The freedom of self-modeling

Since I've started to create some of my own (simple) content for use in my personal images, I noticed a change in how I think about simple pieces of content and then how that has affected the images I create. Rather than spam the forums here with a long self-reflection article, I posted it on my blog.

3D Modeling Observations

The summary of it all is that I encourage people who want to take their 3D skills to a new level to learn to create at least simple content on their own. We aren't all going to want to learn to create our own clothes or a fully rigged car or a detailed landscape scene. But being able to create my own picture frames, wedding rings, and even some furniture has allowed me to more fully realize the vision I have for my images than when I was totally reliant on content that others had created.


  • Retro LadRetro Lad Posts: 471
    edited August 2018

    I agree.

    This year, for the very first time, I've learned the basics of modeling in Hexagon. I have no desire to model a car, but modeling an SF earth tunneling machine is something I would find interesting.

    Eventually, when the turmoil ends in this dump that I am living in, I will use my self made models in new imagery and post them.

    Post edited by Retro Lad on
  • StezzaStezza Posts: 7,835

    and it's a lot of fun smiley

  • PaintboxPaintbox Posts: 1,633

    I can model, pretty much modelled whole buildings for work, but I enjoy the fact that I dont have to. For any idea you can just go to the store and its there. Its a great way to save time, because it can get quite time intensive.

    But I do agree its a good skill to have to create something unique, or not imagined before. It creates a sense of accomplishment.

  • JonnyRayJonnyRay Posts: 1,744

    Oh I agree, @Paintbox. I mean I can write my own shaders. When we were mostly doing 3Delight, I could write Renderman Shader Language without the graphic tools like the Builder. Today, most "shaders" we see are really just using the Uber shader with specific texture maps. If I wanted to take the time to find the texture files or something I could do that too. But I still own over 3000 Iray shaders at last count. :)

    What I'm enjoying about the modeling aspect is getting exactly what I wanted and also the pride of knowing that I made it myself. It's not unlike my Dad who used to make furniture in his workshop as his hobby. Certainly would have been faster to buy it at a store, and they did buy many things. But he also had a lot of pieces that he'd made himself specifically for his office or bedroom or back porch. And those were the pieces he cared about the most.

  • PaintboxPaintbox Posts: 1,633

    @johnyray , do you think we are missing out on shader functions because we limit ourselves to the uber shader? Are there hidden gems in your opinion?

  • Sky HndxSky Hndx Posts: 142
    edited September 2018

    I always create my own clothing and props in Hexagon.  I don't like using what everyone else is using and you can always spot the same product in many kinds of renders.  If I'm creating a period peice I research vintage items and try to model something similar.  Same goes for fantasy scenes as well.  I'd rather create something unique and am creative enough to do so. Hexagon is just the right tool I need to do that and the more and more I've learned of the program over the years thats a process that's becoming just about effortless.

    Post edited by Sky Hndx on
  • mach25mach25 Posts: 256

    jonnyray any pixelshader(opengl/directx) experience?

    I also started with earrings for a manga character,simple torus,before that "cheatmodel",with transmaps to create cleavage etc in existing clothes,well maybe not cheat,when most Morphing Fantasy Dress textures included transmap,when I got hexagon ,it came with lots of video tutorials, so many things after that was just playing around with a new function and some ideas on spaceships from when I was a child and LEGO was best way to make custom spaceships

    research now, I realized Advanced Dungeon & Dragons,D20 is as simple as ringmaking,because hexagon comes with icosahedron(20 sides)


  • JonnyRayJonnyRay Posts: 1,744
    Paintbox said:

    @johnyray , do you think we are missing out on shader functions because we limit ourselves to the uber shader? Are there hidden gems in your opinion?

    I believe that there are some things that the Uber shader just doesn't handle well. For instance, Eustace is working on some gemstone shaders that have complex optical qualities that Uber can't match because it assumes single paths for refraction, etc. Likewise, consider the attached object I made real quick in Hexagon. If I wanted to make that look like a block of wood with the hole bored through, trying to UV map and align textures to ensure the grain ran appropriately through the wood would be a major headache. On the other hand, a procedural wood shader written using object coordinates would handle that easily.

    mach25 said:

    jonnyray any pixelshader(opengl/directx) experience?

    Unfortunately no. When I first got into 3D stuff (30 years ago), I wrote my own rendering software (using a simple phong shading model). But my professional life went another direction. I didn't really get back into it until around 2001/2002 with Daz Studio. But I still remembered enough math to be able to follow most of the Siggraph papers and such I was reading. :)

    I was trying to come up with an implementation of the hair shader that Pixar created that would work for 3Delight for our typical transmapped hair objects. Was getting close, but then life stuff happened for a few years and now we're on to a new rendering engine and it isn't worth trying to pick it back up again.

    1380 x 856 - 166K
  • mach25mach25 Posts: 256

    maybe possible instead to make new versions of old clothes for newer models,should I do that?

    but I am not good at rigging,otherwise I maybe go the Make custom Morphing Fantasy Dress,using transmaps and bumpmaps to fake 3dmodelling or catsuit or other nice existing 3d clothes




  • mach25mach25 Posts: 256

    found old TY2 clothes,tops and 2 kind of miniskirts,maybe worth make again for G8's?never went so far like rig them and make them poseable,so they were restricted to standup pose


  • JonnyRayJonnyRay Posts: 1,744

    Yeah, I've done the same thing with a couple of things when I needed something specific. Rigging is still something I need to add to my skillset. People like Jen and Sickleyield make it look "easy" in their tutorials. :P

  • I'm so totally new at this that I probebly don't even rate a "Green" yet but I write books about the Ukrainian "Exclusion Zone" around the defunct Chernobyl reactor and I'm now looking to create a graphic novel for my books.

    As such, I need certain things that simply aren't available yet and as such, I have to greate them.
    An example is an oversized, camo, BDU dress shirt and pant for my V4.

    My options have been whittled down over the last three weeks of DAZ forums and googling to creating them myself.

    Plus I like the idea of owning the rights myself to all my work as opposed to sharing them.

  • JonnyRay said:

    Yeah, I've done the same thing with a couple of things when I needed something specific. Rigging is still something I need to add to my skillset. People like Jen and Sickleyield make it look "easy" in their tutorials. :P

    It's easier in the newest DS than it's ever been!  Figure Setup tab plus the Weight Map editor is really a very powerful and easy-to-use rigging setup compared to some others I've seen (I love Blender, but I also hate it, and one of the things I hate is much of its rigging methodology).

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