Turning props into a conforming figure

Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 69,912
edited December 1969 in Daz Studio Discussion

Turning smart props into a conforming figure

This little tutorial arose from a user wanting to make a set of pasties for Victoria 4, that were supplied as smart props, follow the movements and morphs of the breasts. Now, why anyone would want have a savoury pastry dish do this I don't know but what follows, using a pair of squashed cylinders, covers the basic techniques - assign the mesh to the needed group, export as a Poser-scale OBJ with the group in place, use Victoria 4 as a template to create a new piece of clothing, and tidy up the leftovers - the process takes ten or fifteen mintues.


  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 69,912
    edited December 1969


    Because the method for creating the new figure is going to leave relics of Victoria 4 we ideally want as few of those as possible. For that reason I loaded a new copy of V4 and used Power Loader to uncheck all of the morph sets, and in the Advanced tab I set the Include Support for Checked Products Only option, so that there weren't blank slots for all the morphs I wasn't loading. That just leaves the male morphs and expressions (which won't worry us since the head is going to be chopped off anyway).

    Right-click on the Parameters pane's tab, or click the menu button in its top corner, and from the Zero sub-menu select Zero Figure - by default it will be scaled and will have several morphs applied - then right-click the tab again and from the Memorise sub-menu click Memorise Figure. This will give us a blank slate when we use Victoria 4 as a template for creating the clothing. Now load the props. The second image shows the zeroed V4 with my "pasties" attached.

    Because this is a legacy figure we need the OBJ to be grouped to match Victoria 4 - in this case both cylinders should be in the chest group: in general you will want the group name to be that of the bone the props are parented to. To rename the groups switch to the Polygon Group Editor tool and open the Tool Settings pane. Select each prop in turn - with the group Editor active this will have to be done through the Scene pane. Since the items are props they will probably have only one group - listed under Face Groups - though they will usually have more Surfaces than my primitives. Simply double-click the group name under Face Groups, Default in my case, and type in the desired name, chest, as shown in the third and fourth images. Repeat for the other prop.

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  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 69,912
    edited December 1969

    Exporting the OBJ

    In the Scene pane click the eye icon next to Victoria 4 to hide her, and hide or delete any other items in the scene, leaving just the pasties visible. Now go to File>Export, set the file type to OBJ, and navigate to (or create) a folder in Runtime\Geometries in one of your Poser content directories for the file - the location isn't crucial, but DS will complain if the OBJ isn't tucked away in a Runtime folder and doing it this way makes the new figure more portable. Clicking Save will open the export options dialogue.

    Because we are going to export as CR2 the scale must be Poser's, so from the To: list select the Poser preset. However, the default group handling with this option is to use the node name (the names of the props) as the group names, which isn't what we want, so under Write Groups choose Use Existing instead. Once you have made the change to the group option the name of the preset will be replaced with Custom, and the Save Preset button next to it will be enabled - I strongly advise saving a new preset, as I have done in the last image, as you will need often need these settings if you work with legacy rigging.

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  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 69,912
    edited December 1969

    Preparing Victoria 4 as a Skeleton Donor
    (I've changed the order in which I am performing these steps, so the content of screen shots will be inconsistent in the next two posts as some operations are performed in a different order.)

    We need the Figure Setup pane for the next stage - Window>Panes(Tabs)>Figure Setup. With Victoria 4 selected right-click on the pane's tab, or click the menu button in the top corner, and click Copy from Selected Figure - this will put the Victoria 4 OBJ in the Geometry List, and her bones in the Relationships area.

    We don't need most of the bones - in general you want the hip and all the bones up to and including the bones that have geometry (so just the chest here), plus the bones that immediately follow the geometry (the neck and the collars here). We can remove the legs, the arms from the shoulder down and the head - to do so right-click on the first unwanted bone in each sequence in the relationships area and from the menu click Remove Bone(s) and Children. We don't want the Victoria 4 geometry so we need to remove that by right-clicking on it and selecting Remove Geometry Reference(s) from the menu - if you do this in DAZ Studio 3 you will need to remove the references from each bone, but in DS4 it's enough to do it at the top of the hierarchy. Finally highlight all of the entries in the IK Chains list, right-click and from the menu choose Remove IK Chain(s).

    We now have a minimal figure on which to build our new conformer.

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  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 69,912
    edited December 1969

    Creating the New Figure

    Having prepared a stripped down Victoria 4 we now bring in our new model and use it in the skeleton.

    Right-click in the Geometry List area and from the menu select Add Geometry..., then browse to the exported OBJ from earlier. Use the Poser preset (or in general, use the preset that matches the scale of the OBJ) - unlike the export preset we don't need to make any changes to the default options here. Now we simply drag the entry for the new OBJ from the Geometry List and drop it onto the Relationships area - as long as the groups are correctly named they will automatically be assigned to their bones.

    Double-click the name and label at the top of the Relationships area and modify them to reflect the new item, then check the Modify Selected Figure box at bottom left of the pane and finally click Apply to update the figure. Victoria 4 will vanish, to be replaced with the pasties.

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  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 69,912
    edited December 1969

    Tidying up the Leftovers

    Although we now have a new figure, it still has several relics of Victoria 4 - the morph channels are still present, even though they don't work, and so are the magnets that adjust the figure as it is posed. We don't want any of these as they will conflict with the real versions in Victoria 4 once conformed.

    To remove the unwanted morphs open the Property Editor (Window>Panes(Tabs)>Property Editor) with the pasties figure selected. Expand the Morphs group, select everything under it, right-click on the selected items and from the menu select Remove Properties, then Accept when warned that the operation cannot be undone. Select the chest of the pasties and remove any morphs from that in the same way.

    Next we need to get rid of the V4 magnets, which are hidden. Go to the Scene pane, right click on the tab or click the menu button in the top corner and from the Show sub-menu enable Show Hidden Nodes. You will now be able to see all of the DForms attached to the figure - select them and delete them. After doing this go back to the Scene pane's option menu and turn Show>Show Hidden Nodes off again.

    Finally, you may notice that Victoria 4's textures have been applied to the pasties. The simplest way to reset the materials is to export as a CR2 file so that on loading it reads in a fresh copy of the OBJ file. File>Export and this time set the type as CR2 and the location as Runtime>Libraries>Figure>Some folder of your choice. When you click save the options dialogue will appear - the only change you might want to make, though it isn't essential, is to change Figure Type to Conforming Figure.

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  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 69,912
    edited December 1969

    Finishing Up

    That should now give a usable piece of clothing, which will be affected by posing and the DForms in Victoria 4 and which can be made to inherit any morphs via the Transfer Active Morphs function by right-clicking Victoria 4, or going to Edit>Figure, and selecting Transfer Active Morphs after applying the morphs to V4 - though I had to restart DAZ Studio to get that to work. The image shows Victoria 4 with several morphs applied, and the hidden magnets used to move the breasts slightly to the side. Of course these "pasties" were very simple - items that stick out more might not work without adjustments to the fall-off zones via the Joint Editor tool - but for snug-fitting items the technique presented here should be all you need.

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  • RCDescheneRCDeschene Posts: 2,771
    edited December 1969

    Nice tutorial! Though, will this work for converting props like Poser-based hairs to Genesis?

  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 69,912
    edited December 1969

    For Genesis and other TriAx figures you'd use the Transfer Utility, which will also take care of converting from the original shape to Genesis if you have a clone shape for the original.

  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 69,912
    edited December 1969

    There's one modification to the process in recent (4.6) versions of DAZ Studio as the Property editor has been replaced with the property hierarchy and Edit mod in the Parameters pane. For our purposes we need only the Parameters pane in Edit mode for removing the morphs - go to the pane's option menu (the lined button in the top corner, or right-click on the tab) and select Edit mode (assuming it isn't already checked), select the morphs you wish to remove in the standard Parameters listing (the usual shift and cmd/ctrl modifiers work here - so click one, shift click another to select a range, cmd/ctrl-click to add or remove individual morphs to the selection), right click on them, then select Remove Properties as above. Removing the magnets and textures is still the same as above. Once done go to the pane's option menu again and turn off Edit mode as it makes the standard use of the parameters a bit awkward if left on.

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