Who said Blender was hard?

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  • marblemarble Posts: 3,900
    edited July 16

    Blender gets a financial boost (spoiler: it's a grant, not a purchase):

     

    Post edited by marble on
  • Midnight_storiesMidnight_stories Posts: 3,952

    I'm working on some stuff for UE4 in blender now, and it's so easy you don't even have to triangulate the mesh the smooth and scale all work out of the box with the FBX exporter. So this is great to see !

  • Using Blender is like using the emacs or vi editor: I had to train myself to assume that if I think that something is hard, or not well designed, the problem is ME, not Blender. I admit that learning Blender is an undertaking, but it's a blast and I can't count how many times something that was complicated or impossible in Daz was dead simple in Blender. I find the combination of Daz content and Blender's power to be a match made in heaven and would encourage any Daz user to invest the time to become at least somewhat proficient in it.

  • marblemarble Posts: 3,900
    edited July 19

    Using Blender is like using the emacs or vi editor: I had to train myself to assume that if I think that something is hard, or not well designed, the problem is ME, not Blender. I admit that learning Blender is an undertaking, but it's a blast and I can't count how many times something that was complicated or impossible in Daz was dead simple in Blender. I find the combination of Daz content and Blender's power to be a match made in heaven and would encourage any Daz user to invest the time to become at least somewhat proficient in it.

    I'd really appreciate more details about your workflow. I had a similar conversation with @Padone and others in another thread but I'm still trying to get my head around exactly what is being moved to Blender for processing. I was advised that rendering is quicker and better in Blender and that animation is far in advance of what is possible in DAZ Studio. I'm also aware of some of the ways to get DAZ content into Blender, ranging from OBJ or FBX export through Casual's TeleBlender script and, possibly the most complete method: the Diffeomorphic "DAZ Importer".

    So please explain - did you learn the Blender materials node system? The animation tools? Did you have to rig again in Blender or, at least fiddle with the rigging? What about bringing in other objects - for example, clothing from Marvelous Designer? In short: what would you expect a Blender novice would need to learn in order to inter-operate with DAZ content, poses, morphs and materials?

    BTW: I used vi for many years and was more comfortable with it than almost any other text editor - and I'm not a coder.

    Post edited by marble on
  • GordigGordig Posts: 892

    I decided to give Blender another chance because of this thread, so I downloaded 2.8. I still don't like the interface, but I can at least see myself putting up with it long enough to learn how to use the program effectively, unlike my previous attempts.

  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 31,632

    ...I find it much more friendly than previous versions as I can use a pointing device instead of having to memorise hotkeys and key combinations or deal with scripting to make it work like other 3D software.

  • PadonePadone Posts: 1,146
    marble said:

    I had a similar conversation with @Padone and others in another thread but I'm still trying to get my head around exactly what is being moved to Blender for processing.

    I'd advise you not to rush about it. Give yourself the time you need and the most important thing do have fun in learning, do not take it as a scheduled job you have to complete because it is not. I mean learning blender or any other complex professional application reeally never ends beacuse it usually evolves as fast as you can learn. So there is no end learning.

    That said I agree with @MDOImaginations that the Grant Abbitt videos are quite good and I'd advise you to start there. You will find that blender is a much more complete solution to 3D art. And it will let you do anything you wish. Unlike daz studio that's heavily limited in many ways.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/mediagabbitt/featured

    As a final note, I believe daz studio is really good together with gimp or photoshop for artists making comics. There you can use daz studio for rendering and gimp or photoshop for special effects and composition. So if what you do are comics then no need to learn blender. Almost all the daz studio limitations really come out when trying to do animations.

  • marblemarble Posts: 3,900
    edited July 20
    Padone said:
    marble said:

    I had a similar conversation with @Padone and others in another thread but I'm still trying to get my head around exactly what is being moved to Blender for processing.

    I'd advise you not to rush about it. Give yourself the time you need and the most important thing do have fun in learning, do not take it as a scheduled job you have to complete because it is not. I mean learning blender or any other complex professional application reeally never ends beacuse it usually evolves as fast as you can learn. So there is no end learning.

    That said I agree with @MDOImaginations that the Grant Abbitt videos are quite good and I'd advise you to start there. You will find that blender is a much more complete solution to 3D art. And it will let you do anything you wish. Unlike daz studio that's heavily limited in many ways.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/mediagabbitt/featured

    As a final note, I believe daz studio is really good together with gimp or photoshop for artists making comics. There you can use daz studio for rendering and gimp or photoshop for special effects and composition. So if what you do are comics then no need to learn blender. Almost all the daz studio limitations really come out when trying to do animations.

    Indeed, if by "comics" you mean a story told in still scenes, then that has been my MO for years. I don't publish anything so this is purely a hobby and very personal but it does give me a sense of being creative which is somehow important to me. Only recently have I started to include small animations among the stills. I have been compiling the series of scenes into a kind of picture-storybook (or "comic", if you prefer) using a commercial application called Comic Life 3 which provides speech bubbles, etc. for my characters. It will accept any still image (jpg, png, tiff, etc.) but not video or even animated Gif. So I do have an problem with completing a story sequence including video inserts (it wouldn't surprise me at all if you told me that Blender can now do that too).

    Nevertheless, I do intend to explore the animation possibilities because they really bring the story to life but I'm only at the first steps on the road when it comes to animation skills. I also want the extra realism of animated cloth (I got Marvelous Designer 8 at a pretty good price a few months ago) and other soft-body physics for collisions, deformations and gravity effects. So Blender is looming large on my personal horizon and I am really just trying to get my mindset right before I embark on a new learning curve. I'm not yet so interested in modelling so that's a huge part of Blender which will probably remain incidental to my learning progress. My main concern right now (or, at least from when I get home from my overseas trip) is the process of getting content, materials, poses, etc., to work in all of the various platforms, be it DAZ Studio, MD8 or Blender.

    Post edited by marble on
  • PadonePadone Posts: 1,146
    edited July 20
    marble said:

    My main concern right now (or, at least from when I get home from my overseas trip) is the process of getting content, materials, poses, etc., to work in all of the various platforms, be it DAZ Studio, MD8 or Blender.

    Here your best option for blender is the diffeomorphic plugin. I can give you some advise to get better materials but overall you may need to tweak something depending on the shaders complexity.

    1) In daz studio, before exporting, convert everything to the iray uber shader. This is as easy as selecting all the surfaces and applying the uber shader from the presets, so it just requires a couple of clicks. Also this is what works best for iray itself so it is recommended to do that anyway even for daz studio alone. Most assets for the G8 generation should come with the uber shader already.

    2) In blender, when importing, select the cycles engine and the auto material method of the plugin. This will mainly use the bsdf nodes for clothing and skin that's better to match iray. Also be sure to use the development version of the plugin since the stable version is not as good.

    As for MD8 if you do animations there then I guess you may want to use mdd or alembic to export to blender. But this is not my field of expertise since I know MD8 very little. Personally I'd rather do everything in blender.

    Post edited by Padone on
  • marblemarble Posts: 3,900
    Padone said:
    marble said:

    My main concern right now (or, at least from when I get home from my overseas trip) is the process of getting content, materials, poses, etc., to work in all of the various platforms, be it DAZ Studio, MD8 or Blender.

    Here your best option for blender is the diffeomorphic plugin. I can give you some advise to get better materials but overall you may need to tweak something depending on the shaders complexity.

    1) In daz studio, before exporting, convert everything to the iray uber shader. This is as easy as selecting all the surfaces and applying the uber shader from the presets, so it just requires a couple of clicks. Also this is what works best for iray itself so it is recommended to do that anyway even for daz studio alone. Most assets for the G8 generation should come with the uber shader already.

    2) In blender, when importing, select the cycles engine and the auto material method of the plugin. This will mainly use the bsdf nodes for clothing and skin that's better to match iray. Also be sure to use the development version of the plugin since the stable version is not as good.

    As for MD8 if you do animations there then I guess you may want to use mdd or alembic to export to blender. But this is not my field of expertise since I know MD8 very little. Personally I'd rather do everything in blender.

    Thanks again - good advice. Does the development version get updated often? 

    As for Marvelous Designer, it has been on my wishlist for years. I had a chat with an artist on DevArt and he uses Poser and MD together - he has not bought any clothing for his characters since he learned to use MD. So he poses in Poser, imports the pose to his Avatar in MD and drapes the clothing, then exports back to Poser for rendering. I noice that Blender 2.8 is taking some steps towards MD type cloth simulation but I suspect it falls short at the moment. I'd like to figure out a workflow to use all three programs to their best advantage.

  • PadonePadone Posts: 1,146
    marble said:

    Does the development version get updated often? 

    Yes, but you don't need to follow unless there is some fix that you need .. just don't use the stable.

  • NathNath Posts: 1,571

    Blender may not be hard, but having finished the doughnut tutorial I'm well and truly sick of doughnuts (and I already wasn't that fond of them) laugh

     

  • SadRobotSadRobot Posts: 46
    edited July 20

    Blender is my current preferred place to render because of Cycles SSS. But lately I've been playing with Eevee and it's really come a long way.

    Open Source for the win.

    PlayingwithEevee.jpg
    2560 x 1600 - 543K
    Post edited by Chohole on
  • marblemarble Posts: 3,900
    edited July 20
    SadRobot said:

    Blender is my current preferred place to render because of Cycles SSS. But lately I've been playing with Eevee and it's really come a long way.

    Open Source for the win.

    Impressive. I can see why animators would love results like that in seconds. Is that a DAZ character? Converted IRay materials?

     

    Post edited by Chohole on
  • SadRobotSadRobot Posts: 46
    marble said:

    Impressive. I can see why animators would love results like that in seconds. Is that a DAZ character? Converted IRay materials?

     

    Yep. It's a Bluejante character and the hair is from outoftouch. It rendered in about a minute on my MBP's Vega 20 on macOS. The trick with the hair is to set the transparency mode to Alpha Hashed.

  • PadonePadone Posts: 1,146
    edited July 20
    SadRobot said:

    The trick with the hair is to set the transparency mode to Alpha Hashed.

    And of course the diffeomorphic plugin does it for you if you import for eevee ..

    Post edited by Padone on
  • If you are very new to Blender and tempted to try it by the imminent final release of 2.80, I suggest starting with the 'Blender Fundamentals' tutorial videos put out by the Blender Foundation on Youtube.  Here's a link to the playlist.

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLa1F2ddGya_-UvuAqHAksYnB0qL9yWDO6

    26 videos (to date), all short and to the point covering a few key concepts in each video.  The first 14 cover the interface elements and basic modelling.

  • marblemarble Posts: 3,900

    If you are very new to Blender and tempted to try it by the imminent final release of 2.80, I suggest starting with the 'Blender Fundamentals' tutorial videos put out by the Blender Foundation on Youtube.  Here's a link to the playlist.

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLa1F2ddGya_-UvuAqHAksYnB0qL9yWDO6

    26 videos (to date), all short and to the point covering a few key concepts in each video.  The first 14 cover the interface elements and basic modelling.

    Thanks - I did find those and I'm also watching some very good video tutorials from Grant Abbitt who was suggested in an earlier post. I've just now finished his introduction to Blender nodes which made a daunting subject seem pretty straight-forward. I guess I'll find out when I am finally in front of my PC again, next month.

  • marblemarble Posts: 3,900

    More Blender 2.8 tutorials here: 

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZpDYt0cyiuu-sxJKbuYh8OjtgmXNacCV

    I like these because they are quick and to the point yet seem to cover the essentials.

  • Rashad CarterRashad Carter Posts: 1,710
    DaremoK3 said:

    For those who are excited about Blender 2.8 -- and are wanting a closer Marvelous Designer cloth creation experience in it, a full-time professional Blender addon coder just released a new addon that comprises of everything I am trying to achieve with my build (less the dedicated 2D creation side).

    He even implemented a few things I haven't thought of yet, and figured out the sewing thread algorithm I was working on via ray-casting.

    Check it out here (Garment Tool) :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvdxE6YbOSU&t=88s

     

    Instant buy! My one question is what are we supposed to do with a triangulated mesh. Is there a means to untriangulate these items? Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  • marblemarble Posts: 3,900

    Another big player backing Blender, it seems ...

  • marble said:

    Using Blender is like using the emacs or vi editor: I had to train myself to assume that if I think that something is hard, or not well designed, the problem is ME, not Blender. I admit that learning Blender is an undertaking, but it's a blast and I can't count how many times something that was complicated or impossible in Daz was dead simple in Blender. I find the combination of Daz content and Blender's power to be a match made in heaven and would encourage any Daz user to invest the time to become at least somewhat proficient in it.

    I'd really appreciate more details about your workflow. I had a similar conversation with @Padone and others in another thread but I'm still trying to get my head around exactly what is being moved to Blender for processing. I was advised that rendering is quicker and better in Blender and that animation is far in advance of what is possible in DAZ Studio. I'm also aware of some of the ways to get DAZ content into Blender, ranging from OBJ or FBX export through Casual's TeleBlender script and, possibly the most complete method: the Diffeomorphic "DAZ Importer".

    So please explain - did you learn the Blender materials node system? The animation tools? Did you have to rig again in Blender or, at least fiddle with the rigging? What about bringing in other objects - for example, clothing from Marvelous Designer? In short: what would you expect a Blender novice would need to learn in order to inter-operate with DAZ content, poses, morphs and materials?

    BTW: I used vi for many years and was more comfortable with it than almost any other text editor - and I'm not a coder.

    The materials system is a dream... get the Cycles Encyclopedia to learn about all the shaders and other magical nodes. Read BlenderNation on a daily basis :) Really... I had no idea about 99% of the magic that was possible, and not that complicated with the cool shaders they've made.

    I don't animate in Blender. I use mocap data, clean it in WebAnimate, retarget to G8 characters with 3dXChange, and previz and simulate dForce hair in Daz. Then I export everything via Alembic to Blender.

    So I have never had to rig anything, nor import clothes, as I do that in Daz, or pin it in Blender and do the cloth sim there. As far as clothing goes, I would think that if you make the clothes fit the character in a t-pose, and maybe turn off self collisions, it would just work when you simulate it.

    So I can't speak for the animation system, but I think the things others have done speak for themselves.

    I hope you get bitten by the Blender bug!

  • SadRobot said:

    Blender is my current preferred place to render because of Cycles SSS. But lately I've been playing with Eevee and it's really come a long way.

    Open Source for the win.

    Very nice! Open source for the win, indeed.

  • marblemarble Posts: 3,900

     

    Octane for Blender 2.8 ... free

    https://render.otoy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=72241

  • DaremoK3DaremoK3 Posts: 607
    edited July 31

    marble :  Thank you, for the info - that is very interesting, and more options are always good...

     

    Rashad :  Sorry, I saw this a couple of days ago, but I have been extremely busy, and then forgot about it.

    You can quadrify the mesh via re-topo tools, but that is going to be on you to work out what is best for you.  There are some auto-quad retopo tools you can use to varying degrees of success - some available for free.

    Personally, I use a flat retopo method from UV's starting from a third-party auto-retopo that I wrote an addon to work from within Blender.  Then I hand cut any necessary loops to make sure I have same number of border verts as tri-mesh original.  Last, I use a free addon that shapes (Shaper) it back to the original draped cloth while maintaining the clean UV's.

    * EDIT:  If you want to see example of my flat quad retopo - go to page 55 of this thread - I have an animated GIF showing it's usage.  It's the next post under the Delaunay Triangulation addon.

    * Link to Blender Shaper addon with example GIF's of it's usage:  https://blenderartists.org/t/shaper/1130216/8

    Post edited by DaremoK3 on
  • Cris PalominoCris Palomino Posts: 6,278

    Didn't see anyone post - Blender 2.8 was officially released today.

  • AllenArtAllenArt Posts: 4,478

    Didn't see anyone post - Blender 2.8 was officially released today.

    And probably the very first Blender version I feel like I can actually get my head around....lol.

    Laurie

  • DustRiderDustRider Posts: 2,099
    marble said:

     

    Octane for Blender 2.8 ... free

    https://render.otoy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=72241

    Woohoo!! Cycles and Evee are awesome, but since I'm already and Octane user, it gives me a more familiar option.

  • DustRiderDustRider Posts: 2,099

    Didn't see anyone post - Blender 2.8 was officially released today.

    Double WooHoo!! I've been using the 2.8 Beta for several months, so it's great to have the final version (and no worries about things not working in the next update - not that it ever happened).

  • marblemarble Posts: 3,900

    Didn't see anyone post - Blender 2.8 was officially released today.

    I didn't spot any announcement but it is 07:00 am here at the moment so I must have been sleeping. :)

    Anyhow, here's a nice little overview for anyone who needs an update on what 2.8 offers ...

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