3D characters- Poser/DAZ or 3D Max/Maya?

Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by DaveGilbert, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. Mattias Gustavsson

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    Poser 6 and 7 both still have the walk designer, and it's got a few more styles now (but all the old ones are still there too)
    [​IMG]
    For those who don't know, with the walk designer you can customise a walk cycle for your characters, by blending pre-built walk cycles to get the characteristics you want - it's not perfect, but still very cool :)
     
  2. DaveGilbert

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    Nice finds, Mattias! I'd located some of those already but that "film noir detective office" is pretty darn sweet. My wife has been futzing with the various options and we've pretty much settled on Poser. It turns out it's possible to bring Daz characters into Poser, along with their clothing, so we seem to be golden. Thanks for all the help!
     
  3. JGOware

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    Good stuff, thank you for the replies.
     
  4. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Nice.

    Just a note that if you subscribe to Smith Micro's mailing list you can get some nice special offers... today I got a 50% off for Poser 8. I'm guessing that kind of thing is fairly common, but that's just a tidbit for anyone thinking of buying full price.

    Shame there's no 50% off an upgrade, though ;)
     
  5. Mattias Gustavsson

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    For anyone thinking of using Poser for an isometric game, I thought I'd point out this old python script I posted long ago, which takes a list of poser files and renders them from all the different angles automatically:
    http://forums.indiegamer.com/showpost.php?p=153604

    You can do all sorts of things with the scripts - I once experimented with automatically rendering character portraits, by writing a script which randomly set the morph dials, applied materials and hair:
    [​IMG]
    It's not as good as what you get by carefully tweaking it yourself, but great if you need a lot of portraits quickly. (There's some more info about it here: http://mattiasgustavsson.com/Blog/Entries/100Faces.php)

    EDIT: I almost forgot to mention, a while back I wrote a little utility to help me manage my growing collection of Poser files - it's called Poser Content manager, and is free (and source code is public domain). The way it works, is that it scans your Poser directory before and after you install a package, and then it packs up all new files into a compressed bundle. From this bundle, you can install or remove the package, but more importantly preview the thumbnails of all its contents and find where in Poser it is located.
    [​IMG]
     
    #25 Mattias Gustavsson, Aug 17, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  6. Reactor

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    Ah wow, I didn't realise that. 'Twas a great utility back when I used it.

    On a side note, I see you can get Poser 7 quite cheap now. I wonder if the changes made to 8 (or Pro 2010) are worth the extra cash?
     
  7. bantamcitygames

    Administrator Original Member Indie Author Greenlit

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    I read a few reviews as I was looking into it recently and the biggest changes are some usability improvements (file tree stays open, etc) and a boost in performance. They said because of the productivity increase there's no going back to 7. I haven't used either myself though so this is second hand info.
     
  8. Wrote A Game or Two

    Wrote A Game or Two New Member

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    Just wanted to revisit this thread and give Daz a little love. I happen to prefer it to Poser (although that walk designer ROCKS and I wish DAZ had that - the AniMate plugin thing they sell is close, but not quite the same).

    I've been using it for YEARS and have about 40 gigs of content for it (I'm just a little obsessed, lol). I'm using it for our latest project which unfortunately very few people will see - it's a demo for a possible dev-funding deal with one of the portals. But if we get the greenlight, then the resulting project will be VERY publicly available. :D The reason I mention this is because we have a rather big name celeb lending his voice to the project and I was able to create a character that really looks like him in his younger days - he was very pleased with the result. I'd LOVE to show you guys, but alas, I've probably already said more than I should. Anyway, without DAZ I could have never pulled it off, so they get a big thumbs up from me.

    I'll have to post some of the artwork I've been able to create with it (that ISN'T covered by an NDA, LOL). If you have the patience to fiddle with the lights and shadows - or if you have a gajillion light sets and shaders at your disposal like I do because I'm a lunatic like that - then you can really make some very stunning artwork for your games. Just last weekend, I used it to make the graphics for a simple little memory type game for my 3 year old to play. All the 3d artwork was created and rendered in DAZ using simple primitives, and textured with graphics I made in Paint Shop pro. Took me about a day to create all the sprites and the game itself (it's so much easier to develop a game that isn't complicated and doesn't have to pass muster with a publisher! LOL). DAZ does get clunky and slow at times and it's quirks have taught me a few new bad words over the years, but it's still the easiest 3D program I've ever used, and the content they create/sell is far superior to the others out there.

    Best part about the program itself is the cost. It's free. You gotta love that. ;)
     
  9. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Daz Studio certainly has its uses. If it wasn't so costly I think I'd grab the Advanced version just so I could muck with some nice Renderman shaders. The output from it leaves Poser's Firefly renderer a long way behind.

    :eek: I think I'm on about 4gigs.

    As a side question, since we're on the topic of Daz, are you guys aware there's now a way to use a number of Daz's models in your games? I don't mean rendering- I mean the actual model.
     
  10. Mattias Gustavsson

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    I thought the license agreement for most models stopped you from using them in a realtime application?
     
  11. Reactor

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    They now have two. If you want to use content in games, you need to buy it from the developer site, which is under a different agreement. The prices are pretty decent for some of the older stuff. There are two ways to buy- per game and multi, which covers many projects.

    I doubt I'll be using the figures without a fair amount of alteration in a game, but as a base figure for human proportions I think I'll be looking into it. If nothing else it'll save a fair amount of time compared to creating things from scratch.
     
  12. Wrote A Game or Two

    Wrote A Game or Two New Member

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    I'm aware of this, but it's a bit spendy. $100 for the plugins you need, and then you have to pay a dev license for each model (and since a typical human figure game character consist of several models - one for the character itself, one or two for clothing, another for a weapon, another for the hair, another for whatever morphs you use, and so on... it can get costly in a hurry). You then have to assemble your character, hope that the decimator plugin doesn't render the whole concoction useless, hope that the FBX plugin works correctly, hope that your game engine can handle the exported model, etc, etc, etc. Too much work and too much cost. Since everything I do winds up in a 2D game engine anyway (we're creating HOG's now... another rant for another day...), it's better just to render individual frames and create sprites.

    For fun, I priced out the licensing costs for JUST ONE of the characters I built for our latest game. It would cost an extra $400 or so to license the character for such in-game use. I suppose if we ever get to the point where we're paying 250K to license the Unreal Engine and creating AAA games for the XBox360 it'd be worth it. Right now, it's not.

    But it is cool that DAZ is finally open to this sort of usage for their content. The ability to legally use their models in a 3d game is long overdue, in my opinion. And from what I hear (I haven't tried it yet because I'm not spending $100 on the game dev kit just yet) the exported models play nicely with Unity, so there's always that avenue for us starving indies. :D If they would just get more realistic/indie friendly with the licensing costs, I think they'd have a winner.
     
  13. Reactor

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    For me it's a lot cheaper, but then I'd only be using them as starter models. The reduced resolution models can be had for $20 each (one game- $40 for multi). So, $40 for a male and female character. From there I'd re-texture, detail, add clothing, and very likely retopologise. All fun stuff :)

    I totally agree with that, though. If you're not an artist with some other solid tools, it's all a lot of guess work. It's not so bad for me as I know how to make unworkable things work, but... yes. That's an area they need to address.

    Yeah, I don't know. I don't think the pricing is that bad. Some of the newer stuff is way too overpriced, but the older stuff is decent. Possibly it's not such a good solution for non-artists, but for those with some understanding of how to break away from Daz's attempted tool lock-in, it's a good way to go. It's certainly cheaper than Quidam at the moment, anyhow.
     
  14. kys01212

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    Renders in Poser

    One problem that I found is that it is really hard to produce good renders in poser. even with small sprites. Sometimes there are artfacts in the bitmap and make it look funny in the game. In 3ds max, you would just press F10 and it pretty much come out okay.

    What is a good render setting in poser if you would like to make a sprite for your top down or isometric game?

    thanks,

    Kevin
     
  15. electronicStar

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    For those who have a bit more time, there is makehuman that creates human of all shapes and size, and is free. But it's still in devellopment.
    And no clothing .
     
  16. Wrote A Game or Two

    Wrote A Game or Two New Member

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    I confess I didn't spend a whole lot of time looking at the pricing once I tallied up that $400 whopper for just one of the characters we're using in our latest game. But the pricing model still has a critical flaw, in my opinion: What if you already have the model + morphs itself and just want a license to use it ingame?

    As I said earlier in the thread I've got ~40 gigs of poser/Daz content that I use for creating all sorts of images (not just sprites, but logos, backgrounds, cutscenes, you name it). I shouldn't have to purchase all that stuff over again just for the "privilege" of using it in a 3D game. I should be able to pay a small license fee of $5-10 per item or whatever to use the content I already have. I'm all in favor of an artist getting paid for their work, but come on, I already paid the guy/gal for the model - why do I need to buy it again? I could hire my own artist for $400 and get a character (or several, if my needs are simple enough) I can use with no limits in as many games as I like!

    I did see the Game Ready characters they have, and that's a start but I prefer to make my own characters rather than using ones that anyone else can just go out, buy and use also. And $130 for a generic looking knight? Come on, Daz. Really? I'm sure he looks great in Torque, but not $130 worth of "great".
     
  17. Wrote A Game or Two

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    I don't use Poser, so I'm not sure how much help it will be, but in DAZ I generally will render at 2x the size I intend the sprite to be, and then open the images in a graphics program where I adjust the brightness and contrast a bit to bring out the colors more, and then I sharpen it to crisp up the lines before reducing the image to 50% of original size. I have found that this method usually works best (but it's still trial and error at times - you just have to experiment a bit). I also render to PNG format because DAZ automatically drops the background out for me, leaving me with clean images suitable for making into sprites.

    Here's some of the sprites in action. The gems were rendered in DAZ and then sharpened up in Paint Shop pro. They rotate on the y axis as they move back and forth across the screen.

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=4343879&id=87860748751

    The bat and ball sprites are also DAZ renders.

    if BFG would quit messing with us on our release date :D , I could point you to a video or download link that would show it better.

    Hope that helps!
     
  18. kys01212

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    Thanks, it looks great and I would definitely try your technique!!

    you said that you don't use poser but you do use poser content. What do you use to render the poser content? What is a good product to render poser in 3ds max? I used to use bodystudio but I can't get it to activate and the support email and phone doesn't even work.

    Kevin
     
  19. Wrote A Game or Two

    Wrote A Game or Two New Member

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    I use Daz Studio. It's a free download from daz3d.com. It even comes with some sample content to get you started. :cool:

    Edited to add: I should add that most Poser content works in Daz Studio, but not all. Some of the dynamic clothes and shaders won't work properly.
     
  20. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I completely agree with you.

    The only advantage for me is the human model as a base. Theirs are made using a lot of real-world human scans, and that'd just be pointless to make from scratch if they can be had for $20. Aside from that though, I agree the pricing model is silly.
     

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