Import into Daz Studio Questions

I've been building a vehicle in Hex, and have the model finalized. It is the first multi-part model I've built, and I want to end up with moving parts, like doors that open. My next step is to assign shading domains and materials. But, I want to set things up so I get proper surfaces in Studio when I import for rigging. So, best practices for workflow?

1) Do groups import as parent/child hierarchies? For example if I have a "wheel" group, with items "tire", "hubcap" and "axle", will it import with "wheel" as the parent object?

2) With multiple shading domains on one object, does that import as multiple surfaces, so I can make different areas on seats?

3) Since Hex sort of sucks for making UV unfolds, I'll do this in Blender. Is that gonna screw up shading domains and materials?

Comments

  • lexbairdlexbaird Posts: 147

    Here's a "work in progress" shot

    Van WIP.png
    1719 x 1149 - 842K
  • MorkonanMorkonan Posts: 215
    edited February 2017
    lexbaird said:

    1) Do groups import as parent/child hierarchies? For example if I have a "wheel" group, with items "tire", "hubcap" and "axle", will it import with "wheel" as the parent object?

    2) With multiple shading domains on one object, does that import as multiple surfaces, so I can make different areas on seats?

    3) Since Hex sort of sucks for making UV unfolds, I'll do this in Blender. Is that gonna screw up shading domains and materials?

     

    Warning: I don't use DS or the DS Bridge, but since there are no replies yet, I'll at least try to give you something... It may be wrong, though. :)

    1) In general, a parent/child hierachy is usually in reference to a "rigged" figure. Parenting objects to each other is, in a way, sort of "rigging", but it doesn't have a true hierarchy. For instance, usually, the parent focus can't tell what is parented to it or react to that without complex information and, if that's desirable, then a standard rig (with bones, etc) is very much preferred.

    2) It should... If you make your Materials unique for each Domain you create, then you should cover all the bases, I would think. Again, DS handles Domains and Materials a bit differently, methinks.

    3) Hex is pretty versatile when it comes down to UVMapping. There's a "trick", though, to get decent unfolds - Symmetry. Symmetrical meshes tend to have decent unfolds over their non-symmetrical kin. With that in mind, once you've finished the acctual creation of geometry for a model or model group that is supposed to be symmetrical, anyway, or will only have a little further vert pushing/pulling done to it, then delete half the geometry along the center-line and use the Mirror function to dupe it along the axis of symmetry. Then, either using one of the Weld functions or by hand, weld it back together, being sure to keep that center-line of the two halves at the actual center. Then, set up all your shading domains and mats and then, move on to UV mapping. During the UV'ing process, you can then manipulate the UVmap portions by selecting the Domain you want to move around and reposition, once it's fully mapped. OR, you can even hide Domains and map them separately.

    PS - One thing that Hex, due to its age, doesn't do well is texture-space preservation in the UVMap. However, it does it fairly well with symmetrical meshes. If you have issues with squished/stretched texture maps, remember that symmetry works pretty well with Hex's mapping. So, for instance, you can easily UV map a base, symmetrical, cloth model and then, later, you can go back and deform it using any tool that does not either add/delete geometry or reassign shading domains. There are exceptions, though, and you can add-remove geometry without destroying the map using some of the automated processes, like subdivision (smoothing), edge-loop creation and "dissolves" (backspace key, only on auto-selected edge-loops, however) and edge creation using the extract edge tools. These operations don't normally present issues with UV map destruction. A lot of them, though, could. (Except for sub-d/smoothing) and it takes some experience to know which ones are safe to use with a mapped object.

    Nice model! What you may want to do is to ensure that the bits that are truly supposed to be able to move on their own, separate from the model, or can be manipulated in some way separate from it are actually their own "Group" that is not geometrically connected to other groups. For instance, you'd make sure that the wheels appear as a separate object in your Scene window. When you export, as long as the wheels, for instance, appear in the view window and are showing as visible in the Scene window, then they will be exported with the rest of the model, yet they will retain their own geometric "group" for standard rigging purposes. If you wish them to be simply parented, then export the van body by itself and then export each wheel by itself. In your chose app, load up these separate objects and then, using your app, "parent" the wheel objects to the body.

    Post edited by Morkonan on
  • Wee Dangerous JohnWee Dangerous John Posts: 1,268
    edited February 2017

    A bit beyond what I nomally do, this is from memory (and I'm old) so please forgive me if I get this wrong. 

    In Hexagon you UVmap everything and save the HXN file (just to be on the safe side). Export the model as an OBJ file. Load it into DS and Export it out again, untick group and surfaces in the export options, this will give you a default material in Hex.

    Load the OBJ into Hexagon and select all the parts which make up the wheels (pressing CTRL and + increasing the selection) then cut and paste to create a new part. Select that and rename it (copy the name) Choose a face and press CTRL +A to choose all the faces and create a NEW Surface Domain, name it and change the name in the material it produces (use the name copied earlier, every little helps).

    Repeat with other parts. When happy, Save the HXN file and Export the OBJ.

    In Daz Studio, Open the Figure Set-Up  window and "Add Geometry" (right click in the first box) and search for you model, drag it over to the second window (here you can change the XYZ options etc). Now you have 2 options, you can have Tri and Parametric. For now choose Parametric and hit create.

    This will load in your model. Here it can get tricky. Open Tool Settings and choose the Joint Editor Tool. In the Scene tree you should have your Model with the different parts which make it  (So if you made a book you would have Book, then under that - top cover, pages, bottom cover) the parts you do not want to move you zero co-ords, Lock and Hide. The moveable bits you use the Joint Editor to line up the bones, Green is start Red is finish position (Right Click and choose Auto Align bones).  

    Next you get back the materials you UVmapped earlier. For this you open Geometry Editor in the Tool Settings window. Here you choose "Surfaces" and click on a face of your model, CTRL and + will increase selection (other options available). When you have selected all the faces which make up that part right click on Surfaces and choose Surfaces From Selecton, then nip over to Surfaces and check it is there. Now you can load in the texture you created.

    I'm only learning this side of things, so if I have made a mistake please forgive me. Oh, Parametric is for Solid movement while the Tri thing is for when you want to bend something (I think :) )  Oh, there is also a way to make both wheels move at the same time, I know you use the Time Line to do it, but that part is way beyond me.

    Excellent model by the way. reminds me of "Scooby Doo", can you add a few renders to the Hex Gallery post, it would be nice to see it textured. 

    Note to add - Lexbaird, I sent you a PM

    Post edited by Wee Dangerous John on
  • lexbairdlexbaird Posts: 147

    Thanks to both of you! I've got all the bits grouped, assigned shading domains, and assigned materials. Next step will be to UV map everything, and for that I've had success using Blender (on much simpler models) to give me less distorted unfolds.

    Morkonan: The model is largely symmetrical, because I built one half and reflected it, then welded. I'll attach a screenshot of the hierarchies; tell me if it looks reasonable, or overkill on the shading domains.

    Wee John: It could be that I have a certain famous cartoon crime solving van in mind.... When done, it should show up on ShareCG. I'll definitely post some renders.

    WIP Van 2.png
    1829 x 1134 - 494K
  • Depending on what you want to move, you would have one domain for the van, and one for each where. So 3 shading domains would work - more if you want the doors to open.

    There is not a lot you can do with stretching, but have you tried Pinning and/or the Dissociate UVs tool, sometimes those options help.

    I took one look at Blenders interface and ran away, I much prefer Hexagon (I'm getting on a bit and find it hard to learn new software).

  • lexbairdlexbaird Posts: 147

    I went with a lot of shading domains more for the ability to customize surfaces, and being able to hide them than with moving parts in mind. This way I can "remove" the roof, for example. Blender's UI is a pain, but the better unwraps, and the ability to export hi-rez .png of the UV maps makes it worth it, when it comes to making textures in PhotoShop.

    Rigging the moving bits will be a lovely learning experience, though.

  • MorkonanMorkonan Posts: 215
    lexbaird said:

    Morkonan: The model is largely symmetrical, because I built one half and reflected it, then welded. I'll attach a screenshot of the hierarchies; tell me if it looks reasonable, or overkill on the shading domains.

     

    The number of independent domains looks fine for a versatile model that includes options for ease of animations. ie:Blinking left-turn signal, etc. Some things may not need to be so versatile, however. For instance, the separate hinge domains, for instance. What would the user do with those shading domains? If they're for DS's particular use in rigging, then OK, I guess. (I don't rig in DS, but I don't know why it would need separate groups for those.) So, if you just had one Hinges shading domain, you'd cut out 11 or so unnecessary ones. That's a big hit and you may want to consider that. Again, I don't know what DS would require for rigging or what your specific plans are for those hinges.

     

    lexbaird said:

    I went with a lot of shading domains more for the ability to customize surfaces, and being able to hide them than with moving parts in mind. This way I can "remove" the roof, for example. Blender's UI is a pain, but the better unwraps, and the ability to export hi-rez .png of the UV maps makes it worth it, when it comes to making textures in PhotoShop.

    Rigging the moving bits will be a lovely learning experience, though.

    Get the free version of UVMapper, if for no reason other than the fact you can easily create UVMap guides for any resolution you'd want from any .obj model. You can also color groups and materials, if you'd like. For multimap/layered map objects, you'll have to hide individual layers, since it's geared for just singlemap objects. (You can select them by material/group then shrink them out of the way and then save the texture map. However, don't then save the model, or you'll be overwriting the actual uvmap! :) )

    IMO, this is an indespensable utility for Hex/DS/Poser user-creators - https://www.uvmapper.com/downloads.html (The "Classic" version is completely free, powerful and very, very, easy to use.)

  • @Lexabird - That is gonna be very popular on ShareCG!

  • lexbairdlexbaird Posts: 147

    Just an update... after a hiatus, the UV mapping is almost done, so on to doing textures and rigging.

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