosie 5 video demonstration
Character Design (link to Article) introduces a free Character Template scene file for Carrara and illustrates the basics of optimizing a figure for Carrara
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!
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