Created a new category called “Production Notes,” which is intended to be for work on Silent Shadow.
The gist is I’ve found a way to get Aiko 3 and Hiro 3 over to Blender, fully rigged. Daz Studio has to be the intermediary and it seems like only custom and JCM morphs come over as ShapeKeys but otherwise, those small inconveniences are worth it for the end-result.
Rendered in Blender using the Eevee rendering engine. Because of the issue I mentioned above, it means that I need to work on facial expression morphs in the form of ShapeKeys. So far so good, what I have actually looks better than the original A3 expression morphs—which weren’t bad but weren’t great, either. I’m actually debating whether or not I should go for a full facial expression rig, or just use ShapeKeys. Currently, I’m going for a combination of both—which ever one works for what I need at that moment.
So how did this come about? I got inspired after watching this video by @dirktiede. Originally, the idea was to port the morphs for Syleth and Rowan over to Gen8—which I have done, quite successfully, I might add. I did hit a bit of a snag with Rowan, though. While the default textures for the Gen8 female work just fine for Syleth, the male version makes Rowan look fugly. Since I’m going for a “toonish” look anyway, I’m working on translating the A3/H3 texture maps over to Gen8—unfortunately, by hand since it doesn’t seem like Texture Converter is actually around anymore.
The hard part is going to transferring the rest of the cast over, but at least I know that it can be done with a minimum of fuss. Now, I am hoping (though not optimistic) that the expression ShapeKeys and the custom facial rig can be ported to the other characters without a multi-week workflow.
Honestly, this project got so huge that I had to create a kanban board in Notion to keep track of what I’m doing, and what needs to be done—one of those TODOs is a tutorial on how to do this, namely for my own reference.