Project Dogwaffle Howler
Okay, I'm editing this first post, since I've started this thread before I bought it - so some of the earlier posts might not make much sense after I change this one. Oh well.
I went looking into Dogwaffle because, after seeing what it does, I was under the impression that it could be the ultimate post work editor for Carrara. Regular image editors work great for stills, but I do animation work. PD Pro: Howler is like an image editor for animated files... or so I thought! Project Dogwaffle might look similar to an image editor by looking at its interface - but that's very near the end of the similarities. Sure you can do a lot of what an image editor can do - and you can even use it as an image editor. It is beautiful for that stuff. But Dogwaffle goes vastly beyond that. It is extremely brush-centric - meaning that you perform much of your work through a brush - even though it doesn't seem like you would. There are also other ways of doing everything, so If it takes a while for the brush-centric methods to sink in, you can use other techniques to put amazing enhancements to existing images, or start from scratch. You can use your brush to store an animation. Then save that brush to a buffer window and grab a different brush and use that. Dogwaffle works with buffer windows to enable you to store anything you are doing along the path of creating your masterpiece. This cool set of functions allows everyone to work in any order they choose. Daniel Ritchie, the brainchild of Project Dogwaffle, is after all an artist. A very good artist who has unlocked the way an artist has to deal with digital graphics forever! He made brushes that feel... yes, feel as if you were really painting with your favorite brush using oil paints on a canvas. Speaking of oils on a canvas, he also made it so that, wherever you are in your project, the current colors on the canvas can be dry, still fresh and wet, or anywhere in between, giving an incredibly analog feel. It's beautiful!
There is a lot to talk about, when it comes to Dogwaffle. So I will be editing some more of the posts I've made below if it doesn't seem to interrupt the flow to much. For now I'd like to toss out a few links to help me illustrate how cool this software is. One of the developers, Philip Staigerman, the guy in charge of bringing Dogwaffle into the Daz3d store, releasing it and other cool things and news, etc., to the site that he runs, The Best 3d.com, and many other things (he must be very energetic to be so busy!) also is much of the magic behind helping us, the programs users, to understand its many many features and functions. And he does so in the funnest way possible. He's excellent. What he does, is creates wonderful tutorials while using the software, and releases them to YouTube. There are many more tutorials at his site, but his videos have been my favorite source to learn from.
► The Best 3d.com (Philip Staiger's Dogwaffle staging grounds)
This place is Endless! Ever have some spare time and want to have some fun? Check this place out!
► My Playlists of his YouTube tutorials (You'll run across this on page 3 of this thread)
Okay, below the link to The Best 3d.com, above, I wrote that the place is endless, right? Check this out. He has a page on there that almost seems to never end with links to useful places to know in any field you may be in, to have led you to this thread. Brilliant. Well... here you go:
Here is a cool Project Dogwaffle Overview of the many versions that you have to choose from. Being an animator, I needed the best that they have to offer for that. So I have "Skyock's Egret" , otherwise known as PD Pro Howler 8.2, which has an impressive list of amazing new features added to an already amazing piece of artist-ware. Here is a list of features added to version 8.2 from version 8.1 just before it! Amazing, right? I know!
Well I've been the proud owner of Skyock's Egret for a short time now, and the experience has been nothing short of amazing. I used to have difficulty in image editors, getting a selection just right. In any version of Dogwaffle, you can use any tool you want within this incredible Alpha channel. You can use the usual tools found in image editors, but I've had times when I wished that I could get my selections really precise around very tight details. Dogwaffle lets you paint in the alpha. Yeah... with an unlimited amount of brushes. Truly unlimited. You can take any piece of any image or any little part or the whole part of whatever you draw or paint, and turn it immediately into a brush! What even more cool, like I've mentioned earlier, you can store that brush and make another! Save as many brushes as you like! Store as many things as your computer's memory can handle. I have 16GB and can double that on this workstation, so I can store all the stored thingies that I want! I can help you build your own really cool workstation here There's also a really powerful curve tool in Dogwaffle. In Howler versions, your curve tool has "Rotoscoping" options in a special menu called: "Rotoscoping"! Clever, huh! Well I've made an animation with Carrara where I set up al the trees to have blowing wind properties amongst everything else. Well in the rendering process, one of the trunks to my trees would flash between visible and invisible. CGI animators deal with this sort of stuff all the time. It's not just Carrara that has issues during an animated render. Anyways, normally I'd have to change some settings and try again, not knowing if the next time would have similarly disappointing results or not. Throw the previous render away... right? Well this was a good time to try my hand at Rotoscoping for the first time in my shiny new copy of Howler. Well embarrassingly enough, I couldn't remember how. No big deal... all I had to do is to watch this video, or series of videos, rather, and I was creating my own tracking mask for editing a falling tree trunk in the middle of a wind storm animation. Of course, it wasn't supposed to be just a wind storm. I wanted this animation so that I could take it into Howler, and make a lightning storm in the rain, using my new AnyFX Plugin for the rain FX. The Rotoscoping went very well my first try through, and I didn't use automatic tracking, since my trunk was disappearing on me. Here is the result on YouTube, if you're interested. Here is the tutorial on making lightning and rain.
Dogwaffle, not just Howler, has all kinds of great artists tools. Some may not even sound like artists tools, like Particles. The very word used to make me nervous in 3d. But that was before I realized how easy they are to work with - especially in Carrara! But even more so in Dogwaffle. This particles system is applied to a brush and works its magic whenever you start to paint with it. In its simplest form, it shoots out particles according to various, easy to understand and manipulate parameters in the brushes settings panel. However, the Particles brush includes a great list of presets to choose from. You may never even need to set up your own. I know I will!
Here, at Daz3d's Store, you can even buy the Particles Brushes in their own little program for only $5.00 at the time that I write this - not even on sale! Check out what we have here at Daz3d. For the same small price, you can even get PD Pro 3.5! FYI: PD Pro didn't become "Howler" until version 6. I say this because Philip may say: "But you would need Howler for that"... so now you know that this would mean PD Pro 6 or newer.
Check out the 3D Designer Landscapes you can make with Howler 8.2!
Here are some more great tutorial videos on features that I think are incredibly helpful to Carrara artists:
► Spritesheets to Animation and Back Again! Miniseries
► Turn your Meals into... a Planet???!!! Miniseries
► Intro to the Curve Tool Miniseries
► Cityscapes using 3D Designer Miniseries