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Benjamin M5 no gen mats?
Posted: 18 July 2012 05:25 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I’ve been doing a review of my Gen4 and Genesis characters and have noticed a few bothersome things.

Firstly, when you need toast for a render, you need toast for a render. Today’s pick was Benjamin M5 but I can’t find gen mats for M5 gens. I searched the metadata file and the file list and the product web page, but can’t find them. How can a $20 character not include gen mats? Am I missing something?

Also, there seems to be a little mischief going on with bump/spec/displacement maps. Some vendors have been naughty and simply desaturated the diffuse to make a “bump” or “disp” map, which doesn’t work because some areas go down when they should go up.

Other vendors have been naughty and simply used the bump map as the “spec” map which doesn’t work because some areas are dark when they should be bright.

Some vendors don’t provide bump, spec and displacement maps but then at least have the courtesy to say so on the product page.

If I’m paying handsome fees for characters that list bump, spec and displacement maps on the product page, I supposed its reasonable to expect that the QA team has validated the authenticity of those maps? We may as well be getting B&W pictures of Miami Beach sunsets presented as bump/spec/disp maps.

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Posted: 18 July 2012 05:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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*sigh* It was always a mixed bag whether or not a male (or humanoid male) character would come with gen mats. There were some vendors you could always trust to include them and do a good job of it. That’s why accurate product descriptions are so important! Somebody is going to chime in with Daz 30 day return policy, but IMO, that only adds to the inconvenience factor. You picked a nice looking character, the description was vague, you bought it, and then no gens. It delays your project, or you go to another site where they have FULL previews. With gen4 characters, I have resorted to making my own textures (for my use only) using the base figure torso map. With M5, that is not so easy, I believe.


Poor quality bump/spec/disp maps is not a new issue. Again, some vendors were better than others. The Daz Elite textures were quite good, IMO.

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Posted: 18 July 2012 05:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I have right now 2 M5 skin products in my cart that have no toast textures. I am not sure I will buy these when I check out.

Sadly the bad Bump/Displacement//Specularity maps are quite common. I tend to redo them when needed. It is a pain though.

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Posted: 18 July 2012 06:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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In cases like the ones you describe, especially for specular maps, but also bump and displacement, using the maps from a product that does have the maps you want and like is often the best solution.

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Posted: 18 July 2012 06:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Works well for specular maps. Rarely for Bump and Displacement maps.

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Posted: 18 July 2012 07:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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cridgit - 18 July 2012 05:25 AM

I’ve been doing a review of my Gen4 and Genesis characters and have noticed a few bothersome things.

Firstly, when you need toast for a render, you need toast for a render. Today’s pick was Benjamin M5 but I can’t find gen mats for M5 gens. I searched the metadata file and the file list and the product web page, but can’t find them. How can a $20 character not include gen mats? Am I missing something?

I think it varies from vendor to vendor whether gens are included. I do know that because of the geografting nature of M5’s gens, it’s harder to actually make them than it did for M4. Fortunately all of our M5 products include the gens textures (hopefully everything is notated in the descriptions) and we’re working get gens textures available our other genesis characters and update our M4 characters to M5. Our Tyrese M5 is still on sale for the next day or two and it uses the same photoreference as Benjamin so you could use Tyrese’s skin and gens and get a similar look.

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Posted: 18 July 2012 07:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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These are some of the reasons I wish that DAZ had a product rating/review system (like many other online retailers). I am satisfied with all of the characters I’ve purchased here (although some more than others), but it would be great to hear feedback on these and other issues prior to the purchase decision. I’m just starting to experiment with mixing mats (as described by adamr001 above), but maybe still not expert enough to tell well-done maps from mediocre ones.

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Posted: 18 July 2012 08:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Yeah, making gen textures for male genesis is way harder with the geografting.. I actually had to make two different torso textures, one for with them and one for without..  and it would be next to impossible without a 3D painting program of some sort.  I think it would be seriously difficult to do any character without 3D painting, but I know some people do.  I’ve been more forgiving to character makers about M5 than with M4 which is fairly easy.  But it should be clearly marked on the product page.  Indented eyebrows drive me nuts though, there’s no excuse for that.

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Posted: 18 July 2012 08:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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How do you fix indented eyebrows? I’ve had a horrible evening with The Gimp - and the eyebrows have been giving me a hard time too wink

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Posted: 18 July 2012 08:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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It’s a pain in the butt.

Duplicate the head bump layer,
roughly cut out the eyebrows
invert the colors so the brows are light
adjust brightness/contrast so the brows are light grey or white and the skin behind is as close in level as you can get to the background skin
more carefully erase around the brows, using a small slightly feather edged brush helps.. and either use a layer mask so if you mess up you cn fix it, or duplicate your brows and make the layer invisible before you start so you have a backup.  It’s easy to erase too much.

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Posted: 18 July 2012 01:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Hey, there was a recent release that had Benjamin-compatible gen mats… let’s see… Here we go! Scroll downward for that announcement, somewhere mid-page the first page.

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Posted: 18 July 2012 01:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Yeah, here is one reason to get at least one character with good specular maps.

Bump / Displacement maps are a bigger problem in that regard (although in my experience you’re more likely to get a usable bump map than spec map), but if the character in question has no too significant birthmarks / scars etc. you can use maps from another pack, too.

 

Lana Elite happens to be my go to pack for all those issues.

 

I know it’s hard to do, but at this point I’d really like to get a sample of a character’s maps before my purchase.

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