No it isn’t. A quick way to prove your theory wrong:
Make an extreme morph for M4, load it up, then try to pose it. You’ll quickly see without a bunch of correctives, your morph crumples and looks really bad. The weightmapping allows that new morph to look better as you pose it. Thinking weightmapping is the huge reason behind genesis, totally ignoring all the extreme morphs and geografting options currently available for it honestly shows a lack of understanding of what the Genesis system is.
I wish someone wouldcome up with a definitive answer about weightmapping and Genesis.
I found a definition of weightmapping, but it was so complicated I couldn’t understand it.
Here in the forums, one person would explain weightmapping and I would think “oh okay, I understand.”
Before 5 minutes was up, someone else would say “that’s not weightmapping, THIS is weightmapping” and I would be confused all over again.
The same with Genesis.
One says Genesis is this, the other says no.
I guess until we can get agreed upon definitions, we will have confusion.
I’ll try to answer that—but I don’t guarantee that my answer will be “the” complete or definitive one.
Genesis itself is just a fairly low-resolution base figure that is neither male nor female. It is, in effect, the “ultimate unimesh.” All of the DAZ figures from Generation 3 onward were created from a “unimesh”—that is, the same basic mesh was used to create V3, M3, and all the other “Gen 3” figures; and another basic mesh was used to create M4, V4, K4, and the other “Gen 4” figures.
The difference between Genesis and the previous “generations” is that in the previous generations, the figures were set up as separate, stand-alone figures, each with its own rigging, morphs, etc.—and in some cases, with its own grouping and UV mapping. For instance, V3 has the same basic mesh as M3—but the rigging, UV mapping, morphing, and grouping of the figure into “body parts” are all different. That’s why clothing for V3 will not work on M3, and vice-versa. David 3 and Stephanie Petite are also made from that same “Generation 3” unimesh, but their grouping is different from both M3 and V3—which is why clothing for David will not work on M3, and vice-versa. Aiko 3, Hiro 3, Girl 3, Matt and Maddie, Luke and Laura, the Mil Baby, etc., . were also made from that same unimesh—but each is a stand-alone figure with its own rigging (.cr2), morphs, and so on.
With the “Generation 4” figures, there were fewer “stand-alone” figures. Figures that had previously been stand-alone figures were set up as full-body morphs of either M4 or V4. Thus, the Freak, Hiro 4, etc., were set up as full-body morphs of M4, and Aiko 4, Girl 4, etc., were set up as morphs of V4. So, instead of having a dozen stand-alone figures as with Gen 3, Gen 4 had only three—M4, V4, and K4.
With Genesis, that trend of reducing the number of stand-alone figures has taken to the ultimate—that is, all of the “Generation 5” figures—M5, V5, Kid 5, etc.—are morphs of Genesis, as are the Genesis versions of previous figures such as M4, V4, Freak 4, and so on.
The real power of Genesis lies not in the figure itself, but in the functions and features of DS 4—particularly subdivision, weight-mapping, scaling, and UV swapping.
Poser could not subdivide a mesh within the program, so a fairly high-resolution mesh was needed to obtain proper detailing and morphing. The Generation 3 figures (M3, V3, Aiko 3, etc.) had 74,510 polygons. The face and teeth were rather “overmodeled,” in that they had more polygons than they really needed, and other parts, especially the thighs, were rather “undermodeled.”
The Generation 4 figures had fewer polygons—66,830—but they were better distributed and arranged, with fewer polygons in the face and more in the body.
DS 4, however, can subdivide a mesh within the program, so that a hgh-resolution base mesh is not needed. Thus, the “base” Genesis mesh has only 18,872 polygons—slightly more than one-quarter as many as the Gen 3 figures, and somewhat fewer than one-third as many as the Gen 4 figures.
When Genesis is loaded into DS 4, it is by default given one level of subdivision—so that it has 75,488 polygons—which is more than the Gen 3 figures had. At two levels of subdivision, Genesis has a whopping 301,952 polygons, which is really “overkill.” (Note: each subdivision level quadruples the number of polygons, since each polygon is divided into four.)
So, in short, the subdivision feature of DS 4 makes it possible to get high-resolution results with a low-resolution figure.
Weight mapping is simply a method of controlling which portions of a mesh are affected by a joint bend and how much they are affected—100%, 0%, or something in between.
In Poser’s “parametric” rigging, this was controlled by “spherical fall-off zones.” For each rotation of each joint, there were two spheres that controlled the effect on the mesh, and for some reason, these were called the “InnerMatSphere” and the “OuterMatSphere.” The InnerMatSphere determined which polygons would be 100% affected by the joint bend—i.e., all polygons encompassed by it would be 100% affected. The OuterMatSphere controlled which polygons would not affected—i.e., all polygons lying outside it would not be affected by the joint bend. The polygons in between—the ones that were enclosed by the OuterMatSphere, but not enclosed by the InnerMatSphere—would be affected more than 0% but less than 100%, depending on where they were in the “bend zone.” Polygons farthest from the InnerMatSphere would be affected the least, while those lying closest to it would be affected the most.
To envision this, consider your elbow joint. If you were bending your elbow, you would want everything just below the joint to be affected by the bend, so that your hand and forearm moved when your elbow was bent. So, imagine everything from just below the joint being enclosed by an imaginary beachball. In Poser, that would be the InnerMatSphere. At the same time, you would want everything just above the joint NOT to move—so imagine everything from there downward being enclosed by another, larger beachball—in Poser, that would be the OuterMatSphere. The area between the “skin” of the big beachball that encloses everything from just above your elbow on down, and the “skin” of the smaller beachball that encloses everything from just below your elbow on downward, is the “fall-off zone.”
Now, the “spheres” didn’t have to be spherical—they could be scaled along any axis, so that an “InnerMatSphere” might actually be a long, flat ovoid—but even so, control of the mesh movement was limited by the fact that the “spheres” had to be some variety of sphere or ovoid. Polygons that fell inside the OuterMatSphere would be affected to some degree, even if that wasn’t appropriate for that particular joint. Polygons that fell within the InnerMatSphere would be 100% affected, even if some of them shouldn’t be. In short, it was a limited method for controlling mesh movement.
With weight mapping, on the other hand, mesh movement is controlled by a two-tone map, similar to a texture map, which enables the person setting up the rigging to “paint” polygons according to how much they should be affected by the joint movement. This is far more versatile than the “parametric” rigging.
Also, DS 4 has “bulge” maps. For instance, in the elbow-bend example, it’s possible to use a bulge map to make the biceps bulge when the elbow is bent. In the traditional Poser rigging, that would have required a joint-controlled morph (JCM)—and in turn, that morph would have had to be manually included in any clothing for the figure. And that brings us to another function of DS 4:
The Transfer Utility
In Poser’s traditional rigging, a clothing item intended to fit a specific figure—such as M4—had to include the same full-body morphs (FBMs), partial-body morphs (PBMs), and joint-controlled morphs (JCMs) as the M4 figure—and these all had to be created by the person making the clothing, which required a great deal of time and effort. Indeed, a very large part of the time and work involved in creating a clothing item consisted of creating, refining, and setting up such morphs. And then, of course, the clothing had to be tested and tweaked to ensure that any morphs used did not adversely affect the rigging or conflict with the above-mentioned fall-off zones. This could be a very time-consuming and nightmarish project all by itself.
In DS 4, however, much of that is eliminated by the transfer utility. The transfer utility simply copies the weight-mapping for Genesis—including the bulge maps, JCMs, morphs, etc.—to the clothing item. Thus, any clothing item that fits the base Genesis will fit and work on any morph of Genesis—M3, V3, M4, V4, M5, V5, Aiko, Hiro, the Freak, or whatever.
Another very powerful feature of DS4 is the ability to swap the UV maps for a particular object. This enables a particular object to use several different UV maps, which in turn enables it to use textures created from different UV maps. Thus, Genesis can use textures created for other figures—M4, V4, Kids 4, M5, V5, etc.
So—Genesis, by itself, is just another figure. However, thanks to the features and functions of DS 4, Genesis is far more versatile than the previous Poser-based figures ever were.
I hope this answers your question.