Digital Art Zone

 
     
Geometry Shell doesn’t work as advertised.
Posted: 20 August 2012 02:20 PM   [ Ignore ]
Active Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  676
Joined  2004-11-12

I have a bit of a bone to pick concerning the Geometry Shell.

The official advertising for Daz Studio 4.5 lists Geometry Shell under it’s features, as well as a description of what it’s for.

DAZ_bfurner - 07 August 2012 02:00 PM

5. Geometry Shells - This new feature helps blend the textures, shaders and geometry of Geo-Grafted parts to the figure. This will provide a much cleaner feel to grafted geometry.

The problem I have is that it’s actually impossible to do this with Geometry Shells, leading me to believe that nobody at Daz actually tried doing this for themselves before writing this.

You see, the Geometry Shell shares the exact same UV map settings as the base figure you’re using it on. If Genesis is set to M5 uv maps, the Geometry Shell will also use M5 uv maps. Same with V4, V5, Hitomi, etc. You can’t use separate UV settings on the Geometry Shell.

This makes it impossible to “blend textures” between geografted segments. Let’s use the M5 gens as an example (as the V5 gens doesn’t have this problem). The M5 gens requires it’s own separate texture, one that matches the torso texture, in order to blend in. There are very few character packs available that contain matching M5 gens textures, so naturally the ability to blend between the two (similar to how the M4 gens could through an opacity map) would be very useful.

You’re supposed to be able to use the Geometry Shell to blend between geografted areas, but because the Geometry Shell will still have the exact same UV map settings as the base mesh, this isn’t possible, it would still look the exact same as before. The only way you could actually blend between those areas is if you created a new, compatible texture, at which point you’re getting the exact same results as you would if using the Layered Image Editor.

As it stands right now, it’s impossible to use Geometry Shells for their advertised purpose, unless there is a trick to it that Daz isn’t revealing to us. If that’s the case, I would really appreciate it if someone from Daz could actually walk us through how Geometry Shells are supposed to help us blend the textures of different segments, and exactly how it’s supposed to make the geometry look cleaner, as I am genuinely confused by this.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 August 2012 03:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Member
Rank
Total Posts:  77
Joined  2003-10-09

The rush to answer your question is simply amazing!

I’m afraid everyone is asleep at the wheel.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 August 2012 05:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Active Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  676
Joined  2004-11-12

Yeah, so i’ve noticed. ^^” I understand Geometry Shells can have other uses, but they shouldn’t be advertising specific uses that can’t be done.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 August 2012 07:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Active Member
Avatar
RankRank
Total Posts:  787
Joined  2005-09-19
BishounenTaurus - 20 August 2012 02:20 PM

this isn’t possible, it would still look the exact same as before. The only way you could actually blend between those areas is if you created a new, compatible texture

Which I would read as saying it’s possible, no matter it can also be done with LIE.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 August 2012 06:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Addict
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7522
Joined  2009-05-14

I think the silence is due to not many using it yet. I have used it but not for what you want and yes I see your piint. I will send a note for someone at Daz3D to look at this.

 Signature 

Pete

Somethings to Consider when starting to learn CG

My Gallery

My Render Thread

Proud member of the Bald Wizards Club and Co-operative

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 August 2012 02:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Active Member
Avatar
RankRank
Total Posts:  803
Joined  2007-01-08

Ehm, UV map is different from “texture”. A hair figure can have diffuse, bump, specular and transparency maps. They all share the same UV map, but they usually don’t look very similar to one another (and, I might add, hair figures do a decent job of blending between “solid” hair and thin air). It seems to me that what DAZ means is that you can basically do a transmap that blends between your geografted part (which has its own diffuse texture) and the main figure (which has another diffuse texture).

Edit:
here is a simple example: three cones to do peacock feathers for my rubber duck. The cones just have a diffuse colour and nothing else. Three geometry shells are created and parented to the cones so that they wrap them completely. I created a transmap for the cones and applied it to all three at 100% strength and sampled the duck diffuse color and flood filled a new diffuse map for the shells. I didn’t get the transmap quite right to make a nice gradient, but it should illustrate the method nonetheless. Second pic is my attempt at a transmap.

Image Attachments
PeacockDuck_Pseudogeografts.pngCone_Transmap.png
Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 August 2012 04:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Active Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  676
Joined  2004-11-12
ReDave - 28 August 2012 02:23 PM

Ehm, UV map is different from “texture”. A hair figure can have diffuse, bump, specular and transparency maps. They all share the same UV map, but they usually don’t look very similar to one another (and, I might add, hair figures do a decent job of blending between “solid” hair and thin air). It seems to me that what DAZ means is that you can basically do a transmap that blends between your geografted part (which has its own diffuse texture) and the main figure (which has another diffuse texture).

Please don’t speak down to me as if I don’t know what a UV map or a texture is (and worse, suggesting I have no knowledge of how each texture works). I’ve been studying computer games design for four years now, i’ve been using Poser and Daz Studio for eight years now, and i’m a PA here, so i’m pretty sure I know how textures and UV maps work.

Let me explain the problem again in more detail. Michael4’s Gen figure could be easily used with any M4 texture. Heck, if you parent it to Genesis, you can even use it with any M5 texture, or any body texture full stop. It could blend into any base texture with minimal effort with an alpha map. Both the hip area and the gens have their own UV maps, each with separate textures. Blending is easy, as only an alpha map is required. The same applies to the M3 gens, Satanica’s gens, Adzan’s gens, and pretty much any other male gen figure out there.

Then you have the Michael5 Gen figure, which is geografted onto Genesis. It isn’t laid over the mesh, it replaces it, so now the entire pubic region has it’s own UV map. This UV map is shared by the Geometry Shell. Now, rather than having two separate meshes with different UV maps layered over each other, we now have two of the exact same meshes with the exact same UV maps layered over each other. You can’t just “blend” between the body and gen areas like you could originally, attempting to do so with a single trans map would still result in a noticeable seam around the pubic area. The only way to blend between a base area and a gens area now is if you have both matching body and gens textures, at which point there is no reason to use the Geometry Shell. As such, you can currently only use the M5 gens with M5 characters who come with compatible textures (only two so far).

If the Geometry Shell had separate UV settings, we would be able to blend between the two. You’d be able to set the gens to use the hip texture (providing someone released a UV map setting to do that, much like they did with the M4 Gen uv maps), and set the geometry shell to use the gens texture with an alpha map. Problem solved.

Look, I wish I could show example renders to explain what i’m talking about, but Daz has rules against full-frontal nudity so you’re just going to have to trust me on this. The problem I mention above is applicable to all geo-grafted body parts that require separate UV maps; geo-grafting won’t help.

I understand geo-grafting has other uses (such as applying additional special effects on top of a body mesh), but the advertised uses simply aren’t true. Believe me, I have tried it myself multiple times, and i’ve tried all sorts of different tricks and methods to get it to work they way they advertised it, but it just not possible. Again, if there is a trick to it i’m missing, i’d really appreciate if a Daz representative could actually shed some light on this unexplained process.

EDIT: As you can see in the duck example you posted, you can clearly see the edges where one mesh ends and another begins. You couldn’t with the M4 Gens due to the smooth alpha map being layered over the base mesh, leaving absolutely no visible seams. Attempting to do the same with the M5 gens results in there being a noticeable seam, just like in your duck image.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 September 2012 02:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Active Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  676
Joined  2004-11-12

It’s been about 14 days since I first made this topic, and still no reply from any Daz representative. -_-

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 September 2012 06:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Power Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  1824
Joined  2006-02-17
BishounenTaurus - 03 September 2012 02:12 PM

It’s been about 14 days since I first made this topic, and still no reply from any Daz representative. -_-

Which you’re not likely to get here.  If you’re so sure of the problem, submit it to mantis (along with your example renders).  If you are mistaken, then you’ll receive guidance in response.  If you’re correct, then it’ll at least be in the queue.

Kendall

 Signature 

Any opinions expressed in this post are those of Kendall Sears and may, or may not, be more, or less, valid than any other opinion.

The contents of this post are intended for the DAZ forum only, do not re-post any portion to any other forum without his permission.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 September 2012 04:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Active Member
Avatar
RankRank
Total Posts:  803
Joined  2007-01-08
BishounenTaurus - 28 August 2012 04:08 PM

Please don’t speak down to me as if I don’t know what a UV map or a texture is

I’m sorry you read it that way, because there was no such intent. If you go back up you’ll see there were at least two other persons who posted and seemed to have your same idea, so I gave my opinion on it for everyone in one go.

BishounenTaurus - 28 August 2012 04:08 PM

Look, I wish I could show example renders to explain what i’m talking about, but Daz has rules against full-frontal nudity so you’re just going to have to trust me on this. The problem I mention above is applicable to all geo-grafted body parts that require separate UV maps; geo-grafting won’t help.

If you check out Will Dupre’s store, the last four products use geografted tails and do not run afoul the TOS.

Thinking more on this, artists would anyway need to put their heads together and decide how much of a Push Modifier they want to use on the geometry shell. The default of 1 cm is probably way too much; two obvious candidates are probably 0,11 and 0,01. The former in case you need something to stay above displacement (and assuming it remains in the 0,1 boundary which is not a given), the latter if not.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 September 2012 03:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Active Member
Avatar
RankRank
Total Posts:  803
Joined  2007-01-08

I don’t know if this has been solved while I was away, but if you have a “complex” texture (as opposed to just an almost uniform diffuse colour) I believe you have to remap the graft.
Think of a mertail case (i.e. the case of adding a graft overlapping existing geometry). In this case DAZ has, and had, the correct idea.
Now think of adding geometry where there was a flat area,(example: toast; or a second pair of arms). In this case, I’m not sure if it’s doable now, but you should either remap the underlying Genesis skin texture to appear on part of the graft or, on the contrary, remap the graft so that the it covers also a part of the Genesis body beyond the point where the graft joins it. This allows you to use the Genesis texture to do the fade-in fade-out job.
A third possibility is more exotic and mirrors the skin texture with a shader, but it may be fairly hard to find a formula to describe such a mapping.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 September 2012 04:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Active Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  676
Joined  2004-11-12
ReDave - 28 September 2012 03:44 PM

I don’t know if this has been solved while I was away, but if you have a “complex” texture (as opposed to just an almost uniform diffuse colour) I believe you have to remap the graft.
Think of a mertail case (i.e. the case of adding a graft overlapping existing geometry). In this case DAZ has, and had, the correct idea.
Now think of adding geometry where there was a flat area,(example: toast; or a second pair of arms). In this case, I’m not sure if it’s doable now, but you should either remap the underlying Genesis skin texture to appear on part of the graft or, on the contrary, remap the graft so that the it covers also a part of the Genesis body beyond the point where the graft joins it. This allows you to use the Genesis texture to do the fade-in fade-out job.
A third possibility is more exotic and mirrors the skin texture with a shader, but it may be fairly hard to find a formula to describe such a mapping.

But if you remap the graft or the base, the changes will also be applied to the Geometry Shell. That is where the main issue comes from, the fact that you cannot utilise two different UV map settings to blend together two radically different textures.

Profile