3ds Max and DAZ Content Discussion and Resource Thread

bohemian3bohemian3 Posts: 562
edited August 2012 in Art Studio

Thought I'd start a thread for those like myself out there who are using 3ds Max to render DAZ Content or using it in your production pipeline for game development, etc. Looks like the game developer forum has bit the dust, so I'm starting it here.

Hoping to provide a space for discussion on resources, tips, shortcuts, lessons learned in using the two software packages in conjunction. Also provide renders to show off your DAZ content work in Max.

Quick, gentle reminder that 3ds Max is available free to students (or if you have a student in the house and are planning to use it for non-commercial use only! We are all students of life.) http://students.autodesk.com/ - Be warned: the learning curve is steep, but luckily there are lots of resources for learning it. Books, etc., plus tons of amazing video tutorials at http://www.digitaltutors.com/, many free.

Post edited by bohemian3 on
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  • bohemian3bohemian3 Posts: 562
    edited September 2013

    MAXScript - Consolidate Super Suit Material Areas in 3ds max

    Here's a link to a script I wrote to consolidate the 200+ material areas of the supersuit when transferred over to 3ds Max. It's based on the color of the material area. Make sure the supersuit is selected when running the script and the first material slot is active.

    Here is the LINK

    Post edited by Jaderail on
  • bohemian3bohemian3 Posts: 562
    edited July 2012

    3ds Max Renders - Super Suit

    Here's a first attempt at a render using the supersut in 3ds max with the Metallic paints.

    Products Used:
    M5
    Wildmane Hair
    Supersuit Starman preset
    GIS

    Space-Cadet.gif
    800 x 981 - 425K
    Post edited by bohemian3 on
  • bohemian3bohemian3 Posts: 562
    edited July 2012

    TIP - Transferring morphs via FBX

    From experience I've learned it's best to dial up your core morph on frame 1 and then set a keyframe. Then set a key on on frame 2 and dial up your adjustment morphs.

    From my experience so far morphs created by GenX have unpredictable results when transferred to Max via FBX - the eyes especially seem to go all hinky so I'm still experimenting with how to maintain fidelity to the morph when transferring and would appreciate any tales from the trenches.

    That's it for me for now.... hope to see others contribute.

    Post edited by bohemian3 on
  • nahnah Posts: 10
    edited December 1969

    Hello,

    I'm new on Daz 4 and has some hours on max.
    I prefer render on max also, but have not really test to export from DAZ to MAX.
    Some test export (FBX) fail with cloth not well fit.
    I would like to have a scene on MAX with a girl showing an object (done on CatiaV5 and exported to MAX), with dynamic cloth and hair.
    I think to make cloth and hair in MAX and import the girl genesis from DAZ.
    But I think it's better to import also cloth and and then convert to dynamic ?
    Could I do the same way for hair ? hum I don't think so.
    There will be some wind in the scene to move cloth and hair.
    Could you give me some advices and tips for material convert (skin texture and especially eyes)

    Thanks

  • bohemian3bohemian3 Posts: 562
    edited August 2012

    nah said:
    Hello,

    I'm new on Daz 4 and has some hours on max.
    I prefer render on max also, but have not really test to export from DAZ to MAX.
    Some test export (FBX) fail with cloth not well fit.
    I would like to have a scene on MAX with a girl showing an object (done on CatiaV5 and exported to MAX), with dynamic cloth and hair.
    I think to make cloth and hair in MAX and import the girl genesis from DAZ.
    But I think it's better to import also cloth and and then convert to dynamic ?
    Could I do the same way for hair ? hum I don't think so.
    There will be some wind in the scene to move cloth and hair.
    Could you give me some advices and tips for material convert (skin texture and especially eyes)

    Thanks

    The important thing to remember when exporting via FBX is to apply all morphs etc. before you add the clothing, otherwise the clothing will do weird things when exported.

    There are lots of tutorials on dynamic cloth and hair on the Max Training and Help Site. The approach you take depends on your final goals. Hair in DAZ is actually a mesh so can't be converted to dynamic hair in MAX as you figured out. If you are only interested in producing 2d images, you can edit the mesh in MAX (or create Morphs) to produce the wind effect which I've found easiest.

    Regarding cloth, - MAX in 2013 now has two cloth engines. The old one can't convert meshes. It relies on the garment modifer. The new one, MassFX, can, but again, it takes some time to learn it.

    If all you're interested in producing 2d renders in the end, best to edit the meshes brought in from Max. Also, here is a script to convert the material types to MAX fabric material type. You need to have the fabric you want to use as a template in material slot 10.
    https://skydrive.live.com/embed?cid=C3D5450B09A555E6&resid=C3D5450B09A555E6!2678&authkey=AGeGJVYbr9_HPfI

    Hope that helps. Dynamic hair and cloth are a challenge in any software.

    Post edited by bohemian3 on
  • bohemian3bohemian3 Posts: 562
    edited August 2012

    Here is an example of simply editing the mesh brought in from Daz. I simply edited the geometry for the scarf without using wind or dynamic cloth. While not all that 'realistic' it server the purpose for this render.

    MovingOn.jpg
    800 x 600 - 284K
    Post edited by bohemian3 on
  • JayduskissJayduskiss Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    What version of Max are you using? I have a very old version (3DS Max 9 not 2009 just version 9) and I’m not sure my version will work with the current version of Daz Studio-would love if it did. Right now I’m using Poser for all my transfers. I like your work in Max though.

  • bohemian3bohemian3 Posts: 562
    edited August 2012

    I'm using Max 2013 - Unfortunately the scripts won't work for your version. I don't think FBX was available then (don't know) but you can still transfer geometry back and forth using .obj format. - hope that helps to start, and thanks for the kind words.

    Post edited by bohemian3 on
  • kylumikylumi Posts: 0
    edited August 2012

    Very interesting information in this thread.

    This image was made using 3ds Max, by my friend........he purchased 3ds just 3 months ago and had never used it before then. I think he kinda has it nailed!

    my_house_design.jpg
    1920 x 1080 - 158K
    Post edited by kylumi on
  • bohemian3bohemian3 Posts: 562
    edited August 2012

    If your friend started completely from scratch, no previous 3d experience, it's truly extraordiinary! Very nice render. There's a tutorial at DigitalTutors that creates a very similar image:
    http://www.digitaltutors.com/11/training.php?pid=684. It's Level 6 (I'm still at level 2;).

    I mentioned in my first post the learning curve is steep - but luckily there are really good resources out there to help learn it.

    Post edited by bohemian3 on
  • kylumikylumi Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    He has a degree from Coventry in car design, but all his work is produced using Alias..........I was the guy that made him purchase 3ds Max, and he absolutley loves it. He is also a brilliant free-hand artist :coolsmile:

    Now here is my question: How do you carry textures over from 3ds to Daz Studio 4.5.......is it possible?

  • nahnah Posts: 10
    edited August 2012

    The important thing to remember when exporting via FBX is to apply all morphs etc. before you add the clothing, otherwise the clothing will do weird things when exported.

    There are lots of tutorials on dynamic cloth and hair on the Max Training and Help Site. The approach you take depends on your final goals. Hair in DAZ is actually a mesh so can't be converted to dynamic hair in MAX as you figured out. If you are only interested in producing 2d images, you can edit the mesh in MAX (or create Morphs) to produce the wind effect which I've found easiest.

    Regarding cloth, - MAX in 2013 now has two cloth engines. The old one can't convert meshes. It relies on the garment modifer. The new one, MassFX, can, but again, it takes some time to learn it.

    If all you're interested in producing 2d renders in the end, best to edit the meshes brought in from Max. Also, here is a script to convert the material types to MAX fabric material type. You need to have the fabric you want to use as a template in material slot 10.
    https://skydrive.live.com/embed?cid=C3D5450B09A555E6&resid=C3D5450B09A555E6!2678&authkey=AGeGJVYbr9_HPfI

    Hope that helps. Dynamic hair and cloth are a challenge in any software.


    Thanks,
    I think to do all my scene in DAZ with dynamic cloth, pose and animation and then transfer all to 3DS for camera placement and rendering. Dynamic hair will be done in 3ds.
    Now i'm learning on dynamic cloth in DAZ.

    Post edited by nah on
  • bohemian3bohemian3 Posts: 562
    edited September 2013

    kylumi said:

    Now here is my question: How do you carry textures over from 3ds to Daz Studio 4.5.......is it possible?

    YES! There are lots of options for materials in 3ds Max. First choose your rendering engine. 3ds Max ships with the Mental Ray rendering engine (academy award winner in technical area!) - great place to start.

    When objects from DAZ are imported into 3ds max, they come in as standard materials, which have very limited functionality - you need to convert them to a better material type.

    The process is similar to using shaders in DAZ - if you have never done that, it might be good to start there.

    Next step is to decide what kind of materials you want to convert. For metallic and car paint, etc., I don't use any of Daz's materials. I reassign them in 3ds Max. The mental ray materials are amazing when it comes to hard surfaces. (You'll need to look up multi-sub object materials in Max.)

    For cloth and other materials I convert Daz material to mental ray architectual materials - lots more option and setting. It's a matter of remapping the diffuse, bump, specular, etc. Luckily I created two scripts that do this quickly. The script assumes the material you want to convert is in the first material slot.

    (You need to copy and paste the link - for some reason doesn't work from clicking)
    First script is called simple - other is std
    Here is the LINK

    Also, Max now support Substance materials which I haven't gotten into yet. http://www.allegorithmic.com/.

    So there are lots of options. Eventually I hope to throw together a tutorial, but don't have time now, unfortunately.

    Most importantly, you definitely want to convert skin to mental ray's subsurface scattering material - extremely powerful. I've only scratched the surface, and am putting together a script for that.

    So there is conversion, but worth the results you get.

    I know this is real high-level - hope it helps to start with. There are so many ways you can go once you get into Max.

    Post edited by Jaderail on
  • JayduskissJayduskiss Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    bohemian3 said:
    I'm using Max 2013 - Unfortunately the scripts won't work for your version. I don't think FBX was available then (don't know) but you can still transfer geometry back and forth using .obj format. - hope that helps to start, and thanks for the kind words.


    Thanks for the info Bohemian3, it was very helpful-I was thinking my version was too old. Man-I have to get 2013…someday.

  • bohemian3bohemian3 Posts: 562
    edited August 2012

    I put together a quick and dirty cheat sheet for how I transfer DAZ human figures to MAX to take advantage of the Mental Ray subsurface scatter materials. The Stephanie render was used using these techniques (way too much bump I know!)

    Two quick things:

    1) I in no way shape or form pretend to be an expert at this – I’ve not found a lot of info for this so had to figure it out on my own. Any better ways, comments, etc. are genuinely appreciated.

    2) This presumes you know the basic of Max, How to apply materials, and most importantly how the mult-materials work in Max.
    I’m happy to see there are other people interested and enthused about bringing in DAZ content to MAX to take advantage of all that Max has to offer.

    Have fun!

    NOTE: The following links to be copied and pasted - for some reason linking from the forum doesn't work.
    3ds Max Daz to Max cheat sheet pdf
    https://skydrive.live.com/embed?cid=C3D5450B09A555E6&resid=C3D5450B09A555E6!2722&authkey=AB-viBFN3xkqvks

    MaxScript to create Max Multi-material with MR fast skin materials. Make sure to reset your materials in compact mode and the material you need to convert is in the first material slot.
    https://skydrive.live.com/embed?cid=C3D5450B09A555E6&resid=C3D5450B09A555E6!272&authkey=APN36KzdJR8_7Z0

    This is the Max format light rig shown in the cheat sheet
    https://skydrive.live.com/embed?cid=C3D5450B09A555E6&resid=C3D5450B09A555E6!273&authkey=AHZ08-MLRmiBH-E

    Three most useful links I've found so far for sss in Max
    http://www.mrbluesummers.com/3510/3d-tutorials/3dsmax-mental-ray-sub-surface-scattering-guide
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2FEET5EI5I
    http://www.lamrug.org/resources/doc/sss-skin-tutorial.pdf

    Steph.jpg
    800 x 1066 - 732K
    Post edited by bohemian3 on
  • JayduskissJayduskiss Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for the info, I’ll give it a read.

  • BendinggrassBendinggrass Posts: 567
    edited December 1969

    Interesting info here. Thanks.
    R

  • streetfreak_4streetfreak_4 Posts: 17
    edited December 1969

    I've been looking for a daz to max help thread for a while now!

    I'm still new to 3d in general but I have a few problems...

    1. Importing an fbx from daz causes max to use up all my memory. (It is only one character with clothing)

    2. I've gotten collada files to import fine and the materials are applied but the hair and eylashes lose their opacity and appear blocky.

    3. I have no idea how to make the rigging work properly haha.

    I'm going to check out the resources you posted, there's so much I have to learn to get up to speed. Makes me appreciate how simple daz makes it.

  • bohemian3bohemian3 Posts: 562
    edited October 2012

    Hi there SF4....

    Hmmm... I've not had had any trouble importing FBX - double check to make sure you're *not* embedding the textures - The fbx export will maintain a pointer to the location of the original files for the materials that are created in 3ds max.

    Hope that helps.


    I don't pretend to be an expert ... I've only been at it for less than a year.

    Yes, I do appreciated what DAZ does beyond words. But I want the power 3ds max offers so it's always a trade off. Here's one of my latest renders done with 3ds Max - I used the Sky System which is amazing, then touched it up in post with Photoshop brushes -- Ron's Fog for clouds and Ron's birds.

    Also, when export animation via FBX the rigging comes over! http://www.digitaltutors.com has lots of tutorials on CAT and rigging for Max. I've learned so much there.

    Carnival.jpg
    1200 x 675 - 479K
    Post edited by bohemian3 on
  • AJaxxxeAJaxxxe Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Hey Streetfreak_4

    I'm not a max user but I've been importing fbx from daz to maya and I have encountered some of the same problems you seem to be describing.

    1. Check your export for what morphs are going with it. Each morph comes into maya as not only a blend shape but also a complete mesh which can really begin to get large when there are say 50 morphs or more.

    2. The materials come into maya pretty wonky across the board. The hair, eyelashes and cornea materials are using a transparency map, in maya it's an easy fix by checking a box called "alpha is luminance" in the file attributes.

    3. The rigging is pretty bad, even in daz. Importing it into maya it works the same as in daz however if there are a lot of morphs used sometimes it comes in way out of position or proportion. If this happens you can set up your character in daz as a new morph, adjust the rigging in auto rig and export it and it should come in properly. The weighting is another issue however as daz uses triax weighting and, at least in maya, this is not supported so you end up with just one of daz's weight maps controlling the mesh in maya, which is still pretty good for the most part and can be easily tweaked to work properly.

    As you learn max you will likely appreciate daz even more for how simple it makes things. But, like bohemian3 I agree that the power of max/maya is hard to deny even if it is more effort.

  • streetfreak_4streetfreak_4 Posts: 17
    edited October 2012

    Thanks for the reply, I'm going to go read more about max haha.


    @AJaxxxe: When I exported from daz I had everybox ticked in the settings, that's probably why... I kept the figure as basic as possible though. And I agree about the potential in daz>max workflow otherwise I wouldn't be so interested in learning about it!

    Post edited by streetfreak_4 on
  • streetfreak_4streetfreak_4 Posts: 17
    edited December 1969

    Got my figure into max properly now and applied fast skin sss. I'm kinda stumped as to converting the map images that daz exported. Is this where multi-materials come in to play?

    @bohemian3: I'd like to know how you prepped the texture maps in step 3 of your cheat sheet. Daz gives me several maps from the export but applying them straight to the sss material isn't cutting it for me.

  • bohemian3bohemian3 Posts: 562
    edited December 1969

    SF4 -
    Tomorrow I'll put together a quick tutorial on this - it's kinda tricky, but powerful once you get used to it.
    Don't have time tonight, ... sorry . Have to prep for class tomorrow.
    Glad you're giving this a shot! There's so much potential in the Mental Ray SSS shader. Yes you have to use the multi material setup. Again, more tomorrow.

  • SpyroRueSpyroRue Posts: 4,929
    edited October 2012

    Now this is a cool thread :cheese: I'm glad to see our kind are not so few as I originally thought. Max is my most favorite 3d application! And after four years working on it and studying it as part of a diploma, I still have heaps to learn.

    I coincidently have a question, perhaps you may know the answer to it... Smoothing groups are what defines a realistic prop from your average ones. I am having trouble exporting a well smoothed prop from 3ds Max to Import in Daz 4.5. My issue here is that Daz will NOT read the smoothing, despite the OBJ file has been exported with smoothing groups checked. (BTW I was not taught in my diploma how you send things back and forth between other software lol, So I've been learning it just like a newbie again haha)

    As you can see in the attached image, Daz smoothing is really making a mess of the prop. Max has absolutely no problem with it at all.

    SGError.jpg
    451 x 791 - 89K
    Max_Smooth.jpg
    195 x 519 - 28K
    Post edited by SpyroRue on
  • AJaxxxeAJaxxxe Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    I wonder if it has something to do with the normals.....? I think I would check that first....In Daz I believe the smoothing is referred to as sharp or soft edges, I'd have a look at that too...just some guesses, though. GL

  • SpyroRueSpyroRue Posts: 4,929
    edited December 1969

    Thank you AJaxxxe! I will look into it :cheese:

  • bohemian3bohemian3 Posts: 562
    edited October 2012

    Hey Spyro -
    I don't really import things into DAZ - I mainly go the other way. I take it you are applying smoothing in DAZ as well under Edit-Geometry ... Just taking a stab in the dark.
    s

    Post edited by bohemian3 on
  • bohemian3bohemian3 Posts: 562
    edited October 2012

    Hiya all and streetfreak_4....
    Here's that tutorial for bringing simple objects into DAZ - I used the new Lawn Mower since it's free this month. It's simple and has sub-materials defined on it.

    Here's the tutorial (Tutorial 01): http://sdrv.ms/QSw2u3
    Here's the script: http://sdrv.ms/SM41Fl

    Note - when creating photometric lights in the tutorial, be sure to accept the prompt to change the exposure level.

    It's still somewhat high level, but the steps at least broken down a little more. I will work on another for transferring characters. Here's the script that turns an imported standard muli mat to an SSS multi mat using the same concept.
    http://sdrv.ms/PnVDMQ


    When importing multiple objects you need to make sure the standard material to transfer is always in the first slot.

    It takes a while but I think worth the effort - Again, I'm still relatively new to this so any suggestions or better ways are always welcome.

    Post edited by bohemian3 on
  • GaryTRGaryTR Posts: 2
    edited December 1969

    I have an issue that hopefully someone can help me with, I am very new to 3DS (using 2012) but have been working with Daz for sometime now, I exported and then imported a posed V4 character with hair, using the obj export/import. Everything came over just fine and was able to play around with the textures and what not (still need to play with the advanced settings though) but my issue is every time I go and render the hair does not come out right. It appears that the back side of the hair is not rendering, so any vertices not front facing don't appear in the render.. I know i am forgetting something easy but for the life of me can not figure it out, any help would be greatly appreciated ....

  • streetfreak_4streetfreak_4 Posts: 17
    edited December 1969

    bohemian3 said:
    Hiya all and streetfreak_4....
    Here's that tutorial for bringing simple objects into DAZ - I used the new Lawn Mower since it's free this month. It's simple and has sub-materials defined on it.


    Thank you so much for this, looking forward to what you have to say about characters as well!

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