Another kind soul has already made a “clone” shape for the Horse 2 that allows us to refit saddles and such intended for that horse model onto Horse 2, using the Autofit feature (this is the same feature that allows V4 clothing to fit Genesis, etc.) So I thought I’d do a clone for the Charger. Then I was asked to explain how to make a clone… so this is that thread.
Be warned—process pictures tend to be ugly. There will be very few cute horsie pictures, at least in the early parts of the thread.
But first… why would one want to do this? Well, thanks to the aforementioned Millennium Horse clone shape for Horse 2, I was able to refit Spinebender Armor to the Llama! (Ok, I acknowledge it’s a bit lumpy in places, but it does work!) But… what about the Astral Armor??? That was designed for the Charger, not the MilHorse!
If this image doesn’t turn you off completely, read on.
Ok. Where I start with clones is to load both figures into the scene, set them to two contrasting colors, and make each only 50% opaque. This helps me to see how different they are.
So here’s the Charger (in fuschia) and the Horse 2 (in blue). Note that Horse 2 is longer than the Charger, and the base pose is also different. So the first thing I’ll be doing is adjusting the overall length of the Horse 2, and arranging the pelvis of H2 to match the same area on the Charger.
Now I’m starting to get closer. I found the fetlocks of the Charger were making it hard to see how well the feet lined up, so I made them even more transparent. I could have hidden them altogether, but then there would be a gap in the Charger’s legs, and I thought that would be more jarring to work with.
Also note that I set the Charger (and its tack, not shown here) to be non-selectable in the scene, so I wouldn’t click it by accident.
So really I just keep fiddling with scale and rotation parameters per joint, working outward from the pelvis area. That point needs to stay fixed, so it’s easiest to adjust the parts of the horse closest to the pelvis first. A couple of times I had to go back and fiddle with the pelvis position and redo work in other places. :(
Also remember to keep checking from different angles.
Occasionally I like to turn off the target model (Charger, in this case) and see what the “morph” is looking like. It will probably always be ugly—we’re never going to use this shape in a render. This is just being made to tell Horse 2 how to stretch and smush gear for the Charger to make it fit.
(Also, remember Horse 2 is semi-transparent here—the gullet isn’t really protruding out of the head.)
Although I usually start with orthogonal views (Left, Top, Front, etc.), eventually I start rotating the Perspective camera around to see how things are lining up. One important point—as much as possible, try to do right and left matching joints at the same time, and while you’ll probably eyeball the first one, make sure to copy the numbers to the mirror joint exactly. Here I have the left front hoof not matching the right because I forgot to change the y scale of one of the joints.
You’re never going to get a 100% fit just by scaling and rotating joints. But I got pretty close! Here’s the original Charger with tack, and a semi-transparent and opaque version of the Horse 2 as I have it now, with the same tack (actually still being worn by the Charger, but the Charger is hidden).
By looking at the Horse 2 with the Charger tack closely, we can see where the points are that will need to be fixed. (When I’m doing this with human figures, I often use a bodysuit at this point.)
Unfortunately, I don’t have time tonight to show the next step, which is using D-Formers to push and pull the mesh to fit. Or you can use a modeling program—I use Blacksmith3D.
In any case, what we’re going to do after that is export the obj of this horse, then re-import it as a morph, and I’ll walk everyone through those steps as well… but it will need to be later this weekend.
Wow…I was stumbling around on my own and came up with much the same…but was missing ‘something’, in my attempts. The setting of the meshes to 50% opaque is what I was missing. I was really messing things up just trying to eyeball them.
For the final ‘tweaking’, though I’ve tried using Blender’s shrinkwrap with varying results. It’s never going to be 100 match, especially around the ears…but I did successfully make a Maddie clone that works (unfortunately I had a power outage and the final version didn’t get saved…yeah, I get brief 10 sec to a couple minute ‘flickers’ several times a week since Sandy…which is ‘normal’ for around here…about 10 yrs ago).
Thanks Z, for the tips on getting even better…eagerly awaiting your next instalment.
To use DFormers with Tri-Ax figures like Genesis or Horse 2, you must select the main node of the figure when creating the D-Former.
I recommend hiding the Charger at this point, but don’t delete it from the scene, as you’ll want to make it visible every now and then to check your progress.
For some reason, the D-Former field is always created as this huge thing. Crank the size of the field down to 3000 or so. You’ll find that the system will probably respond very slowly until this step is completed.
Then, maneuver the field into the position you need. We’re going to work on the chest first. After I’ve resized the field, I usually parent the D-Former base and control to the field until I’m done moving it and angling it the way I want. Then I parent it back to the main node of the figure.