Struggling with the new GenesisStarterEssentials files/folders

I've not used Poser for a few years now, and I have just reinstalled to have a play with it. Because I have zero income, I am having to work with my previously bought content and anything free (or very cheap) that I can scrabble together. I got Poser 9 a couple of years back, and I have been looking at what I had available in my product library.

So I downloaded the new DSON importer, with a view to using the GenesisStarterEssentials pack that originally came with it and the associated freebies. So after unzipping the main GSE zip file, I am confused (to say the least) with what I am faced with. As a Poser user, I am used to seeing the Runtime folder, with everything stacked beneath that, but I have numerous foldders on the same level, and I have no idea what I need to do with them. I have read that the manifest and supplement files are for the install manager, so that's not a problem, it's just the multitude of folders inside the *content* folder.

I don't have Daz Studio installed because I don't really like the interface, and my Reality plugin is the Poser version. I also don't want that darned content manager background service running all the time. I always install my content manually, purely because I have a set procedure that I go through that is now habit... I also pretty much hate download and install managers. In my product library, the GSE had a *manual* link, but I am just confused by the folder structure in the latest version.

Can anyone offer some simple guidance as to how I should install the GSE content into my Poser runtimes? Everything was straightforward with the .exe installers... and it probably still is to those that have kept up with the changes to files/folders and use Daz Studio.

Comments

  • LeanaLeana Posts: 9,626
    edited July 2015

    Basically, to install manually a DAZ zip you extract it in a temp folder and then you just copy whatever folders you find in the top-level "content" folder and paste it in your content directory, that is to say the folder which hold your "Runtime" folder.

    You'll end-up with several folders next to the "Runtime", they are in the correct place. "data" is the one which holds the DS geometry and morph files, the rest of them hold user-facing files, for example the content intended for Genesis will be in sub-folders of "People". The textures are still stored under "Runtime / textures", so they can be shared with the poser version of the same item when it exists.

    You can also download DAZ Install Manager (DIM) and let it handle installs instead of doing it manually, it can be used to install to Poser too.

    Post edited by Leana on
  • LeeC2202LeeC2202 Posts: 37

    Ah, okay. It's been a while since I've been using Poser, so I was just a bit uncertain about the extra folders. What I might do is to create a new Library and put it all in there, that way, if I mess things up, it won't affect the main installation folders.

    Thanks for the help, I know it was a bit of a noob question, I've just forgotten so much about how things work.

  • LeeC2202LeeC2202 Posts: 37
    edited July 2015

    Doh... sorry, I had no idea that this had been posted. sad I'm not a heavy forum user, and have only just realised that bookmarking a thread gives you notification updates... my apologies for seemingly disappearing without a trace.

    This information is very useful, as I am having a complete mare with DSON. For some reason, it keeps choosing my Reality folder as the writable runtime folder (I have the Reality plugin for Luxrender). I'm also trying to use it with two versions of Poser (32-bit and 64-bit, (which it insists on installing the 64-bit version into a Poser Pro 2012 folder, even though I don't have that version)), and whilst it allows you to set a version specific Writable Runtime Folder, it seems the Cache Folder is shared, and I have no idea how much of a conflict that is causing. All I know, is that I spend ages dialing in morphs, suddenly get hit with the "Can't create unimesh geometry" error when I load a stored character, and the morphs get disconnected. For example, I dial the mouth open, the lower set of teeth move, but the jaw remains in position... or the eyes will suddenly stop opening/closing.

    I don't have any Genesis bundles yet... can't afford them, which means I am morph building every character that I am hoping to use, so it's frustrating when the morph failure happens, as I haven't found a way to fix it. In older figures, you would just re-apply the morphs of they went missing, but that no longer seems possible.

    I might have to look at that export trick you mentioned, because DSON is driving me crazy. I know that's not a good thing to say on the creator's forums, but the amount of documentation almost makes it seem like it was created as a pacifier, but they're not really bothered if it works properly or not. I mean, I had also been having the "Broken breast" bug, and found a thread from 2013 about it.. yet it still exists. http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewthread/18725/ I managed to sus that one out myself, but spotted that thread today whilst searching for the broken morphs.

    I have now bookmarked this thread, so if you are able to post any more info, I will see the update and respond. Again my apologies, and also my sincere thanks for the info.

    Post edited by LeeC2202 on
  • WandWWandW Posts: 2,495

    You can change the writible runtime folder for the DSON Importer using the script; Scripts>DSON Support>Importer preferences

  • LeeC2202LeeC2202 Posts: 37

    I've only just discovered which folder it is supposed to point to... I have no idea why it was choosing the Reality folder.

    I have just uninstalled and reinstalled and will make some changes based on the new info I have, see how things go from there.

  • LeeC2202LeeC2202 Posts: 37
    edited August 2015

    Wow, you really have spent a lot of time working your way through all of this... and presenting it here. I really appreciate the time you are spending, I am going to copy these into a word document, and leave it on my desktop like a DAZ to Poser Bible.

    It's funny (not in a ha ha sense), but some of the things you are describing, are probably the result of things I have seen in the many years I worked in the software industry. Someone has an idea, the person they report to agrees, but neither of them can quite see beyond that, to foresee the consequences of the idea. It's a very easy trap to fall into, and very common. The result, as you have noticed, is some inappropriate morphs potentially ending up on characters that probably shouldn't have them. I wonder if that's something unique to Daz though, I don't think Poser works like that?!?

    I must confess, I kind of like the idea of the per-character UV sets. Whilst shared textures seems good on the surface, it means that you can't fully exploit the mesh, without compromising the texture to a degree. You also can't adapt a mesh, without being constrained by the texture you will use to map it. So in that sense, it opens up a bit more control, but restricts a bit of versatility... the proverbial swings and roundabouts. If ever I create new textures, I tend to adapt the ones for the character in question, rather than pull in ones from a different character. I will then apply them to the model, and store that in the library under my own headings. I tend to create personas, build them as a figure, and store them for use later.

    Your last line reminds me of the one thing I have always hated about these programmes, and that is the inability of creators to manage their content into the correct locations. I had to spend an age going through Figures, Props, Poses and Hair folders in Poser, just to find out where all the hair was stored in my library. It says Hair for goodness sake, if you're making hair, put it where it belongs... not you of course, the creators. It's the same for mat sets too, they might be in Materials, but they might be in Poses. I can only imagine that these people keep their shoes in the sock draw, and have their wigs on coat hangers in the wardrobe. laugh

    It's going to be a while before I can buy any real Daz content. For now, I have to manage with the old stuff I have, and the characters I can manage to dial in from the Base figures. Hopefully, when I do get round to getting some, I won't need to fumble around the folders that often, but if I do, at least I will have a better understanding of where things belong. I have been playing with building morphs targets in Blender, so that's another way I can expand my content... I could do with winning a competition to have lots of free figures from the Daz store... or the lottery, that'd do it. smiley

    But again... thank you.

    Post edited by LeeC2202 on
  • The so-called ego-folders are there to avoid the problem of having hundreds of folders in the Data folder itself, one for each product, as happened with the old .daz format. Grouping by Author is done by the Asset save dialogue (the same for the grouping by author in the Morphs folder). It also makes it easier for creators, both PAs and end-users saving their own assets, to find and package or back-up their content. Within each Author folder there will be a folder for each product.

    Having the morph parameters (but not the deltas) load with the figure makes for a simpler user experience - no need to find and inject morphs in another library - though I agree that trimming rarely used morphs (by removing or simply by setting them to hidden) is a sensible idea, especially for Poser users.

    The Projection Morphs folder is used in conjunction with the Morphs folder in the auto-generation of morphs. It is possible to create a projection morph that differs from the actual morph (in the morphs folder) that will be used for projected morphs in clothing. For example, a muscle morph with lots of cut detail could have a smoothed-out projection, to produce a more natural appearance in clothing that lacked a custom morph.

    As for the UV sets, DAZ and various PAs have explained why these are created - they allow the maps to be made for the custom shape with no stretching, where using the default maps on a figure with a markedly different shape would compress some areas of the map and stretch others. Opinions may differ on how useful this is, but the reasoning is not secret.

    ssgbryan said:
    Lastly, there is a folder called UV sets.  Thanks to vendor creativity we need to know about this folder.  With the release of genesis 2 there were a proliferation of UV sets.  Why? Who knows - DAZ isn’t telling.  On a practical level, it does make it harder to share skin assets between figures.

    The first time I saw this was during the genesis 1 era.  One vendor decided that they would use the Stephanie 5 UV set for a YT Julie figure (Haley).  After spending days digging around DS & screaming at my monitor (the error message is useless).  I deduced that I needed to add the Stephanie 5.dsf (Data/DAZ 3D/Genesis/Base/UV Sets/DAZ 3D/GenePool/Stephanie 5.dsf) to my YT Julie UV Sets folder - once I did that, the skin texture would load properly.

    Had you not customised your installation by moving files around this would not have been an issue, as long as you had the Stephanie 5 character of course. It is a good idea not to move files unless you know what they are for - with luck this thread will help others in that respect.

  • LeeC2202LeeC2202 Posts: 37

    As for the UV sets, DAZ and various PAs have explained why these are created - they allow the maps to be made for the custom shape with no stretching, where using the default maps on a figure with a markedly different shape would compress some areas of the map and stretch others. Opinions may differ on how useful this is, but the reasoning is not secret.

    That was exactly why I like the idea... even a simple eye width difference (i.e. distance between the eyes) either stretches the nose bridge part of the texture, or compresses it. If you like to do close-up portrait shots, this is an important factor. It makes sense, but as I mentioned, it does affect the versatility of the textures... I prefer textures that accurately match the model, rather than ones that just happen to line up correctly, so this is a good point, for me anyway.

  • LeeC2202LeeC2202 Posts: 37
    edited August 2015

    Here's an example of how UV sets can distort across two models using the same UV set. On the left is the basic V4 model, on the right, is Aiko 4. You can see that the black circle is not the same shape on both figures, because they are using the same UV sets. I mean, it's not a circle on either image, but UVs are rarely uniform. The more difference there is between the source UV set, and the destination mesh, the greater the distortion. It is a real issue, it just bothers some people less than others... me, it can drive me crazy sometimes.

    I was mainly a 2D artist, so I kinda got very susceptible to even the slightest variations in shape from the original. That's why, in a case where I would be putting a design onto a figure, I would create a test grid overlay, render out the area of the figure where the design was going to go, and then create a unique texture to take into account the distortions, that would only be used on that mesh. A unique UV set just means a bit less work needing to be done with regards to distortion compensation... theoretically. It's just a nice thing to have.

    Edit: Having just read Richard's post below, I'm guessing the issue you were referring to was the weight mapping, not the UV sets. Sorry for the confusion.

    uv-sample.png
    972 x 714 - 683K
    Post edited by LeeC2202 on
  • ssgbryan said:
    The system architect for DS is working under the mistaken assumption that the customer will remember which vendor made which product a week or so after purchase.

    Users are not expected to do anything of the kind - while I agree that knowing how the behind-the-scenes stuff is structured and being able to adjust it or fix it at need is a highly desirable skill, it isn't actually formally necessary - people can and do use the applications and content without. If you need the location of the files within the Data folder that can be obtained from the File List linked from the readme (on any TriAx content - some older items still lack their readme pages). The only people expected to do anything in the Data folder are those creating content  -for their own use or for sale/gift - for whom the split by author will be a boon.

    ssgbryan said:
    Quick - in how many different locations will I find all of the texture sets for the Mad Nurse Outfit?   Good luck in that. 

    In a perfect world, they would be installed in the Materials subfolder of the the product - but they aren't.  They are tucked away in a series of vendor ego folders, with absolutely no indication to what product they belong to.  That is the worst example, but it is not the only one, not by far.  Most vendors aren't even smart enough to label the folder <foo texture set> for <foo outfit>.  They just give it a creative name and it is up to the customer to figure out what it hell it goes with.  Not that it matters - DS truncates the name in the UI to the point you might as well require filenames to be in an 8.3 format.

    I agree with you in respect to Poser-format files - in DS format the materials usually are placed in the folder of the item they go with, though not always in the Materials sub-folder. Sticking to the Poser library structure, especially when some people still like to have the materials available in the Pose library so they can be applied without going to the Material Room, does lead to some scatering but I would again agree that everything should be gethered in a single sub-folder for the product with folders within that for the different material sets. Where the guidelines are ignored it may be worth submitting a bug report - even if it has to wait until there's a more substantial update it at least puts the request in the system.

    ssgbryan said:
    Re: UV sets. It is like the argument that Tri-ax weight mapping is better than whatever Poser uses for weight mapping - pics or it isn't a real issue.  I have never seen a picture to demonstrate this - feel free to provide one (or more).

    I'm not sure what you mean in respect to the rigging - both Poser and DS (with TriAx) use a separate weight-map for each axis, though Poser did not originally use maps for as many things as DS does. TriAx actually came first and Poser's weight-mapping came later (and by the accounts I saw at the time, from the Poser devs/managers, the addition of per-axis mapping was incorporated as one of their responses to the information DAZ supplied about Genesis/TriAx rigging).

    ssgbryan said:
    As long as you are here Richard, - I have 1 burning question.

    If I try to save a genesis figure via DSON (using our example of Haley) she saves out, not with the Stephanie 5 UV set but the V4 UV set.  Why does the DSON subsystem not save the UV set of the figure when I go to save it in Poser?

    Someone actually had to write code for the save process to reference a different UV set as opposed to the UV set that the figure is using.  With the genesis 2 set, it does the same thing, but to the V5 UV set.

    That would be a bug - have you reported it? If not, please do; if you have, please let me have the ticket number.

    I apologise for diverting your discussion - there were a couple of issues that I thought needed clarification but it did take rather a long post to do that (and now another, so i suppose that needs to be a double apology).

  • FixmypcmikeFixmypcmike Posts: 19,013
    ssgbryan said:
    That is going to be ugly, but not anywhere near the ugliness when I start dealing the the PCFs.  For example:

    Poser users expect to find Camera files (.cm2) in the Camera folder, not the Pose folder

    Poser users expect to find Character files (.cr2) in the Character folder, not the Pose folder.

    Poser users expect to find Face files (.fc2) in the Expression folder, not the Pose folder.

    Poser users expect to find Hair files (.hr2) in the Hair folder, not the Pose folder.

    Poser users expect to find Hand files (.hd2) in the Hand folder, not the Pose folder.

    Poser users expect to find Light files (.lt2) in the Light folder, not the Pose folder.

    Poser users expect to find Material files (.mc6) in the Materials folder, not the Pose folder.

    Poser users expect to find Prop files (.pp2) in the Prop folder, not the Pose folder.

    Can you name some of the products that are mispackaged?  I don't have many Genesis 2 products, but I've got a whole lot of Genesis 1 products, and I routinely check all the zips before installing, because I'm OCD about that.  I've found (and bug reported, and gotten fixed) lots of packaging errors, but I have never seen .cm2, .cr2, .hr2, .lt2, or .pp2 files in the pose folder.  I have seen poses and materials in a subfolder of the folder where the .cr2/.hr2/.pp2 they apply to are, which I think is an improvement (only for Genesis items, because those require P9+ which allows this flexibility).  I could see .hd2 or .fc2 files in the Pose folder, because most people would think of them as a kind of pose, although I don't recall seeing that often.

  • LeeC2202LeeC2202 Posts: 37

    I'm starting to think that I asked a bad question. I didn't mean to stir up this much trouble amongst people. sad

  • No, the question was good - the rest of us have tot ake responsibility for the way it span out of control.

  • This is a very interesting discussion yet I have not seen any action on it since 8/6 and tonite is 8/24 will this be continuing??  If so when as I am having the same issue putting DAZ content into Poser...

    ssgbryan you mentioned you were going to be adding additional info on the People folder post with screenshots yet nothing has appeared.  Has this thread been continued elsewhere - if so please direct me to where it has gone  - otherwise when do you plan to continue?

    Thanks for the great info so far...

  • LeeC2202LeeC2202 Posts: 37

    Just to add from my perspective. I am finding that the brief novelty of coming back to Poser has already worn off. I had hoped to do more on the animation side, but had forgotten how much of a pain animating in Poser was. I was hoping to use it as a kind of therapy to help me deal with my problems, but I find it is doing quite the opposite, so I'm going to leave it alone.

    So I offer thanks for the information that has been posted, it helped a lot, but I don't really have any need for further information with regards to Genesis and Poser. If any of the contributors wish to add further info for the benefit of others, then I will say that it is entirely up to them.

  • DAZ Studio is a disaster in my personal experience.  I agree with ssgbryan on folders with the creator's name.  Who remembers who created what model especially when we have tons of items.  The entire library structure in DS makes no sense, is confusing, and there's hardly any way to differentiate between a Material or a Character because everything is lumped together.  I have discovered trying to customize it is a waste of time because DIM will just update the library putting back what I just changed so I now have two.  I don't use DIM anymore because it dumps copies of my purchased items on my hard drive.  I save purchased items to a specific folder so it can be backed up.

    Another problem is everything ends in DUF.  When trying to convert DAZ files for use in Poser, there doesn't seem to be any difference between a Pose file and a Material file.  The QA people don't know the difference either because they put both in the Materials folder.  At least with Poser extensions we know what we're working with.

    I'm exporting all Genesis content from DAZ Studio into Poser.  Some of it may not be convertible because some Pose files with the DSON converter don't work properly (such as the Darius character).  In one instance it creates two figures instead of changing the texture.  Another problem that slipped past DAZ QA.  I run the converted files through Netherworks Studios' Creator's ToyBox to clean up the mess that DSON importer leaves behind and find external references to files that don't exist.

  • WandWWandW Posts: 2,495
    edited August 2015

    I just bought Bellatrix for Geni 2 here, and I had to look at the Poser CF file list to figure out how to load it; there's no character preset, so I have to load Genesis 2, then load poses to get the shape and mats.  Plus these poses are under 'Genesis 2 Female' instead of 'DAZ Genesis 2 Female", so they aren't with everything else.  Not a .mc6 file in sight..

    However, this type of nonsense isn't unique to DAZ...

    Post edited by WandW on
  • FixmypcmikeFixmypcmike Posts: 19,013
    WandW said:

    I just bought Bellatrix for Geni 2 here, and I had to look at the Poser CF file list to figure out how to load it; there's no character preset, so I have to load Genesis 2, then load poses to get the shape and mats.  Plus these poses are under 'Genesis 2 Female' instead of 'DAZ Genesis 2 Female", so they aren't with everything else.  Not a .mc6 file in sight..

    However, this type of nonsense isn't unique to DAZ...

    Can  you bug report this?

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