This little piggy in the market

OMG, I want it. I don’t need it, but that unicorn outfit? I am overcome by the cuteness.

If I hadn’t spent so much money on the Platinum Club sale this entire month of June I might have splurged, but…that was not the route I took.

I did acquire CJ 8 and Dasan 8 (and his HD add-on) for $1.99 each, and only later realized this was a “glitch” sale. I don’t usually shop at 2AM but happened to be up late and thought I’d check out newly posted deals. Glad I did, though I’m sure DAZ sales was none too pleased with the error.

As a result of buying a lot of stuff at deep discounts, I already have to make more room on the new computer. I have a second terabye drive and immediately moved all those enormous HDRI products and sets to a new content directory there. Still considering relocating all iray light sets to the new content directory.

Next up: moving old legacy free content. Mil2 and Mil3 stuff. This is a project that could take months, but it’ll definitely help. Once I finish with that, I’ll start on the Generation 4 free content. I have…a lot of that.

Probably could reward myself, when I’m done, with a cute little pig.

 

Christmas Mad Money

Christmas money goes straight into the budget for all things fun and frivolous. The husband got a nice Amazon gift card from his work and he went crazy with supplies for his model trains.

Me, I throw my mad money at 3D stuff. Like more hair props! I have hundreds already and yet I keep buying them. I don’t even care what figure they’re for; hair props are easy to refit.

 

Three of my new DAZ hairs — Addison, Gizelle, and Careless Braid — were $2.99; no way I can resist prices like that. I like the feathery details on Addison. Perrin Hair and Fane Hair (which comes with a character) were on sale and I had new release purchase and loyalty discounts for them, so a good deal all around. Fane is totally noir; must do a noir project now.

Ali’s personal store goes on sale for 50% off every year toward the end of December and I usually grab a hair or two. Hr-219 is more fun than practical, but that’s okay.

Perpetually on the lookout for male content, though I’ve become much more picky. Still, I scored a few decent deals:

I did pick up Retro Future for G2M. It had an unexpectedly attractive discount. Hoping it will also work well with G2F.

The $2.99 G8M Brothers Bundle went into my cart because it comes with two LIE dirty skin options and fibermesh extras, including “patchy facial hair.” I have lots of stubble and beard props, but nothing for a younger guy growing his first beard. The LIE overlay can be used on other textures and probably G8F as well.

From Fast Grab, a new outfit for my G8M (he now has four!) Casual Outfits for G8M is a single mesh, like a bodysuit, with some details modeled in but most rely on normal maps. Looks more like real clothes. But it has no material zones, so it’d be really hard to texture.

A little more female content. All $2.99, except for Mrs. Chow 8, who enticed me from Fast Grab. Mabel 8 and Floyd 8 were ahead of her in the priority queue but $13.00 proved too hard for me to pass up.

 

Mrs. Chow is fantastic! Though, as usual, I’m not crazy about the 3DL materials.

The La Llorona Ghostly Bundle for G2F has two pale-skinned characters with loads of face options, a set of ghost poses, and a dress. I mostly wanted the dress, but I can always use more creepy textures. The Rain Boots are for G2F, G3F, and G8F. Nice! Great detailing on the Vault Rustler G2F outfit; love the boots. It has kit-bashing potential. I already rendered that SciFi PinUp Outfit for G8F.

Added several people extras to my library, all part of the $2.99 sale:

The Vascularity Bundle for G2 is something I’m more likely to use with the G2 creature morphs than regular characters. Morningstar Wings for G3F and G8F — more wings are good; adds a little variety for the flying people. I have no tears in my content, so Plentiful Tears HD was a needed addition.

Picked up two kids for $2.99 each:

Leon and Teena. Both are stand-alone preteen figures. I like their overall look. Each one has their own hair, clothing, and poses. I can’t use Teena’s dforce dress and skirt, but everything else is fine. They only come with expression morphs, but I can live with that.

And a whole bunch of props!

 

EE: Frozen Lake and New Years Celebration were new releases and earned me extra discounts, paired with the loyalty discount, for The Streets of Asia 2, The Heart of the East, Japanese Maples, and After the Rain.

The Sci-Fi Containment Cell and High School Classroom were those free-with-a-purchase products — and obviously there was much purchasing going on.

The rest were from the $2.99 event. I figured the Japanese Fishing Junk would go well with all my new Asian content. Probably won’t use the poses from Doris Curtains, but the curtain prop itself is intriguing. Both Old London Alley and Haven Park are worthwhile additions to my environments folder. Adding Neighborhood XPack 1 and Neighborhood Block 1 Bundle completes the sets I already bought and gives me a whole lot of 3D houses. I already had an old scooter and a moped, but the Italian Scooter Bundle has a lot of nice extras.

And that’s a wrap. Christmas mad money smartly — if frivolously — spent!

I don’t anticipate any more power purchasing until tax refund time and historically DAZ has had excellent sales in April. 🙂

Hopefully by then we’ll finally have all the funds to take care of replacing the roof, the carpets, and the kitchen counter and to buy me a new computer. I only have 88GB left on this one, yikes!

Random Renders: Crone for Etta HD for Edie 8

One thing I’ll say for DAZ’s Genesis 8 characters is that quite a few have added much needed diversity and originality to the lineup, especially in regards to older and quirky fantasy characters.

I don’t own many G8 core characters, but I had to have Edie 8 and Ollie 8 and took advantage of several good sales to acquire them within my budgetary needs. Got the Edie 8 Starter Bundle for $20 and the Ollie 8 character for $10.

(I now have Victoria 8 because she was free and I snagged Michael 8 for $10 in the same sale I got Ollie 8. The other G8 core characters in my wishlist are Alexandra 8, Edward 8, Mabel 8, Floyd 8, Mrs. Chow 8, Mr. Woo 8, Sanjay 8, and Kala 8…and OMG I’m still not done collecting Genesis 3 and Genesis 2 core characters!)

After getting Edie 8 I decided I needed Etta HD for Edie 8 and the Crone add-on for Etta, which were all on sale at the same time I bought Edie. Major budget wrecking ensued. March Madness at DAZ was mostly a bust but April and May had a few great sales that didn’t involve me having to buy something I didn’t want in order to take advantage of nice discounts.


Edie 8; Etta HD for Edie 8; Crone for Etta HD

Anyway, I love these characters; they’re just so unique and fun — extra points to Crone for a bit of ethnic diversity.

Alas, HD morphs take forever to begin rendering on my old computer, so I do small and simple projects when using them. The Crone render above took a while — not sure exactly how long because I gave up waiting and went to bed but it was more than three hours and less than six. 😀

I worked a little on Etta’s materials. The 3DL materials for most of these newer characters just don’t look nice when I render them. Usually far too dark and orange-ish. I’ve been making 3DL material conversion to Ubersurface for days now — Victoria 2 through Victoria 8 — just to get characters to a starting point where I can work with them and experiment with different settings.

For Etta, I’d like to get a little more sheen on her skin and lips, but HD effects have been a bit of a challenge for me. Too much specular and they look really, really plastic. Not enough and the skin looks flat, like above. I have the same issue when using ZevO’s aging HD morphs and still haven’t found a solution I’m completely happy with.

Despite that little quibble, I’m having lots of fun playing with my new toys.

And the new kittens, of course! Both are zonked out right now after a morning of strenuous kitty chase-and-ambush games. They really like the dust ruffle on the daybed in my office. Great for ambushing…gotta love those comical little butt wiggles before the dramatic pounce.

Shopping, dial spinning

Don’t know if the upcoming “March Madness” sales will be a bang or a bust, and while I’m trying to hold off on any impulse spending until I see what’s shaking out, I did impulse-buy these two delightfully goofy things the other day:

They were in Fast Grab. I already have the DAZ Monstrosities Undead Fiend, so I’m only missing the Behemoth. Not sure I’ll use them much, but if nothing else I can borrow the skins for my various Genesis creature creator sets.

And that parasite critter is perfectly retro kitsch. The promo ad with it attacking the teddy bear made me laugh.

Not doing much lately, though I’ve been in the mood to play with Dawn’s morphs. Curious to see what I can do with the only the official sets — starter morphs, head morphs, and head morph resource kit (edited to add: and the creature head morphs set.) I finally got around to learning how to make the morphs into a single dial setting so I can now mix and match my own morphs. Yay me!

Might also make them a little easier to share with other DS users, though I’m not sure there would be much of an interest in them.

Some of these faces I’ve posted before.

Used a V4 outfit on the green fae. First time ever rendering it — it looks decidedly uncomfortable and impractical — and first time I’ve used one of Biscuit’s hairs — this one is Unseelie Hair. Basically the’re all separate prop parts you kit-bash together. I like that concept.

The fae body was a mix of a freebie body morph, RawArt’s Dawn Heroine body, and Ken’s Body Type 5. Still working on her face. I used a bit of the werewolf morph and it’s causing a ridge in the brow (at least I think that one’s the culprit) and not sure if I can minimize it or not.

I think I’ll try and see if I can get a convincing looking morph of an woman from India next. The general eyes, mouth, and face shape shouldn’t be a problem but I’m thinking the nose will pose a challenge.

Weather here has been awful. Lots of snow, then freezing rain, then even more snow. Ugh. I’m ready for spring…

WIP for Dawn and a little more shopping

Another WIP I’ve been working on for many months now. It’s a texture tone set for Dawn, mainly so I have a wider variety of tones to use. Still fiddling with textures and settings but I’ve managed to get everything more organized and standardized.

The basic set with LIE brows, LIE subtle makeup set, and a bit of LIE freckles.

I’ve been improving my LIE usage. As usual, learned some things the hard way. Such as not to make LIE presets until I’ve finalized the name of the basic texture files. Changing the name of a texture map means either making new presets or editing the older ones (which I did.)

The layer image editor is a godsend for managing texture bloat for characters. Plus, you can edit the layers even after they’re applied and do lots of mix-n-match stuff.

My only real frustration with the LIE results is that black eyebrows get more reddish-brown with SSS values. I made a SSS map with black brows and that helped, but it’s still problematic when increasing SSS to 50% or above.

Some options, including a preset to add more sheen to the skin. Also made a few presets changing diffuse color to get darker skin tones as well as fantasy-related tones. Not photo-realistic, true, but they work for what I need them to do.

This is Jayne in the “Deathly Pale” option. She would like you to know she has a bit of an Orc nose morph and a bit of a Troll Head morph in additional to her other dial morphs.

The “Devilish Red” option.

I even started to work on iray settings, which is tricky for me since I so rarely use iray. Not quite there yet…

She’s a little too washed out, color-wise and her black brows are more reddish than they should be. But it’s a start…

And about shopping, I probably should have anticipated the Dusk sale right after the Dawn one. Good chance Baby Luna follows?

Anyway, I bought a few things for Dusk during the “Feel the Love” for Dusk sale (ends tomorrow.)

Dusk’s Mid-Length Hair (numerous morphs; I especially like the “hat” and “crown” adjustments), Dusk’s Creature Head Morphs (only need Luna’s to complete the set), and Sculpted Dusk (handy for dialing up a variety of bodies.)

What I wish was in the creature set — I realize these are head only; just sayin’ — are claws. My scary folks need claws.

I don’t do much with creatures but sometimes those morphs can be mixed a little with other ones for interesting results, like with Jayne up there.