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Daz 3D Studio or iClone for character creation - pros and cons?

Well I did try to set up the characterization so that the G3 character matched up with the Epic rig but from the start the Epic rig is not ideal as to what would be considered normalized proportions. The hands and arms are oversized and the shoulder joints are located higher than they would be on your average human figure. Overall not the ideal candidate for a 1-1 re-target even though I have come close to setting up the base pose.

The G3 framework of course starts with a normalized rig closer to the average 6 foot high character and configured as to normal ratios to the humanoid form. The pelvis for example is parented to the hip joint which creates a separation of transform and rotation unusually available in more advanced rigging configuration. The only current negative is the twist bones are parented to join bends so if you plan on using IK joints is going to be a bit of a problem that in my opinion is a bug type problem to be corrected in UE4 hopefully in a future release. (can be corrected before adding animations or as part of retargeting)

That said no mater what is being retarged one can only expect getting close with a retarget that in general needs to be cleaned as in any other kind of mocap type conversion but using tools like MotionBuilder it’s a much easier task using tools in MB that is designed to make the require work easier. Long way of saying anything involving animation data is why the wourld needs animators in the first place. :wink:

A trick I do use though as far as the use of animation data for video games is to retarget for contact points rather than full body animations by importing the 6ft3inc Epic base animations, correct the scale of the mannequin to the 6 foot G3 model and add auxiliary effectors linked to the contact points of the Epic rig. The result is a mirror of the riquire animations, as in the weapons pointing in the right direction, but excludes the hunched shoulders as what usually occurs with a direct retarget.

Lip Syncing is a subject onto it’s self and sure like most things in Daz Studio in app lip syncing is possible but like most solutions is not what I would consider AAA quality. Using cluster shaping expressions one can output expressions just like any other animation data and of course there are some tools in UE4 that helps make lip sync implementation easier but if you are looking for the best of best solution then is a process that still requires authoring.

An example of me messing around with expression clusters exported from DS.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1RFKxL2Bzg

Ah man. I’m really bummed I decided to “wait for the next [sale]” on the Indie license. Now they totally changed the whole thing. $100 for an “interactive license” on the free essentials and additional $10-$100 (extra) on each item. And I kinda suspect no chance on sales on those licenses either.

As a pipeline for an Indie game Daz3d suddenly became a lot less attractive.

It would be nice if there was a plugin to go from Daz Studio to UE4

Very disappointing and I’m thinking Daz3d has gone with multi-tier pricing to encourage the development of game related assets. Daz3d tried the same thing in the past and did not work then and I see no reason it why would work now.

Still does not excluded Daz Studio as an application from the pipeline but makes it a lot more difficult to even suggest or recommend it as an option

Now that’s cool…and about time :wink:

If iClone is properly rigged I’d use that.

OK so I did a bit more research as to what the changes in the licensing agreement mean and have to change my mind that the changes are more positive than negative as to usable assets purchased from Daz3d

I’ve also change my mind as to comparing Daz Studio and Iclone as an option as there are no limits or limitations with in the end user agreement directly relating to the practical use of said application with in a production pipeline.

The focus is more on the use of what Daz3d calls a CRT derivative and is sold as original art so the comparison should be the differences between say Epic’s base character requirement (Rocket,Blueman) and Daz3d’s Genesis framework, be it 1 2 or 3.

To some extent this use is covered by the interactive license in the form of

Three Dimensional Works. DAZ wishes to encourage the expansion of the catalog of Content available to its users. Accordingly, User may access, use, copy, and modify the Content to create one or more derived or additional three-dimensional works provided that:

  • any such derived or additional three-dimensional works are designed to require or encourage the use of CRT Content available through the online DAZ store either by (i) requiring the use of such CRT Content to function, or (ii) allowing only limited function when not used in conjunction with CRT Content from the online DAZ store; and

Also covered

The terms of this addendum 3.0 are in force only when User has purchased a “Game Developer License” or an “Interactive License Add-On” from the online DAZ store.

So if you already have a Game Developer License it’s business as usual as to Daz3d originals you have purchased or plan to purchased.

But

Taking Mister calculator based on our need to have access and use of the Genesis 3 framework the actual out of pocket expense would be far less based on the per interactive license as compared to the total savings to be had as to amortizing savings over time.

So as far as I can see the licensing updates is as advertised is flexible as to allowing PA’s (product artists) to fix their own prices for art assets targets towards the video game market and if one is already making content for UE4 and for the Epic marketplace your access to a much bigger market has just been made available.

Can you elaborate on “Mister calculator”? I see how the new licensing is beneficial in regards to PA (as those were licensed for 3D use in a really impractical manner before the changes, with some PAs asking even for $2000 per single title license etc.) and it is therefore especially positive for owners of the previously available Game Dev Licenses, who want to include non-DazOriginal content, but I don’t see any real positive outside of that consideration.

If you aimed at paying $140-200 for the Indie license (on sale), you will now pay almost that just for the essentials, leaving you with the necessity of paying more than before for everything you might want to use additionally (any hair, clothing, expressions, morphs) all of which would already have been covered at that point in the same price range in the previous model. Even if you take the listing price of $500 - that’s just a mere handful of items in the current pricing until you have exceeded even that.

OK I’ll give it a go.

For anything game development wise to make sense requires context as to filling a need and our need was for a framework that all our player character models can hang off of and of course at a low cost.

At the time we started looking at possible solutions the only framework with available ready made assets was the Epic base rig that based on it’s design, rigging, as well as scope of use was rather limited to characters of stylized construction with little or no features beyond the use in a typical run and gun.

Of course our game is run and gun but we were interested in features that would allow our character models to act as to non-game related systems, menus for example and characters that could express besides a dead pan expression.

To finish off being a fan of Daz Studio from the start I knew the value of some of the tool sets available that could be used for game development and looking for a character framework solution Genesis3, as a product, came our after Unreal 4 was released and really did not become functional as to fidelity of asset until after the UE4 4.15 release. Ather 4.15 we started the process of evaluation of worth as well as fixed costs as to paying for the Daz Original Developer License and the saving in sweat equity alone was well worth the licensing of just the Genesis 3 framework.

I could go into a lot more detail of just what a framework is as applied to digital characters but as a fixed cost of $350 to have fair use of of just the Genesis 3 framework is a huge savings in both time and cost as compared to custom or sourced solutions as to general use frameworks, (Massive for example).

Pulling out the calculator first off to cover our artists need we need access to at least 3 seats of the host application and in the future a lot more. The base price of Daz Studio, necessary to access Genesis 3, is free no mater the need be it 1 seat or 1000. Genesis 3 has a fixed start up cost of 0 and once again we need 3 copies of the framework to cover our current needs.

At this point the calculator reads zero as to working assets in hand and since at some point we will release a product that requires the access to the working assets in an interactive manner the requirement is to included the CRT derivative as part of the package and purchased the DODL rather than waiting until seconds before delivery which we could have done as an option.

So at this time our calculator reads $350 as a fixed cost, as a one time fee, it’s time to amortized the actual cost as to use ( with in context once again)

OK so to make maths easy we plan on delivery day to have at least 10 player models so simple maths lest take $350 and divided by 10 which = $35 bucks. Got to love fixed costs as the more player models we included the cheaper the per model costs becomes but better still since all of the clothing components and body elements we make is a derivative, becoming original and transformative, so at this point we might as well throw away the calculator as we can sell some of our art and what was in the red is now in the black. :wink:

As to current cost of Daz products I would suggest PA’s repackage for Daz3d, using the Genesis 3 framework for characters, but would wait to buy assets for video game use as a large percentage are not formatted for use in a video game so it’s going to take time for the Daz marketplace to settle down

You are basing the calculations on the now unavailable Indie License (which was never in dispute as a great deal). Here I was under the impression that your calculator comment was aimed at showcasing how the new licensing model is more beneficial to Indies than the former one.

But if “based on [your] need” equals just the free framework, your calculation is $350 then (not counting sale) vs $100 now, so indeed a positive (IF your artists do everything else themselves).

Yikes sorry about that. No idea where my head has been lately.

OK as I said at the moment most of the products available are not what I consider game ready, have to see what DataSmith has to offer, but if we compare the pricing to the current per character pricing of the Epic marketplace the per object license in some cases is less than what you would pay over at Epic.

If relating to to just the original licensing the fixed price was $500 if you just wanted the G3 or G8 frame work and only if you plan to distribute the game. At $200,for both M and F, you save $300 which will buy you a lot of content from a lot more PA’s who fix their own prices.

Where it gets interesting is if you shop around you can find some good deals around that would included the base shape, a package of ready made morphs,clothing for less than $100.

Will an Indy land up paying more?

Yes and no as I said it’s about shopping around and as an individual you are entitled to do as you please as to derivatives as well as transformative works that requires the base form so taking into consideration just the need for unique character models it would be up to the Indy to shop smart as to a fair price as to needs (remember you only need the license if distributing as an interactive game.

Renderosity for example

https://renderosity.com/

Have even cheaper products,even free, available for the G3/G8 base and as an example

https://www.renderosity.com/mod/free…or-g3-g8/78072

= free character.
As you can see is licensed for both commercial and non-commercial use for a package that includes the body injector, textures, clothing, HAIR ;), just as an example and personally I have a directory set up just for the free stuff available for Daz Studio including a nice selection of hair which all work off the same single base form.

So individual licensing may or may not cost more in the long run but does represent more choices as to shopping smart as to needs.

Now compare the need for assets with Iclone just to export a crate you need to purchase an export license just to move the asset to 3ds Max or Maya for rendering not to mention you will have to buy 3d Xchange just to move something out of that app. :frowning:

So based on what I have on hand, and what we need, we over paid for the Indy license, even though it’s worth every penny, and is reason why I suggest not to buy anything until things settle down as in if the base becomes fair use as a replacement for the Epic rig things will change fast as to products built on a universal form.

Bottom line if you have a need for character models it’s entirely possible to have AAA characters that can act with out having to pay a cent for assets. It’s an option and choice and not a demanded based on product purchases.

P.S. I forgot I did a pipeline overview video of our current set up.

Always a pleasure to listen to your insight.

Any additional recommendations as to sites with free Daz content?

Well my only two resources is Daz3d and Renderosity as they both have a level of expected quality as to fit to finish but there is of course what would be considered general use assets that can be made to fit the base G3 form.

For example I buy most (more or less) all useful animations from the Epic market place and re-target in MotionBuilder on to the G3 framework we are using in our project and in Unreal 4.

Don’t see why retargeting could not be done in UE4 and made available as a derivative. For example the Epic free animations a set/version could be made very easy for G3.

Still

It’s not all that hard to make something fit or conform to the framework As Daz Studio does have the tools to do the job. Might be why Iclone can import a G3 model. :wink:

I recently found an interesting article that mentions possible issues you will encounter when using DS models in Unreal:

https://crazyrestosim.wordpress.com/…/daz3d-to-ue4/

In short, the things to watch for, are animation artifacts caused by the fact that DS uses Dual Quaternion skinning, but game engines use Classic linear skinning and also DS has corrective morphs to make animations look better, but game engines will not use those morphs “automagically” and you will need to somehow manually apply them (not sure, how, and not sure if you need to create your own corrective morphs from scratch or can reuse the DS ones). Also, bone rotation axis can cause problems for programmatic animations and mentioned corrective morhs.

Also, DS exported models lack roughness / normal maps and LODs.

The author mentions some ways to solve the issues but unfortunately does not provide detailed tutorials. I haven’t yet found a complete DS -> Unreal pipeline tutorial anywhere, although I have searched Unreal forums, youtube, paid courses and have asked experienced DS / Unreal content creators to create such a tutorial, maybe collecting donations on Patreon etc. to pay for their efforts - I’m sure people will be interested because I have found some quick&dirty DS -> Unreal video that was funded through Patreon, but the video was just another quick start and not complete guide. So, yeah, we still have no “the Ultimate fool-proof DS -> UE guide” and have to collect everything from bits and pieces.

And now iClone 7 supports UE4 “out of the box”, although I’m not sure about advanced features, such as LODs, physics, corrective mesh morphs for bone animations, lipsync, animatable facial wrinkle maps.

Currently you need their Animation Pipeline bundle, which has 3dxchange pipeline with FBX export support. Other bundles do not export to FBX, that’s sad. They have a holiday discount - it costs $449 instead of 698, but also add the Export License, and the price will skyrocket up. And their content store has much less items than DAZ Store. No wonder, considering the price.

I’ve been using the iClone 7 suite for 6 months or so now to record animations (Perception Neuron mocap), create characters and edit animations. It seems to do it quite well. I can’t speak for LODs or facial animation, but unfortunately the latest iClone suite does not support UE4 out of the box. The main problem for me is that root motion is not exported, despite the root bone being present. This isn’t a problem for everyone, but if you’re thinking of using it for exporting root motion animations, be aware you will need to do this manually.

See my post about it here: Root motion is not exported to .fbx and so is incompatible with Unreal Engine 4 - FeedBack Tracker

This is my current workaround: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80cOPnhK-o4