Software Tips ‘n Tricks

DAZ Studio Quick Tips: Hidden Face Bones

January 29, 2017 2 comments

In this video I go over where to find the Genesis 3 Hidden Face Bones. These bones are great for fine tuning your character’s expressions and can also be used as a morph resource kit to change your their faces.

Skill Level: Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced

DAZ Studio Quick Tips: Spotlights for Iray

March 27, 2016 Leave a comment

In this video I go over a couple quick tips: setting up Spotlights for Iray in DAZ Studio. From producing softer shadows, configuring spotlight specific render settings, to pointers that should help ease the process of aiming your spotlights.

Skill Level: Beginner

What You Need to Know About NVIDIA Iray

March 9, 2016 Leave a comment

What You Need to Know About Iray

If you haven’t figured it out already, I’m a big fan of using Iray for rendering with Daz Studio 4.8+. While spending time cracking out on it, I’ve figured out a few things I thought were important and worth sharing. I think they’re especially good to know if you’re considering buying a new GPU.

With that being said, I’m just going to dive right in…

    • If you’re tweaking a scene, rendering then canceling, rendering then canceling, eventually your VRAM will get full and Iray will stop using your GPU for rendering and switch to your CPU. Which typically equals longer rendering times. It can even happen when letting the render finish completely, though, for whatever reason, it seems to manage the VRAM better in this second scenario.
    • The solution, when it switches over to your CPU, you have to close Daz Studio and restart it. Then everything will be back to normal again. Also, if you keep the number of render preview windows open at a time to a minimum, when your Render Target is New Window, it seems to help the VRAM from getting as full.
    • You may think I don’t know what I’m talking about, but I have verified that this is a known issue with the Daz Development Team.
    • When it first happened to me I thought one of my GPUs went out. When Iray switches from GPU to CPU I can hear it, because the fans on my water cooler crank up. I then fired up my GPU monitoring software and saw one of the cards wasn’t being used. Long story short, I finally realized the only reason the other card was running was to run my monitor, my GPUs were fine, then I contacted DAZ…
    • When using Iray with multiple GPUs, all the data being processed for rendering has to fit into each card’s VRAM independently. Which means if you have a 4GB card and a 6GB card, and the scene to be rendered requires over 4GB VRAM, the 4GB card will be excluded.
    • I’ve verified this with folks from both Daz and NVIDIA.
    • If your NVIDIA card doesn’t have at least 4GB VRAM, Daz Studio will default to CPU rendering.
    • I confirmed this recently with Daz. (After the public release of Daz Studio 4.9.)

NVIDIA

Well, I hope you learned something! If you found this post valuable, don’t forget it to share it with someone else.

Catch you on the flipside…

LayLo

 

DAZ3D Shortcuts to Material Presets & Renaming a Product

January 12, 2016 Leave a comment

While working on my latest product (keep your eye out, it should be released soon) I decided to change the name when it was nearly finished. What sounds like a simple task isn’t if you want to also update the texture file names as well. Normally this would involve re-saving all the Material Presets while going through them one by one, updating the path and file name of each texture. With 11 Material Presets for the top and 11 Presets for the pants, each with 3 references to texture files you can see how this could quickly become an annoying task. Fortunately there’s a better way…

This video is probably most beneficial to content creators, but could also benefit any hobbyist that likes to make custom materials for items in their content libraries. I’ve also used the techniques I demonstrate in projects outside of the CG world. They can work great for HTML. Sometime when you’re trying to import a word document into HTML, HTML editors will create unwanted page breaks and other random things when maybe you just want paragraphs. You can use Replace Text to help in those situations as well.

In this video I demonstrate my method of renaming a DAZ Studio product and updating all the Material Presets to use a new folder structure and new material file names.

You can also use these techniques when creating Material Presets as well. Sometimes when creating them, all the settings in the preset will be the exact same except for the actual texture files themselves. I have found it more convenient in certain situations to make one Material Preset, save it uncompressed, create a copy and use Replace Text to change it from referencing one texture file to another. Then just rename the copy, and repeat for all the materials you’re trying to make for that one item. This is especially useful when one Material Preset references the same texture file in multiple locations, i.e. Base Color, Glossy Color, etc. Then when you’re finished creating all the Material Presets in this manner, you can use DAZ Studio’s Batch Convert to re-compress them all at once (I show how to do this towards the end of the video).

I mention WinRAR as my favorite archiving program, here’s a link to the website. It’s not free, but you can download a trial and check it out. The trial never actually expires, after 30 days it will just start asking you to buy the program when you open it up. If you like the program, I’d recommend buying it, you can find it for around $25-$30.

Other programs used in the video (All are Free):

ZBrush Preferences Tips ‘n Tricks

December 20, 2015 16 comments

ZBrush

I recently purchased ZBrush 4R7. At first for me, getting used to the interface felt a whole lot like trying to pick my nose with a baseball glove on. The hardest thing was getting used to how to navigate the viewport. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very powerful program and I am happy with the purchase, but there were a couple things I wanted to customize that I couldn’t find the ability to do so within the user interface.

Here are a couple things that I wanted to customize, how I was able to do so, and a couple other tips ‘n tricks that may be helpful for both the beginner and more advanced user as well:

Set ZBrush canvas to fill entire viewport

Depending on your monitor size and screen resolution, you may be annoyed when you open up ZBrush the canvas doesn’t fill the entire viewport. Fortunately, there’s a simple fix.

Go to the “Documents” menu. Next to the “New Document” button, make sure “WSize” is highlighted, then click the “New Document” button.

A new document should be created with the canvas filling up the entire viewport.

Now to make it like that when you start up ZBrush, navigate back to the “Document” menu and click “Save As Startup Doc” button.

Bam, you’re all set.

Add mouse wheel zoom functionality

I simply was losing my mind not being able to zoom using the mouse wheel!

Thankfully I found a plug-in to add the function.

Here’s a link to the main thread with the plug-in and installation instructions.

*For it to work with ZBrush 4R7, refer to post #83, here’s a direct link.

Change ZBrush’s scratch disk location

If you’re like me and have both a SSD and a HDD, you may not like temporary files being constantly written to your SSD. If you don’t know, SSDs wear out faster than HDDs. In normal use scenarios most people probably don’t need to be concerned about this, but I like to keep things in tip top condition =). Another reason a person may want to change the location of the scratch disk is to conserve precious SSD space for other things.

There are a couple ways to change the scratch disk location:

The easiest way is to go to your “C:\Users\Public\Documents\ZBrushData” location, open up the “ZBrushScratchDiskPath.TXT” and change the file path located in the document to wherever you would like the scracth disk to be located.

*Now make sure whatever path you specify actually exists (ZBrush won’t automatically create the folders, you have to manually create them) or it won’t work properly.

The 2nd way is a little more advanced, but in my opinion, is the way to go if you also want to change where the “QuickSave” files will be saved as well.

Change where ZBrush saves it’s QuickSave files

To change where ZBrush saves it’s QuickSave files you have to create a directory junction. A junction is similar to a desktop “shortcut” except programs will also follow the path.

To create a junction fire up the good ol’ “Command Prompt”, make sure to run it as administrator. Now simply type in:

mklink /J “C:\Users\Public\Documents\ZBrushData\” “D:\YourNewLocation”

*Important: type in exactly as shown, except replace D:\YourNewLocation with whatever path you would like.

**Note: this is to change the location of all the files in the “ZBrushData” folder. If you only want to change the “QuickSave” files location see below.

To paste into Command Prompt, right click on the Window Title, select Edit > Paste.

The command I used was:

mklink /J “C:\Users\Public\Documents\ZBrushData\” “D:\Users\Public\Documents\ZBrushData”

Finally, cut and paste the original “ZBrushData” folder to its new location.

Now every time ZBrush tries to write to it’s default “C:\…\ZBrushData\” location it will actually be writing to whatever location you specified.

If you only want to change the location of the “QuickSave” folder, add “QuickSave\” to the end of both paths and only move the “QuickSave” folder to the new location.

Change GoZ Cache location

Navigate to “C:\Users\Public\Pixologic\GoZBrush” and change the path specified in the following 3 text documents:

  • GoZ_ProjectPath.txt
  • GoZ_ObjectPath.txt
  • GoZ_ObjectList.txt

You may not have all 3 files depending on how many times you’ve used GoZ.

*Again, make sure that whatever path you specify actually exists (ZBrush won’t automatically create the folders, you have to manually create them) or it won’t work properly.

A couple of other useful resources

A keyboard shortcuts cheat sheet pdf with the most important items – download here

full list of keyboard shortcuts as a printable pdf – download here