Project Dogwaffle Howler

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  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,108

    Forgive me if I am being a bit stupid here but what you appear to be doing is take a height map created in Howler, turning that into a 3D mesh, export that from Howler and imprt into Carrara.

    What I am struggling to get my head around on this is that if you export the map (not the 3D object) and apply that to a Carrara terrain, you will have an identical looking model which is much more memory efficient, as terrains are more efficient than the equivalent full 3D mesh.

    Or am I missing something?

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,495

     I brought up the same question.  But a part of the terrain issue is the ability to also apply the Howler maps correctly, which I'm not sure of.  Cripeman brought Bryce terrains and matching maps to Carrara using the Lightwave model format (I think).  

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 18,002

    I bet we could get Howler maps to map correctly on Carrara terrain.

    The thing that I see is just a practice of trying the new export OBJ options of Howler.

    But in doing so, I've also noticed that the resulting mesh from Howler has a lot less vertex point issues (smoother mesh). Seeing that each pixel gets a triangular subdivision pair of polygons kind of answers the why of that! LOL  That's like cranking Carrara's mesh resolution to max, and then some.

    I have a feeling that, as I was proposing before, Sample Rate must reduce that by very large factors.

    Personally, I prefer Carrara's Terrain Shaders to Howler maps any day, as we can use maps for many various things - not just colors.

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,495

    Just noticed that there is a thread in the Commons forum asking about Howler.  Folks with more expertise than me might be able to answer questions or provide clarification.  Dustrider and Chickenman have pointed people to the this Carrara forum thread, but lots of Daz Studio users don't come to the Carrara forum.

    https://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/227186/pd-howler-since-no-one-else-will-ask-i-will#latest

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 9,007

    I did my very first Carrara render! And I got the Howler obj and texture to import...

    I had talked to Dan, he said that 3dDesigner creates 2 triangle per pixel....yeah, you heard that right! lol  So, anyway, I created a 160x160 canvas, used 3D designer, and exported the obj. Then i took the orginal "tiny" height map, and resampled it up 3 or 4 times, and then made my normal size texture map. Saved that out, after adding errosion, noise, etc. Just doing it quickly.

    Imported the obj into Carrara, went in REALLY fast, then did some z-scaling there. Finally, fiddled around till I figured out how to put the texture on the obj, and then took a render. I'm no Dart or PhilW, that's for sure, but I did get it to work! Go me!

    Go You! Congrats on the render :) and the workflow

     

  • PhilW said:

    Forgive me if I am being a bit stupid here but what you appear to be doing is take a height map created in Howler, turning that into a 3D mesh, export that from Howler and imprt into Carrara.

    What I am struggling to get my head around on this is that if you export the map (not the 3D object) and apply that to a Carrara terrain, you will have an identical looking model which is much more memory efficient, as terrains are more efficient than the equivalent full 3D mesh.

    Or am I missing something?

    Nope! You are sharp as a tack! The exercise was just to see if it could be done, not whether it was best practice. (which in the overall scheme of things, it isn't!) lol.

    And it can be done, but it takes a few twists and turns to get there.

     

     

  • Thank you Head wax!

    And on another note, I have another Webinar I'm putting together for PD Howler. I'm going to go more in depth on post work, specifically for 3d rendered images, as well as digital photos and paintings. So, is there anything else that you all want to see covered during that? Or other things that you would like to see covered in the future? Just trying to get more ideas, here. And if it's something that isn't "webinar" length, Then I'll try to do a YouTube video to answer the question.

    And I'll pop over to the questions in the other forum and see if there's anything I need to add.

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,108
    PhilW said:

    Forgive me if I am being a bit stupid here but what you appear to be doing is take a height map created in Howler, turning that into a 3D mesh, export that from Howler and imprt into Carrara.

    What I am struggling to get my head around on this is that if you export the map (not the 3D object) and apply that to a Carrara terrain, you will have an identical looking model which is much more memory efficient, as terrains are more efficient than the equivalent full 3D mesh.

    Or am I missing something?

    Nope! You are sharp as a tack! The exercise was just to see if it could be done, not whether it was best practice. (which in the overall scheme of things, it isn't!) lol.

    And it can be done, but it takes a few twists and turns to get there.

    OK, good, I can see that as a test of the functionality, it is always useful to have options!

  • https://digitalartlive.com/event/20-powerful-postwork-procedures-with-pd-howler/

    Another webinar coming up! use "postwork10" to get a discount.  It doesn't matter which render engine you use, this is about postwork of the image in PD Howler. If you aren't interested, please spread the word!

    Thanks!

    PS. has anyone else tried the techniques from the webinar? And I've been told that the recording will be on the DAZ store sometime this week.

  • staigermanstaigerman Posts: 222
    edited January 2018

    Hi Tiff, the webinar time shows as 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm  - in what timezone? It would be good to have that little detail :-)

     

     

    Post edited by staigerman on
  • Sorry, that's GMT, they always do an update with the conversions later, I think it's about 2pm Central time.? 12pm Pacific? 1pm Mountain, and 3pm Eastern.

     

  • Hello folks,
    I am very disappointed with PD Howler.  I recently got it to help me with 3D animation projects after seeing all the hype here about how great it was for animation,  I later found out it only works with AVI files. and not any modern video formats, which is odd since it does handle other still image formats with a 3rd party image converter. So there should be one for videos as well.

    The 1st time I ran the program it crashed, and the 2cd time also crashed. I was able to get it to work after running it under Windows Vista compatibility mode.
    Also it is a NOT a 64 bit program, but only 32 bit. Which means it will be unable to work with very large animation files. After converting an 30 minute mp2 file to avi, PDH wouldn't load it. and it won't even load other small AVI videos made with other programs
    The lack of a Photoshop compatible layers is another problem. I haven't been able to load any PSD files which is supposed to be supported, but it will only load one layer.

    Altho there a a lot of video tutorials, basic introductory ones are out of date for the latest version and finding explanations of how to use the basic painting functions are hard to locate with so much emphasis on new 3D functions and all the different older versions scattered all over the place.
    AND THE FORUMS accessed from the menu ARE DEAD LINKS. So I wasn't able to get any quick help. As Dartanbeck said;  "It just takes a bit of time and patience to find the instructions you need to get going on your project. I have found that it can require a certain amount of patience to get into it and the YouTube videos can take some time before it all starts to make sense." Well, after a month of messing with it, it still seems counter intuitive and I have had a LOT of experience dealing with all sorts of non intuitive software. Dealing with these Howler issues has been an impediment to my workflow.

    All the current chat here is about 3d landscaping tools. I already have Bryce and Carrara for that as well as lots of DAZ landscapes, so that Howler 3D stuff is uninteresting to me. Also I am more interested in interior scenes with people rather than landscapes.

    I have updated to the latest version 11.2b but Several times while trying to learn the program by do simple tasks like creating some text to apply to a rendered pic, Howler suddenly crashed when I tried to change the text color. And sometimes it seems to hang with no response from left or right mouse clicks.

    I was seriously considering demanding a refund but hoping I could get some use out of it in spite of its flakiness and peculiarity. But it seems that I may have wasted my money and time on something that is so awkward to use and won't do what I need it to do.

     

  • I'm sorry that you are having such issues. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCokbGIIM9CTT35_B2erkjIg ; Has some very basic tutorials that are for Howler 10 and mostly Howler 11 that help with understanding the GUI.

     

    I don't know much about the Animation areas, as Staigerman is the expert in that area, and Dartanbeck knows alot about that too. I do know that having the wrong codex or wrong image ratio can cause issues.

    Yes, it is only 32 bit, as there is only one guy working on it, and converting to 64-bit would take an entire re-write of the code. It is hoped that one day he will have the time to do that.

    As for the crashing, did you run as administrator the first time? I don't run in any compatibility mose, and I have Win-10 Pro.

    Yes, the layer system is different in Howler, and yes, it will load one image. But, you can save them out as single images and then copy them into separate layers in the program. But, layers are still different in Howler, they are meant more like a "glaze" in traditional painting. I do have a video on Layers on the YouTube channel.

    There is a FaceBook group, "PD-Project Dogwaffle" That is a good place to go for help, as well as here. There is also an old Yahoo Group, "project dogwaffle" to get help, but it's not as active as it was before. Again, there is one person doing the coding, and one person who does all the marketing, and while I and some other Beta folks are trying to help some, in those departments, there are no paid positions, so that often falls to the side, sadly.

    I would suggest looking at my basic videos, they also cover text and the GUI, perhaps that would help you move along a little better?

    Also, if you have a specific question ask it on Facebook or here and I'll try to get to it, or get someone else who can help.

  • I spoke to the developer and relayed your issues. This was his reply::

    You can post this over there, if you like.

    I'll own the crashes, because I wrote it.  Howler will generate a "Unexpected error, quitting" message if it needs to self register. This usually only happens if there are multiple versions installed or if the program is installed without being launched from the installer.  The solution is to run the program once as administrator.

    If you have the (11.2) version, be sure to get the 11.2b version, because we found a crashing bug in it.

    Stability is very important to us, so be sure to report any bugs that you can duplicate.

    You shouldn't have to run in compatibility mode under any version of Windows.  We no longer support running under Windows XP, although it might run.

    It is true that we are not intended as a general purpose video editor for loading in hour long videos.  We are historically a visual fx tool for working with short scenes or sequences.  If you want to work on hour long videos, you'll needs something that works directly from disc in a compressed format.  That's not what we are.  We allow manipulation of raw images.  Working from a compressed format on disc would mean we would perpetually be lowering the quality of every frame every time it is changed.

    It is also true that we do not support Photoshop style layers. The reason for that is historical, and technical.  We've been around for a long time as an fx tool, before those things existed, and designing for them required designing in limitations and workarounds that we weren't willing to embrace.


    I hope that helps you to understand where the limitations might be. It is still a wonderful program, it just may not be the program you are looking for. Or you may have to find a different way to work around to get what you want. I often find that to be the case.

    Good luck, and sorry for your troubles,

     

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 18,002

    Ah yes. The Photoshop layers thing. I don't even miss it anymore.

    So, when I I first started getting into all of this, I was a little frightened on the idea of trying to run animated renders (in Poser, then Carrara after getting that) for minute-long sequences. After getting Carrara, I built a machine that can handle such renders. But before I even built it, I've learned from this community and other lessons in  filmmaking, that I won't be using any clips that are more than a few seconds long. Some of my ten second renders were five or more seconds too long already! 

    I still do some six second renders, and that's fine. Howler handles a lot more than that.

    The Visual Effects stuff I'm doing in Howler is brand new to me, since getting Howler. I've never dreamed of doing a lot of this before owning Howler, and was going through thoughts on how to use Carrara to pull of the magic. I'm so glad to have found Howler!

    For a lot of the PS Layers type of thing, I now use Image > Store Image and keep those around for use in the Swap channel. 

    For animations, using Animation > Store Animation actually allows me to use any of those stored animations as a Swap, directly in the stored animation window! Just a quick showing of how I use these functions can be seen in this brief - I get into Howler at 3:55 of the video

  • RainbowArtistRainbowArtist Posts: 101
    edited February 2018

    Thanks for your responses.
    I don't think PDH is a terrible program. It is wonderful for what it does, but it just doesn't quite suit my needs. It seems I misunderstood the limitations due to all the hype about what a great tool it was for animation. However, the DAZ ad and forum chat _DID_ say it was for doing video effects, which implies it could handle various video codecs and formats. As well as the emphasis on using a GPU for making 3D landscapes.
    ----
    "PD Howler also has tools to fix videos, such as repairing missing frames due to encoding, dropped frames. And motion-estimated interpolation for super-slow motion; And numerous special effects filters, not just over a single mage, but also over image sequences of an animation, a video.

    And of course, it is a paint program too. "

    --

    ( Perhaps it would be better to say it is a 2D paint program that has some limited video effects, as well as 3D landscapes generation tools. Perhaps a different term for PDH layers, like maybe 'alpha image overlay', so it isn't confused with standard PS type image layers).

    I used to develop software back in the last century so I understand some of the issues involved in updating earlier software to current modern standards.
    As well as being a single person business.


    As several folks have mentioned PDH has some similarities to the classic Amiga paint program Deluxe Paint, which I bought back when it came out. It is my all time favorite paint program. I also used it for teaching computer art when I was an instructor at the Atlanta College of Art. Here is a couple of pics I did with DPaint then.

    PDH, however, has proven to NOT be a joy to use as DPaint was. Several ways of using the image tools are counter to industry standards. While being creative and doing things in inovative ways is nice, it often can lead to the situation of users who are used to common standard workflows to experience task failure and frustration while using PDH.
    When people are habituated to acting in a particular way, it is frequently difficult to change behavior unless the new way is much easier. My experience in trying to use PDH to do some basic image tasks like I had easily done with other software, resulted in a lot of frustration and I actually felt angry at the software. Which is quite unusual for me, as I have been used to dealing with funky software for decades. (Yes, I had read the manual ( which is outdated and incomplete ) and looked at several tutorial videos but still had problems getting the results I wanted. Not to mention the abrupt vanishing program crashes, even after I had upgraded to the latest version.

    Of course, to be fair, DPaint was a much simpler program, very intuitive with straight forward documentation which made it easy to learn and use, Also it was runnning on much simpler hardware/OS than todays. PDH, however, has hundreds of functions with lots of hidden options which can be very confusing without a thorough training course. And as we all know, getting complete comprehendable documentation and training for software seems to be nearly impossible these days. Which is how we end up with forum conversations like this. Which is better than nothing at all.

    BTW, I am running on Win 7. I tried but don't like Win 10. Too many privacy and compatability issues, and I think the UI is ugly and reminds me of the ancient primitive Windows 1.0 flat UI.

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    Post edited by RainbowArtist on
  • This is a reminder that the webinar is this Saturday, and that the discount is still valid. Hope to see folks there! 

    I have my first landscape pack created in PD Howler for use as backgrounds in your favorite render engine available at HiveWire3d as of today (Land-Escapes).

    And the recording of the previous webinar should be available soon, here at DAZ through Digital Arts Live.

    Those are your announcements for today!

    On another note. I've been playing with Particles (The math for Foliage is too complicated for me), trying to get a "fern" and while I've created some great Fir/Pine tree settings, I'm not getting close to "fern leaf" yet! I'm thinking I may have to tackle Foliage after all, unless i can coax someone else into figuring it out! lol.  My intention is that once I get several volumes of my backgrounds in shop, to start doing billboard style trees, grasses, etc and foregrounds in PD Howler for use with the backgrounds, or just for use in renders.

  • The recording is live at DAZ https://www.daz3d.com/how-to-create-stunning-landscape-scenes-with-pd-howler

    So, if you missed the live version, here it is!

    The techniques that I use for landscape creation are there!

    I had to switcvh to figuring out the foliage rules, and have now made parsley! lol. Still no ferns, yet.

  • ( Perhaps it would be better to say it is a 2D paint program that has some limited video effects, as well as 3D landscapes generation tools. Perhaps a different term for PDH layers, like maybe 'alpha image overlay', so it isn't confused with standard PS type image layers).

    Your words are a bit cold, but they certainly are succinct.  If I had read this earlier, when I was trying to figure out exactly what Howler was, it would have saved me about 3 hours of investigation. :)

    Once that definition is established, the next logical question is, how useful and good are the paint, video effects, and landscape tools?   To me, they look pretty cool, and I will likely get it down the road.  But right now my hands are full learning Carrara.

  • Last chance to sign up for the Post Work Webinar live: https://digitalartlive.com/event/20-powerful-postwork-procedures-with-pd-howler/

    Hope to see folks there in 1/2 hour!

  • Due to technical difficulties, the webinar has beeen rescheduled to March 3.

  • chickenmanchickenman Posts: 1,198

    Looking forward to it.

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,495

    Thanks for the notice.

  • A reminder that the Post Work Webinar is scheduled for this Saturday March 3. I have a new microphone, so it should be awesome!

  • @Dartanbeck, Hey, I know that you use HitFilm Express. Is there a way to make a video Time-Lapse using that? I have a video, just trying to figure out how to make it a speed drawing. I have HitFilm Express, VSDC, Apowersoft video editor, and a couple of others, but I can't figure out how to get any of them to speed up the video. Any ideas?

  • Dart hasn't posted in over 3 weeks.  Hope he responds!

  • Aw, hope he's okay.

  •  

    Finally found a different software to get it to work.

    Enjoy! And if you have any other suggestions, please let me know!

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,495

    Hope Dart is OK.  He always has a lot going on with his stone business, and his band, etc.  Wishng the best.

    Tiffanie, will all the examples be landscapes, or will there be other examples as well?  Just curious.

  • edited March 2018
    Diomede said:

    Hope Dart is OK.  He always has a lot going on with his stone business, and his band, etc.  Wishng the best.

    Tiffanie, will all the examples be landscapes, or will there be other examples as well?  Just curious.

    For the speed painting? or just in general? Or for the Workshop tomorrow? Not sure which you are asking about.

    For speed painting - I intend to do some other ones, but I'm fastest/best at landscapes.

    For the Workshop - There will be all kinds of things covered, as it's about postwork of all kinds

    For my YouTube Channel - There will continue to be a variety of subjects.

    Other - ???

    And for the workshop, if you have specific questions that you would like answered, there will be 30 minutes at the end of the webinar for questions. Or, if you aren't going to the workshop/ can't attend live, then post questions here or on the Facebook page (PD-Project Dogwaffle), And I'll answer as I can.

    Post edited by Tiffanie Gray - IDLM on
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