Content Paradise B-Day Coupon

So Content Paradise sent me a $5 coupon for my birthday, which I must use before April. I think I might pick up NearMe. There’s not much stuff for her at the other stores, but she’s still pretty well supported at CP. Some cute clothes and pose sets over there.

I want her so I can buy this outfit. Adorable; just lookit that face on her little boob bat! (or is it a cat?)

Feeling my self-control rapidly fading. She may be mine by the end of the day…

Edited to add: I succumbed to temptation. πŸ˜› For both:

NearMeSpookyMe
Also used Glutton Boo, Whacko Jacko, and the 4 Season Stand

I splurged at DAZ’s recent Genesis sale too — when that store has a simple, straight-forward sale, I’m happy to spend a little money over there. Or a lot, be that as it may…

CowboyGumdropSM

BotsSM

I really like Hiro 5 and Hitomi together. I still like Genesis 1 more than Genesis 2, but I still prefer the Gen 4 figures. I feel so contrarian…

WIP – A Little Toon Hair Texture Project

Back when I did the Raggedy Ann/Andy set for Pippin, I’d wanted something that looked like rope, string, or yarn hair, but didn’t really find anything closer than dreads. I made a note to myself to come back to this and find something to make these hair props look more stringy…something people usually don’t want their hair to look like. Finally got around to working on it.

Came up with this for the Toon Salon Hair 3:

Rope Hair - Toon Salon Hair 3
click for full-size view

The above was done with template mapping the diffuse and bump/displacement maps. Transparency maps removed (skull cap too.)

The textures seem to work pretty well with dreads/dreads-like hair props and simple toon hair sets. Also, I figured this presented a good opportunity to actually use thoseΒ  Shader Baker presets I installed ages ago, so that I could tile diffuse, bump, and displacement maps together:

Rope Hair - Chip Wild Hair
click for full-size view

I tried out a smaller tiling ratio for this one. The first two use Shader Baker settings with the bump/displacement maps and the third is just simple tiling.

Rope Hair - No Shader Baker Rope Hair - Shader Baker

The changes from the Shader Baker settings are more obvious in these examples (Toon Salon Hair 3 again, but also Harmony Hair for Melody/A3 and Daisy Hair V4, with the transparency maps removed.)

Displacement will mess up any hair accessories due to poke through — fixed in postwork in the above exampe — and ditto with using the bump map settings, which I didn’t expect.

Another minor inconvenience in using Shader Baker settings is that you can’t see the effects of changing tiling ratios until you render, so there’s a bit of trial and error until things look right. Most of the time, different material zones required slightly different tiling ratios.

So now I’m wondering how to package this up. There are almost 40 colors and mixed-color textures, plus the bump/displacement map. I’m tempted to just throw it out as a texture resource, rather than make tiling presets as I did with the Toon Hair Materials (which are a little friendlier to material zones that vary a bit in how they display the texture.) Then there’s the Shader Baker…

Ha! So complicated, for such a little niche project.

Oh, and one last test render:

Rope Hair - Colors
pinks and purples!

The mixie textures don’t always end up looking as I expected. With the Toon Hair Salon 3, it’s better to apply separate colors. The tails on Daisy Hair just weren’t at all cooperative. πŸ˜•

Converting free Dawn morphs to Dusk

In case visitors to the blog missed the comment, Mustakettu85 has explained how to get Dawn free morphs to work for Dusk. It’s an easy process, if a bit tedious, but it does add more versatility to Dusk while we wait for additional morph products to arrive from the official folks.

dusk-multi-morphs
He has a “Ghost of Macbeth” feel to him

I’d thought the files were encrypted like the old .dsb (?) files, but they were zipped. I learned something new! Again. πŸ˜›

I hadn’t any plan in mind for this one beyond tinkering with the Hivewire sets, Kerya’s DS morphs, and those by almostperfekt and sbcorktown. Here’s a list of the free morphs I have installed (some also have Poser versions):

By DigiDotz – Butt/Lower Back Morphs / Dawn Longer Legs Morph / Dawn Neck shorter morph / Smaller nose for Dawn Figure
By sbcorktown – Dawn Nose Morphs / Dawn sexy lips Morphs / Dawn Breast Morphs DAZ
By almostperfekt – eye and lip morphs 4 dawn / 23 faces for Dawn and more / dawn face and body morphs

Still wishing Dusk had more face morphs

I have whatever comes with the free base figure, along with the Dusk Starter Morphs and Dusk Head Shapes package. They’re nice morphs, but I’m frustrated I can’t dial up something like this, which uses only M4’s Morphs ++:

ElliotSM
I forgot I had this hat! Forgot I’d had the textures for the shirt too. I may have too much stuff…

I realize Dusk was released only a few weeks ago, during the busy holiday season, and complex facial morphs take time to make. I can be patient, even if I’m whining a little here.

I downloaded Kerya’s new set of 12 face morphs for Dusk — also quite nice — and used them with a few of the Head Shapes and Starter Morphs dials:

dusk-morphs+freebie-morphs
Using SAV’s Lucien hair here…Dusk’s default nose is rather Tom Cruise-ish

It’s still hard to make Dusk not look like his base, though. In that regard, Dusk (and Dawn) reminds me of the Mil3 figures. It was nearly impossible to make M3 look like anything but M3 — Ghost of MacBeth’s morphs sets, CDI’s Brom, and AtlantiStyle’s Andre and Basile probably came the closest to helping fix that issue.

As someone who likes playing with morph dials, I always thought the bland, doughy faces of the V4/M4 base figures were a big improvement over the Mil3 figures. It was much easier to dial up distinctive faces with even just the Morphs ++ sets, and considerably more so after all the other sets were released.

Over the years I’ve also bought the V4 and M4 versions of the Creature Creator morphs, Aged morphs, Elite Shapes, Elite Ethnic Faces, and Surreality’s Distinctive Features sets. Also picked up Morphus, Morphia, Faerime, Boopsie, and Vladimir, not to mention Hiro 4, Aiko 4, Reby Sky, Freak 4, She Freak 4, Girl 4, Guy for M4, and 3DU’s Aiko4 Toon and Hiro4 Toon. Almost forgot the Freak 4 Creature Expansion! There was something I picked up from RDNA for M4, but never did get it to work in DS.

(I bought Morphlet for K4 too; it’s like Pokemon…gotta buy em all!)

So I know it’s not fair to compare what I can do with M4/V4 to what I can do with Dusk/Dawn at this point in time, but I’m really hoping the Hivewire folks have more morph packages in the works.

There are a number of useful free morph sets for Dawn at ShareCG. I was particularly grateful for these since nearly all the commercial ones were Poser only. I’ve been using the sets by almostperfekt and sbcorktown a lot, along with a few of the more specialized body morphs by DigiDotz (shorter legs, shorter neck.) Used some of those freebie morphs with Dawn’s Starter Morphs (I still don’t own her Head Shapes set, I admit) for this:

dawn-morphs+freebie-morphs-sm
She reminds me of someone, but I can’t think of who

I wish I could use these sets on Dusk. I assume they’d work since he was created from Dawn’s mesh, but I have no idea if it’s possible to adapt them to Dusk. I tried copying them from the Dawn area in the Data folder to the Dusk one, but alas, that didn’t work. It would’ve been too easy, I guess. πŸ˜›

Oh, and I finally got around to buying the head and body morphs for Genesis. Still haven’t picked up the ones for the Genesis 2 figures; not sure if I will. So far, the only Genesis 2 figure in my wishlist is Lee, though his body’s a bit too bumpy for my taste. I just don’t care for the overly muscled look; personal preference.

I did recently buy Ghost of MacBeth’s morphs for the Genesis 2 Male. To my delight, it has a very good Giuliano de’ Medici nose. Of course, I have no other face morphs to use for a G2M Giuliano. I am mildly amused by this, considering my ratio of M4 morphs to G2M morphs.

Pixabay – Free Images

Another nice resource for public domain images: Pixabay. Property and model releases are still required for commercial work. More here. Buying photos from a stock photo site comes with model and property releases, but if you’re just making projects for yourself, and nothing commercial is involved, sites like Pixabay are a treasure trove of fun stuff.

I found a cute toony skull castle, which inspired me to break out Neanda-Dolls for Dawn for a quick test:

cavewoman-dawn

Also used PSP Landscape Gradients for the background and the toony cloud brushes are from Scenery Scrawl.

There lots of great images at Pixabay, from cute critters (though way, way too many spiders!!) to some stunning landscapes. I also saw a V3 Mermaid and I’m pretty sure this old PC set in an image too. πŸ˜›

Edited to add thumbs of just a few images I downloaded:

pixabay-dramatic pixabay-little-girl pixabay-mannequin

pixabay-elephants pixabay-relaxed-squirrel