Silent Shadow: The Future

Jess |

Blender and Daz Studio—and very possibly Krita or GIMP—are going to be my tools of choice for Silent Shadow‘s future. Posing characters in Blender does have its challenges but they’re miles above Poser.

So why now all of a sudden? It started with a video that I came across—a video by Dirk Tiede (Paradigm Shift) about bringing Daz Studio assets into Blender. While his videos are focused on using the Gen8 figures, they still served as a jumping-off point to get me started with bringing my characters over to Blender. While the Daz to Blender bridge is technically meant for Genesis figures, it does work just fine with the older 3 series—specifically in my case, Aiko 3 and Hiro 3.

Quick demo of IK setup for Aiko3 n Blender

Bringing Aiko3/Hiro3 or any of the Millennium 3 figures into Blender

Initially, I attempted to port over the A3/H3 bodies to Gen8 but the results were less than satisfactory, and Gen 8’s UVs are—in my opinion—a nightmare to work with. But as it turned out, porting over A3/H3 directly to Blender turned out to be a better option, and left me room to experiment with rigging. Initially, I was disappointed about the difficulty of converting these figures to Rigify but quickly came up with my own solution. There is a plugin called Rigify-GNS that converts the Gen8 rig to Rigify but it doesn’t work on the older models.

I determined pretty quickly that Rigify wouldn’t have provided me with anything I couldn’t learn from tutorials. Besides, about the only thing I wanted from Rigify were the controls—which I’ve learned how to make on my own. So now, I have a custom rig that’s suited to A3/H3 and it overcomes some of the annoying limitations with expressions that A3/H3 had in Poser.

What’s Taking So Long?

A lot of things. A huge part of the delay is the re-write of Hawk & Wolf, outlining and writing Firestorm (which is the follow-up), writing the prequels—which honestly may never see the light of day due to their subject matter. There’s material in the Hawk & Wolf rewrite that’s going to reference the prequels, and the reason I’m writing the prequels is namely for character development.

The other part of the equation is teaching myself rigging and scene modeling in Blender, and moving away from Poser. I’m going through all of my old Poser assets to determine what can be brought over to Blender easily and what I can just back up to a Blu-ray disc and quietly forget about.

Finally, in a lot of instances, I’m creating my own asset packs because money is tight right now and I have the skills to create the assets I need so why not?

I may just offer those asset packs as freebies or for a small fee on Gumroad.

On that note, keep watching this space for more updates!

Till next time!

The video that started it all

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