Native Daz file import for Blender - How does Daz feel about that?

I often use Daz Content in Cinema 4D to create images with Vray. To get good results, i have to pose Daz characters in Daz 3D Studio and export them via DXF or OBJ. I could write a plugin to import poseable characters to Cinema 4D by importing the DUF files (except HD, fibermesh and dForce), but this is a cumbesome task and some things may not work well, as this program treats some things simply in a different way.

On the other hand it should be possible to do such a thing with Blender. As there is the source code available, it should be possible to write a plugin that mimics the behaviour of Daz Studio for most of the features. It may require to get a more detailed information about the way the Daz files work. Is Daz interested to share some information, or do we have to reengineer, how it works?

For Daz it could offer an additional market for the assets.

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Comments

  • ebergerlyebergerly Posts: 2,480

    I agree 100%. There is a free plugin that, last I checked, allowed you to do some very basic direct import from DAZ to Blender, but it didn't accurately import the bones and such as I recall. It was more for a static scene. 

    But yeah, it always seemed to me that an exporter to Blender would open up a whole new market, but apparently that's not a priority.  

  • Peter WadePeter Wade Posts: 1,132

    As a user I would be interested in this and I would be willing to pay for it as long as the price was at a hobbyist level and not professional software priceing.

  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 50,031

    I very much doubt Daz would share the details of the HD morph format, since that would probably make it accessible to others. On the other hand, if you have the relevant developer skills it may be worth talking to them - they may be interested in a closed source tool to send HD morphs from DS to Blender (which shouldn't be construed as any kind of commitment as to what they would do).

  • If you want HD, fibermesh and dForce effects in Blender, I'd say you are better off using the native tools available: multires/subdivision modifiers, particle systems and cloth sim.  Setting these up automatically via script is almost certainly possible, but even if you could extract the necessary information from DUF files I suspect you would end up spending as much time tweaking the settings as you would just setting them up from scratch.  To improve the automated transfer results, a plugin developer would I think need extensive help from Daz, something I am guessing they would either not be prepared to provide or expect to get paid consultancy for, which in turn would likely make the plugin not financially viable.

  • wolf359wolf359 Posts: 2,156

    On the other hand it should be possible to do such a thing with
     Blender. As there is the source code available, 
    it should be possible to write a plugin that mimics the
    behaviour of Daz Studio for most of the features. 
    It may require to get a more detailed information about 
    the way the Daz files work. 
    Is Daz interested to share some information,
     or do we have to reengineer, how it works?
    For Daz it could offer an additional market for the assets.

    Learn the DSON Code/spec and use that for a Daz content bridge to blender
    This fellow did and is now working with Daz to complete his, DSON based, Maya plugin
    https://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/278111/dex-dson-exchange-plugin-for-maya

    According to a forum post ,by a Daz employee, they have given him access to internal SDK's 
    not available to the general public, so expect this plugin for Maya to be the most complete
    Genesis to Maya solution ever created.

    ( An early pre alpha version)

    Anything other than the official  DSON Method is just one more
    dodgey "Squiffy,Mason" handshake that will quickly be forgotten.sad

  • nonesuch00nonesuch00 Posts: 10,339
    wolf359 said:

    On the other hand it should be possible to do such a thing with
     Blender. As there is the source code available, 
    it should be possible to write a plugin that mimics the
    behaviour of Daz Studio for most of the features. 
    It may require to get a more detailed information about 
    the way the Daz files work. 
    Is Daz interested to share some information,
     or do we have to reengineer, how it works?
    For Daz it could offer an additional market for the assets.

    Learn the DSON Code/spec and use that for a Daz content bridge to blender
    This fellow did and is now working with Daz to complete his, DSON based, Maya plugin
    https://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/278111/dex-dson-exchange-plugin-for-maya

    According to a forum post ,by a Daz employee, they have given him access to internal SDK's 
    not available to the general public, so expect this plugin for Maya to be the most complete
    Genesis to Maya solution ever created.

    ( An early pre alpha version)

    Anything other than the official  DSON Method is just one more
    dodgey "Squiffy,Mason" handshake that will quickly be forgotten.sad

    Maybe a DAZ to Unity & DAZ to UE4 is coming from this morphed Morph 3D to Tati (or whatever that new name for Morph 3D is). 

  • PadonePadone Posts: 588
    edited March 10

    On the other hand it should be possible to do such a thing with Blender.

    ebergerly said:

    I agree 100%. There is a free plugin that, last I checked, allowed you to do some very basic direct import from DAZ to Blender, but it didn't accurately import the bones and such as I recall. It was more for a static scene. 

    That's already be done and it's free and open source. I'm also quite surprised you didn't know since it's out from quite a while.

    It imports G1-G8 full rigged characters, HDR maps and instances for scenes, and it even convert iray materials to cycles quite fine. The limits are it doesn't import hd morphs and it doesn't convert triax maps. So you have to prebend G1-G2 for exporting, while G3-G8 work fine. One way to export hd morphs is to bake to obj though, so not a big deal.

    http://diffeomorphic.blogspot.com/

    Post edited by Padone on
  • wolf359wolf359 Posts: 2,156

    Maybe a DAZ to Unity & DAZ to UE4 is coming from this morphed Morph 
    3D toTati (or whatever that new name for Morph 3D is). 


    Reallusion has a live link to Unreal in testing.

    Autodesk Maya has a working live link to Uunreal.

    In both cases you animate in your native application with realtime
    high end character animation,motionbuilding/editing tools , and your exported
    character auto updates live in the game engine for game development
    or realtime  cinematic cuts scene /movie making.

    Unreal is Free and will run on any modern computer that
    most  people (certainly gamers) ,already own

    Morph3D/Tafi seems to have decided that people need custom avatars for AR/VR 
    platforms like the "vive" system etc.
    "Gofigure"  originally though much the same.. and where are they these days?

    The MCS system is becoming open source
    https://www.morph3d.com/morph-character-system

    The price war is on it seems.

    All of  AR/VR systems require you to invest in a separate hardware device that ultimately
    may not become a widely accepted standard and dissappear (have you seen any "Google Glass" devices lately??)

    Daz has acquired the rights to the GraphMate&KeyMate plugins.

    My personal  prediction is that Daz is planning Major updates to the Daz studio Character animation tool set
    with a human IK system and a special version of Genesis built  specificially for Character animation.
    that will directly Challenge Reallusion in terms of figure diversity, performance and  most certainly pricing.

  • nicsttnicstt Posts: 7,837

    I would certainly be inertested in one for Blender like the Maya product being developed, and would happily pay for it.

    Yes I've see what is available and quite like them, but the Maya product looks exceptionally professional.

  • PadonePadone Posts: 588
    nicstt said:

    I would certainly be inertested in one for Blender like the Maya product being developed, and would happily pay for it. Yes I've see what is available and quite like them, but the Maya product looks exceptionally professional.

    AFAIK actually the blender plugin is far superior. The maya plugin doesn't even convert jcms so you have to make them working yourself. May be you should give a closer look ..

     

  • xyer0xyer0 Posts: 2,349
    wolf359 said:

     

    Daz has acquired the rights to the GraphMate&KeyMate plugins.

    My personal  prediction is that Daz is planning Major updates to the Daz studio Character animation tool set
    with a human IK system and a special version of Genesis built  specificially for Character animation.
    that will directly Challenge Reallusion in terms of figure diversity, performance and  most certainly pricing.

    I like the idea, and have long thought that this was the most sensible plan of expansion for Daz. And I suspect they will leave a small bridge for the previous character models to be used in some fashion within the new animation structure. "Previous Daz figure generations work as before in 5.0, but in order to access the full capabilities of dAnimatrix, the Genesis X figure should be used."

  • joseftjoseft Posts: 195
    Padone said:
    nicstt said:

    I would certainly be inertested in one for Blender like the Maya product being developed, and would happily pay for it. Yes I've see what is available and quite like them, but the Maya product looks exceptionally professional.

    AFAIK actually the blender plugin is far superior. The maya plugin doesn't even convert jcms so you have to make them working yourself. May be you should give a closer look ..

     

    Both the video and the original forum post on the Dex plugin by its developer clearly show that JCM's are all automatically applied.

  • PadonePadone Posts: 588
    joseft said:

    Both the video and the original forum post on the Dex plugin by its developer clearly show that JCM's are all automatically applied.

    I was referencing the maya plugin in the shop. Yes the Dex plugin seems better, though it seems it doesn't import geografts and lies yet. And I can't see it released so it seems a work in progress. As for the blender plugin it does it all and more ..

     

  • Singular3DSingular3D Posts: 196
    Padone said:

    On the other hand it should be possible to do such a thing with Blender.

    ebergerly said:

    I agree 100%. There is a free plugin that, last I checked, allowed you to do some very basic direct import from DAZ to Blender, but it didn't accurately import the bones and such as I recall. It was more for a static scene. 

    That's already be done and it's free and open source. I'm also quite surprised you didn't know since it's out from quite a while.

    It imports G1-G8 full rigged characters, HDR maps and instances for scenes, and it even convert iray materials to cycles quite fine. The limits are it doesn't import hd morphs and it doesn't convert triax maps. So you have to prebend G1-G2 for exporting, while G3-G8 work fine. One way to export hd morphs is to bake to obj though, so not a big deal.

    http://diffeomorphic.blogspot.com/

    Thanks a lot. I didn't know that. I just wonder, if the dependencies between joints in G3 are supported as well. There are a lot of ERCLinks in the Genesis figures, especially when you set some additional morphs for characters (e.g. Victoria 7) and packages (e.g muscular)

  • Singular3DSingular3D Posts: 196

    By the way, I would love to see an easy HD morph to Displacement converter. I render in Vray for Cinema 4D and so this would really be handy.

  • DustRiderDustRider Posts: 1,987

    I don't know how DAZ 3D would feel about it, but I would love it!! As a Carrara user that is now learning Blender, I would love to have this functionality in Blender!! The Diffeomorphic plugin is great, but definitely not as good what we had with Carrara (up to Genesis 2). While Diffeomorphic does seem to import things well, the shaders on the G8 characters I've tried definitely were not directly useable (I'm a total Blender newb, so maybe it's me??).

    With Blender 2.8 being much easier for the new user, I think a full featured plugin would be a huge plus! Even though DS is getting more features all the time, it still pales in comaprison to Blender. I would definitely be willing to pay for a plugin, or donate to development if it needed to stay open source.

  • Leonides02Leonides02 Posts: 245
    edited March 11
    wolf359 said:

     

    My personal  prediction is that Daz is planning Major updates to the Daz studio Character animation tool set
    with a human IK system and a special version of Genesis built  specificially for Character animation.
    that will directly Challenge Reallusion in terms of figure diversity, performance and  most certainly pricing.

    From your lips to the Daz Gods' ears. ;-)

    Post edited by Leonides02 on
  • PadonePadone Posts: 588
    DustRider said:

    .. the shaders on the G8 characters I've tried definitely were not directly useable (I'm a total Blender newb, so maybe it's me??) .. I would definitely be willing to pay for a plugin, or donate to development if it needed to stay open source.

    I don't know how Thomas feels about donations, afaik he's not on patreon and doesn't seem to advertise his plugin around either. But you could ask him on diffeomorphic may be he'll be glad to get some bucks.

    As for materials, I worked personally on some shader conversions from iray to cycles in the blender plugin, so may be I can help. Or you can help us get a better conversion by showing what shaders you have problems with. It is usually good to convert to uber shader inside daz studio before exporting since the plugin handles the uber shader better. Below the tests I did back there with also some suggestions in between.

    https://bitbucket.org/Diffeomorphic/import-daz/issues/123/material-tests

  • wolf359wolf359 Posts: 2,156

    Having looked at the Thomas Larson site several times
    I must honestly say that 
    his plugin seems to involve alot a manual grunt work and I see nothing 
    about using external animation Data (.duf , BVH) or lipsincing a character imported via 
    his plugin.

    Are there any animation examples available using this plugin??

    I primarily only interested in animation.

    For occasional stills/portraits with cycles
    I can just use the Teleblend script from Mcasual .

  • PadonePadone Posts: 588
    wolf359 said:
    Are there any animation examples available using this plugin?? .. For occasional stills/portraits with cycles I can just use the Teleblend script from Mcasual .

    AFAIK the plugin should be able to import animations from DS though I don't use DS to animate so I never used it that way. As for teleblender the diffeomorphic plugin is far superior in material conversions.

    http://diffeomorphic.blogspot.com/p/posing-panel.html

  • ArtiniArtini Posts: 3,672
    wolf359 said:

    Maybe a DAZ to Unity & DAZ to UE4 is coming from this morphed Morph 
    3D toTati (or whatever that new name for Morph 3D is). 


    Reallusion has a live link to Unreal in testing.

    Autodesk Maya has a working live link to Uunreal.

    In both cases you animate in your native application with realtime
    high end character animation,motionbuilding/editing tools , and your exported
    character auto updates live in the game engine for game development
    or realtime  cinematic cuts scene /movie making.

    Unreal is Free and will run on any modern computer that
    most  people (certainly gamers) ,already own

    Morph3D/Tafi seems to have decided that people need custom avatars for AR/VR 
    platforms like the "vive" system etc.
    "Gofigure"  originally though much the same.. and where are they these days?

    The MCS system is becoming open source
    https://www.morph3d.com/morph-character-system

    The price war is on it seems.

    All of  AR/VR systems require you to invest in a separate hardware device that ultimately
    may not become a widely accepted standard and dissappear (have you seen any "Google Glass" devices lately??)

    Daz has acquired the rights to the GraphMate&KeyMate plugins.

    My personal  prediction is that Daz is planning Major updates to the Daz studio Character animation tool set
    with a human IK system and a special version of Genesis built  specificially for Character animation.
    that will directly Challenge Reallusion in terms of figure diversity, performance and  most certainly pricing.

    Interesting, thanks for posting the link to Morph3D system.

     

  • wolf359wolf359 Posts: 2,156

    I don't know how DAZ 3D would feel about it, 
    but I would love it!! As a Carrara user that is now learning 
    Blender, I would love to have this functionality in Blender!! 
    The Diffeomorphic plugin is great, but definitely not as good 
    what we had with Carrara (up to Genesis 2). 
    While Diffeomorphic does seem to import things well, the shaders 
    on the G8 characters I've tried definitely were not directly useable 
    (I'm a total Blender newb, so maybe it's me??).

    With Blender 2.8 being much easier for the new user,
     I think a full featured plugin would be a huge plus! 
    Even though DS is getting more features all the time, 
    it still pales in comaprison to Blender. 
    I would definitely be willing to pay for a plugin, 
    or donate to development if it needed to stay open source.

     


    What people need to understand is that because of Blender’s 
    GPL license, technically third party plugins need to be open-sourced 
    with a compatible license as well. 

    This means any proprietary Daz technology implemented
    in a Blender plugin( HD moprhs etc) would no longer be completely under the 
    control of Daz.

    So dont expect to see any official plugin from Daz
    to send fully functional Genesis rigs to Blender.

    Daz understandablywould seem to prefer to give people the complete "Genesis experience"
    in their external application environment.

    Larsons plugin is  a bit "removed" from that experience to be charitable.cool

    This is best acheived with DSON in fact the call for beta testers
    for ,what I assume is the DEX plugin, has already been made.
    https://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/314736/looking-for-maya-plug-in-testers#latest

  • PadonePadone Posts: 588
    wolf359 said:

    What people need to understand is that because of Blender’s 
    GPL license, technically third party plugins need to be open-sourced 
    with a compatible license as well. 

    This means any proprietary Daz technology implemented
    in a Blender plugin( HD moprhs etc) would no longer be completely under the 
    control of Daz.

    Larsons plugin is  a bit "removed" from that experience to be charitable.cool

    This is best acheived with DSON in fact the call for beta testers

    I don't know .. FBX is proprietary as well but Blender gets one of the best FBX importer/exporter in the market today. As for the Thomas plugin yes, G1-G2 triax and HD morphs are not supported. But this is true also for the maya plugin in the shop .. As it is also true that DSON doesn't support G3-G8 in Poser itself, so you see that being open-source is not the only issue here ..

     

  • wolf359wolf359 Posts: 2,156
    edited March 13

    I don't know .. FBX is proprietary as well but Blender gets one of the best FBX importer/exporter 
    in the market today.


    Blenders  FBX importer/exporter is essentially a Python import/export
    script that "reads" FBX,  and not even written with the official Autodesk FBX SDK 
    so I am not sure how it qualifies as"one of the best FBX importers on the Market today"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FBX

    Also FBX,by default , protects anyone proprietary Figure technology 
    by virtue of it being so limited to transferring the most basic rigging weighting
    and FK motion Data.

     
    . As for the Thomas plugin yes, G1-G2 triax and HD morphs are 
    not supported. But this is true also for the maya plugin in the shop

    All of the Previous DAZ to Maya plugins were based on basic FBX export
    And clever use of Mel script to try to emulate Genesis functionality in Maya.
    Technically they only automated what was already possible with Maya & an  FBX export from Daz. 

     .. As it is also true that DSON doesn't support G3-G8 in Poser itself,
     so you see that being open-source is not the only issue here .

    That Debacle  was not a limitation of the DSON spec but  indeed a limitation of 
    Poser's vestigial core architecture.indecision

    Post edited by wolf359 on
  • PadonePadone Posts: 588

    .. And personally I can't understand the DAZ marketing strategy here. I mean, they sell models right ? So why precluding them to be used outside DS. An open format would allow anyone to write plugins for DAZ assets thus expanding their market space ..

  • wolf359wolf359 Posts: 2,156
    edited March 13

     I can't understand the DAZ marketing strategy here. I mean, 
    they sell models right ? So why precluding them to be used 
    outside DS.

    To be Fair Daz, is not precluding their models&content from being used outside of DS
    they are only restricting one single, solitary aspect of their IP( HD morphs) to Daz studio
    In my experience  most people outside of the core Daz userbase 
    are only interested in using genesis for animation not stills.

    You can use a Daz genesis in any program that imports FBX .OBJ ,MDD,Alembic.
    if you need "HD details" you can use normal maps

    Here is Ivan 7 in animated scene in Maxon C4D 

    Base resolution mesh with his normal maps providing the facial details.


     An open format would allow anyone to write plugins for 
    DAZ assets thus expanding their market space.


    Daz already has a public SDK available
    This is how third parties created Fluidos,aniMate2, graphMate etc. etc. 
    and of course there is DSON that the maker of the DEX plugin used
    for his Maya plugin ,now in beta testing.

    IVAN.jpg
    1276 x 721 - 190K
    Post edited by wolf359 on
  • Matt_CastleMatt_Castle Posts: 221
    wolf359 said:
    Blenders  FBX importer/exporter is essentially a Python import/export script that "reads" FBX,  and not even written with the official Autodesk FBX SDK

    That would be Blender's default FBX importer/exporter.

    However, there is an alternative out there which communicates with the Autodesk SDK (which you have to have separately installed) in order to import FBX; This is legal, as communication with non-GPL programs is not prohibited under GPL licence terms, and in this case, Blender and the Autodesk SDK have remained entirely separate entities.

  • nonesuch00nonesuch00 Posts: 10,339
    wolf359 said:
    Blenders  FBX importer/exporter is essentially a Python import/export script that "reads" FBX,  and not even written with the official Autodesk FBX SDK

    That would be Blender's default FBX importer/exporter.

    However, there is an alternative out there which communicates with the Autodesk SDK (which you have to have separately installed) in order to import FBX; This is legal, as communication with non-GPL programs is not prohibited under GPL licence terms, and in this case, Blender and the Autodesk SDK have remained entirely separate entities.

    Can you give the name or post a link to that particular FBX import/exporter for Blender?

  • PadonePadone Posts: 588
    wolf359 said:

    To be Fair Daz, is not precluding their models&content from being used outside of DS
    they are only restricting

    Yes of course I was talking about HD and Triax that's the features the blender plugin can't support .. everything else works fine.

  • Singular3DSingular3D Posts: 196
    edited March 15
    wolf359 said:
     

    What people need to understand is that because of Blender’s 
    GPL license, technically third party plugins need to be open-sourced 
    with a compatible license as well. 

    This means any proprietary Daz technology implemented
    in a Blender plugin( HD moprhs etc) would no longer be completely under the 
    control of Daz.

    This isn't entirely true. Only if you distribute something together with a GPL licensed software and this results in a larger work, you have to release it under GPL as well.

    If the plugin uses only a defined interface and you do not include any Blender code in this plugin, you can release it under any license that you like. If Daz can implement a plugin without using Blender code, it would still be totally under the control of Daz.

    To be Fair Daz, is not precluding their models&content from being used outside of DS
    they are only restricting one single, solitary aspect of their IP( HD morphs) to Daz studio
    In my experience  most people outside of the core Daz userbase 
    are only interested in using genesis for animation not stills.

    You can use a Daz genesis in any program that imports FBX .OBJ ,MDD,Alembic.
    if you need "HD details" you can use normal maps

    That is certainly true, but with FBX you loose the ERC linked morphs as well. Diffeomorphic deals with that and allows the posing in Blender without loosing any corrective morphs.If you do not need anymations and don't want to pose in Daz, but directly in Blender, this helps a lot.

    Post edited by Singular3D on
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