Getting back to things

It’s been nearly two weeks since we said good-bye to Patches. I still get emotional about it, but I’ve always been one of those people who cries easily.

It was a peaceful end at home; no fear of a car ride and vet office visit for her last moments. The tumor was very aggressive, poor little thing. Her jaw was so malformed she couldn’t really eat. It was the right decision, but still a very hard thing to do.

She’s buried in the flower garden alongside the patch of woods in our back yard. We bought a cat wind chime to place by it, one of those that makes pretty tinkling sounds. I also sent her off with a couple kitty toys and a package of treats — told the husband it was an offering to Bastet, to watch over our girl.

I don’t believe in such things, of course, but it made me feel better.

My son turns 29 tomorrow — only one year until 30! Egads….

We went to see Solo last week. I thought it was okay. My favorite of these new Star Wars movies is still Rogue One.

The computer guy came by earlier today to check out my old beast of a machine and declared — not surprisingly — that updating it wasn’t a practical option. So we’re now looking into buying a new one that he’ll build for my purposes.

I haven’t been doing much with DS lately anyway, though I did take a stab at a few weekly renders. I just didn’t get around to posting them. Nothing particularly inspired but it’s a start.

Out of Gas, featuring Dawn and a pink VW/camper and my ongoing efforts to get the VW materials to look okay — also, first time using Stonemason’s Dirt Shader for DS (gas can, traffic cone)

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Izanami G3F with the Ashen V4 texture (again) and head gear from the G2F Geisha bundle

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“Darkness and Light” – an image effect experiment with the V4 double-sided morphing fantasy cloak on Hitomi

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Indulged in a little budget wrecking re: the recent Victoria birthday sale at DAZ and a few nice sales at Renderosity as well. Mostly utilities, as I want to stock up on more shaders, converters, etc., but I also finally bought Monique 6! I have quite a few Genesis 3 base figures waiting in my wishlist but Monique 6 was the last of the Genesis 2 ones.

Still not buying much for Genesis 8, but a short while ago there was a very nice deal on Young Minto for G8F — a character as well as clothing and props — and so I picked it up. I wasn’t sure if I could use the dForce outfit, since dForce doesn’t work for me, but most of them are rigged. At a price that low, it was worth a shot — and it ended up looking pretty good. The character is nice too — since I don’t have any DAZ morphs or base figures for G8F I’m only considering characters that don’t require any of those resources.

The kitty glasses alone were worth the purchase (I don’t have much in the way of Iray lighting though…)

In addition to Monique 6, DAZ parted me from my money on a whole bunch of stuff: Treasury of Books; Legacy UVs for Genesis 3: Genesis Pack; Genesis 3 UVs for Genesis; Genesis 3 Clones for Genesis Bundle; Wear Them All – Autofit Clones Expansion for Genesis 3 Male(s) and Genesis 3 Female(s); Genesis 2 Male and Female Base UVs for Genesis; David 3 for Genesis; V4 and M4 Shapes for Genesis; Kenzi Outfit for Genesis; Dynamic Casuals for Genesis 2 Male(s); Sebastian Hair Bundle; V5 Shoe Pack; Handy for Genesis; Genesis Evolution: Muscularity; Toon Amy for Genesis (Bundle); TreadZ for Genesis 2; Mary Janes and Socks for Genesis 2 Female(s); Mavka Starter Bundle; SY Clothing DeMuscler And Waistband Fixer for Genesis and Genesis 2 and 3 Male(s); Clothing Smoothers for DAZ Genesis 2 Female(s); Advanced Wood And Metal Shaders Bundle; Zena V4, and SG Head Dresses for Genesis.

Mostly Genesis and Genesis 2 stuff. I also acquired a decent assortment of freebies: Sci-fi Desks and Chair; Warrior Maiden Tanwen; Garden Escape Well; V5 Summer Set; Commercial Hallway, and Medieval Castle Tower Interior.

In comparison, the budget wrecking at Rendo was much more modest: The Cuddler Chair Set; Luca for Genesis 3 Male; Dante78’s Medieval Manor; Love Me Bows, and Pd-Dirty Pretty Daz Studio Shaders.

Gotta install all that. Also gotta get back to my pose project, as it has been quite neglected!

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Fun with primitives

A cube with a plain water texture and then a plane with a caustics texture below it and under the G1 figure. It was an experiment to see how it would work.

Limited results due to the textures themselves — perspective is all wrong — and it didn’t really give the illusion of depth I was hoping for, but it was worth a try.

I’d like to try a render project similar to this concept:

Biggest problem: it would be hard to find a hair prop that would convincingly look like it was floating on water.

Also, I’ve not had much luck getting water materials to look good. I have UltruMarine, but that’s for underwater scenes. I don’t have Ocean Wide, by the same vendor, but maybe that would be better than using a cube and/or plane with a displacement map. Then again, while that prop might look more realistic, a flatter plane would probably work better with a “floating hair” prop, providing one even exists.

Any ideas for a hair prop that can do this? I have SAV Zero Gravity Hair but, again, it’s one better adapted to underwater scenes. Also have Warrior Wet Hair G3M and Christine Hair V4, both are close but lying flat in the wrong direction (great for any floating Ophelia render projects though.)

Not that dForce works for me, but I wonder if this is one of those instances where it would do exactly what I needed?

For Kettu, Dawn’s Small Shoulders morph examples

Hope this helps!

Arms down 100%, L to R: Default, Small Shoulders +50%, Small Shoulders -50%, Small Shoulders -100%

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Arms down 100%, Small Shoulders -50%, side and back views

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Arms down 75%, forward 50%, Small Shoulders -50%, front/side/back views

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Arms (whoops; typo!) down 75%, Back 50%, Default/Small Shoulders +50%

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Arms up 75%, forward 50%, Small Shoulders -50%, front/back/side views

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Arms up 75%, Back 50%, Default, Small Shoulders +50%, Small Shoulders -50%

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Small Shoulder morph +50% on modified Dawn body, V4 autofit clone results (last one is actually Dawn clothing!)

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Small Shoulder morph +50% on modified Dawn body, Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 autofit clone results

As mentioned earlier, the -100% setting is into “creature territory,” but obviously the morph isn’t intended for this kind of usage. Also, the vendor mentioned it’s mainly intended for “arms down” type of poses. I don’t think it looks too bad with arms up, but some of those examples have arms in positions I personally wouldn’t use much.

For its intended purpose, I think it’s an excellent product and well worth the investment.

Weekly Render: Week 14

I bought the Aging Morphs 2 Bundle during March Madness. Aging morphs definitely a gap in my Genesis content — and morphs in general are lacking in my Genesis 2 content.

A more Edwardian-looking hair prop would be better, but out of the huge number of hair props I already own, an Edwardian bun style wasn’t among them. (Here’s one, but of course I didn’t have it; it’s now in my wishlist.)

I ended up using Jade Hair V4. I like it, especially its “messy” option, but the big poof overhanging the forehead makes for more shadows than I’d wanted. I guess I could’ve experimented with the lighting to better minimize it.

The skin texture is from the Aged M4/V4 bundle. Bump map could’ve been stronger; it’s too smooth. I didn’t use the displacement map that came with the set because I figured it wouldn’t work well with the HD aging morphs. I have other aged textures, but this one doesn’t have major painted-in seams and wrinkles.

I combined two collars from Romance Collar V4 and a free neck ruff, along with the Squid Jewelry, which was a give-away for an event I’ve since forgotten. I love that squid! The chain looked a little on the thin side, so I added a push modifer with a very small setting. I could’ve given her squid earrings too, but maybe squid overkill?

Dress is the Victorian Gown for G2F.


Update! I just had to tinker more with this one. Added an hdri light, subd to the hair and added ambient color to the skull cap, increased the subd level on G2F, added a texture to the black collar (it was diffuse color with a trans map originally) and fiddled around a little more with her features. Also increased the bump map settings, though the lips are still too line-free imo. Maybe I should try to find a different bump map for the lips.

Definitely need to play around more with these morphs.

 

The scourge of PMD files

The most recent M4/V4 Blowout sale persuaded me to buy the Technophilia Retro Rock-It set. Despite PMD issues, it was worth the small amount I paid for it:

After parenting the three different prop parts to a group, then doing some scaling and translating and rotating, it made a pretty decent retro bubble helmet on G2F, who is green-skinned and pointy-eared in the spirit of 60’s era Star Trek, though the raygun and bubble helmet are more of a 50’s thing.

All the prop parts have PMD files and none of them work in DS. Not even DS3, which is generally pretty good with PMD files. Perhaps it’s only PMD injection files for CR2 files that worked okay in DS3; I don’t know much about the technicalities.

Anyway, it’s a good deal when on sale, but it’ll require a little extra work for DS users.