Discussion in 'Show Me The Honey' started by Chris, Mar 3, 2019.
I've never, if ever, even selected the jaw of a figure, so I'm not representative of a normal user.
Having used Dawn extensively as a customer and content creator from day one, I have never found a reason to pose the mouth using the body group. I cannot speak for everyone, but at least in my book, the extra group, breaking the head into 2 parts, is more a hassle than a benefit - hence my suggestion to make it a ghost bone, so no functionality is lost if we remove the group. That's the idea behind my suggestion in a nutshell. We would preserve all the benefits of having a bone-rigged jaw, but without having to break the head into 2 separate groups to have it.
This brings me to another related subject - body handles. Even though I [personally] have no reason to need a handle (or group) to pose the jaw, the new pectoral groups would be a whole different story. The original Dawn has TONS of breast posing morphs, which is a good thing, but pectoral bones would allow for a much easier and intuitive way to pose breasts. Therefore in this case, body handles would make sense. Not the Poser 11-only embedded handles that reuse geometry from the figure, but the more backwards compatible "floating" ones instead. As far as I know, these are the only ones that would work in Poser and DS anyway. Since I cannot talk for everyone, the jaw could use a body handle instead of a body group to perform the same task without breaking the head into 2 parts. So that's yet another way to do it that would also find its way in other places, like the pectoral bones most modern figures have nowadays.
There is also the facial rig - should it go the traditional way with morph dials, or should it adopt bone rigging like modern figures do these days? Or perhaps a combination of both, where bones complement and extend morph expression dials? This would again go back to the use of body handles. If we had handles, perhaps the pectoral bones wouldn't need actual groups to exist? They could be ghost bones as well.
Those are all options on the table. Community feedback is welcome!
I'll add my vote to the head/jaw being one group instead of two, with two it is a right royal pita to sculpt a face morph with either posers morph brush or in a basic modeling program. Can't say anything helpfull to the ghost bones/body handles having never used them
Yet another way to control bone-based facial expressions is to create a control gizmo, as commonly done in 3DSMAX and Maya. One issue I know of body handles floating over the face is that it can be very confusing to see them, or to figure out what they do. Conversely, a control gizmo doesn't need to sit on top on the figure's head, which makes it less obstructive, and the way it is organized can make its used more intuitive. The gizmo can be made of icons that represent different parts of the face, and simply dragging them drives the facial features.
One major reason this might be a better solution is because each of the handles sitting on top of the face will NOT follow morph shapes that change body proportions. If a dial makes Dawn taller, the body handles that were previously perfectly positioned over the face will now stay behind and no longer match the head position and shape. If it was confusing before, now it's even more.
A separate control gizmo would not suffer from having to stay together with every possible morph shape, or even combinations of them, and would have the added benefit of not obstructing the view of the figures face. It can make facial control more intuitive by organizing the control icons in a way that makes sense visually. I know of at least 1 Poser figure that uses this method - Skye. She is an older figure, so the gizmo only controls her eyes and brows, but in a clever, coordinated way. You can drag only an individual eye, or both at the same time, which also controls the brows. Below is how her control gizmo looks like in Poser, and please note that Skye doesn't have expression bones. This control gizmo can also be used to control facial morphs, which is how it works with Skye. It becomes very easy and intuitive to make her look at a certain direction by simply dragging the gizmo around, which can control each eye individually, or both at the same time.
Dawn 2.0 could expand this idea to the rest of the facial features, whether she uses facial bones or just plain old school facial morphs. A control gizmo works with either ones, adding a more intuitive level of control that makes sense visually. Even if Dawn 2.0 would not use facial bones, this could still reduce the amount of dial seeking, making facial expressions more FUN, direct, and intuitive to play with. Of course, facial bones would reduce the limitations of fixed shape morphs, allowing people to create their own expressions, but the gizmo would make that much easier, and at the same time, avoid the pitfalls of handles placed on top of the figure's head.
I think this would be a much more user-friendly head control interface for the regular user, and it doesn't keep people from digging in to use the actual head dials. It can also be made invisible for those who don't want to use it, or just for when we are done with expressions and don't need it anymore.
The gizmo could be used not only for facial expressions, but also to control facial features. It can potentially control anything on the figure that has a bone or a morph. To expand the idea, Dawn 2.0 could have more than one control gizmo - 1 for expressions, 1 for facial shape customizations, and perhaps 1 for the pectoral bones. There are MANY possibilities, like even 1 for body shaping. People could make one, none, or both visible at any time. This is not something new or revolutionary, but it is certainly something other figures have underestimated until now, and it should work perfectly in both Poser and DS versions.
I don't think anybody has tried this in this market (except for Skye), even though that's common practice in professional animation studios, where riggers have to make facial control user-friendly for the animators. That's another option on the table.
I'm not keen on the separate jaw, so I'd be good too if the head/jaw were one group instead of two. Then too, it might help to know why the jaw was separate from the head to begin with.
I think I can answer that. It is very helpful to have the jaw rigged with a bone, because it's not only about opening the mouth, but also to move it around sideways. The most immediate way to do that is to add another dedicated group like with any other bone in the figure. However, a dedicated group is not necessarily required. The same can be done with a ghost bone controlled by dials. We can also add a body handle to control the ghost bone, so there are at least 3 ways to have it done, where only 1 requires a dedicated group, and 2 that don't. The first, in which the original Dawn was rigged with, is the traditional way.
The "I's" have it I think... one group for the face. Thanks for asking Paul!
Sooo. Just a little on my thought process, I've created industry standard rig controls in 3DMax and in Maya for other projects. While it can be intuitive, in this market it may come across as very cluttered when a figure is loaded. Obviously we have hidden options but that would make it less intuitive with extra steps.
The reasons behind the jaw group or any group is that they are treated as selection sets so it is easier to use from the main viewport. It limits the selections via drop downs or the scene hierarchy dialog. Tools like modo, and zbrush do not separate the mesh into groups for morphing, when using the base obj. Poser obviously has features that treat the groups separately which makes it difficult to make morphs within the program. DS also has similar issues with magnets...body handles are too confusing for the issues mentioned, and are not overly accepted by the community.
The real issue is not limiting the figure because of any one programs features, while at the same time, making the figure super easy to use. We also have to avoid proprietary features that are not in both programs, so we can avoid completely separate figures. Most of the other human figures are for one program or the other, so they do not have to deal with these limitations or considerations.
I can make the lower jaw a ghost bone and put the control dials in the head. I can also have the face rig linked to dials in the same manner, in the head group so they would be just like dialing morphs, so we can avoid clutter and confusion with handles and control gizmos. I can create dial categories to make it easier to find dials and to keep things better organized on the figure.
For the more advanced users/ creators, gizmos and handles could be easily created as add on items.
Just as an example of the differences we a forced to create for our figures...Shaders have to be done for each program, and for each render engine. This is one area we have to do double the work in order to have our figures work in both programs. Many of the other stand alone figures don't have to worry about that. Everything we do will be to create the best experience for our users in either program.
We love the feedback and the insight, all of which helps us to achieve our goals, thank you and keep them coming!
Other jaw/ mouth options...Lower teeth and gums could be the lower jaw group. Tongue could be a single group with ghost bones and dial controls.
Sounds like some solid rational there Paul.
Hey, Chris, I have a rather off topic question regarding Dawn. Did you ever make a Morphing Fantasy Dress for her? And yes, I figured that if you did, you can't call it that, but inquiring minds would like to know.
The MFD is one of the reasons I stopped updating DS past DS4.0 Pro and Genesis 1. I got tired of having to buy the MFD for every single new character. Goodness knows I already had it for V3, V4, Aiko, Steph Petite, and Genesis1/V5.
That said, the one good thing about the MFD, was how easy folks found it to kitbash it into anything they wanted.
I don't think Chris, or for that matter any 3D vendor here, or elsewhere, has created anything like the MFD for Dawn.
Very solid feedback, Paul. I understand and agree with everything you said. I even like your suggestion above - maybe I can create a control gizmo for Dawn 2.0! Why didn't I think of that before?
All the options you have mentioned for the jaw will work for me, as long as the head stays in 1 piece. I am glad that 100% of the other community feedback has agreed on this. It's actually great when everybody agrees on something in times like this! Ghost bones with dial controls will work for me. Not sure if I will ever use it, but to know it's there gives me peace of mind.
I also like your suggestion for ghost bones on the tongue, controlled by dials like the jaw. Why not add EZPose controls to it, so we could pose the tongue locally or globally as a whole? That would be cool, and I know it would work in Poser and DS.
Wouldn't this be how the original Dawn already is? What if instead of a group, the jaw and the lower gums/teeth would be controlled by the jaw ghost bone instead - and this would be controlled by dials? This would avoid splitting the head into 2 groups. As for the tongue, I like the idea of making it a single group with ghost bones - and perhaps add EZPose controls to it?
Early on we discussed internally when Dawn was being created the need for something like the MFD. But we could only take on so much. I still needed to create a ton of morphs for Dawn and create some basic clothing sets. We hoped that someone in the community could create a MFD type of product which never materialized. But a few did create some impressive and valuable dress one offs.
Ironically, it's the versatility of a clothing item like the MFD that makes me like it so much. It's ironic because I suck at texturing. Another one of the things I used to buy at DAZ when it came out were the catsuits. Again, texturing is not my strongsuit, but I did like the way I could make different outfits from one item. Sadly, Dawn doesn't have one.
I had one in the works along with an outer robe but never got it to market as my support of Poser is so minimal that I doubt it would have sold much knowing that the DS market for these figures aren't too many. I don't know for sure as I don't have any sales figures for Dawn or Dusk to perhaps spur me forward with these endeavors!
Yeah I still like the Catsuits too. I actually created one for Dawn back in the day but never quite finished it. I think Dawn 2.0 needs a Catsuit.
Seems like Richard/Paganeagle made a free catsuit for Dawn as well. I think it might still be in our store. Seems like it was free, but I'd have to check for sure.