daz imports into Carrara

tomasballtomasball Posts: 77
edited December 1969 in Carrara Discussion

I'm having a little trouble getting the knack of this. I took a Genesis figure in Daz Studio 4.6, created a couple of morphs in zbrush, and saved it as a scene.

Then I opened Carrara 8.5 pro. The figure seems fine. Then I added "bad guy" pants to him from the smart content folder, and most of his morphs instantly zero out. Is there something I'm overlooking?


  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 18,645
    edited December 1969

    Have you saved your zbrush work as a Figure asset in DS first? This adds the morph to Genesis within the system.

  • MysticWingsMysticWings Posts: 226
    edited December 1969

    I've been working on importing characters from daz in this last weeks.

    So, first place, listen to Dartan - all your zbrush morphs should be loaded to DS and saved has DS morphs if you want to do anything in the character inside Carrara.

    Other thing is, I've been doing ALL the character work in daz studio - morph, dress, pose... and then import the duf file into Carrara. I can make some little adjustments inside Carrara if I want to. First I was told that this is not very good and that I should use the characters from Carrara content. But guess what... All of them are duf.... So the characters, cloths, acessories... you open inside Carrara from the content library are actually in duf format.

    What you've experienced I actually experienced once. When I applied one pose morph inside Carrara there were some change in the cloth conform, so I deleted the character, went back to daz, imported again and this time I did what I wanted without problems... Probably was some kind of error related to something I had done before...

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 18,645
    edited December 1969

    Well, the reason that most of us prefer to "work with our characters in Carrara" is that as we bring them in, we're optimizing the shaders within Carrara, and then saving the characters in .CAR format, not duf. So I have folders in my browser for CAR versions of my characters, which also contain their Carrara lighting rigs - highlights that apply only to the character in question, so they are attached to the character. It's a huge time saver for me.

    Posing in DS first brings them into Carrara posed. Fine, if all you want to do is that single scene. But in the case I've mentioned above, having a default character setup is nice. While I don't save mine in the 'T' pose, they are saved i a neutral, standing position. I call this my default pose. Then I apply my animations further down the timeline, leaving my default pose alone. This makes it easy to reset a bone if needed.

    I also have folders inside each specific Character folder for saved clothing and animations. Clothing is a broad category for me, as I'll put weapons and other props in there too. But the main character is clothed in that character's default costume. Then more clothes that have been optimized for that character go into that character's clothing folder, as so on.

    The thing is, lately a lot of things sold at DAZ 3D are loading into Carrara with shaders that are a lot easier to live with than the way it is with older products that look like plastic. For most of us, this still isn't good enough. Ringo Monfort's Shaders for commercial products are an excellent example of shaders that have been optimized for Carrara. Same with GKDantas and other shader artists. There's a big difference between acceptable and optimized as many of the commonly used shader features that can show off Carrara's beauty are left out of what comes in from a straight duf file.

  • MysticWingsMysticWings Posts: 226
    edited December 1969

    For the kind of work you do Dartan, I'm quite sure this method I use is no good! You are right, this can work if you are making a still scene, not in animation.

    The thing about shaders is a particulary interesting thing. Ideally all the materials should be done specifically in each software since they are all different. What I mean is, ideally, if you have for example a character (lets say V5) that work in DS and Carrara, the material definitions should be 2 - one for daz and one for carrara... so this would make 2 installers, one for daz and one for carrara... ideally... I don't see that the cloths look worst in carrara than in daz, the ones I used of course. But I believe that carrara is able to do much better in shader quality than daz...

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 18,645
    edited December 1969

    Well, DAZ Studio has a great amount of power going for it as well in the shader department. Many clothes don't come with settings that are taking full advantage of that. So getting texture packs for clothing is how I learned how to go that extra mile - not just from their maps, but from their material settings and such... but I was in Poser many moons ago, back when DS used Poser format, not its own. Back then i did all of my material work in Poser.

    Nowadays, if you truly optimize your materials in DS, they aren't likely to work that well in Carrara. Carrara is a 'build-it-yourself' software, which I love. But it can also "Import" content... which I really, really love, because I am a content nut! But that's why there aren't separate installers for Carrara, unless you consider that Carrara 8.5 came with special installers for V5 and M5 content, and Ringo make special installers for shaders, so does GKDantas and Dimension Theory. Carrara is its own animal, so we have to work a little extra when it comes to outside formats, like CR2s and DUFs, etc., but it's well worth the effort.

    So that might also help to understand why we like to keep our content separated - saved in CAR format, too.

    However, I really like your idea of setting everything up in Studio first. So instead of saving the whole character, I could just save the shaders! The thing about Genesis (1 & 2) is that we don't INJect morphs into it, we install them at base level, across the whole system. So when we always start with DAZ Studio, we know that we're always getting the latest and greatest, and with all of our latest shape purchases installed.

    So that's why, back to the original question, when we make new shapes for Genesis, we first need to install that to our base Genesis before using it anywhere else, which is actually pretty easy to do, and makes beautiful sense. I am very impressed with how DAZ 3D has handled all of that. At first, I thought up the argument that it would make the base figure too heavy with shape files, even when you don't need them. Somebody beat me to the punch, and the reply answer was amazing - the shapes, while available as sliders, are not actually present but rather they are accessed only when used! Ouch! Now that's a stroke of genius! Actually quite simple once you think about it.

    I can see how it may end up going back the other way, however. Now with HD morphs and just so much that you can do with this system, I think that it would be beneficial to reinstate the idea of INJections. Only add the sliders you want. Even when you're not actually accessing them by leaving them alone, the sliders are still there, which can seem a bit of a burden to newcomers. But once you learn the filtering system, like you said earlier, it's much more manageable.

    In Carrara's Parameters Tab, we can filter somewhat like in DAZ Studio in the top drop-down box.
    Been too busy in Carrara to do so yet, but as I've said before, Tania, I'm going to take note of all of my parameters for my new Genesis 2 heroes, and rebuild them in DAZ Studio and save them there as character presets. That way I'm always sure to keep them updated with the latest Genesis files, and can always import fresh into Carrara when I need them - and just keep their animation clips and shaders saved in Carrara. If this works as well as a workflow as I think it will, I'll do a nice informative article about it. Some Carrara users are complaining about the file size that Carrara saves Genesis at. I don't care, myself. But it is an issue. So I'll compare the time between loading a CAR saved Genesis vs the same character saved as duf character preset in DAZ Studio. I bet the times will be very similar. If they are, it would end up saving us a lot of extra data baggage by not having to save extra files in CAR format. Rather, just the shaders and animations.

    If this all works as planned, I also want to get GoFigure's Timeline enhancement tools for DS and see if I like animating in DS too. AniBlock importer works great, and I love the aniMate 2 toolset. The enhancements I speak of are GraphMate and KeyMate, and appear to turn the DAZ Studio timeline more into a Carrara Sequencer, perhaps even better. AniMate 2 then has the power of baking keys from the timeline into aniBlocks... Win, Win.

    So... yeah... I am really looking towards more of a workflow that includes DAZ Studio as a bigger part of the whole thing - specifically for Genesis and any other Triax Fiigures. I may find other things to be helpful using this same workflow too. I'm really glad that Carrara can work with this stuff at all. It's very special in that regard.

  • MysticWingsMysticWings Posts: 226
    edited December 1969

    About surfaces and shaders, I'm really looking forward to learn more... Learning how to make skins really changed my vision about the power of surfaces... but it was just a small grasp of it. Thank you for confirm what I was thinking - when you really know how to work with shaders and surfaces, you can really enhance your work to other level.

    I liked your workflow idea!! :) Being new at carrara there are some things you talk I don't really really understand (I understand the logic, but you are talking about things I didn't experimented with yet). In the end, it all comes to this - our personal workflow.... what we do and how we like to do it. For now this workflow I talked about is working for me. But I'm sure it will change and evolve as I learn more about both softwares and of course, as my own work change. Now it's great cause I can make characters really fast in DS (one of my specialties) and just put them in the scenes I do to learn other things. As I learn more about carrara, my workflow will change for sure. For now, I am in loved with the indirect lights in carrara!!! I can finally have that outdoor look I wanted ;)

    I'm not just glad with the way Carrara works with all this stuff, I'm amazed!!! When I first imported a duf character morphed, clothed and posed I thought it would give lots of problems... But it's just amazing how good carrara handles this. I can even move all the body parts like if I used a carrara figure....

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 18,645
    edited December 1969

    That's awesome!
    You'll catch on to all of this stuff in no time. Look at how quickly you've taken to UV Mapping... that's stuff that boggles many minds!

    It's cool that we have this great software. Now we can have fun and learn a little as we make our art... making our art, being the important step of it all! ;)

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