V4 Skeleton - Height Dial - Merr?!

  • Hi folks,

    Ok, bit of a rant here:

    Has anyone ever actually had any kind of half-decent result from this horribly user-unfriendly pile of bones, V4's Skeleton?! Seriously, it seems like everyone has an opinion on exactly how to get the stupid heap of rubbish to work properly, most of which involve wiping out any character you'd want to make it work with and god forbid you'd actually want to morph the figure in any way, as it totally screws the whole thing up, and that's IF you manage to get it working with even the default 'taller than any man I've ever known' V4 without screwing itself into the ground!

    I've seen articles published about how freaking awesome this skeleton is and, frankly, I'm yet to see it, because after having it since it came out, I've used it to create ONE final render and I had to fiddle, faff and f*ck about with that to get it to look half decent, cropping off the feet as a last resort!

    So here's the thing:

    I want to use this skeleton with a preexisting character which uses Lyrra's height dial. I'm loading her, loading the skeleton, making sure there's no IK on anything, applying the conform poses to both her and the skeleton, which wipes her out and restores her to the rubbish V4 default, conforming her to the skeleton and then applying the conform pose again to 'fix the feet'. Thing is, as soon as I try to apply the height dial or the character pose to her or the skeleton, it all defecates in its drawers and falls over.

    Please, anyone? Maybe there's a third-party skeleton out there for V4 which actually works, or maybe there's a third party figure without all the rubbish issues which V4 has, with a skeleton which works with it AND which I can make my existing character from... yeah, one can hope!

    I'm totally fed up with the issues surrounding Daz stuff. I don't know any other digital product with more fixes, faffs and patches than V4 (apart from Windows, and we all know how shyte that is, eh?), but they both have a lot in common, as they're both crudded out and yet both insanely popular... because of guys like me who can't get enough of the damn stuff! Ugh.

    'Scuse me, really bad mood. Fed up. Today needs to be ov... ohhh, it is over, it's ten past twelve already! Well, on we go then! New day, positive vibes! # closes Poser #

  • @Glen85 V4 is 10 year old tech. You are using a custom, non Daz morph/scale thing on her then expecting the skeleton to work like an outfit of clothing would for scaling and such. Maybe when project E comes out @erogenesis can make a skeleton for it???

  • There is a skeleton in the works for dusk as well, maybe released.. not sure.. I would be surprised if they dont also morph that to fit Dawn as well

  • @KittyBrown but Dawn and Dusk have the same taller than life size problem that @Glen85 is trying to fix.

  • I want to use this skeleton with a preexisting character which uses Lyrra's height dial. I'm loading her, loading the skeleton, making sure there's no IK on anything, applying the conform poses to both her and the skeleton, which wipes her out and restores her to the rubbish V4 default, conforming her to the skeleton and then applying the conform pose again to 'fix the feet'. Thing is, as soon as I try to apply the height dial or the character pose to her or the skeleton, it all defecates in its drawers and falls over.

    Conform the skeleton to V4.
    DON'T apply the conform pose to V4.
    The conform pose is for the skeleton only.

    If you are using a scaled V4 character, the skeleton must 'include scales' when conforming. You can make similar changes to the conforming organs.

    You can copy some face morphs from V4 into the skull if you want. Or you can use V4 magnet fits to make morphs for the skeleton for added variety and realism.

  • @ghostship Stop putting pressure on the guy!.

  • Hi @Glen85 I have been using a heavily modified, conformed V4 skeleton for quite some time (render below is from 2013)
    ***=NSFW content***

    click to show

    I have added significant ERC to the skeleton, related to V4 body part scaling and morphs, as well as BODY actor ERC to fix pokethrough on clavicles, scapulae, skull, maxilla, mandible, lower rib-cage, ilium, carpals, tarsus and tarsals, ... as well as cervical and lumbar vertebral bending and scaling.

    Like any conformed clothing figure, V4 Skeleton needs to be fitted to your V4 character morphs, but one can't simply derive the skeletal morphs from skin layer morphs, so none of the available tools are useful. I suppose I could put together a product to post-apply the necessary modifications, but it will take some time.

    Here are a couple of screen-shots with my current Body and head morphs for the skeleton. I've also done similar for the other DAZ V4 anatomy figures, breast, thorax and gut.
    0_1501483972962_Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 4.50.01 pm.png
    0_1501484009516_Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 4.50.21 pm.png

    Let me know if this could be useful to you, or anyone.

    PS Weight mapping the mammary glands was a total pain! Magnets work well on surface-only objects, but are much harder to control on actual solid, three-dimensional meshes with internal structure.

    PPS I really miss FireFly's micro-facet displacement for water droplets in SuperFly ;_;

  • @anomalaus
    Excellent work on that! It's a real improvement.

  • Thanks a lot for the replies. It has been a fair while now, but I'm not sure I understand, or others understand. Does anyone have a step-by-step tutorial on how to do this with a preexisting character, please? I've followed so many instructions on how to get this damn thing working properly and, at best, the feet are screwed up. I have never managed to get this working properly. I don't want to lose my character morphs, it has taken years to get my character the way I want her and there are more tweaks and things than I can remember.

    Also, what does ERC mean, please?

  • @anomalaus

    I read through again and think I understand now. Yes, that would be incredibly useful to me (a product which would help with morphs).

    Perhaps, if I could load every bone or section on its own, things would be easier. The skeleton just seems a ton more awkward than it could be. I know it's old, but it isn't as old as V4, is it? V4 is a PITA at times, but it's easier to get desired results from than the skeleton is, so don't bring the age of the product into it because that is no excuse.

  • @Glen85 I have a feeling the skeleton dates from a time when DAZ was just splitting off from Zygote, or vice versa. Zygote has gone fully into the medical grade CGI product scene. The skeleton is designed to be useful as a stand-alone anatomy demonstrator, without needing to be conformed to V4, so it has (mostly) the full range of motion possible to a human skeleton (with the exception of the rib cage/sternum/thoracic-spinal cartilage joints, which are actually flexible, not a monolithic object).

    ERC (extended remote control) is a term synonymous with JCM (Joint Controlled Morphs) and refers to what are internally labelled as valueOperations by Poser, allowing one parameter to drive the values of one or many other parameters with either linear, key-splined or multiplicative factors, e.g. V4 Morphforms include a dial on the Body actor to simultaneously bend the neck and head actors. The V4/M4 skeletons have dummy/helper actors (the red handles) which conform to the V4 actors and subsequently control the position of the skeleton's bones. E.g. the ForeArm helper controls both the Ulna and Radius bones of the forearm, which are separate actors on the skeleton through ERC, as they have no direct equivalent to conform to on the V4 figure.

    As I developed my V4 Skeleton morphs (I've owned for years, but never downloaded or installed the M4 skeleton until just this week, ha!), I would set the display mode of my V4 figure to wireframe, so I could see the conformed skeleton within and setting just a single V4 morph, use magnets on the skeleton to try to replicate the effect induced on V4, e.g. Inhale requires the skeleton rib-cage to expand in X and Z with the spine as the origin of the magnet base and also shrink in the Y-Scale while moving up, so the top ribs stay at the same height. One or two magnets can do this. Spawn a morph target on the skeleton with an ERC master parameter on the body, then drive that master parameter from the chest or body morph dial on V4 (Poser Pro 11 dependency editor makes this a lot easier than it used to be. I previously did this by editing the .cr2 files by hand in a text editor, and I still do after prototyping in Poser).

    Now that I've rejoined the Poser Forum scene (I was moderately active for many years on Renderosity and RDNA and helped FaceOff port his P6CharacterRealismKit and RealSkinShader texturing products (python scripts) to the MacOS platform back in the Poser 6/7/8 days [goodness, that's more than 12 years ago!]) I have more time to think about being a vendor rather than just a passionate hobbyist.

  • @noobalien I don't have the Lyrra character morphs for V4. Are they still available?. Can someone tell me what dependencies the height dial drives in the Poser Pro 11 Dependency Editor, so I can suggest what modifications @Glen85 could apply to help scaling the skeleton?

    I am just piling up potential projects that could be commercialised, but I suck at product promotion (unless a thing sells itself) and get a lot out of helping others find their own solutions and learn while doing so. I also have no idea how to vet cross-platform product testers (though I'm sure this will be a good place to ask - in another thread, of course).

    Being generic (though gender specific) the V4 and M4 skeletons are prime candidates for being the only skeletal figures required for any realistic, adult human figure that a user would need (admitting that they need significant work or add-ons to match extreme body proportions (Freak)) unless the sole purpose is to match a specific, non-DAZ character product out of the box (and/or provide competition for those figures). I haven't seen a product which could morph/scale these skeletons to match anime proportioned figures ***=potentially sensitive/controversial content***

    click to show

    but have no doubt that such things are possible.

    Apologies if anyone feels the need to commence a flame-war. :-/

  • I'll pretend that I understood most of that... though, I really didn't, lol! That's confusing!

    I don't know exactly what Lyrra's product does, but here it is, so there's no confusion: https://www.renderosity.com/mod/bcs/victoria-4-height-dial/115132

    I don't see why a flame war would start. I do get 'passionate' about things working properly, but I don't think I'd flame anyone unless they started it. Everything seems fine here so far, besides, I've ditched the project this was posted for anyway, so time is no issue right now, as I'll have to start it again anyway.

    Thanks for your reply!

  • @Glen85 sorry, I was going to explain my comment about flaming and then realised that it would amount to "gaslighting", which I have vowed to abstain from for the sake of a peaceful community. Again, my apologies. None of that comment was directed at you, or in fact anyone who has so far posted in this thread.

    Now, back to the question. Looking at the Rendo promo image, that type of limb and torso scaling of V4 is exactly the kind of thing that the V4 skeleton is not designed to accommodate out of the box. Limb scaling used to be problematic for Poser, but has since been improved. The torso scaling is the issue, though, as the single abdominal actor of V4 equates to a dozen or so individually articulated Lumbar vertebrae, which you can scale accordingly, but then have to adjust their individual rotations to compensate for spreading the single abdominal bend over those dozen vertebrae. Conforming scales (in the Skeleton Body actor's properties tab) can transfer scaling to the helper bones, but not directly to all of the skeleton's bones. We have to add extra ERC to do that.

    It's easy to divide the abdominal bend by 12 and apply that to each of the vertebrae, but imagine a 12" ruler and 1 foot of garden hosepipe. If you hold one end of the ruler and the hosepipe together on a table and tilt the ruler over, the end will not be anywhere near the end of the hosepipe after it has curved through the same angle. When you do that, the lumbar spine stops joining with the spine at the bottom of the rib-cage (not a survivable injury for real humans! My apologies to anyone still living who has suffered this!) So you compensate by y-scaling the bent vertebrae (not anatomically correct, but it stops the spine looking broken) till they line up with the chest vertebrae again.

    Now, the V4 skeleton already does the vertebral bend related scaling when the torso actors bend directly (via a parameter called yScaleAll), but that parameter is not driven by any scaling inherited or conformed from V4. What I have had to do is add extra ERC to the yScaleAll parameters to compensate for V4 torso scaling.

  • @anomalaus Y'know, people sometimes say that if you keep explaining something to someone and they still don't get it, it's not their fault, it's YOURS for not explaining it properly!

    Well... I get it, lol! Well done and thank you! :P