Rosie 5.5 - Bridging Technology
And our first look at the new Rosie 5.5
She's not entirely 'mission complete' yet (as of this writing), but she's really close - still a few kinks to work out for faithful, consistent animation duties.
This whole Bridging of Technology that Mindsong and I are on has inspired this project, which couldn't have happened at a better time for me.
There are issues with Rosie 5 and 8 that have mostly been resolved already with Rosie 5.5, and she's helping us to ever drive forward with what we were intending to do in the first place, simply by finding solutions for her.
I owe a lot to him for nudging me and opening my eyes to more and more ways to push this whole thing forward into positive directions and taking advantage of the really great tools that we've had all along - and will be stepping into brand new ones as we go!
Really looking forward to all of this!
What a cutie. Wait till you see her smile! :)
Making Rosie 5.5 was a necessary endeavor - this time building her up from scratch in Daz Studio in order to be able to utilize all of Studio's various tools and helpful functions.
Bringing a Daz Studio version of Rosie into Carrara is as simple as loading her in from the library. Getting her into Daz Studio from Carrara requires a rebuild by hand. So you can see why this had to be done, right?
Carrara saves figures differently than Daz Studio. All morphs that the figure can access - even if not used, get stored into the Carrara file. Daz Studio's modern genius simply uses a Database to track when a morph is needed, otherwise it does not use any overhead.
That said, when it came time to bring this new Rosie 5.5 into Carrara for optimization, I used my tried and true method of Carrara Genesis Morph Reduction. Not only does this lower the overhead of the figure, it makes sure that someone as sweet as Rosie doesn't have dials for Monstrosities, Trolls, Orcs, Guys!!! LOL
It's nice to be able to refine the number of morph dials the figure has. In truth, I did this when I did the final build in Daz Studio as well, just to minimize what I even have available to use for morphs, which makes things a Lot quicker.
Here's an article that I wrote on the procedure: Genesis Morph Reduction
So What's the Plan?
Rosie 5.5 is a digital actress, so the ultimate goal is to have her act in several productions - starting out as a presenter for tutorials and demonstrations for the Dartanbeck YouTube Channel on topics for this site: Dartanbeck.com
These initial steps will help us to work out the kinks, and we'll see her progress in quality as we go, and eventually get her a role in a more proper movie short.
Rosie 5.5 is capable of walking and talking and expressing any sort of emotion we can dream up. While the modern studio world trends are going for FACS (Facial Action Coding System) functionality, our stepping back to the legacy Generation 5 (Genesis 1) figure in cooperation with the Genesis Generation X2 system for being able to add morph shapes from multiple generations of Daz figures, we'll be using morph shapes in our attempt to breathe micro-movements and emotes into Rosie and all of our characters.
Rosie 5.5 is:
Genesis 1 Basic Female - All Basic Female turned off
Genesis 2 Female Shape turned on (GenX2)
Reby Sky Elite for Victoria 4 texture maps - edited by Dartanbeck
Classic Long Curly Hair with dForce for Genesis 8 by Linday, possibly with additional simulation assistance via Carrara Dynamic Hair
All materials/shaders currently set up for and in use with Daz Studio Iray and OctaneRender 2020 DS and Carrara's Photorealistic Ray Trace engine
Outfit shown here:
Liltsure Hair Hairband, Sisterhood Forearms and Platina Armor by Aeon Soul
Image - first frame of a promo animation:
Human Figure 1 by BoneTech3D - edited by Dartanbeck
Hair Simulation in Daz Studio's dForce
Softbody tissue and Platina Armor simulated in Virtual World Dynamics Cloth and Hair
These in-figure tools along with VWD really help a character like Rosie to be as seamless as she is. She can wear nearly everything from generations 3 through 8 as well as items made for entirely different figures altogether. Not that she ever wants to wear much.
She's also very dynamic, having several lip sync options available and the ability to use motion data from generations 3 through 6 with little extra effort - one of the biggest reasons why we switched back to generation 5 from 8, right when 8.1 looks so exciting.
We'll still be working with the new, just not for Rosie!
Check out Bridging Technology for more details and information
Earlier on I mentioned that we'll be using morph shapes in an attempt to give Rosie the micro-movements necessary to give a life-like, convincing performance - much like what modern CG studios would do using FACS.
Genesis comes with a plethora of facial shape morphs for both shaping the overall look as well as for talking and conveying emotions. Using GenX2, I've added multitudes more from sources like the entire Victoria 4 family and Genesis 2.
I also used GenX2 to add the Genesis 2 Female Head Morph Resource Kit, by Thorne and Handspan Studios at Daz 3D.
I've only used a few of the morphs for actual overall shaping of her face but I included many others for their potential usefulness during these micro-expression animations.
As a quick example, when perusing which morphs to include via GenX2, I noticed that all of the Mouth Shape morphs included in this kit can be useful for manipulating the tautness and angle of the lips against each other.
Eye shaping morphs in this kit can give subtle variances to the squint of an eye.
It was these sorts of things that I was looking for when deciding what all morphs to include in Rosie's design.
There are many, many more kits like this one available for Genesis 1, 2, 3 and 8. This one seemed to fill my needs for Rosie, so this is all I have right now. But as I develop more lead role characters, I'll be adding more to my arsenal.
Rosie 5, 5.5, 7 and 8 were all designed using head shapes made by Thorne because of the lovely, fairy-like adorable appearances she excels at.
It's a worthwhile stop to take a look at her store at Daz 3D!
Genesis 8.1 now has facial controls based on FACS
Daz 3D is taking leaps into higher-end technology with Genesis 8.1, like that used in Alita Battle Angel.
While 8.1 is Not made using all of the advanced tech of Alita, it Is leveraging a lot of the philosophies used. Daz 3D has always been on the forefront of delivering some (some) of the utmost latest tech in their CG Characters.
That said, we Carrara users also have a huge boon of this same nature that was gifted to us by a high-end, amazing animator collaborating with one of our brilliant plugin designers. Her Carrara call sign then was "Faba" and she worked with Fenric to help him produce a plugin that's so powerful that few of us truly understand how to put it to full use - besides Faba, that is.
But she tried to teach us all with amazing details that are still available today.
In Carrara, we could use Fenric's Carrara Enhanced Remote Control to create an interface almost exactly like the 8.1 FACS interface, or we could customize it however we want. With a free ShareCG account, we can download some really cool tutorials and addons for this amazing (and now free) plugin via Faba's gallery: fabaone, and in particular regarding this, her Carrara Custom Helpers, which she made when I was asking her how she made them in the older Daz forums of the time. I'm glad that she moved it all to ShareCG when Daz shifted to a new forum software!
In the examples she did for the Carrara ERC, she demonstrated using helpers like these to control hand gestures. But with Carrara ERC, we can connect any morph or joint to any control, so we could use this to make our own facial control rig just like what we see on 8.1, but we can also have it as a simple controls sytem that stays with our view rather that sticking in to the head of the figure, so as we rotate the character around, our controls remain in the same place in our working view - if we wanted.
Edit for clarification - we can attach any Morph(s) to any control - even if that control happens to be a morph dial or joint rotation, and if more than one morph is attached they ca each be set up to behave completely independent of the others attached - if you follow. It sounds complicated because it certainly can be if we let it. It's Incredibly powerful tech here!
If we use Carrara ERC on Genesis 2 and earlier figures, we can use it to control the many facial morphs in ways that it would 'feel' like we're controlling facial bones in a way. If we used it on Misty's Genesis 3, 8 or 8.1 presets in Carrara, we could actually control the movements of those facial bones and/or use it to control morph dials. Quite powerful!
That's what Faba thought that Carrara was missing all along - being the incredible animator that she is. So I was very grateful to her and Fenric for making this a possibility - even though it was waaay over my newbie head.
I was just saying in another thread that, for a "Legacy Software" Carrara sure is ahead of its time in a Lot of ways! It was fun to see that some of the new features in LightWave a couple years back were things that Carrara's had for quite some time! No... I'm not saing that Carrara's better than LW! Please don't misinterpret! LOL
It's the people using Carrara that make it so advanced. The Daz 3D devs that were working on it were pumped about it. Spooky had a great team and they had a lot on their plate. It was truly inspiring and amazing to see what all they got done in the time they did it in - especially when they rewrote it to bring it to 64 bit!!!
Our plugin makers never cease to amaze me - the things they create. Have a look for yourself in my Carrara Plugins section!
Thanks, truly to All of You!!!
I'm not sure if we'll go this direction with Rosie, but I'd like to at least keep this thought process alive here because it is Very doable!