3ds Max and DAZ Content Discussion and Resource Thread

13

Comments

  • edited December 1969

    A quick breakthrough I wanted to share:

    I've successfully exported an FBX from Daz 4.5 to 3D Max 2013 with all materials, geometry, animations, AND FACIAL MORPHS in tact!

    The scene is a genesis figure with a supersuit who has facial morph animations, hero aniblock animations, and hand animations.

    Here's what I did:

    1. Select all items in scene that you want to export under the scene tab. Right Clk>Select>All
    2. Export as FBX, but under the Edit Morphs tab I selected the element that said ".CNTLVS" and then clicked on the little square in the
    upper right corner of dialgue box that looks like a notepad and selected "Bake."
    3. In the export dialogue box I checked "merge clothing into skeleton" which solved the problem of the supersuit having it's own skeleton
    which doesn't animate.
    4. Then I exported as an FBX in BINARY 2012. I can't tell you why this works, I just know that it worked in this instance.

    I hope this helps and works for all of you as well.

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  • streetfreak_4streetfreak_4 Posts: 17
    edited January 2013

    Great info! I'm going to be starting my first major school project soon and need to animate some genesis figures (as car drivers). This is really a big help.

    EDIT: Just tried these settings out... FBX is the way to go. Almost perfect import (I just had to run Steve's material script as always). One thing though, I had better luck changing the morph setting to 'export' instead of 'bake' for some reason. Max does crash if you select too many morphs as well, but it can still handle quite a lot.

    Post edited by streetfreak_4 on
  • RobH2RobH2 Posts: 15
    edited January 2013

    I've spent hours tonight trying to find info on exporting animation from DAZ to Max. This post is encouraging but it's not working for me. I'm using aniMate2 to do a dance move. When the exported file is imported into Max 2013 I do have keys but they are all zero.

    Do I need to 'bake' aniMate2 motion in DAZ before I export? I can't find a way to do that so far (new to DAZ). I tried both 'bake' and 'export' for the .fbx export setting as you both had different ideas about that.

    What do you think that I need to do?

    ---Edit----

    Ok, I found it in case this helps someone else. You guys are correct, it works well. I did in fact have to 'bake' the aniMate2 motion by 'right-clicking' on a blank area of the aniMate2 menu bar and select "Bake to Studio Keyframes." After that it worked well and arrived in Max intact.

    Thanks guys...

    Here's what it looks like. Even the areas like the right shoulder where the weights are off came across perfectly:

    http://nvision4d.com/guest/DazToMax.mp4

    Post edited by RobH2 on
  • nahnah Posts: 12
    edited December 1969

    Hello,

    Thanks for all your tips !
    If someone could fix also the genesis feet offset (animate2), then that will be perfect.
    I've done this before and found a post somewhere but I can't remember now how to fix it.

  • streetfreak_4streetfreak_4 Posts: 17
    edited February 2013

    bohemian3 said:
    Here's the Genesis CAT Rig I've been working on. It's not complete. I still need to wire up the parameters to the Hand Controller.

    2) All the bones are named exactly the same using a Hub structure as best to the Genesis figure I could. suggestions always welcome. That means you can save the Weight map from Genesis, then apply it to the CAT Rig skinned Genesis character. I've had no problem with this. Again, I can't include the Genesis figure itself here for licensing reasons. I have started a tutorial on this but can't finish until the weekend. I think this is huge not having to do the weight painting.... the one on Genesis is already really pretty good.


    steve

    Hmm... I managed to copy the weights to the cat right figure and it worked. The deformations are pretty good but still far from the quality of the original daz skeleton (probably because I didn't line up the bones properly or something).

    I'll keep fiddling with it, thanks again mate.

    EDIT: Yeah I'm stupid. The reason is wasn't working right was I didn't align the skin data mesh exactly with the main one. Also my genesis skeleton was missing foot bones for some reason so I re-imported. Now I just have to add some more features to the rig and it will be almost fully independant! So cool! Now on to skin morphs?

    Post edited by streetfreak_4 on
  • edited December 1969

    @Bohemian -

    Did you ever finish up the tutorial for your CAT rig? I got to experimenting with it but am apparently awful at skinning and applying weight deformation. I'd love to see the process you're doing.

  • John SimsJohn Sims Posts: 356
    edited March 2013

    A great thread, if not a little bit of a shame so much useful information is tied up in so many pages.

    I'll admit I came to the DAZ to 3DS Max conversion by trial and error and much of what is included above would have saved significant time.

    The results so far are acceptable although skin deformation results are somewhat variable needing careful posing to avoid the worst of unsightly joints.

    There is no doubt the rendering available through Mental Ray is extremely good..........its just a shame it isn't a bit faster. Perhaps 2014 will bring improvements.

    I take the liberty of attaching the following, being a recent cross platform render, which might be of interest.

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    Post edited by John Sims on
  • Norse GraphicsNorse Graphics Posts: 0
    edited June 2013

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  • IvyIvy Posts: 4,253
    edited December 1969

    great info . to hear.
    I have 3DSmax 2012 so I guess i'll need to download the upgrade :)
    thanks for sharing this information

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  • IvyIvy Posts: 4,253
    edited December 1969

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/norse_graphics/8702307020/in/photostream

    Render in Mental Ray through import into 3DS Max 2013 Design from DAZ Studio 4.5 Pro using FBX. There are some artifacts, and I didn't use bump-maps (skin set to 'Standard'). So there's lot of possible improvements.

    nice , why didn't use the bumb-map. did it give it a shine or make it to glossy? I know sometimes if you FXB into 3ds from poser you have to manually put in the bumb maps which i don't know why

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  • edited December 1969

    Hello all!

    I am also very glad to see others interested in using Daz and Max together, and I thought you might be interested in my days experiment.

    I would love to have a clean and easy pipeline between Daz and Max. What is most important personally is posing in Max; including all the nice deformations that come with Genesis when you do it in Daz Studio.

    Daz Studio I think actually does posing really well and I prefer doing it in Studio over Max (though I've never used any of the advanced features in Max, not even CAT before yesterday) but I can't imagine trying to build a scene in Max then having to re-import a character every time a tiny change was made to a pose, which you know will be lots of times as the lighting or props change, etc..

    In any case, I figured it would be possible to autorig a character using MaxScript, and found a script, generously provided un-encrypted, by Mixamo who also provide 3D character models: http://www.mixamo.com/c/mixamo-auto-cat-script

    I looked at how they did it and wrote a script using their techniques and a couple of functions, to take a standard Genesis, and re-rig to a CAT biped.

    The results are *very* crude but this is just a subset of Mixamo's scripts (I don't even match rotations in this one!) and the biped has not been modified to mimic Genesis' skeleton at all other than manually renaming some of the bones.

    There is a video here showing it in action, I have messed with the speeds a bit except at the stage where the script runs which is in real-time so you can see how long it takes (a few seconds):

    https://vimeo.com/70291969

    My thinking is, a Daz exporter could be created which exports a morphed and clothed character, after Daz Studio has done the autofitting/subdivision, etc which can not be replicated in Max. Included would be the weights, deformations and skeleton data. A MaxScript tool (via perhaps a .NET library to read in at speed) can then load a hand-crafted CAT rig, re-work it slightly to match the character scale as above, then skin the meshes, all automatically.

    Essentially its just number wrangling; the hard part will be finding where in the Daz Studio Geometry Pipeline to pick out the mesh data.


    Is anyone else interested in posing their characters in Max?


    P.S. bohemian3, could you tell me what version of Max you used to create the rig in your SkyDrive? As I wanted to use it for the experiment by my version (2011 SP1) could not open it. Also I hope you don't mind but there were a couple of renders in that public folder that I had a look at and I thought they were brilliant! Were those done in Max?

  • bohemian3bohemian3 Posts: 676
    edited December 1969

    Hiya Sebmaster

    yes, I want to get back to rigging with 3ds Max. I've been working on the level for the game I'm working (modeling is sooo much easier than rigging!!!)

    Daz started with an FBX approach - the animations come out fine but you loose all the joint deformations. Too bad they seem to have abandoned that development.

    So far I've only used Daz-Max for stills - creating concept art. Ultimately if you plan on doing any kind of heavy duty animation you will need the toolset of Max or similar, higher-end software products. If all you're interested in is stills, then DAZ is the definately the way to go with obj export which does a decent job at mainting joint deformation fidelity.

    The rig I set up was in Max 2012. Yes, all those renders are done in Max - I'm working on a new sss approach.

    The good news is that you can save envelopes if you haven't tried that which does what the bulk of transferring rigging info. From there to get better deformations, you need to add joint deformers. I've learned a lot from this:
    http://www.digitaltutors.com/tutorial/3561-Introduction-to-Rigging-in-3ds-Max-2009

    Hope to get back to the rigging project soon.

  • bohemian3bohemian3 Posts: 676
    edited July 2013

    Here's where I'm at with transferring the joint deformations:

    1) the see through figure is the fbx export with the rigged skeletal structure but no joint deformations.
    2) the solid figure is the obj export (at base resolution-important) with the joint deformations intact but no rigging.

    What I know you can do but haven't had time to work out is use the skin angle deformer and use an existing mesh (the obj figure) as a target for the deformer. The key of course is that vertex count and order need to be exact.

    If someone can figure this out, that would be great, but by August I should be able to get back into it after I have my level design complete.

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  • edited December 1969

    Thanks for the link bohemian3, I will look those over as I always like to learn about new tools! I am glad you are still interested in working with Daz content in Max.

    My interest is in static rendering at the moment though I may try animation in the future. I find the latest version of Daz Excellent but there are things such as altering geometry and just generally navigating around that are much faster in Max, especially with larger scenes. Also the viewport lighting I find in Max, better approximates what the final render will look like.
    Its these small things that really cut down on the iterations and therefore time per piece and it adds up!
    Which is why I am so set on being able to pose in Max before I consider it as the main tool for working with Genesis characters - I can't see trying to pose a character in an empty room then importing them and being unable to make even the slightest change a pleasant experience.

    I'll save my questions about the rigging until after I've looked at those videos.

    I like to imagine my mum told me 'if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all', so having spent a good deal of time with COLLADA and FBX in various projects, I don't have much to say about either, or their implementation in Daz or Max.

    I really think for a robust, efficient pipeline between Daz and Max the data has to be transferred without being put through a 3rd party. To that end I created an exporter plugin the other day and have been thinking how to get it to inter-operate with the .NET library for use by MaxScript. I want to get a feel for how big a project this is so I am going to start with something simple, that being just feeding geometry direct from Daz and creating a Mesh in Max with it, then see where to go from there.

    If it were successful though, my hope would be it could feed through everything needed to create a fully rigged character automatically, including joint deformations, etc direct from the 'source'.

    I'll post an update soon in any case.

  • bohemian3bohemian3 Posts: 676
    edited December 1969

    Hiya again Sebmaster

    Two invaluable key things I do when setting up a statis scene with obj exports.

    1) I move the set around the imported figure rather than vice versa. because the set can be put in it's own layer and groupings, I like keeping the figure at origin 0,0,0 so it always imports in the exact same spot, especially if I have to tweak the pose and reimport a number of time.

    2) Material override while setting up. Setting up an occlusion material overide helps with making sure everything is positioned correctly, characters are interacting, before longer rendering times with full materials.

    Yes, I continue to look for that seamless Max-Daz pipeline... but not there yet.

  • 3d.a.l.i.73d.a.l.i.7 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    something im working on for M4/Genesis

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  • edited December 1969

    Nice tips bohemian3, thanks!

    3d.a.l.i.7 that looks interesting, what are you doing?

    I got my pipeline sending geometry today, it took about 2 hours which is reasonable considering that included all the time to write the .NET part and the MaxScript. Though whenever I try to find ways to make the plugin more flexible, or increase the speed of development (e.g. use .NET methods to serialise the data from Daz so I don't have to lay out the file) I keep hitting brick walls (e.g. MaxScript cannot marshal custom data types from .NET, so they have to be unpacked from arrays of floats/ints manually).

    So not as enthusiastic as before since there will be more grunt work than I had hoped but I will continue for now, though more slowly than I had hoped.

    I'll post back when I have some rigging data transferred.

  • edited December 1969

    Hey guys I also happen to do Daz and Max my self but mostly converting the characters from Daz for some projects I do on max but yea been mostly converting them from obj I tried to do it in the new fbx but it just freezes up My max which took a lot of my ram memory then eventually force close it. The only thing I ran into when converting to obj is the bone rigging doesn't convert also so sad most of the time I had to pose the character to a certain way and convert it.

    So I read that ya guys are taking about the Bone rigging I will keep an eye but if ya guys want to help me out on rigging my characters that will be great otherwise I know nothing about the rigging in max :S

  • edited December 1969

    Hello other Max lovers.

    I went a bit far off from what I was talking about originally but hopefully this might be of use to some..

    https://github.com/sebjf/dazmaxbridge

    Details are on the site, but in short its my alternative to interchange formats.

    At the moment is doesn't do much you wouldn't be able to using them, but my hope is soon it will be able to do things like continually synchronise a character between Daz and Max (OK I'm pushing it again, but a manually invoked updating of just the underlying mesh between the two *is* straightforward) and automated skinning is still in my sights.

    For now though I am giving it a tryout in its current form and actually trying to do some rendering before adding a load of features, which is why its being uploaded in its current state: so it might be of use even if I don't add anything for weeks.

    As I don't know how much interest there will be I haven't gone too far with the documentation/preparing the project, so if theres something you're unsure of or need go ahead and raise an issue about it as its likely I've thought someone could do with it as well, but didn't want to take the time until I was sure there was someone who really did.

  • edited December 1969

    Hello again,

    I have updated my utility, this time to have much more of the functionality I would expect of a proper bridge.

    New features:

    * Daz plugin is no longer an exporter but a headless plugin that waits for a connection from Max to serve scene data.
    * Functionality on Max side is now entirely within a managed plugin. This plugin appears as a utility and runs its own GUI. No more need for MaxScript.
    * Plugins communicate directly via named pipes and no longer need intermediaries such as files.
    * Plugin updates geometry of items in Max that have the same named as those in Daz so local changes to material properties, etc are preserved.
    * Plugin creates a hierarchy in Max so clothes/hair etc follow the figure mesh when its moved around. Prop/Scenery hierarchy is recreated just as it is in Daz.
    * Colours are mapped from Daz/System colour-space to Max colour-space automatically.

    Same links as before if anyone is interested!

  • bohemian3bohemian3 Posts: 676
    edited December 1969

    sebmaster said:
    Hello again,

    I have updated my utility, this time to have much more of the functionality I would expect of a proper bridge.

    Hiya sebmaster - this looks really cool - The school term is starting up so haven't had a chance to really dig into it, but hope to soon. Thanks for your hard work on this and sharing with the community.

  • edited December 1969

    Hi bohemian3,

    You're welcome let me know how it works for you. I have created a preview release here

    https://github.com/sebjf/dazmaxbridge/releases/tag/preview0.2

    thats just drag and drop to install.

    (PS. Remember you'll need Max 2013 or above, or 2012 with subscriber advantage pack, though there is a way to build it for older versions)

  • streetfreak_4streetfreak_4 Posts: 17
    edited December 1969

    sebmaster said:
    Hello again,

    I have updated my utility, this time to have much more of the functionality I would expect of a proper bridge.

    New features:

    * Daz plugin is no longer an exporter but a headless plugin that waits for a connection from Max to serve scene data.
    * Functionality on Max side is now entirely within a managed plugin. This plugin appears as a utility and runs its own GUI. No more need for MaxScript.
    * Plugins communicate directly via named pipes and no longer need intermediaries such as files.
    * Plugin updates geometry of items in Max that have the same named as those in Daz so local changes to material properties, etc are preserved.
    * Plugin creates a hierarchy in Max so clothes/hair etc follow the figure mesh when its moved around. Prop/Scenery hierarchy is recreated just as it is in Daz.
    * Colours are mapped from Daz/System colour-space to Max colour-space automatically.

    Same links as before if anyone is interested!

    Hey Seb,

    Sounds like a huge timesaver to this process! I'd like to try the plugin but, unfortunately I'm having trouble getting Daz to load it (it says plugin failed to load). I'm using daz 4.6, is this why?

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