PE's Abdomen, you're deciding!



  • Ok I am so bored of seeing DAZ just pumping out amazing content like crazy and SM just goofing around with semi-cartoony figures and half-baked software releases. Come on people, why does DAZ get all the fun? So I wanna finish PE as fast as possible now, I wanna have fun again with CGI, and not feel pressured to have to sing to the tune of DAZ.

    I was just rounding off PE's UVs, but its taking long because I simply cannot commit to this project full time. I live in the UK now and things are not entirely cheap here. So I have to make DAZ content to survive because... well Poser content just doesn't sell at all. I'd rather be making comics than making content, but if my chosen software is dying, that's a big problem.

    So if I focus on making PE now, I'm taking a big financial risk, because it could be all for nothing. We could have had this years ago, but yeah African problems and Poser bugs... and SM quite literally don't care. They would rather risk it with crappy rigged figures that look goofy at best, than go for a very detailed anatomically correct figure. It makes no sense. I want SM to finance me because I don't want anyone else but them to take this risk with me, for they kind of let it happen. But I doubt they can convince their lawyers that awesomeness sells.

    So we're alone here. We can do this, PE can be really awesome. Everything DAZ is flaunting now was within our reach years ago. I did all that myself. They're flaunting smiles, muscles... man, I did that sh*t back in 2012.

    But I need your help in deciding this thing. The abdomen, should I split it into an abdomen and a waist, or just leave it like V4's?

    Leave it like V4:

    • V4 conforming clothing morphs could potentially be preserved. SM probably won't think of anything to keep old morphs from converted content, so this would be a safer option.
    • Genesis / Pauline clothing would have to be re-morphed
    • Scaling in Poser is absolutely stupid. The waist and abdomen configuration limits the space I have to WM the scaling of these bodyparts properly, and if I don't group them like boxes, its even worse. Ridges appear. And no I'm not doing anything wrong. I had master riggers work on PE and even they couldn't fix it.
    • My comic figure has the waist/abdomen setup and I've used it for a year now and see no real advantage. The spine is not THAT flexible, and any crazy bends can easily be JCM'ed.

    Do it like Genesis:

    • Genesis / Pauline conforming clothing morphs could potentially be preserved (or other clothing with abdomen / waist)
    • V4 clothing would have to be re-morphed
    • Scaling will be limited
    • a 'curvier' girl... but honestly I don't think it will make much of a difference.

    I would love your opinions here. Thanks!



  • @erogenesis
    I'm not sure if I'm voting here or just mouthing off, but anyway...

    1. I don't see 'awesome' when I look at DAZ figures. They probably bend better than Gen 4 (so they should after 10 years), but the promo renders still look like plastic dolls... even more so than V4.
      2)If you've been using the figure with a waist and found limited utility it really comes down to whether you want ease of use for Gen 4 or Genesis clothes. I think the biggest issue I have these days (and why I suspect 'hooker wear' is so popular is the way conforming clothes follow the bends looks so fake. When I look at any clothing I look at how it bends at the waist and thighs (particularly skirts) and how it distorts the textures. Anything that looks like a satin screw thread if the figure is anything other than bolt upright I ignore.
      3)I would like to see more hybrid clothes, conforming top and dynamic skirt or conforming waist and dynamic legs for pants. If that happened, a waist might be useful
    2. I like figures to have utility. I tend not to use Dawn or Antonia or Pauline because they only have a few options. The original Genesis or Apollo Max were WAY more capable figures. The main reason I still use V4 is that she can morph into an awful lot of different characters and I don't have to use stupid DSON. Scaling would be a concern to me.
    3. I've seen your renders, I've seen the promos of your characters (way, way better than anything done for a Genesis character)... regardless of what you do with waist or no, I'll be buying PE.


  • Are you making this figure for Poser only of are you making a DS version too? If it's just for Poser, which clothing would be easier to convert? I don't have much genesis stuff so I've never converted any of it. Does the need for DSON make it more difficult? Which figure is your market base using mostly? If it's poser users, you'll probably have more V4 users than DS users. Many have said they don't like using DSON. If you're including both software, probably go the genesis route. If it's just poser, maybe the v4 way.



  • Thanks for your opinions so far (also from folks behind the scenes).

    I think I am gradually settling on one abdomen.

    • I can kind of pander to the V4 crowd for now, which is (or was) indeed most of the Poser crowd, and there's a whack of V4 content out there already. There's still some converting that would have to happen, but I'll try keep the groupings as close to V4 as possible so that you just need to edit the base shape. Gloves won't work though, with the extra carpals.... I think...
    • Can always split the abdomen up when Poser's scaling improves, or when I make a DS version. Transferring morphs to the abdomen area is not bad since its not super-high res there. The topo and rest of the body will remain the same. Maybe Poser 12 will get smarter and be able to deal with extra bones and maintaining morphs... O.o
    • for now she'll be flexible enough with one abdomen bone. I'll test it out but I think its the scaling thing that's really bugged me.

  • Poser Ambassadors

    @erogenesis
    When building my own figure (a 4 year WIP hobby that is still a WIP) I did the same tests and found no improvements by adding a waist group.
    It has no buttocks, no pelvis, no waist but goes from the shin-thigh to hip-abdomen-chest.

    All these "old school" tips and tricks "to add more groups" come from the previous conventional rigging limitations that are covered these days with the WM rigging.



  • @erogenesis said in PE's Abdomen, you're deciding!:

    • I can kind of pander to the V4 crowd for now

    pander
    ˈpandə
    verb

    1. gratify or indulge (an immoral or distasteful desire or taste or a person with such a desire or taste).

    lol ok I meant "cater for" :D



  • @vilters said in PE's Abdomen, you're deciding!:

    All these "old school" tips and tricks "to add more groups" come from the previous conventional rigging limitations that are covered these days with the WM rigging.

    That makes sense ya, well and JCMs now too.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    @erogenesis
    Most JCM's can be replaced by properly painting the WM and the Bulge map.
    The Bulge map is a very powerful tool.
    You"ll see a very short video about that in my YouTube => Poser2Blender2Poser series.
    My own figures don"t have JCM's at all, because all bending and muscle flexing is "painted" in the maps.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    @erogenesis said in PE's Abdomen, you're deciding!:

    Scaling in Poser is absolutely stupid. The waist and abdomen configuration limits the space I have to WM the scaling of these bodyparts properly, and if I don't group them like boxes, its even worse. Ridges appear. And no I'm not doing anything wrong. I had master riggers work on PE and even they couldn't fix it.

    Question: Did you, at any point, go back into the setup room to add (or remove) any bones after the initial rigging?



  • @vilters said in PE's Abdomen, you're deciding!:

    @erogenesis
    Most JCM's can be replaced by properly painting the WM and the Bulge map.
    The Bulge map is a very powerful tool.
    You"ll see a very short video about that in my YouTube => Poser2Blender2Poser series.
    My own figures don"t have JCM's at all, because all bending and muscle flexing is "painted" in the maps.

    Trust me, bulges are not enough. To get real flesh deformation you need to work laterally too, and WM cannot do that yet. You can do scaling but that is a drama in itself. JCMs are the best way to deal with extreme bends like squashing the calf all the way back. Shoulders are also mega complex and cannot just be done with WM. Speaking of which, PE will come with a tutorial on how to pose shoulders properly because V4 veterans are guaranteed to f*ck that up (the guys I sent my comic figure already have haha).

    @AmbientShade said in PE's Abdomen, you're deciding!:

    Question: Did you, at any point, go back into the setup room to add (or remove) any bones after the initial rigging?

    Yes, and that is what caused the initial drama. I then had to redo the entire rig from scratch and it solved many problems, but the scaling issues persisted. Scott, Ken, Rob and I all tried everything possible but Poser's scaling is just weird. I think one issue is that my groupings were not like boxes and there was also not enough space to let the scaling happen gradually. But there's also other things going on I cannot pinpoint. Scaling for other parts like the arms and legs are sublime, but the torso was drama.



  • Well considering Smith Micro just laid off everyone on the Poser team not long ago in search of a cheaper overseas option... I say do your sales pitch again towards the new team, Project-E could very well be the figure to come with the next Poser!!

    If that fails... to help with the financial situation, perhaps you can set up a pre-order thing at one of the stores for Project-E to help fund it to completion.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    Vertex groups, and why not, material zones too.

    Many moons ago and in preparation for Poser12, I started experimenting, and reporting to SM, on "figures without vertex groups".

    First partially, hip down was a single group. Then chest and above was a single group. In the end ? "Body" became the only group.
    Let me tell you between the lines that this is the future Poser12 should be, and probably will be, aiming for.

    If al goes to plan?
    (But you never know with a complete Poser team change)
    Here and now, mid 2017, and if all goes to plan, a figure with vertex groups will soon be obsolete technology.

    When I showed my initial figure everybody declared me crazy.
    NO vertex groups? Going single Map? => Yep, only a single 8K diffuse map. All the rest build by procedural shaders.

    Material zones?
    Yep, 3 of them including taxes.
    Body => CG at 2.2 + 8K Diffuse map + shaders
    Lashes => CG at 1 and transparency + map.
    Cornea => CG at 1 and transparency, no map.

    I don't need a mat zone for something that can be done with a mask.
    Everybody can adapt a mask in no time.
    Any 2D paint app is good to get you going, from Photoshop over Krita to Windows paint.
    But you once you have too many mat zones? You need "advanced level digging" to change material zones properly because you have to cut up both again ; The obj file and the cr2.

    Some crazy examples from the past?
    The nipples zone on V4. Come on.....
    Upper and lower lashes? Come on . . . .
    Lips? Ten times faster and more end user friendly with a mask.

    Tja, I am looking forward, to the future: Content creator and end user friendly.



  • @vilters rigging without vertex groups would be awesome, I just hope SM do it properly.

    One matzone... not so sure about that. Many texturers cannot handle a 8K output yet, and although I am also no fan of multiple matzones, one zone I have been convinced of is the lipzone (albeit a wide one) so that you can swap out various lipstick types without loading another yuge texture onto the stack. Masks can do the trick that is true (and I use them to pieces, see my Sen renders), but if you wanna get very specific with pen-lines and color gradients, texture-based coloration will still be easier. And more importantly, I don't think one 8K map can beat several 4K maps in detail. It of course depends how smartly you unwrap the UV map, but the head usually takes up quite some real estate, and in the case of PE, the resolution is relatively evenly distributed across Legs, Arms and Torso, all with maps of their own. Getting that same resolution with one UV map will be a serious challenge I think.

    But 8K or even 16K will inevitably be the future, we just need to make sure the majority of us can handle "formaat behang".



  • @Cobra yep i've been considering crowd-funding for a while, but I don't wanna risk people's money with some of the crazy crap I've come across. I'd rather have SM take that risk since its their problem. But I think after I've passed a certain point with PE's development, I might start off with pre-orders. I'll feel more confident then. My release of TaB was a test for this, I wanted to put some of the new tricks to work and it seems to hold, so PE will probably actually work this time. I can't wait for her to be in the store. I think I'll sleep for a month.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    @erogenesis
    8K maps are not nearly high resolution enough for a single UV map for a figure. Closeups of lips, hyead, eyes, nails need a higher resolution.
    Masks are much more difficult to handle as material zones if you do not use the full uv map resolution. With a partial mask, the mapping onto the real texture (scale, offset) will be a pain to get right at a resolution of 8K of the original map



  • @erogenesis said in PE's Abdomen, you're deciding!:

    @vilters rigging without vertex groups would be awesome, I just hope SM do it properly.

    One matzone... not so sure about that. Many texturers cannot handle a 8K output yet, and although I am also no fan of multiple matzones, one zone I have been convinced of is the lipzone (albeit a wide one) so that you can swap out various lipstick types without loading another yuge texture onto the stack. Masks can do the trick that is true (and I use them to pieces, see my Sen renders), but if you wanna get very specific with pen-lines and color gradients, texture-based coloration will still be easier. And more importantly, I don't think one 8K map can beat several 4K maps in detail. It of course depends how smartly you unwrap the UV map, but the head usually takes up quite some real estate, and in the case of PE, the resolution is relatively evenly distributed across Legs, Arms and Torso, all with maps of their own. Getting that same resolution with one UV map will be a serious challenge I think.

    But 8K or even 16K will inevitably be the future, we just need to make sure the majority of us can handle "formaat behang".

    Users will also want a face zone so they can swap makeup easily. This is one of Pauline's greatest flaws and why her characters generally have few makeup options. You have to do a separate shader for each combination, so the requirements for say eight makeups time eight lipsticks is are prohibitive. I trust @erogenesis regarding abdomens.

    @erogenesis said in PE's Abdomen, you're deciding!:

    @Cobra yep i've been considering crowd-funding for a while, but I don't wanna risk people's money with some of the crazy crap I've come across. I'd rather have SM take that risk since its their problem. But I think after I've passed a certain point with PE's development, I might start off with pre-orders. I'll feel more confident then. My release of TaB was a test for this, I wanted to put some of the new tricks to work and it seems to hold, so PE will probably actually work this time. I can't wait for her to be in the store. I think I'll sleep for a month.

    Users will want a face material zone to easily swap makeups, too. This is one of Pauline's greatest flaws. You have to make a separate shader for each combination, and the burden of, say, eight makeups times eight lipsticks is prohibitive. Pauline characters generally have far fewer options than those for other figures. I trust @erogenesis on making the right call regarding abdomens.



  • @piersyf " the promo renders still look like plastic dolls"... True!



  • @RobZhena Me too I trust Ero on making it right. I love the PE figure!