Rosie 8.24 - New Wetness Methods

Still images are one thing, but for animations Wet characters can pose several challenges.


It seems to me that one of the more difficult factors in "Wet" skin renders is the lighting.


If we're using any of the excellent Wet Skin products from Daz 3D, it's usually a matter of load n' go - ready to render. Except for one thing - the lighting.


One of the Wet Skin products I bought suggests that we don't get too bright face-on from the camera to the character, but to come in from behind.

We don't want the scene to be too dark, but the less bright it is the more the lighting will have lustrous effect on the wet shaders. 



As always, I resort to joelegecko's HRDI Photoshoot, now with a version which adds a whole new realm of character lighting that is just a Blast to work with! 

These things are each (each HDRI map from each pack) a studio lighting rig nicely presented via an HDRI lighting dome for Iray. So to tweak out how the lighting affects the scene, simply rotate the dome and find our favorite look. 

Doing this often inspires me to try the mirrors of each, going back and forth for different shots - different camera angles, different side of the street, etc.,

This one is using SimonWM's Wet Body Iray, which comes with Iray Decal water droplets that can be animated - so this is a single frame of an animation with water droplets navigating Rosie's soaking curves! ;)


Linday's dForce Wet Style Curly Hair is an incredibly well-delivered Load n' Go situation. Shorter style or the base, which is nice and long, preset pose to clump the tips to make the hair appear to be Really soaked, with those options available as well for the ones that tuck the hair behind either or both ears - all from selection we make in the product folder!

Then we get Linday's usual Plethora of color choices, simulation settings, and option to make the hair look just damp or completely wet for the materials settings. Like I say... Load n' Go. 

Press the Simulate button and if we've tucked the hair behind either or both ears using the library presets, the hair stays tucked behind the ear. Suggestions within the library offer advice on changing settings for more or less "Drenched" behavior during simulation.

I was amazed at how quickly this thing simulates too!

Now this is interesting and, if you really like to tweak skin to perfection but aren't savvy at fully editing an Iray/Daz Studio shader, I strongly suggest trying the version of this system that matches the figure your using. Like, I'm using Genesis 8 for Dartan and Rosie, so I have this bundle.


A very sophisticated system with a built-in control panel pane that we can launch with a click. Within that we have an incredible amount of skin appearance options that we can work with simply by working within this rather awesome set of controls.


She has three very nice videos that illustrate how to use the system, and further dives in to really show us how to get Really into it if we want - yet there is a wealth of simple presets for the system that we can use by clicking in the library - so simple-Simon, or dive in deep... V3Didgitimes has you covered! 

BTW - her Pose control and alignment tools are truly incredible as well!!!

Long Wet Hair with dForce for Genesis 8 - by Linday

Okay, this is one Awesome pack!

We get this amazing hair for both Male and Female Genesis 8 which also comes with sets of GeoShells to make the characters really wet, sand clumps on the skin, or both. So this is a Huge value. The wet skin GeoShells are simple to use (Load n' Go!!!) and look Great!

As always, this hair looks Fantastic, simulates really well, and comes with all of the wonderful options that we've come to expect from a name like "Linday"!  Kudos Linday!!!

Amazing!!!

This wonderful garment oozes all of the quality I've learned to expect every time I buy a new Linday. 


A really cool method of setting which of the buttons are buttoned and which are not - with an optional load with All buttons buttoned.


We can set it to be wet or dry and it looks and simulates remarkably well. As with many intricately made items that scream realism, some care should be taken in how the arms and legs behave in an animation - and that really goes with any simulation no matter what we're using.

May the Forth be With You - Alwayth!!!

If you look closely, this particular Idle shot is using my early workings (current at this time) with the Micro-Expression animation that I've been talking about.


Throughout the entire animation, every muscle in her whole face is moving. The thing that makes it really hard to notice is because it's these micro-expressions that make the face look more natural. Our face muscles are constantly firing in many ways - so we're very used to seeing it on ourselves and other people - every day.


While we might not notice an absence of it in animations without full facial animation, it's that absence that truly helps to sell the fact that it is an artificial CG person. 


But much more, creating a workflow for utilizing micro-expressions is what really helps us to define the look of the character throughout every action. So we don't use single, 'fix-it-all' dials to do these. Instead we use what those dials are driving - individually. This allows, say... Peter, to look like Peter no matter what he's doing. How can we tell? By the facial actions. That's how. 


We're all incredibly different in this. From what our mouths are doing when we're just sitting there watching TV, reading a book, listening to someone talk, talking to someone, think about something... our facial muscles are always moving. 


Getting used to animating on this level doesn't take long once we establish which of the muscles do what it takes to identify This character. Once we have that down, the more generic emotion changes become much more effective.

As we identify these 'characteristic changes' for the specific character, we'll notice that it doesn't take many new custom dials to more easily add the character's identity on the fly, for all animations. 


Wording this for reading is one thing - showing you what I mean will be far easier. I'll see what I can do. 

Rosie 8 Revisited

Rosie 8.24 is discovering new ways to look and feel more natural in her animations. 


The frame we see on the left here is just a still - of course. Within the actual animation, all of her facial muscles are moving (firing) throughout each frame - but as the animation plays back it looks so natural that we don't notice it. We just see the subtle facial changes of her mouth and lips as she breathes, maybe pick up on her blinking, but the fact that her eyes are constantly moving... it doesn't look like they are - it all just works - which is what I'm going for.


We may not 'notice' that her eyes are moving, but the fact that they are makes it less obvious that she's a hand-animated 3D figure.


Using Dynamic Character Animation techniques, she's constantly getting new posing and expression dials and, adding Anilip 2 (text/audio Lip Sync plugin) adds a plethora of fun lip and jaw dials for Genesis 8 that are fun for adding realism to any animation - and will now become incorporated into further Dynamic Character dials for expressive micro-movements.

In the actual animation she's standing more upright, which didn't seem to look right with this big sword. I've mad a custom dial that widens her stance, bringing the hip down keeping the feet on the floor and also rolling and bending her feet to match the pose changes. So we can dial it all the way up bringing her much closer to the ground, and we can also use any position in between, which is what we're seeing above. Then I simply hunched her forward a little using my original set of custom dials and posed her arms and hands to hold the sword, and to move along with her motions. It turned out really nice!

This is all a Lot of fun!!!


Just recently I decided to save myself a lot of time from jumping around using so many dials to animate her eye movements, so I made a few simple custom Dynamic Character Animation dials that move the upper and lower eyelids as I move the eyes. What a great help! Wow! 


And the few dials that I just made before that, for adding "Rosie" shapes and movements to her lips, eyes, and brows have really proven to be a massive boon to getting better, more realistic results on her facial actions. 

Micro-Expression Facial Musculature - Character Specific

A major part of what's coming in 2024's Rosie 8 is a set of controllers that are created to control FACS muscle movements at a Character-Specific level, so that Rosie's micro-expressions are unique to her.


Eyes, lids, brows, nasolabial fold (corner crease of the outer nostrils), nostrils, lips, jaw, tongue, jugular... 


The way these muscles operate on a face are part of every individual's uniqueness. 


While these controls will work on any Genesis 8 female, they are designed and organized specifically for Rosie 8, so I won't use them for anyone else. They can have their own! ;)


It's not just the unique pulls, twists, bends, etc., but how and when they're fired according to her current behavior is what will distinguish her from everybody else.


Once we get to the point where we're taking actual performance capture from Real Rosie, these controls will be valuable for the 'final mix' of correcting the crossover from the absolutely real shape to the stylized 3D Avatar.

Creating new custom action dials (as we make in the Dynamic Character Animation course) that quickly facilitate total changes to animations. In this case a single dial that widens the stance, lowering her hip at the same time - making this stance easily added to most idle-style actions. This pose was inspired by a promo picture for one of Aeon Soul's excellent pose packs. I'll probably make another that puts her hands in her pockets as seen here.

To finish off the total pose change from the original animation, 3D Universe's LimbStick script is utterly powerful!

Rosie 8 2024

No, we're not changing Rosie 8!

Rosie 2024 is going to be a wonderful, progressive and aggressive additions that will improve her performance and create identifiable characteristics and behaviors to help her stand out from the crowd even more. 

This page kind of goes backwards in time. So the material at the top of the page is the most current. Some things might go slightly out of order chronologically as we scroll down the page, but for the most part, as I advance her technology the reports will go on the top of the page - unless otherwise noted.

The image above shows a single frame of the result of some of her current improvements made for 2024 - most notably to me, the hair. If we look at the hair below this report under the heading "Jammin my new Rosie 8!" we'll notice how she began 2024 with what I thought was going to be an improvement. In practice, however - when I see that version of the hair in my early 2024 videos, I can't stand it! 

These kinds of things can happen as we get focused on certain parts of the project - we have a glaring problem right in front of us and we don't realize it until after we publish videos demonstrating how awesome our horrible mistake is!!! LOL

So I got rid of the idea of 'topping off' her Classic Long Curly Hair and went back to similar settings that I used for the ever-so-amazing Rosie 7 and started working new simulation experiments from there.


After a Lot of experiments, tests, and practice renders I've come up with settings that have the hair working better than ever - I think. We'll see after I publish some videos, which is when I really get to see how progress is going.


Other changes that can be seen in that image include her slightly altered Metro cargo pants and newer render settings for the character renders, which don't add a whole lot of extra time but greatly improve the final image - special thanks to a chat I had with the Wonderful Jay Verluis, whom I learn from constantly!

Something that is less obvious in that image is hopefully going to be the star of 2024 for Rosie's animations - new custom action dials - made using the methods demonstrated in Dynamic Character Animation for Daz Studio.


She'll be getting her own custom dials for her own specific personality - both in facial musculature and body movement. New arm and hand/finger dials, new posture controls including the widened stance she's holding, secondary breathing dial and a lot more are on their way. 


Additionally, I'm being more diligent at using Bone Minion and Body2Hip to bring a Lot more aniBlocks into my Genesis 8 library. On that note, I also just got a new Bone Minion that transfers Genesis 8 poses to Genesis 1, which will greatly speed up the ability for me to populate the scenes with more people and creatures. 


There's a Lot more planned and a Lot more to report - so hopefully I'll be posting more info on Rosie 8's 2024 Behind-the-Scenes in the very near future - stay tuned!!!

Delving Deeper into Micro-Movements for Animations

I've been doing it to the full body in little ways for years. Now I'm focusing

my attention on FACS (Facial Action Coding System) and adding subtle micro-changes in what the facial musculature is conveying to us.


Our brains are so much faster than anything else we know of, and 'knows' exactly what each and every muscle is going to do before it happens. That's pretty 

damn fast. So for micro-movements, we're using what we know the character is 'going to do' and simulate the process that the brain sends to the whole body

to make it react properly to the situation. 


Some people almost always smirk their mouth before speaking. Some might look away without changing the aim of the face - rolling the eyes off to the side - maybe up too. Some might always move their scalp around or follow up everything they say with a clenched chin.


All of these little near-involuntary muscle movements truly help us to identify with each individual in ways we might not even realize. We get used to it almost immediately

in most cases. Some folks behaviors might always put us into an uneasy feeling. But everybody has their own, whether they really want to or not.


If we're made aware of these things that we do we can focus on it and change it. But we'll seldom recognize what we're doing unless someone points it out or we decide

to focus hard on our own musculature habits that we've sculpted into our brains default mannerisms. 



The best way to convey these sorts of things is to use advanced performance capture on the actor. But what if we don't have an actor or an advanced Performance Capture

setup? 


Well, we imagine our own mannerisms for the character we're animating and make custom dials for them - so we can use those on the fly as they should be called forth.

Like the guy who always seems to chew when he not doing anything else. 



It adds a whole new depth to trying to complete an animation. For one thing, when we get these sorts of things timed wrong, it really looks bad. You see examples of that

in my videos all the time - but I still use the clip anyway - well... sometimes it's bad enough where I won't! LOL

Some of her new costumes. 

The red suit in the above images is a bit of a work in progress for her sexy space attire. More info on that as we advance it further.

Below

The one on the left simply uses a different material preset for the cargo pants, but under the hood the pants have been optimized to better cope with the plethora of Rosie's action movements. I must say, Aeon Soul knows how to deliver The Highest Quality! Amazing mesh and materials, but the included morphs and tweaking options are second to none. The optimizations I made are slight and only necessary for the image on the right.

On the right - the same main costume (I call it CP - Metro) but with an open Linday's Boyfriend Shirt Dress that Rosie has tucked into the front of her cargo pants. It's quite impressive how well it simulates without failing and having a very natural motion to it.


I use it as part of my demonstration in DAZ Studio : Movie Magic and it turned out excellent. I was reusing a previous animation and purposely didn't alter the arms animations before running the simulation, so that I could demonstrate how I correct these common dForce Explosion failures. 

We needed a new home from which to grow all of this exciting information around animating in Daz Studio


For me, that all revolves around aniMate 2. 


There's a Lot more to it than that, but it truly is aniMate 2 within Daz Studio that allows us to take any motion data and combine it and alter it in many ways before committing to the timeline. 

And once we're in the Timeline, we can always send it back to aniMate 2 to blend in more, or....


The possibilities are endless!


Jammin my new Rosie 8!

Daz sales events really helped me boost what I'm doing with her, and where she's acting. 


I now have a lot of new tools to work with which is very exciting.

One of the big ones right now is the complete MeshGrabber Bundle. This thing allows us to select and move vertices, lines and/or polygons and, best still, we can create a new morph dial for the results of the MeshGrabber session we're currently on, even if we've switched tools, changed the timeline, etc., and this new morph dial can be used in this scene alone, saved to the actual item it's being used on or, what I sometimes do is to simply save the item as a new wearable, so it has the dials but the official product remains undisturbed. 

This ability to turn the results into morph dials is the big deal for me. It allows me to make corrections to simulation results or, instead of 'corrections' just a bit of artistic alteration. 

MeshGrabber is also great for animating things that we're not simulating!

I had a short stint with her looking a lot more realistic - shape-wise, but then I opted to go back to the cute stylized look, and I'm much happier for it.  Sexy and cute is what she's all about.

I was just writing in my Art Studio thread about how quickly eyes target things in real life - even without the person realizing it. 


I've tried a new attempt at how to go about simulating this in animations:

She's come into the room, put her fists on the table and started talking about what's on her mind to the off-screen Dartanbeck.

3D Universe's LimbStick worked beautifully holding her fists in place on the table as the animation wiggles her around, and then I simply animated by hand what her arms and hands do as she stands back up at the end. It all looks fabulous.


To get her eyes doing what I want, I have a rig that I've made up that focuses her eyes at a specific target within the rig. So I can align the rig to various location to have her eyes change focus. Works really well.


So for this one, I dropped in a Genesis figure, animated it with an Idle conversation, and parented the eye targeting rig to his head.


The head of Genesis moves around throughout the animation, and Rosie's eyes track it. Worked really well in this first go!

There's a lot to consider when starting over from scratch.

I began by creating a rough resemblance and then started adding custom control dials. Running her through animations with hair and cloth simulations is essential to make sure we're getting everything right.

This task is getting more and more awesome for me the deeper I step into it.

Getting Ensley HD for Genesis 8 Female was a really good move for me. I always liked the custom sculpting - especially the mouth. Those feet are absolutely stunning too, so I'll definitely be getting some shots of her feet when we start rendering.

I'm still working out the final shape. Currently her head is 75% Sol, 75% Ensley, and 40% Lara. 

bluejaunte (at Daz 3d) really knocked it out of the park with this one.


Ensley is a masterpiece character with HD details that we can choose to use or not.

Until I get a beefier system, I need to shy away from HD character shaping or my system goes down. Ensley looks Phenomenal even without the HD details applied!


Check out the store page for her, and check out the highly detailed feet she has. Custom sculpts galore for Genesis 8 Female, and the asymmetric teeth and custom smile makes her So Precious. 


Although I've chosen to stick with Sol's incredible skin shaders, Ensley's are absolutely Top Notch! Sol's just a better fit for Rosie, is all. 

Now I'm working on the hair. I really like what we've got going on so far, but since I'm in this whole "Starting Over" period, I want to push a little harder on this. 


I've just created another fun blend with her hair pulled back and currently a bit more sun-bleached (for a reason) and stored it away as a wearable preset group, so I can work with it more when I get to it. 

Right now (as I'm typing) I'm analyzing various affects with different setting for the individual layers of dForce Long Curly Hair. I had certain workflow habits with Rosie 7, so now I'm dropping the muscle-memory for a moment and digging deeper into other options. 


For me this is a really good move because That hair is what directed my into this path in the first place - and I'm grateful for it. Finding my favorite settings for this hair was something I've established with myself at my very earliest stages in Daz Studio for animation.  I've teaked my methods along the way, but didn't want to wander too far away from what I knew worked well. The simulations do take a considerable amount of time, so "playing around with experimentation" wasn't something I did very often. 

This Hair ROCKS!!!

Years later, along with expanding my collection of Linday's dForce hair I've learned a lot, and at this initial stage of character development, I don't want to rush. 


This particular hair product is really amazing. Curly hair that simulates really well. It's dense. Lots and lots of polygons! 

It's really neat how it's built in four well-designed layers. There are morph parameters for each layer and they each have their own material zones - even better, the roots are separated out in to their own zones as well. 

That makes the look incredibly customizable, but for dForce it means the world of difference. We can set completely different simulation parameters for each individual layer as well as their roots - and Linday's setting are superb to start with. 


It's obvious that Linday has put a Lot of time into testing each of the hair products. 

It's crazy how life works sometimes.

I just had a major data crash and lost years of work - everything just... Gone!

Rosie 7 and all that came before and after her - all of the custom things I've made: aniBlocks, control dials, clothing, texture maps... not to mention the nearly 2TB of animation renders I was about to composite into a short movie.

Along with all of that also went my entire Daz 3d content library.


The content library was the least of my worries thanks to DIM (Daz Install Manager), which I let chug away overnight as it got me my most needed items installed to start getting back on my feet. Over 2,800 products downloaded and installed in the few short hours I slept. That's So Cool!


Well, when I was talking about Rosie 7 - and even in my Dynamic Character Animation course for Daz Studio, I mention that I'm using Genesis 3 Female because 8 just isn't working very smoothly in my viewport, making it annoying to work.

I had forgotten that, back when I first started attempting to animate in Daz Studio I was really green with how to do certain things. Carrara is completely non-destructive to the Daz 3d Content Library because it's incapable of writing the neccessary files to wreck anything.

The same does not apply to Studio, since it's designed from the ground up to allow artists to be able to create custom figures, props, etc., so it Has to be able to be Destructive - it really does.


Anyway, trying to build my first custom Rosie 8 back then, I accidentally wrecked my Genesis 8 Base Female. Richard Haseltine from Daz 3d helped me get her squared away again, or so I thought - but like I said... I was Really Green in regards to Daz Studio at that time.


Now that I lost everything but my preferences, the fresh installation of everything totally fixed it! 


Rosie 7 was started at a time when I didn't have much at all for Genesis 3, so I transferred every little thing I could think of from the V4 family, Genesis and Genesis 2 Female using GenX2, and custom built everything from there. She really was a special character. All of her expressions before I got the Genesis 3 & 8 Face Controls product (I Love It!!) were hand-created dials made using any facial morph I could use to get the right "Rosie" expression. I built in all manner of muscle movements for animation realism as well. So pretty much everything about Rosie 7 was custom. 


I do want to try and reconstruct her someday, but I need to get back on my feet.


I started creating Rosie 9 and she's looking marvelous. But whenever I work with Genesis 9 every so often, when I turn on Iray in the viewport, Daz Studio does a hard crash. I'm still working on her here and there, but I need something that works on my system for the immediate long haul.

Whew... I think that takes care of the long introduction that brought me to wanting to try my hand at an all new Rosie 8!

After my first couple of hours working on her, I am already convinced that I have my Rosie 8 working. Since I'm working from scratch having to start all over, this time I'm using my story to drive how I proceed with this, so Rosie is a very young adult at this point. 

Like Rosie 7, I began with Sol as the base to start with. Victoria 8 provides much of the body shape along with a plethora of other tweaks, and Thorne's Lara adds that touch of stylization to her face, with Sol's lovely face left full-on and she'll be using Sol's incredible surface materials as well.

Being young and on her own, I wanted to do something a bit special with her hair - beginning with the very hair that drove me to Daz Studio in the first place - Linday's incredible Classic Long Curly Hair with dForce for Genesis 8 Females. I wanted the top of her head to be fraught with curls with a nice, messy edge to it all. I ended up customizing a copy of Lani Hair for Genesis 3 Females, and spent quite a lot of time later getting the materials to match up - and I'm probably not finished with that part yet.

Getting MeshGrabber jst before this whole data crash was a real blessing. I haven't even had a chance to try it out yet at this point. Wow! What a difference that tool makes for a customizer like myself!


Right: First draft WIP - Rosie 8 Revisited - 07/28/2023

...Top Hair materials weren't match yet

Next, I knew I needed to start putting her in motion. That's when I realize the most obvious changes that need to be made. So I took a break from the design process to fill Genesis 8 Female full of Custom Control Anim + dials. And wow, did I ever make some really good ones! The new Breathe for Genesis 8F is really good! I stuck with Genesis 8 instead of 8.1 because I really love using the Genesis 3 & 8 Face Controls product, which was a direct answer to 8.1 getting that FACS gizmo. 

So I immediately started getting my Anim + dials into the Face Controls. I still have a lot more to add, but I've got a really good start.

Daz 3d has really been rolling out the content and celebrating with massive sales discounts.  That's how I was able to grab a bunch of new Stonemason, Mesh Grabber Bundle, Render Queue 3 and a whole slew of other amazing products. 

Today (time of this writing) there was a special: Use xxx Code to get 50% off up to 3 things from your wish list! 

So I got PoseRecorder to try out and Rosie's new costume starter: Elita Cyberpunk Megapack, by BatKitteh Co

Oh I've been drooling over that set since the first time I saw it! 

And it Is special! I'm amazed at how customizable everything is - without having to make custom things. And it really looks good. 

The materials are Awesome! The dress portion works very nicely in dForce, and is also rigged very well so we don't have to simulate it if we prefer not to - or simply don't have time to. Crazy Awesome!


I've barely started converting my M4/V4/Genesis aniBlocks to Genesis 3 and will be continuing with that tonight. But at my very earliest opportunity, I'm getting some more Bone Minions. I love these things! 

I've also decided to start combing through mCasual's site for scripts and stuff. Too long have I gone without, so this New Beginning will change that.

To Be Continued...

Simply log into the Daz 3d forums and send a PM to Dartanbeck with the code

While you're at it, go ahead and ask me a question about my workflow or techniques, products, anything! Always happy to help!

Support for this site goes directly into more creative workflows, animations and articles

A very special and warm Thank You to those who help! 

I love and appreciate you all!!! Thank You!!!

Appreciation for Your Support!

In honor of the Wonderful People who enjoy what I do enough to offer support, This Appreciation Page is For You!

For those who have asked to remain anonymous, I have not included you in there. If you'd like to be included, I'd Love to!

Anonymous or otherwise, I really appreciate your Support - and All of it goes Directly into what I'm working on at that time, so it's a Huge benefit. Thank You So Much!!! 

Every opportunity I get to make improvements is a delightful boon and helps push everything forward!

Rosie Rough Rider - The Fourth Frame

In that same thread, I detail the workflow used to create a "Rough Ride" on Cyberpunk Motorcycle, by Charlie - though the same method will work with any bike.


Most of the animation came from an In-Place Zombie Walk from Mocap Online's Zombie Animations Collection P1 for Victoria 8, believe it or not!


Find out the whole story!

Rosie Rough Rider - The Fourth Frame

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