Ten Years After - The Making of Dartanbeck.com

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  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,779

    Yep. Carrara will likely always be my favorite tool Ever!!!

    Gonna try and take a break from learning other stuff and hop back into Carrara tomorrow.

    Well, I've been "in" Carrara, but tomorrow I want to Play in Carrara! Rosie? Oh dear, where did I leave Rosie 5 again? LOL

    I just got a Ton of great legacy fun from Poser World. Looking forward to playing Hard!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,779

    Wow. Here I've been slaving away trying new things: Octane and Iray in Daz Studio, and now I look at my more recent stuff from Carrara and, I think that Carrara renders are really quite formidable! I mean, I'm rendering in Carrara at a fraction of the time. So if I up my setting in Carrara (efficiently and logically) I'd bet that we could match it right out.

    The ease of dropping in an HDRI and grabbing preset render settings might not be as accessible to us, but I've been loving Carrara's many render options for many great reasons.

    I'm still very glad that I took some time to learn more about using Daz Studio. I've been wanting to do that for a long time, and I intend now to keep learning more. It really is an excellent bit of software with many amazing (Amazing) tools, so... yeah. I'm glad I got to know it better.

    I think it will be a fun endeavor to use both together much more than I have been in the past.

    But boy, oh boy does it ever feel good to be home again!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,779
    edited January 16

    ..and what does 2021 bring?

    I was taunted with a project that really got me back on track with projecting forward for 2021 - animated speech.

    With many tools at our disposal, I'm glad to have what I believe to be one of the best: Mimic Pro!

    This is just the beginning...

    https://www.dartanbeck.com/carrara-zone/carrara-cg-workshop/production-phase/animating-speech

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • UnifiedBrainUnifiedBrain Posts: 2,848

    Dart, your latest clip looks (and sounds) terrific.  Very, very impressive.

    Then again, I have always been impressed with your clips, all the way back to when I started using Carrara in 2016.

    My question is, do you have an end goal?  It is easy to get lost in experimentation and never actually produce a finished product.

    You are (obviously) an experienced and talented artist.

    Your characters are already excellent without needing any upgrades to G8 or whatever.

    Your software (Carrara) is already full-featured, without a need to experiment with Daz Studio or any other equally clunky alternative.

    You now have the hardware (Ryzen) necessary for the task.

    In short, unless I am missing something obvious, you have the tools right now to do an amazing movie project.

    What is your end goal?  I hope that you focus on that, as I am eager to see your vision come to life.yes

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,779

    Yes. End goal is to one day create a series of episodes, and never quit until I die, or simply cannot do it anymore.

    Learning Carrara has been an absolute dream so far. As I'm sure you recall, it takes a while to get into a real groove with it - learning the ins and outs and how-tos. My biggest drawback to all of this is the lack of time I get to be at a computer - My computer or any other. Right now I'm on a lowly craptop as I await another render. I'm almost Always rendering an animation. A lot of those times, it's a test render - more accurately, a Batch Queue loaded up with them.

    Just before the period when I got really quiet on the forums (the first time) I realized that I was getting decent at working on animations, wasn't entirely happy with my renders, but I had no idea how to actually make a movie. I took some time to take a course VXF for Geurrilla Filmmakers, through Norwich Uniniversity of the Arts. This opened my eyes a lot and began to fill in a lot of the missing pieces. Still, I am almost never at a computer, so I have to absorb things as I can.

    The journey to my goal is incredibly fun. 

    Continued next post...

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,779

    This last absence began as a bit of a nightmare - my Grandson being born with epilepsy and having mal and grand-mal seizures repeatedly throughout every day, I took it upon myself to pull him from daycare and become his daycare. I'm young to be a Grandfather. These are kids of the older siblings of the kids that I adopted. But we're all related by blood as far as how we all feel about each other, so I am blessed.

    It was during that period when I was no longer producing anything, got culled as a Daz 3D PA, computer must have sat idle too long and just didn't like being turned back on, whatever. Dark times for Dartanbeck. 

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 11,714

    Oh, dark times for Dartanbeck?

    Let there be light!

    I am very sorry to hear that your family is dealing with challenges.  You were missed here.  In addition to your infectious enthusiasm, I missed all the knowledge that you share.

    RE: Mimic, I replied in the Art Studio.

    UnifiedBrain said 

    You are (obviously) an experienced and talented artist.

    Your characters are already excellent without needing any upgrades to G8 or whatever.

    Your software (Carrara) is already full-featured, without a need to experiment with Daz Studio or any other equally clunky alternative.

    You now have the hardware (Ryzen) necessary for the task.

    In short, unless I am missing something obvious, you have the tools right now to do an amazing movie project.

    I agree 100%.  Can't wait to see what shape your vision becomes.  yes

     

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,779

     I began building my new website - something I was able to work on with this lowly laptop.

    Alita Battle Angel came out - inspired me to redesign Rosie in a whole new light. Somewhere along the way, I totally and completely wrecked Rosie 4. I look at the images of her in my Daz 3D Gallery, and she looks Awful! 

    I collected some things to help in these efforts - building a Genesis 2 Female figure using Genesis 1 as the figure used for the best compatibility with my favorite reason to turn on a computer - Carrara. Genesis Generation X2 and the add-ons were essential in this, as were a few other choice purchases.

    I barely gave Genesis 1 eyes a chance before 'knowing' that I'm using Arki's EYEdeas instead. The teeth were way too big for tiny Rosie, so I had to make a change.

    You've probably heard all of this before. This all took time to do - especially when most of my days are outside, away from a computer, let alone My computer - and I get home absolutely exhausted, making it hard to stay awake, let alone geek out on this wonderful stuff.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,779

    My Awesome brother sponsored the parts order for my new Ryzen machine and, to me... here we are!

    So to me, I feel right on schedule.

    The Inspiration Section of my site is filled with just a small example of the things I study. Many of these things help to illustrate how long these things can take an entire team of people who graduated college in their subject. 

    When I began using Carrara in 2010, I had a spiffy new 19" laptop that I bought just for Carrara. It had Windows 7 64 bit (Carrara 8 was still in beta), Intel's Core2Duo, 2GB RAM and a GeForce dedicated GPU. She was a snazzy piece of kit for the time - for me!

    It took quite some time for me to figure out how to render Fast. I mean, coming from Poser it already was really fast. But when I started, V4 was in her glory and brand new to me. Inagone's V4 Skin and Lights Kit was a big page turner for me. That free product comes with such a great manual for working with shaders in Carrara, I still recommend that to this day. Back then our forum had an amazing freebies section, and that was one of them. I'm glad to see it's alive on ShareCG.

    Anyway, if you take a look at the "Videos" portion of my YouTube channel, you can see what I've been doing over the years. They date back to the first year I started using Carrara. I was pretty bad, I think. But I knew it, and still wanted to show my work - I want to be able to 'see' my progress, and don't mind that being public. In fact, I encourage it.

    The Mimic Pro for Carrara video that I just published is quite elementary. Many people trying to achieve the same goals as me likely wouldn't have put that up. But that's really what I'm all about - showing people what I did, how I got there, and then learning from that and getting better at it.

    I'm currently rendering a similar Test, using the first set of custom phonemes I've ever made for Mimic.

    I bought Mimic Pro for Carrara in the same cart as Carrara, when I first bought that. aniMate 2 as well. These were my goals back then. Animation, and I knew that would lead to dialog at some point. Ten years after, and here we are!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,779
    edited January 17

    Thanks UB and Diomede!

    Don't worry. Even during dark times, I still Always manage to learn more things toward achieving the end goal.

    Dartanbeck.com was created as a place where I can share all of this stuff, so I do. It's packed with the history of my journey and hints at what is to come. In fact, although I haven't added more to this line of fun, What Happened at Odysseon Station is a small article I made to help illustrate how I use my Daz 3D Wish List to shape purchases that lead to stories - or the stories lead to the purchases.

    It saves a lot of money (for me) to think along these terms, and let them guide me as to which things to buy during a big sale or any other day. There are always so many glittery items to choose from, it's easy (for me) to buy something cool that doesn't lead me any closer to what I'm trying to accomplish. Still fun, but less effective in reaching that goal.

    PC+ Cloth Frenzy is an article on how I use the new technology of VWD to get really great fitting clothing from the least expected source - older generation of Daz 3D figure's clothing lines! Even clothing made For Genesis 1 often doesn't fit nearly as well as these older gems - and PC+ can help us get them so close to free it's unbelievable. But even stuff that isn't PC+ goes on sale quite often here. And I'm always keeping my eyes open for them.

    Even if I don't run them through VWD (which is really quite fast, I must add), sometimes I'm still converting them to static props so I can cut away what I don't want and then parent the end result - like a collar, for example. Rosie 5's boots, when she's in her medieval mode, like the Mimic Pro video, are Michael 3 Wildenlander boots! The Platina Armor iron bikini is for Victoria 3 (Awful Soul, now Aery Soul)

    Story > Pacing and Rendering was written in direct response to some issues I was seeing from a lot of forum members in Carrara and other software, and I felt compelled to share my experiences.

    Writing in that site gives me the pleasure of at least attempting to help others grow in all of this. Carrara-centric, yes. But I'm hoping to alleviate the need of having Carrara to gain knowledge from all of this. Years ago I gave a response to someone saying: "Daz 3D just wants us using Daz Studio and nothing else"

    I was in tight with many of Daz 3D's staff at the time, and I knew that to be the opposite of the truth! Daz 3D didn't care what software an artist used. They wanted to offer (and sell) great 3D content - Period. How? By having very tight, educated Quality Assurance on everything going into the store. By having a Great reputation and Amazing artists creating incredible conent. That was the thing. I was always quite small in the grand scheme of Daz artists, yet most of them were always very neighborly to me and were willing to share ideas and inspiration. 

    I get a lot of joy by helping others. That, to me is even more important than achieving the end goal.

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,779

    Dartanbeck said:

    Even if I don't run them through VWD (which is really quite fast, I must add), sometimes I'm still converting them to static props so I can cut away what I don't want and then parent the end result - like a collar, for example. Rosie 5's boots, when she's in her medieval mode, like the Mimic Pro video, are Michael 3 Wildenlander boots! The Platina Armor iron bikini is for Victoria 3 (Awful Soul, now Aery Soul)

    Oh, and sometimes I just use Auto-fit. I have the complete line of Generations for Genesis 1 auto-fit, and a lot of these clothing items fit amazingly well, and come with a plethora of morphs for fitting, movement and styles. 

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,779
    edited January 17

    Okay, all of that said, I admit that I have no aspirations to turning out material as exquisite as a whole team of amazing professionals' years of work on a single film (example taken from Inspirations > Weta Digital > Adventures of Tintin)

    So I am proceeding forward with my stuff. this Mimic Pro stuff being that next step that must be taken. I'm currently working with another amazing Carrara forum member in sorting this stuff out and getting better as we progress.

    At first, I plan to include talking animated figures into portions of my tutorials and demonstrations, and even as that's going on, I plan to be getting the first episode underway. That, to me is the scariest part of it all!!! LOL

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • MystiarraMystiarra Posts: 36,610

    imagining it would be fun to decorate a planet with the badlands flora

    being a stargate atlantis fan, is silly i expect every planet to have a stargate.lol

  • MystiarraMystiarra Posts: 36,610

    they doing a Neil Peart tribute concert

    https://www.udiscovermusic.com/news/neil-peart-charity-prog-peart-2021/

    you going? smiley

    8 prog bands.

    not sure what a prog band is.  progressive rock?

    always wanted to render a red barchetta.

     

     

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,779
    edited January 31

    Would be right up my alley, but I don't know how to get there from Wisconsin :(

    In other news, Mindsong and I have been collaborating on some pretty cool stuff.

    There's too much to say in this little blurb, but I intend to start logging our efforts on my site as well as here.

    To begin, I've created a landing page for the main topic and another, which is a subpage of the first which launches our efforts in Mimic as well.

    Bridging Technology is the main landing page which will lead us into our efforts regarding making things for a harmoneous balance between Daz Studio and Carrara and eventually beyond - and already hints at some of what's been going on, but not a big reveal yet.

    Mimic Lip Sync begins with a discussion about the different types of Mimic available today as well as the (now extinct?) Stand-Alone Pro edition. This will (soon?) lead to a wealth of information regarding the efforts we've been putting into working with this powerful software as well as other options, etc.,

    To say the least, I'm very eager to introduce the new Rosie 5.5 character, who was built from the ground up in Daz Studio this time, so that she can easily load the same in both DS and Carrara. The Carrara version has already been optimized and has been hard at work - Acting! :)

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  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,779
    edited February 1

    Rosie 5.5

     

    And our first look at the new Rosie 5.5

     

    She's not entirely 'mission complete' yet, but she's really close - still a few kinks to work out for faithful, consistent animation duties.

     

    This whole Bridging of Technology that Mindsong and I are on has inspired this project, which couldn't have happened at a better time for me.

     

    There are issues with Rosie 5 and 8 that have mostly been resolved already with Rosie 5.5, and she's helping us to ever drive forward with what we were intending to do in the first place, simply by finding solutions for her.

    Big Win!

     

    I owe a lot to him for nudging me and opening my eyes to more and more ways to push this whole thing forward into positive directions and taking advantage of the really great tools that we've had all along - and will be stepping into brand new ones as we go!

    Really looking forward to all of this!

     

    Thanks Mindsong!

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  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 11,714

    Yay!

    Dart, I'm so happy to see you moving forward with your grand animation project.  Very inspiring.

    Can't wait to see more.

    Kudos to Mindsong.

     

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,779

    Diomede said:

    Yay!

    Dart, I'm so happy to see you moving forward with your grand animation project.  Very inspiring.

    Can't wait to see more.

    Kudos to Mindsong.

    I've Always been working on it! When by one's self, these things take time... and I'm not really in a rush. I'm having so much fun on the journey and passing along articles, videos and links - all while crunching tests in Carrara! I'm having a Blast!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,779
    edited February 3

    Rosie 5.5 is adorable! She's not doing it in this first frame (above image), but wait 'till you see her awesome smile! It's Rosie! My Rosie!!! :)

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,779

    I think I have a good start on the Rosie 5.5 page of Bridging Technology, which explains a lot about how she's designed and built and why, along with where we're planning to go from here with her.

    Trying to put this all together between simulation times and renders, so if anyone wants to do a little proof reading and give feedback, I'd love that.

    More to come about all aspects brought up already as well as new activities. I'm certainly going to see if I can put to use the idea I presented in another thread about creating my own FACS-type system for her using Fenric's Carrara ERC.

    Here's the new page if you'd like to check it out: Rosie 5.5

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,779

    I'm putting that ERC post in here so I can review what I wrote! LOL

    WendyLuvsCatz said:

    ATLPR said:

    Sci Fi Funk on Youtube 

    Yes, I understand, and numerous aspects of don't products don't work. My recent gripe (voiced for the first time here), is: As far as I can tell, the new "8.1 Face Controls" cannot be used on my e.g. V4,Gen,Gen2,Gen3 characters. I thought it was just the mesh being bent in various ways. Why can't it be used for all of them (just like my mesh grabber)?

     

    it is actually a conformer that fits to the facial bones on G8.1 

    Yes. Wendy's right. It's taking leaps into higher-end technology, like that used in Alita Battle Angel.

    While 8.1 is Not made using all of the advanced tech of Alita, it Is leveraging a lot of the philosophies used. Daz 3D has always been on the forefront of delivering some (some) of the utmost latest tech in their CG Characters.

    That said, we Carrara users also have a huge boon of this same nature that was gifted to us by a high-end amazing animator collaborating with one of our brilliant plugin designers. Her Carrara call sign then was "Faba" and she worked with Fenric to help him produce a plugin that's so powerful that few of us truly understand how to put it to full use - besides Faba, that is.

    But she tried to teach us all with amazing details that are still available today.

    In Carrara, we could use Fenric's Carrara Enhanced Remote Control to create an interface almost exactly like the 8.1 FACS interface, or we could customize it however we want. With a free ShareCG account, we can download some really cool tutorials and addons for this amazing (and now free) plugin via Faba's gallery: fabaone, and in particular regarding this, her Carrara Custom Helpers, which she made when I was asking her how she made them in the older Daz forums of the time. I'm glad that she moved it all to ShareCG when Daz shifted to a new forum software!

    In the examples she did for the Carrara ERC, she demonstrated using helpers like these to control hand gestures. But with Carrara ERC, we can connect any morph or joint to any control, so we could use this to make our own facial control rig just like what we see on 8.1, but we can also have it as a simple controls sytem that stays with our view rather that sticking in to the head of the figure, so as we rotate the character around, our controls remain in the same place in our working view - if we wanted. 

    Edit for clarification - we can attach any Morph(s) to any control - even if that control happens to be a morph dial or joint rotation, and if more than one morph is attached they ca each be set up to behave completely independant of the others attached - if you follow. It sounds complicated because it certainly can be if we let it. It's Incredibly powerful tech here!

    If we use Carrara ERC on Genesis 2 and earlier figures, we can use it to control the many facial morphs in ways that it would 'feel' like we're controlling facial bones in a way. If we used it on Misty's Genesis 3, 8 or 8.1 presets in Carrara, we could actually control the movements of those facial bones and/or use it to control morph dials. Quite powerful!

    That's what Faba thought that Carrara was missing all along - being the incredible animator that she is. So I was very grateful to her and Fenric for making this a possibility - even though it was waaay over my newbie head.

    I was just saying in another thread that, for a "Legacy Software" Carrara sure is ahead of its time in a Lot of ways! It was fun to see that some of the new features in LightWave a couple years back were things that Carrara's had for quite some time! No... I'm not saing that Carrara's better than LW! Please don't misinterpret! LOL

    It's the people using Carrara that make it so advanced. The Daz 3D devs that were working on it were pumped about it. Spooky had a great team and they had a lot on their plate. It was truly inspiring and amazing to see what all they got done in the time they did it in - especially when they rewrote it to bring it to 64 bit!!!

    Our plugin makers never cease to amaze me - the things they create. have a look for yourself in my Carrara Plugins section!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,779

    ...and now I just added it to the Rosie 5.5 page ;)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,779

    Gearing up to do some video presentations on my methods of Hybrid Animation (a modern continuation of AniMating in Carrara), I've (finally) started writing some of the text-based article on the subject: Hybrid AniMation article/page

    This topic will end up requiring further pages/articles in order to properly demonstrate these techniques for specific needs, so this main article is left more on the broad, open spectrum of the ideas behind it.

    Too tired right now to proof read my own words, I'll be back (tomorrow?) to check it for errors, mispellings and continuity. Special thanks to anyone willing to proof read and offer feedback smiley

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,779

    I can see already that I need images (screenshots) to help.

    It should be pretty cool though, to have the article plus videos to help nail these techniques down. It's incredibly fun, but it takes a bit of practice and experience (at least it did for me) before selecting just the right moton files becomes either more clear or less muddy - you pick which! 

  • MystiarraMystiarra Posts: 36,610

    cant find  the thread but iirc you posted about the dual xeon machines on ebay?

    have you written anything about cores, hertz, and hw?

    thanks.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,779

    That was jonstark who was writing about those HP Z600 and Z00 series workstations. I still have to hold myself back from wanting one of those. The more I look hard at it, it seems to me to be more cost-efficient to build/buy something compatible with today's oerating systems.

    Anyway, I wrote a quite a bit here and there, but quite some time ago I worte these:

    ► How to Build Your Own Carrara Workstation

    ► Buying a Workstation

    I hope it helps. If not, ask. But I'm crashing for the night, so you might have to wait until tomorrow if nobody else chimes in.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,779
    edited February 11

    Aha... I thought it was this thread!

    Here's the spot in this very thread where I talk about my new Ryzen 7 (I build using yester-year's technology - I'm a poor little fellow) build.

    Edit: FWIW, I absolutely Love my Ryzen 7 machine. A lot of newer tech has come out since, and it doesn't bother me in the slightest. This thing Rocks!!!

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • MystiarraMystiarra Posts: 36,610

    thank you.  dreams of cores

  • WendyLuvsCatzWendyLuvsCatz Posts: 29,841

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,779

    Anyone still using Genesis 1?

    Well no matter which figure I'm using, I always find myself in the graph editor after importing motion files.

    Nothing wrong with the motion data, it's just that each of my characters have different postures and body language, whether they realize it or not.

    Since I'm using Genesis 1, this is the figure I've targeted for this particular (free) product.

    Genesis 1 MorphForms + adds new pose dials to the top level of the Genesis 1 figure. It's completely non-destructive and doesn't add any shapes or overhead, just a few helpful global bend and twist options to assist with poses and animations.

    Here's the thread in the Freebies section

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