The Footsteps tool ...
The footsteps tool allows you to create realistic tracks in a high resolution plane. The set comes with two large fields designed for this. There is a square and a disk. Both fields include morphs for varied terrain and a second layer to limit the depth of the prints. The ground layer can also provide a different texture at the bottom of the print.
Any prop or body part named “Surface” will work if it’s polygon density is high enough. That’s the tool’s magic word. Just select that prop and load the tool. The magnets will lock onto that prop. The automatic nature of the magnets does not work in studio but it’s very easy to connect the magnets (deformers).
The Nerd3D Footsteps Tool
A Nerd 3D Surface Such as the included Disk or Square Field
Poser 6 or newer or DAZ Studio 2.3 or newer.
Loading the Tool ...
The surface figure or “Field” must be loaded before the Footsteps Tool, just like a normal magnet or deformers. In Poser all the magnets will automatically connect to the “Surface” part of the figure. DAZ Studio users will need to do this manually.
To connect the deformers in Studio
Select the Surface part of the field figure
Open the Add Nodes dialog
Select all the magnets in the tool
If you need several tools to create the length of path you want it will probably be easier to add all the nodes at once.
Path Setup ...
The path of the effect is easily setup using the Easy Pose dials in the Control Element. (The big cone) if you need more detailed control you can select any of the boot props for individual print adjustments.
The EasyPose dials should be fairly self explanatory.
Right - Left All: Uniform curve of path
Up-Down All: Curve the path up a hill
Left-Right S: Make an “S” curve
Up-Down S: Make a vertical S
Stride Length: More space between steps
Some of the Track Details can be found in the individual prints as well.
Print Size: Scales the print uniformly
Print Length: Makes the print longer
Print Width: Makes the prints wider
Track Width: Moves every other print to make the prints farther apart
Track Angle: Moves all the prints side to side
Toe In: Moves every other print the opposite direction. Can create a herring bone effect
Depth All: Makes the prints deeper.
In most cases you won’t want or need to directly change the magnets. In Poser you can keep them hidden by selecting Display > Deformers > Hide All from the menus
Some tricks ...
If you want to create a solid path, a tire track or snow board path for example, turn the Print length way up. Start with a setting of about 10. Then turn track width, Toe in, and track angle to 0.
If you want variation between the prints you can make changes to each print by selecting it’s control “Boot” and adjusting dials in there.
If you need a larger area you can fit 2 Surface Fields together. When working in Poser make sure the correct surface is selected before loading the foot step tool.
If posing is sluggish turn the surface off till you are ready to render.
In DAZ Studio don’t forget to hide the foot step tools prior to rendering. They won’t show in Poser but they will show in Studio.
The Footstep Fields will work with many existing scenery and sets. Just replace the “ground” of the set with the Footstep Field.
Super advanced scene integration trick ...
It’s possible in to create a texture from an existing set to apply to the Footsteps Fields. This requires advanced skill in Poser or Studio. Here’s a brief rundown.
Load the set you wish to integrate with
Load and position the Footstep Field you want to use
Select the TOP camera and position in so the Field EXACTLY fills the frame. EXACTLY!
Hide the Field figure and every thing but the set you are integrating with.
Set one light to pure white and straight above the scene. Turn off or remove other lights.
Render the scene from the Top camera and at high resolution (3000 x 3000)
Save that render
Apply it to the Surface of the Field as the diffuse texture.
The Studio version has 3 UV sets, make sure the default set is selected. (The others are for tiled textures)
Restore the textures on the set.
That will give you a texture closely matched to the existing set’s texture. If you want to get really detailed you can copy bump and other maps. Temporarily change the bump map on the set so they are the diffuse texture for the set and render that too.
In Studio be sure to hide the Path and Print Tools before rendering. You can hide the whole tool with one click in the Scene Tab. Click the eye icon next to the Footsteps figure in the scene hierarchy list. This isn’t necessary in Poser they will be hidden automatically. DAZ studio users may want to convert the Surface to SubD (Edit > Convert to SubD ... ) this increases the number of polygons and produces a smoother effect. This takes a few minutes and will increase render times.
Poser owners should make sure “Smooth Polygons” is checked in render options for FireFly. As with SubD in Studio this produces a smoother effect. The included materials take advantage of material room nodes so P4 rendering is not recommended.
In Studio the Field Figures take like 5 minutes to load! You are using the Poser version of the figures. There is a Studio version that will load in seconds. The Studio version also contains alternate UV sets that are required to make the textures look right.
Can I use the Footstep tools on other sets? Maybe. The included surfaces are very high polygon and need to be for the footprints to show. If the ground of the other set has enough polygon density then yes.
Can I manually connect the magnets in poser? Yes, but it’s very cumbersome. Each magnets needs to be selected and then slick the “Add Element to Deform” button in properties. Choose the surface. Repeat for all 10 magnets. It’s easier to just delete the path tool, make sure the correct object is selected and then reload the path tool.