The Power of Generations

The process of creating an all new Rosie character has been much more of a trip than I had ever anticipated.  Seeing the incredible "Alita Battle Angel" movie truly inspired me to finally move forward from my Victoria 4-based character and start from scratch using a newer generation of Daz 3d figure.

Rosie 568

My latest Rosie 5 as of this writing. Every time I think I have a final version, after several (or even Many) tests, I end up making changes. I'm not going to let this bother me though. I'll just keep pushing ever forward.

The lucky part is that all of these new versions look enough alike that I can still use frames shot from other versions in many cases - so it's becoming very flexible.

As you'll see, Rosie 7 and 8 look a lot alike, but they are very different in how they animate - and for me, Rosie 5 is the easiest and most versatile.

The fact that she's wearing Genesis 8 dForce hair is really neat - and it's not like it was difficult!

"568" comes from the fact that she's a Generation 5 base (5) with a Genesis 2-shaped body (6) and a Genesis 8 head (8) - 568. 

At that time my 3D art computer was blown with no foreseeable means of replacement in the near future, so I downloaded Carrara, Daz Studio and Hexagon onto my lowly laptop and installed a rather large library of selected content to work with.

To be easy on a less-than-adequate laptop I used Irfanview to reduce my texture maps to 25% their original size and tried to use very efficiently constructed assets. This worked as a means of doing some bare-minimum tests of how I'd proceed with the plan.

Besides, it helped to keep me from going stir-crazy without being able to do... well... what I do.

That said, I immediately gravitated to the Genesis 1 figure.

I work in Carrara 8.5 Pro, and Genesis 1 is the latest fully-compatible Daz 3d figure for Carrara. Genesis 2 is mostly there, but that the parts missing are really almost deal-breakers for me - that is, since I was still only using Carrara, with Daz Studio just being there for some fairly rare-occurrence tweaking of content.

I think that it all actually worked out for the better, because it really gave me a great feeling for this next evolutional step. Stick with software that I'm absolutely comfortable with, with a Daz 3d figure that I'm really quite familiar with using.

With a quickly put-together new Rosie - Genesis 1 (Rosie 5) creation example, I studied Carrara's Dynamic Hair features. PhilW gives some great advice and so does forum member JonStark. Both approach its use in entirely different ways, which really helps.

After feeling like Carrara hair was going to be perfect for my needs, I ran a lot of tests and started this website right along side each other. It really helped to ground me in what I was doing, and also kept the ants out of my pants as I awaited renders.

As much as I really like the Carrara hair, it can also become fairly unpredictable when trying to make hair as big, thick, and curly as Rosie's. The actual simulations work out really nice. But when morphing the shape using a procedural shader, we cannot see the true result until after its rendered. This is also very nice, because this means that we can reuse the same simulation on many different renders to test the results of change after tweaking on the shaders.

More than just the hair, I was already feeling an urge to try the newer generation figures. Daz 3d releases an e-mail to subscribers that Daz Studio just got a mighty boost in many directions - animation being one, and Valzheimer put out an Octane Render Kit for Daz Studio. Add to that the fact that Linday made perfect Rosie hair - and it's made to only work with dForce physics simulation in Daz Studio.

Okay, time to give Daz Studio a shot and see what I can get out of it - if anything. I already knew that I loved it for many of the Content Creation Tools, but always felt a bit 'off' toward using it as a digital filmmaking studio. Carrara puts animation at the forefront of everything - many (if not most) things even having animation control sliders as part of their parameters. It really is an animation Monster! And one of my favorite reasons to turn on a computer - Period.

Rosie 8

Probably my favorite as far as shape and proportion, but bogs down my system during motion setup, making it more difficult to get pleasing animation results.

Still, she's Awesome!

I struggled with animations. I think it was just the fact that I was looking for Carrara features within Studio, and moaning that they're not there. Well, I've done some animation in 3ds Max, Gmax, and a few others, and Carrara has a lot of that 3D animation feels about it, and then with added user-friendliness without sacrificing the power of great tools.

Daz Studio has some of the appearance of that workflow, but trying to do it the same way can actually be a detriment compared to actually looking at what Studio has, and unlocking the imagination of how to use those tools.

When it comes down to it, Daz Studio is one Powerful Beast when it comes to anything to do with their figures, and that's primarily the only thing I work with - along with support assets for the rest of the picture.

The more I tried to get all of my footage needed for a short film, the more I wanted to make the character better. Better to animate, better to render, and better hair simulations.

VWD takes care of my cloth, and I have zero complaints. VWD just freaking works for me. We'll get into that in another article.

Genesis Generation X2 (GenX2), without any of its available addons allows us to add generation 4 morphs to Genesis.

Add the Genesis 2 addon and we can send morphs from both generation 4 and 5 (Genesis 1) to Genesis 2 Male and/or Female, and send both generation 4 and 6 (Generation 2 Male and Female) to Genesis.

Add the Genesis 3 addon, and we can send back and fourth from generation 4 (M4, V4, A4, H4, etc.,), Genesis 1, Genesis 2 Male, Genesis 2 Female, Genesis 3 Male, and Genesis 3 Female - making for a very powerful morph-swapping combination!

RiverSoft Art's Character Converters finish the circle by allowing us to bring Genesis 8 into the mix. I have Genesis 2 Female to Genesis 8 Female, and Genesis 8 Female to Genesis 3 Female.

This lets me send the wonderful Genesis 2 Female shapes to Genesis 8, which really has a lot of possibilities - especially since I can send any shape from Generations 3, 4, 5 and 7 to Generation 6 (Genesis 2), so that opens them all up to Genesis 8 as well.

That might not seem huge to some people, but when I need some very specific changes that I just don't have on a figure, I can call up either Character Converter or GenX2 and get the shape changes I need in a few clicks - and I love that!!!

Both sets of tools also automatically add the necessary helpers that are included in the original morph asset. So if a shape I transfer has corrective morphs that it controls, those will also be transferred so the morph can use those on the new target figure.

Also, I believe that both sets of tools will allow us to disable that from happening, if we wanted to. I never wanted to, so I haven't tried.

Rosie 568 after I first applied the shaders from Sol for Genesis 3 and 8 Female.

Sol's texture maps are a lot less color-saturated than these V4 Elite - Reby Sky maps. 

Rosie 568 now has new texture maps that I desaturated in Affinity Photo to match Sol's, so her shaders are working Great!

Of course, the original Reby Sky maps still work great for this Tan Look.

Working with Genesis 1 is so easy and flexible for me. I keep going to the other generations to keep fresh, but it's always a dream coming back to the simplicity of animating Genesis!

Rosie 568 uses:

Main Head Shapes

Main Body Shapes

Sol for Genesis 3

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