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New characters for DAZ Studio using DAZ Studio alone!

Author: purple_mug

Tools Needed

* DAZ Studio

* Morph Loader

* MorphToCR2 Script

* Text editor

Support Files

* Null.zip

Introduction

Modeling a new character for DAZ Studio from the ground up can be a long process made all the more complicated by the need to rig the figure for movement in Poser. But why do all that work when you already have native morphing figures for which it's all been done? Combining parts from different figures, countless new characters can be yours all rigged and ready to go.

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Step 1 - Preparing for the quest

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Before attempting this tutorial you should be thoroughly familiar with the techniques for manual editing of a DAZ Studio .CR2 file detailed in the tutorial ”Original DAZ Studio content from DAZ Studio alone!

If you have not yet purchased Morph Loader from DAZ it will still be possible to follow the tutorial to create characters but with limited functionality.

MorphToCR2 is a free script written by DAZ member DeltaX15 and may be downloaded from …

DS Scripts: MorphToCr2

or

DS Scripts: MorphToCr2

For the android figure in this tutorial the head of Victoria 3 will be combined with the D-Brat robot, a free figure from DAZ.

D-Brat robot

Step 2 - Modeling (one for the price of two)

Combining two figures and setting extraneous parts to invisible or transparent is a well known technique which many are familiar with from creating the centaur in the ”Making a Centaur in DAZ Studio - No other software needed!” tutorial by Porter.

Effective as this technique is visually, it can be wastefully heavy on memory and resources especially as a large percentage is devoted to body parts that don't actually contribute to the scene at all. By creating a fully functioning prop from specific body parts this inefficiency is reduced and, more importantly, a fully customized figure is just a few clicks away at any time.

In a new DAZ Studio scene load D-Brat and Victoria 3. In the Scene tab, turn off Victoria's visibility then restore visibility for the head only in the hierarchy tree. If you wish to include one or both of Victoria's eyes in the model (I chose to line up D-Brat's eyes to show through the empty sockets as it gives a more hollow, artificial look) turn on visibility for those also. Then move the eyes so that they are looking to the far left - you'll see why later!

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If you wish to add any items to the head such as hair, hats, horn props etc. now is the time, but make sure that you parent the items to the head instead of using any “fit to” option. Exporting at a later stage will fail if the head is not registered as a single integrated object.

Now select Victoria. D-Brat should not be moved from the default origin at any time. All adjustments should be made using the V3 figure. Begin with yTrans to drop the head into the neck ring of D-Brat. If you are not using Victoria's eyes, then D-Brat's eyes should be visible through the eye sockets.

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With zTrans, adjust the position of the head so that it appears to be integrated with the visible parts of D-Brat. The default sizes of the two heads happen to mesh well but, as long as only Victoria is affected, you can scale, morph, and generally use any tool that takes your fancy at this stage to get the exact look you want.

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Color changes, if required, should also be made now.

Step 3 - Exporting geometries

When you are satisfied with what will be the default android model, delete D-Brat from the scene and double check that all extra items are parented to the V3 head and only items to be included are visible. Export android.obj to a folder in Runtime\Geometries with the usual settings …

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[If you don't have Morph Loader, go to Step 4]

It is now time to consider what morphs you want to retain from Victoria's repertoire for use by the finished android. The null.CR2 file includes 10 morph channels at present so that will be the limit for now. However, remember that all head motions (bend, twist, side-to-side) will be inherited from the parent D-Brat in the finished model. Also morphs in Victoria 3 and any other items, such as hair, that you have included can be combined to produce a new single morph for the android figure.

The choice of Disgust and a combined Sh Sound/Nose Wrinkle as example morphs is not intended to suggest that there are any limits here. Any morph that affects the head (and eyes if you've included them), plus those of other items attached, can be transferred singly or in combination. You have carte blanche because you are working on what is currently a tabula rasa!

For each morph that you want the android to carry, set the involved morphs in Victoria 3 to the limits that should represent a 100% morph in the new figure.

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(This is where those of you who are using Victoria's eyes will thank me for suggesting that you set the default position to far left as this means that you can now choose to look to both left and right in a single morph!)

Export the head to a new, appropriately named, OBJ file (eg. androidDisgust.obj, androidShCombo.obj), then return all morph settings to default for your figure (that won't always be zero so make sure you keep a record of the default settings you chose!) Repeat the procedure for each morph you want to include in the android.

Step 4 - Creating the .CR2 file

When you are sure that you have all the exports you need, clear the scene and go to your text editor. If your exports included anything other than the Victoria head part, first open each of the OBJ files and ensure that all groups listed are named 'head'.

g xxxx - > g head

Open null.CR2 and save as android.CR2 in an appropriate folder in Runtime\libraries before editing.

Complete “figureResFile :Runtime:Geometries:” with the folder and file names for your default OBJ file and replace all instances of “bodypart” with “head”.

Now for the bad news. Victoria 3 uses 32 different materials, all of which are included in android.mtl, and though not all of them are needed for the head, that is still 12 material sections to be created and sets of values to be transferred (SkinHead, SkinScalp, Nostrils, Eyesocket, InnerMouth, Lips, Lacrimal, Eyebrows, Teeth, Gums, Tongue, Eyelashes) with another 8 if you included eyes (LCornea, LPupil, LEyewhite, LIris, RCornea, RPupil, REyewhite, RIris), to say nothing of those needed for any additional items.

The good news is that these may be searched for and copied in full from the .CR2 files for Victoria 3 and other included items (where they exist!), then simply pasted into android.CR2 in the material section with no particular order required. Phew!

If, for any reason, you are transferring material settings manually, you will need to take note of an additional setting in some materials, such as Eyebrows, where there are transparency settings to be considered. In the .mtl file this setting is recorded in “d” (default value 1), and in the .CR2 file in “tmin” and “tmax” (default value 0). The formula for transferring values is tmin and tmax = 1 - d. So for Eyebrows

d 0.1 - > tmin 0.9, tmax 0.9

Having set-up android.CR2 (and checked for any case sensitive errors!), save and go to DAZ Studio. Find android in the Content tab and load it to check for errors and omissions. If all is well, exit the text editor.

[If you do not have Morph Loader, go to Step 6]

Step 5 - Importing morphs

Using Morph Loader (Edit menu), select and load each of the morphed head exports you made in Step 3.

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If you wish to test the morphs, do so now.

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Find and run MorphToCR2 in the Scripts folder.

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You should be able to see all the morphs you loaded in the left hand file list. If not, make sure that “Active Only” is unchecked.

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Select all the morphs and click the “Transfer — > ” button which should move them all to the right hand file list.

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In the “Donor CR2” box, browse to and select android.CR2, then click the “Export” button.

You should now find android-New has been added to android in the content folder. Load this and confirm that all the morphs are now automatically included in the figure. If all is well delete android.CR2 (or rename it android.crx or similar if you may have some use for it in the future) and rename android-new.CR2 android.CR2.

Step 6 - Showing off

The full poseable, morphing V3 Android can now be included in any scene in just three short steps.

Load D-Brat

Load android

Parent android to D-Brat's head (click and drag android to D-Brat)

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But that's only the beginning of the fun. With this simple technique at your fingertips, why not give Michael a lion's nose, the morphing python a human head or a set of dog's legs, replace Victoria 4's feet with an eagle's talons or give Emotiguy the body he never had?

And now you're comfortable with editing OBJ and .CR2 files who knows what you might come up with next?