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DAZ 4.5 - Worth the Upgrade for Novices? 
Posted: 31 August 2012 04:12 PM   [ Ignore ]
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So I’m reading over all the new features filled with terminology way over my head and wondering if this is an upgrade worth my while as a novice.

Sounds like it’s only going to benefit the working pros.

1. What are the new features or enhancements in the 3D Rendering Engine? Is it going to be faster or make for more realistic renders?

2. Also, something I still don’t see mentioned anywhere are simple, common sense useability improvements(unless it’s in the new GUI somewhere) like an “Open Recent”  under File which would let people quickly load/access a recently opened file so we wouldn’t have to go scrolling down through folders to find a DAZ scene file we were just working on a few hours ago or yesterday. And I’ve got a whole lot of those! The most recent 10 files listed would help me a lot.

Or a “History” tab where we can jump back to a change made a few seconds ago to several minutes ago. Right now, if you make more than just a change or 2 at the most, even if it’s simply rotating a character or camera or 1 morph change, you lose the ability to jump back to a previous state or change. The only way you can do anything even remotely like that now in DS4 Pro is to save every change you make, even if you don’t like the change. No real ability to go back more than a couple adjustments at the most, and not even a simple “Revert” option under File. Not even! Photoshop has had these features for about a decade now. Seriously, how hard would it be to add these features for DAZ?! It would make things so much easier to do. Just simple, common sense things like that. Maybe not real sexy for the CG geeks, but still, for everyday usability, these things would be wonderful! 

I could think of some other things, but those for starters would be a real help.

 

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Posted: 31 August 2012 07:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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1. As far as I’m concerned, the biggest improvement is in speed. Renders are probably faster in general (there are conflicting reports of to what extent this is true, but in general it seems to be). Other operations such as startup, loading, saving, etc. are much, much faster. As someone with a rather low-end computer, I greatly appreciate the speed improvements. As far as more realistic renders are concerned, I don’t think there’s been any improvements in that regard—with the exception of motion blur, which is a useful addition. Some more experienced users have taken advantage of the new geometry shell feature to improve realism, also. I haven’t tackled that one yet, myself.

If you AutoFit non-Genesis clothing to Genesis, you’ll appreciate the fact that AutoFit has been improved. The AutoFitted clothing will still have all of its morphs, now.

Another nice thing for novices is the lesson strip. And there are some built-in ready-to-render scenes, also.

2. I like your feature suggestions, but sadly there’s nothing like this in DS 4.5 (I do routinely use the Undo function several times in a row to revert to a previous state, though).

All in all, I think it’s well worth upgrading. But be aware that you may encounter some annoyances, like needing to re-download and reinstall much of your content.

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Posted: 31 August 2012 11:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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MarkR151 - 31 August 2012 04:12 PM

So I’m reading over all the new features filled with terminology way over my head and wondering if this is an upgrade worth my while as a novice.

Sounds like it’s only going to benefit the working pros.

1. What are the new features or enhancements in the 3D Rendering Engine? Is it going to be faster or make for more realistic renders?

2. Also, something I still don’t see mentioned anywhere are simple, common sense useability improvements(unless it’s in the new GUI somewhere) like an “Open Recent”  under File which would let people quickly load/access a recently opened file so we wouldn’t have to go scrolling down through folders to find a DAZ scene file we were just working on a few hours ago or yesterday. And I’ve got a whole lot of those! The most recent 10 files listed would help me a lot.

Or a “History” tab where we can jump back to a change made a few seconds ago to several minutes ago. Right now, if you make more than just a change or 2 at the most, even if it’s simply rotating a character or camera or 1 morph change, you lose the ability to jump back to a previous state or change. The only way you can do anything even remotely like that now in DS4 Pro is to save every change you make, even if you don’t like the change. No real ability to go back more than a couple adjustments at the most, and not even a simple “Revert” option under File. Not even! Photoshop has had these features for about a decade now. Seriously, how hard would it be to add these features for DAZ?! It would make things so much easier to do. Just simple, common sense things like that. Maybe not real sexy for the CG geeks, but still, for everyday usability, these things would be wonderful! 

I could think of some other things, but those for starters would be a real help.


Mark R151 Your suggestions are excellent and sad to say we have made these requests way back before DStudio 4 was released and we were working with DStudio 3.xxx

Sadly, DAZ3D, pays more lip service to listening to users, than actually implementing the many useful and smart suggestion which actually improve the USABILITY/Ease of Use, rather than adding fancy feature after feature. This is sad because it really takes a long time for a novice to get to feel comfortable doing even simple things with DAZStudio.  They still don’t fully get it.They’re too busy thinking up new stuff, which is great, but first of all they ought to REALLY improve the USABILITY.  Much of it, I am convinced would be really easy, such as “Open Recent”, whereas “History” may be a bit more work.  I had explained the difference between Undo and History in great detail in a Bug/New Features Request posting, a year or two ago. Anyone who uses Photoshop understands the difference right away. I guess I was not convincing enough.

However, even so, DAZ3D, is light years ahead of the Poser people, who have barely improved their USABILITY since the very first Poser release. Most software companies totally underestimate Ergonomics/Usability, only Apple appears to understand, that making things truly easy to learn and easy to use (not the same but closely related) is crucial to great software.

I guess we need to constantly request, and request, and request these features, over and over again until they pay attention. A good way to do this is to create a New Feature Request in the Bug Reporting page (for which you need a login and password).

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Posted: 01 September 2012 03:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Scott-Livingston - 31 August 2012 07:06 PM

1. As far as I’m concerned, the biggest improvement is in speed. Renders are probably faster in general (there are conflicting reports of to what extent this is true, but in general it seems to be). Other operations such as startup, loading, saving, etc. are much, much faster. As someone with a rather low-end computer, I greatly appreciate the speed improvements. As far as more realistic renders are concerned, I don’t think there’s been any improvements in that regard—with the exception of motion blur, which is a useful addition. Some more experienced users have taken advantage of the new geometry shell feature to improve realism, also. I haven’t tackled that one yet, myself.

If you AutoFit non-Genesis clothing to Genesis, you’ll appreciate the fact that AutoFit has been improved. The AutoFitted clothing will still have all of its morphs, now.

Another nice thing for novices is the lesson strip. And there are some built-in ready-to-render scenes, also.

2. I like your feature suggestions, but sadly there’s nothing like this in DS 4.5 (I do routinely use the Undo function several times in a row to revert to a previous state, though).

All in all, I think it’s well worth upgrading. But be aware that you may encounter some annoyances, like needing to re-download and reinstall much of your content.

Yes, the Undo function is about all DS4 has got in the way of that, and obviously that is very very inadequate. 

What do you mean by having to “reinstall much of your content.”  ? 

Will I need to unzip & reinstall all my Poses, Props, Lights, Fixes, etc?  ohh

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Posted: 01 September 2012 04:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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drdancm - 31 August 2012 11:17 PM
MarkR151 - 31 August 2012 04:12 PM

So I’m reading over all the new features filled with terminology way over my head and wondering if this is an upgrade worth my while as a novice.

Sounds like it’s only going to benefit the working pros.

1. What are the new features or enhancements in the 3D Rendering Engine? Is it going to be faster or make for more realistic renders?

2. Also, something I still don’t see mentioned anywhere are simple, common sense useability improvements(unless it’s in the new GUI somewhere) like an “Open Recent”  under File which would let people quickly load/access a recently opened file so we wouldn’t have to go scrolling down through folders to find a DAZ scene file we were just working on a few hours ago or yesterday. And I’ve got a whole lot of those! The most recent 10 files listed would help me a lot.

Or a “History” tab where we can jump back to a change made a few seconds ago to several minutes ago. Right now, if you make more than just a change or 2 at the most, even if it’s simply rotating a character or camera or 1 morph change, you lose the ability to jump back to a previous state or change. The only way you can do anything even remotely like that now in DS4 Pro is to save every change you make, even if you don’t like the change. No real ability to go back more than a couple adjustments at the most, and not even a simple “Revert” option under File. Not even! Photoshop has had these features for about a decade now. Seriously, how hard would it be to add these features for DAZ?! It would make things so much easier to do. Just simple, common sense things like that. Maybe not real sexy for the CG geeks, but still, for everyday usability, these things would be wonderful! 

I could think of some other things, but those for starters would be a real help.


Mark R151 Your suggestions are excellent and sad to say we have made these requests way back before DStudio 4 was released and we were working with DStudio 3.xxx

Sadly, DAZ3D, pays more lip service to listening to users, than actually implementing the many useful and smart suggestion which actually improve the USABILITY/Ease of Use, rather than adding fancy feature after feature. This is sad because it really takes a long time for a novice to get to feel comfortable doing even simple things with DAZStudio.  They still don’t fully get it.They’re too busy thinking up new stuff, which is great, but first of all they ought to REALLY improve the USABILITY.  Much of it, I am convinced would be really easy, such as “Open Recent”, whereas “History” may be a bit more work.  I had explained the difference between Undo and History in great detail in a Bug/New Features Request posting, a year or two ago. Anyone who uses Photoshop understands the difference right away. I guess I was not convincing enough.

However, even so, DAZ3D, is light years ahead of the Poser people, who have barely improved their USABILITY since the very first Poser release. Most software companies totally underestimate Ergonomics/Usability, only Apple appears to understand, that making things truly easy to learn and easy to use (not the same but closely related) is crucial to great software.

I guess we need to constantly request, and request, and request these features, over and over again until they pay attention. A good way to do this is to create a New Feature Request in the Bug Reporting page (for which you need a login and password).

Ugh! Don’t even get me started on Poser!!  That was about $300 I wish I had back but never will. That much $ down the drain! I ended up just tossing the whole thing . That’s why I work with DAZ studio. It’s far(far far far) from perfect, but still more user friendly and bearable then Poser. Apparently the Smith Micro guys still don’t have a clue about that stuff.

DAZ would have a greater advantage in bottom line sales if they would do simple, common sense daily usability enhancements like my suggestions. It’s nothing sexy & cutting edge cool and geek drooling stuff, but it makes sense. The Adobe folks really get it. They understand that with Photoshop, it’s great to have cool new tools, but doing so at the expense of making the program a major PITA and hassle is NOT good! So they do both: adding great new tools that photogs & graphic artists want & need, but also the common sense stuff that makes the program a breeze to use. And most recently adding video related tools as well.

A program like DAZ or Poser should not just be bearable, but actually easy and fun to work with. And it should not be all that difficult to implement these things. If they can engineer into DAZ all the cool, gee whiz bells & whistles, why not the relatively simple daily user-friendliness improvements? DAZ should think of these basic things as a big PLUS instead of avoiding them like the plague as they do.

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Posted: 02 September 2012 11:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I’m a complete DAZ Newbie. I hardly use the program for rendering itself, mostly I pose and set props there, and use the exporter script to save pose settings and then import them into Bryce or Carrara.

I went ahead and grabbed DS4.5 pro since it’s free. Again I’m not a pro, I don’t go in-depth into the surface shaders or technical aspects you see a lot of people here go into, But I do dabble a lot in lighting (lighting in DAZ gives me a headache! Unlike Bryce/Carrara). I would say making the upgrade helped me a lot. I found it confusing at first and irritating getting around, but once you get the hang of it: It’s worth the upgrade, and it’s free.

A few things you mentioned made me perk up! First the “don’t even get me started in Poser!” Comment. I agree with you completely! I hate being referenced back to Poser, or even Photoshop for that matter. I have no intentions of spending yet more money on those products.

Your reference to practical items and add-ons would be SOO welcome to me as well. Less fantasy, weird looking hairstyles, clothing, for example and more common sense ones. I for one would LOVE to see modular style upgrades for their standard programs like Carrara and DS Pro (I would say Bryce but it looks like that system is mostly pro now days). For example: Why not put up a “Dynamic clothing” addon as a purchasable system for Carrara, or say “genesis compatibility pack for C8” They had a dynamic clothing add-on for DS standard. I guess it’s probably because they make more money stripping us of those “advanced” features, and forcing us to buy the complete pro package.

I would love to see more enhancements to things like the UI, shaders and etc. that would simplify working with DS a lot more.

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Posted: 02 September 2012 01:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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MarkR151 - 01 September 2012 03:32 PM
Scott-Livingston - 31 August 2012 07:06 PM

1. As far as I’m concerned, the biggest improvement is in speed. Renders are probably faster in general (there are conflicting reports of to what extent this is true, but in general it seems to be). Other operations such as startup, loading, saving, etc. are much, much faster. As someone with a rather low-end computer, I greatly appreciate the speed improvements. As far as more realistic renders are concerned, I don’t think there’s been any improvements in that regard—with the exception of motion blur, which is a useful addition. Some more experienced users have taken advantage of the new geometry shell feature to improve realism, also. I haven’t tackled that one yet, myself.

If you AutoFit non-Genesis clothing to Genesis, you’ll appreciate the fact that AutoFit has been improved. The AutoFitted clothing will still have all of its morphs, now.

Another nice thing for novices is the lesson strip. And there are some built-in ready-to-render scenes, also.

2. I like your feature suggestions, but sadly there’s nothing like this in DS 4.5 (I do routinely use the Undo function several times in a row to revert to a previous state, though).

All in all, I think it’s well worth upgrading. But be aware that you may encounter some annoyances, like needing to re-download and reinstall much of your content.

Yes, the Undo function is about all DS4 has got in the way of that, and obviously that is very very inadequate. 

What do you mean by having to “reinstall much of your content.”  ? 

Will I need to unzip & reinstall all my Poses, Props, Lights, Fixes, etc?  ohh

Many items have been updated recently. If you don’t install the updated versions, you may encounter error messages referring to a “duplicate ID” when you try to use them. I find that this doesn’t actually affect my ability to use the product, but the recommended solution (if you want to get rid of the error message) is to reset, re-download, and reinstall the product. I believe the affected products are mostly (but not exclusively) Genesis-related.

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Posted: 02 September 2012 07:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Since I don’t use the Genesis products I may not run into that “Duplicate ID” error message.

But I wish I could install 4.5 on the same machine as DS4.# Pro whatever I got in March and test it without it installing over my current version. If I start having a bunch of problems, I would then have to uninstall 4.5 and then reinstall 4.whatever and everything I’ve ever installed. Epic PITA I want to avoid.

I think I’ll just wait for 5.0 & see if DAZ listens to my product feature requests mentioned at length in the posts above. 

Actually, I still don’t think I have my earlier question answered about whether 4.5 is backward compatible with current generation DAZ Scene files. I think I read something that brought that into question or doubt. Lack of compatibility with my DAZ Scene files would definitely be a deal breaker!

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Posted: 02 September 2012 08:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Not true. Only the DEFAULT content will change. Your DS4 content and install will put the DS4 content that gets replaced right back. No need to delete your content folders.

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Posted: 03 September 2012 02:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Jaderail - 02 September 2012 08:14 PM

Not true. Only the DEFAULT content will change. Your DS4 content and install will put the DS4 content that gets replaced right back. No need to delete your content folders.

Good, thanks! 

But I read in the official 4.5 thread in Commons that a few people are having problems with it crashing while rendering. In one case, a guy with Win 7/64 & 24GB of RAM is experiencing crashes not only in rendering but even on program startup. I think I’ll just wait until they get the bugs worked out.

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Posted: 03 September 2012 02:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I’ve seen those threads as well. I’m Win7 64 on 8Gb ram and nVidia geForce and I have not hit one problem. I had no install problems very few content up dates and it renders great for me. Everyone’s systems are different, but I’ve seen fewer problems with 4.5P than the 4.5 RC’s.

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Posted: 03 September 2012 03:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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OK, thanks.

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