Daz Studio to UE4 (Tutorial) Part 1

I actually wondered whether anyone has truly made a photo realistic skin texture for Daz3d human character into UE4 because on quick Google search and Youtube, none of them are realistic afterall. Except the ads image in Daz3d website and so far they rendered in iRay mostly. Would like to see the similar standard of Paragon realistic human skin texture/material for Daz3d model inside Unreal Engine only. A tutorial will be awesome.

I don’t have zBrush anyways, been using only Blender. I tried importing Daz3d Genesis 8 model into Blender, it is real messy and seems out of place. (Export as Autodesk FBX though, I selected 2014 Binary FBX)

Kia ora

At this point I think going by the readin I found there seems little point in moving to Gen 8 with so little out for it and the backward compatibility be not that great. I’m very new to Daz and could not get my Gwennili body morph and guild onto the Gen 8 freebie base figure boot all seem to trip at 90 degrees and sit weird, one of my hair crash’s the program, I just can’t see the point in Gen 8, the selling point of use of other Gen products was it main selling point and seems to be it’s weakest point. So why do I need to start over rebuying items to use with it if I’m only using Daz to create char, what she got that Gen 3 don’t? (dont forget it’s a public forum LOL)

Being able to even bring in a Daz3d character only begun in version 4.15-4.16 with all the important parts intact but as a starting point all the necessary components to make a character equal to a Paragon character are in place and is just a matter of time before someone figures it out.

Mesh is mesh but as the next logical progression as an option to the Epic mannequin the upfront costs are zero but represents an opportunity to “sell” working assets based on the Genesis 3 framework. Sure Daz3d uses Iray materials but it’s just another form of a PBR based material that fits all of the G3 based forms so some motivated by the $$ individual could make UE4 compatible set of realistic materials and sell them on the Epic market place.

For that matter Epic could produce free material samples using G3 as it is the same framework “everyone” has access to.

Animations is also another area worth expanding on that only takes a few hours to retarget that could even be sold on the Daz3d marketplace and make even more $$ of the same asset package. To add to the mix the G3 base can even be made to talk where the Epic mannequin cannot.

Overall though both the Epic and Daz3d marketplaces fit together arm in arm with TONS of free stuff available and since plugin development is available for both platforms someone could build an FBX bridge to convert the material to Unreal 4. (or Epic could just make UE4 compatible with Iray :wink: )

In the mean time this is an example of the G3f-m out of the box using just the color map for skin as a starting point. (hair as well)

Daz skin material

I don’t know about photo realistic but I’ve been happy with how the Daz textures look when used with Epic’s skin shader and their example skin material.


I don’t think it’s ever going to look quite as good as when rendered in something like iRay or VRay but then, those aren’t rendering in real-time.

Also, so much of the end results depends on other factors such as scene lighting and post processing, which the Epic demo uses quite extensively.

The above images are with a single movable sky light, a single movable directional light and no post processing except to disable auto-exposure.

I’ve no doubt that this could be significantly improved upon. For example, for the roughness texture I’m just using the inverse of the specular texture from Daz, which isn’t technically correct, but it’s been good enough for my purposes to date. I’m also just plugging the SSS texture from Daz straight in but it’s too strong and spread out for the UE skin shader. Those two textures should really be hand tweaked in an image editor to get better results but I’ve not gotten around to it yet. The only other thing I’ve changed is to flip the green channel when importing the normal textures from Daz.

Edit: P.S please ignore the eyes. I’m still struggling with the additional eye blend and occlusion geometry and materials.

Kia ora

Thought this was pretty good

And So is this

Had good results pulling Daz content through substance painter for tidy up and prep for UE4…

Kia ora

Just in case anybody needs it

seems we need go over the whole process again for Gen 8 tho I’m not sure it’s worth it given the backward compatibility is so broken

In case someone missed the link to the full series, here it is:

but with some URL mangling I found that there’s one more:

I also tried 5 and 6, but there’s nothing there :smiley:

This series includes almost everything you might need to create a complete game-ready character - model, assets, animations, LODs. I haven’t found any other that complete UE4 character creation tutorial series, even no commercial ones. Usually most of tutorials or paid courses are about separate topics and you have to figure out how to put it all together, shooting yourself in a foot multiple times because what works for one model does not work for another.

Really huge thanks to @Mrpdean for the efforts.

But I wish someone would update the series for the latest UE4 versions. Also it would be awesome to have two versions - one for those who would want to use as few 3rd party tools as possible and get something “quick&dirty” but fully working, and another one - advanced, to push Daz3D -> UE4 pipeline to the edge to achieve the best results possible.

Also, it would be awesome to have an option for using free software, such as Blender etc.
MotionBuilder and 3Ds Max is just not an option for a small startup indie team or a hobbyist.

I would even pay for such a complete Daz3d -> UE4 course. Indiegogo, Kickstarter, just UE Marketplace item - anything! Still, no-one has yet accepted the challenge :frowning:

Well it’s one of those things that’s only hard until it becomes easy but does get a bit foggy based on the purpose the asset needs to serve and and the vast different options based on the objects your looking to export.

If it helps though I’ll be happy to do up a tutorial in project form with the intent to take a a clothed G3 model, with LOD’s,from Daz Studio into UE4 from scratch.

As mentioned though the tutorials DS>UE4 are out of date as moving stuff over to 3ds Max first to make fix deal breaker issues was solved in 4.15-4.16

Kia ora

@FrankieV that would be really great mate, really great, I love to see an option in such a tutorial for making the clothing Item change able to the char can swap gear to wear what the pick from chest or enemies etc, as in like the Elder Scrolls/Fallout games

I’m currently struggling with this part. I purchased all of the Animset Pro packages from UE marketplace a long time ago and had them working on some Mixamo characters at one point, but I haven’t been able to use any of them on the DS characters because I can’t get retargeting to work. I’ve always had trouble with the UE4 retargeting.

It seems that if you could import all of your characters into UE already rigged to UE4’s skeleton, it would make the process much easier, so I’ve been going through DS and matching the pose to the UE4 mannequin so I can save it as a preset. Then in 3d studio, I delete the head bone and skin mesh from the UE4 mannequin in one 3dx file and delete all of the bones except for the head in my exported DS 3ds file. After that, I merge the two together and move the head bone from DS under the UE4 neck_01 and I was able to export/import the result into UE and get the animation working for the head, along with all of the face morphs from RL, but the rest of the body isn’t attaching to the skeleton for some reason. I’ve added all of the bones to the skin modifier. Any ideas?

Well this is my problem too, I am not an artists so I always try to make my workflow as art independent as posible.
One workflow I was using is rig the Daz model in mixamo, but of course you loose every morph from the daz model.
I will give a try to motion builder, there is a video in the las thread page and I want to try the workflow.

I just figured out a pretty easy way to do it using only DS and UE. Once you get the bone-bone relationship figured out for the rigging, it’s just a matter of creating a pose in DS that matches the UE4 default skeleton, the A-Pose I believe. It’s a lot easier this way because you can dial in each pose position using the float fields rather than guessing with the 3d gizmo in the UE Editor, so you can be a lot more precise. I just exported the UE4 mannequin into 3d studio and kept changing the pose and exporting/importing (merging) it into the UE4 scene until I had it all matched up. I’ll write a tutorial and post all of the values when I get a chance. I still need to tweak it a little bit on the fingers.

Once you have your pose exactly like the UE4 mannequin, then do a File->Save As and save it as a Pose Preset. Now any time you create a character in DS, just add that pose before you export. One thing to note here… I already had a pose preset from iClone for all of the face morphs so I had to apply that first, then lock down the head and apply the A pose to the body. It was the only way to use both poses on the same figure.

Now just export your character with the A pose as an fbx with the morphs (I used 2012 binary) and drag it right into the UE4 Editor (I’m using 4.16). Let it create a skeleton and be sure you import the morphs, etc. Then just create the rig. I’ll post the reference to that as well. In my case, “Genesis3Male” was my root node.

Once you’ve created the rig, you can retarget an animation and when it’s done, open up the animation (it’s going to be ugly at first) and at the very bottom-right corner of the Skeleton Tree tab, select the drop-down and check the top option, “Show Retargeting Options”. Then right-click on the root node (again, “Genesis3Male” in my case) and select “Recursively Set Translation Retargeting Skeleton”. That should clean it up.

Of course, you only have to create the rig once. After that, just create more DS characters, apply the A pose and import it into UE4 using the original DAZ3D skeleton.

EDIT: This didn’t work. I got them perfectly lined up and the DAZ character doesn’t look natural at all, arms too long, shoulders too far back, hands too big, and even though the hands are exactly the same on both sides, the fingers on one hand are still mangled. I’m not sure what’s going on there. The animations themselves look fine but the UE skeleton doesn’t appear to be ideal for matching up human characters, at least not the grey one. The old blue guy seemed better.

That look good enough for me!Can you share the picture of node setup?Thank you!

It’s the exact material from Epics Photorealistic Character demo. I just replaced the textures and tweaked a few of the parameters on the material instance.

Does anyone know if I can import a Genesis 2 Daz3d character into 4.15.1?

The model should import but up to 4.15 there are issues as to the fidelity of the imported assets. Daz Studio uses a custom weight map and some of the vertices would import with zero weights. Materials was also a problem as they looked like plastic wrappings.

OK so Daz Studio has been updated to 4.10 with some nice feature additions as well as a “flexible” license addition that still requires a Dev license but there is an interesting addition.

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
  • upon receipt of a written request from DAZ, User immediately ceases any and all distribution of the art that User has created from the CRT Content, if DAZ has determined, in its sole discretion, that (i) such art is substantially similar to or is a clone of existing Content; or (ii) such derived or additional work fails to require the use of Content available through the online DAZ store.

So more or less a derivative of the Genesis figure can be shared and made available, much in the same manner that the Epic mannequin figure is used, as long as it encourages the expansion of the content catalogue.

Hi All, sorry to bring an old thread back but I am having a really tough time with Daz clothing in UE4… So in my game I would like to be able to equip and unequip an outfit from daz. I set it up in Daz, exported to blender via collada and separated the character mesh from the outfit.

I then exported those separately via fbx into unreal (same skeleton). I retargeted the skeleton to animate well from the mannequin and just swapped out the mesh.

I then added the outfit mesh to the character blueprint and set a master pose component. When I go to play the game the clothing is synched but not attached to the character and appears ‘floppy’ especially in the legs. Does anyone have any idea why this is happening?

Here are some of the troubleshooting things that I have tried:

  • I tried importing the character straight from Daz via fbx with clothing baked and it gave me the same weird result
  • I tried making a ‘shirt’ out of the characters skin mesh in blender and it works perfectly so I know the master pose component is working.

I am completely stumped… Please help!

Yeah this was exactly my problem in 4.15. I’m basically looking to get an astronaut model into the game.

Looks really good but not so much in UE4. Is there no solution?