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New all-star Poser-only figure released!

Discussion in 'The Meadow' started by Ken1171, Jan 29, 2019.

  1. Sparky

    Sparky Monster Maker Contributing Artist

    Picked up La Femme today, and I agree that she is quite stylized, but that's nothing new. Not many base figures have been terribly realistic. I had a play and put together a quick character with more realistic proportions and whatnot. I kinda like her. I might finish her up and put her on my 'Rosity store. See if I can get enough sales on that account to actually get paid. LOL

    wip02.jpg
    wip01.jpg
     
  2. Hornet3d

    Hornet3d Distinguished


    The bain of any new figure, just what support will there be. I remember buying Scarlet almost on the day of release but within days the parts of the community tore the figure, and unfortunately the vendor, to threads and the figure died quickly. I still use her on odd occasions but it has to be with converted clothing. I am not saying this will happen with this figure, the development team are just to skilled for it to happen but the support will still be and issue. I know you can convert clothing but I think when you have a new figure it is natural to want new clothing and characters.
     
  3. Glitterati3D

    Glitterati3D Dances with Bees

    Let's not forget that support for a figure is also customer dependent. It doesn't matter how many vendors support a figure if no one is buying their products. Eventually, they give up and go back to proven sellers.
     
  4. Miss B

    Miss B Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time CV-BEE

    Actually Nod, there were 4 zips to download, the 4th being the Templates, the type I use in Photoshop when I'm texturing, so go back to your account and check to see if you got them all.
     
    Dakorillon (IMArts) likes this.
  5. Hornet3d

    Hornet3d Distinguished


    I had not forgotten and I should have said a little more. It is the usual chicken and egg situation that any new figure faces. Without a range of clothes many will not adopt the new figure, but the new clothes need to sell, which is difficult when money is so tight for many. No vendor is going to continue to support a figure unless they make money, if they don't they will move onto a figure where they do or move to making props and other non figure specific content. The fact there are a number of very skilled people in the development team at least gives this figure a good start.
     
    Ken1171 likes this.
  6. Glitterati3D

    Glitterati3D Dances with Bees

    Well, I can't speak for the others, but I am very happy with the sales from this figure.
     
  7. Ken1171

    Ken1171 Distinguished Contributing Artist

    In more than one way, this is what the Poser community has been asking for, and for many years. The fact that SMS has sponsored it is a good sign, because it might mean they got the message that they should let other people make base figures. So far we have Dawn, PE and now LaFemme, so there is variety. Each is has a different approach. Dawn has few JCMs making her easier to create contents for. PE has lots of JCMs to cater for those who want this. LaFemme sits somehow in the middle. Not to mention each of these figures has their own style, which adds to variety.

    This is what Poser needs - a variety of figures made and maintained by different people.
     
    Miss B likes this.
  8. carmen indorato

    carmen indorato Extraordinary

    What it also needs are male counterparts too with, of course, supporting "stuff"!
    Poser community is pretty fickle and has always been. We flock like horny birdies to the next best thing and then return to the mating fields we know best. I used V2 for a VERY LONG TIME! Though I got V3 I never used her, or Antonia, or Miki, or any of the other figures sold at Renderotica and Renderosity and....well, you get the picture. I always go back to the figures who have over time given the most add-on stuff and especially body shaping morphs and textures and that for me is still V2 and V4.
     
  9. carmen indorato

    carmen indorato Extraordinary

    Dear I always loved your work so don't be offended here.
    Nice attempt at making her different and though this might still be a WIP, she has issues.....for me anyway.
    Her hands and feet remind me of Miki which I always considered Ugly! Fingers too skinny and without good proportion and feet have the same strange bunyon on big toe.
    Her calves are undefined and her knees fat and undefined as well and appear short compared to her torso and thigh lengths.
    Nice face though. would like to see more of that with expressions to see what they do. I know there are all kinds of shapes in the real world human architecture and this may have been an attempt to create that. Just verbalizing what I see.
    Again, no bashing intended and certainly no offense....not a criticism as much as much as my two cent critique! Whatever that is worth.

    Just curious how much tonal morphs there are for her? A well done set of those would really add a lot to making her seem more realistic. I am sure one would need to get body shape morphs for her to see that right?
     
  10. Nod

    Nod Eager

    I've downloaded them all. What I said, was that in order to be able to create a texture using Blacksmith, the figure has to be converted and it saves out as a single figure. So when you load it into Blacksmith, you don't see the original UV zones.
    As I've already said, I like to save out the parts of the figure which correspond to the UV map template in question, so I'll save out just the arm, or the head. What I've been doing more recently, is to save out each finger individually as well.
    Other than that, I've never been good at creating MAT files, so I've used Blacksmith for that.
     
  11. Sparky

    Sparky Monster Maker Contributing Artist

    LOL, no offense taken. She is actually based on a 3d scan of a real lady, so no alien/supermodel legs, like we're all used to seeing in the Poserverse. She would probably be around 5'2, like me. That being said, the figure is set up with properly weightmapped transforms, so the proportions can be adjusted as desired pretty easily. The hands and feet are default, and I do intend to work with them later to make them less...bony. I also intend to make HD morphs for her so that she will have more defined details, not toned muscle definition details, because that's not my intention for this character (Blackhearted has done a set of HD body morphs for her that lean in that direction). More...an example of a woman of average build with some imperfections like rolls, cellulite, less than pert breasts, and a little bit of a double chin. Maybe not the most popular choice, but I always like to see some diversity out there on a figure. Not just tall, thin, toned, white chicks. For my next trick...maybe a male character, or an overweight character...once I see how this character goes. I've seldom done "regular people" type of content, I've always done monsters and weird stuff. I'm interested to try my hand, and this seemed like an easier, shorter-term project than the animal/creature figure I'm working on, to fill in the gap.

    I have been a bit back and forth to the hospital (family emergency) but the work helps keep my mind off things. So, hopefully this project (and the others I am working on) will continue at a reasonable pace. Just putting it out there that I might not be as responsive to messages and such as I would like to be, and I haven't even caught up with messages from my last hiatus. :-S
     
    Hornet3d and Rae134 like this.
  12. Miss B

    Miss B Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time CV-BEE

    Oooops, sorry for the misunderstanding. Now that I read this again, I see what you mean. That can be frustrating I'm sure.
     
  13. Sparky

    Sparky Monster Maker Contributing Artist

    Ironically, what hinders texturing in Blacksmith makes my job a whole lot easier in ZBrush... Usually, I have to regroup my character to reflect the uv tiles, split those groups, and bake each one separately. with UDIM mapping, none of that tedious nonsense is necessary. Sometimes software differences just seem odd.
     
  14. Hornet3d

    Hornet3d Distinguished


    More power to you and the team for coming up with a more everyday looking figure. The characters I used for V4 was scaled to a relative five foot two and my Dawn character even smaller at a relative five foot nothing. There seems to be no problem with creating supermodels from the figures we already have so this break from convention is refreshing. I like the plans for the future as well.

    Sadly I will not be using the figure for two main reasons, firstly I have quite a story built around my Dawn character and I now have a detailed knowledge and understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of my character. Secondly I do not shop at Renderosity, so you see my reluctance is nothing to do with the figure itself. If I was looking for a new figure this would be my first port of call.
     
  15. kobaltkween

    kobaltkween Brilliant Contributing Artist

    Very, very, _very_ true, but it works both ways.

    So far, I like Dawn best of all Poser figures because she's easiest to morph. She's easiest to morph because she only lacks a few anatomical edge loops (I'd love her ribs to be better designed for detail) and has only one edge loop that goes a bit wonky (the edge loop starting in middle of the elbow's back should go to the middle of the wrist, but goes to one side). This is also why she can be morphed into different creatures easily.

    Like other failed figures, La Femme yet again _requires_ HD morphs to have any definition at all on her completely grid-like, anatomically incorrect topology. Blackhearted's character promo text _brags_ about needing about half a million additional polys to add really basic definition. That's just not good. It tells even vendors like me who work really hard for very little that this figure will have a steep learning curve just to make a half-way decent character.

    Like other failed figures, La Femme yet again doesn't even have a properly shaped nose. I've never made a figure, and I've noticed that nostrils have a part underneath that comes up from the face. Set the nostrils right on the face, and the figure looks unrealistic and toony. And since it's a very fine edge, if you haven't accounted for it, it's hard to add. Like V4, La Femme's eyelids are too thin and rather weird looking. The promos show great shading and textures around the eyes, but the eyelids are still a problem. I've read that her irises are the wrong shape, which means they won't render properly from the side given realistic materials. I know because I find you often need to make the iris convex to give it the shading it has in real life, but when I did that to Dawn, renders from the side didn't work _at all_. It's better to just burn shadows into the texture. So despite the hype about expertise, La Femme's nose and eyes aren't very finely crafted or realistic. The main thing I learned when doing traditional art back in the day (I actually sold works to my school in high school) was that you could get a lot wrong if you get the eyes and nose right. Getting those right is absolutely key.

    Like other failed figures, La Femme has a little cadre of blessed vendors who were in on the release. The rest of us have to buy something to have the base. Unlike Dawn and Dusk, who are free to vendors who want to make products for them. And Dawn came with a texture that served as a merchant resource. Out of the gate, La Femme is more unfriendly to your average beginner vendor who wants to make a character than Dawn. More people support and promote Dawn already, and she has a DS option that allows me to transfer my work to DS without having to entirely switch figures. Most of all, Dawn's Poser content only sells so well.

    As far as I can tell, La Femme's main strengths out of the box are her rigging and what you can do with her expression system. If the Poser content customers put a top priority bending and expressions, then no Poser user would ever use V4 rather than Dawn. I wouldn't have had to wait _years_ for fixes to her shoulders, which people assured me the community would fix right away when I pointed them out on her release. If people were willing to master 30 controls just to apply an expression rather than dial it in, then everyone would know about Miki's Face Room morphs. Poser customers keep using V4 or switching to Genesis and DS, because they're easy to make lots of different pretty but simply posed illustrations with, most of which are pinups with almost no expression.

    I remember when people chafed at the upload restrictions at Rendo. When people wanted to upload multiple images a day. Most of which depicted a different character in each render. In a week, a person could easily need at least 7 unique characters, clothes, and hair, while using poses that are almost identical and expressions that actually were.

    Content users mostly want a figure they can make into completely different characters. While no new figure is going to have V4's library out of the gate, you can at least try to make building characters as easy and quick and painless as possible. But figures like PE and La Femme are really obviously built around the singular vision of a particular creator, with a maybe one other creator giving character feedback, instead of being built as a morphable blank slate and involving every single character creator you can find.

    As a vendor, I can either make something that only works in Poser for a figure that will require more skill and effort to make things for _or_ I can just stick with Dawn. Or, as many vendors have, I can just switch to DS and Genesis and make many times more money. But the products I make would be basically the same in every case. My art wouldn't change, but the effort to make it and the rewards it garnered would.

    That's the core issue with the customer base not being there. People say, "Why not just convert and get more sales?" when it comes to platforms and figures with lower sales, but you're talking about additional production time for conversion, whole new testing time, and whole new promo building time. That's at least 3/4ths the production process. So even assuming you're just as quick with a second or third or fourth figure or platform as you are with your main one, you're talking about 3/4 of a product that won't sell as well as another. That means to break even, not make more but just break even, the conversion has to sell only about 1/4 less than a new product for the most profitable platform and figure. After that, it's essentially charity for a few customers. And remember, the content creator's main platform is probably whatever they build in, not what they publish to. If they're making clothes, those clothes can work on any figure. If they're making a texture, texture painting is the same on pretty much any decent mesh. Only morphing is really figure specific. Also, while the DS community is mainly externally critical, the Poser community is mainly internally critical. I can't tell you how many people I've read go on about how vendors need to work even harder than they do, despite average sales per manhour per project being _well_ below minimum wage for more than a decade now. The only time I've seen DS users complain about effort was talking about Poser vendors making DS versions.

    There's a reason Fabiana went from Poser only to DS only, without much of an interval where she supported both.

    If the customer base emerges and people love La Femme more than Dawn for other reasons I haven't covered (Blackhearted's rep, for instance), then sure, I'll hop on that bandwagon. And I'll be _very_ pleased to see new life in the Poser community. I'm not at all against La Fenme or PE finding their niche and thriving. I can tell that a great deal of work went into both figures, and I really appreciate the efforts of all those artists. I am not saying any of this simply to discourage those artists, or anyone else considering making their own Poser figure. But it would nice if the shiny new Poser figures people keep coming out with would focus on what customers and vendors need, not making a brilliant new 3D figure that impresses a handful of wonks who only use their own content anyway.

    Content community customers are about 99% illustrators, not 3D artists and certainly not animators. They don't care about 3D industry standards, and they don't look at postwork as a bad word unless it's in promos. They just want to be able to make cool illustrations in an hour or less. Don't make supporting your JCM more difficult if all it does is prevent 30 seconds work with the liquify tool in Photoshop. You need to make a realistic figure that the same people who churn out V4 characters and skimpwear can support, that the same people who used to make tons of NVIATWAS pics can enjoy. If you feel the need to add extra helper bones, just add them to the breasts. Maybe you just have to give away the base figure, the main morphs, a MR texture base and a versatile hair style all for free. Or maybe you just have to make them free to vendors. Most V4 characters are dial spins with repainted merchant resources that took 1 week to go from zero to in the Rendo store. That's the workflow that you need to support if your figure is going to challenge Dawn, let alone reinvigorate the Poser content community.

    Frankly, to make a new figure popular, you'll have to accept that everything that gets people seeing and using the figure is a loss leader. People don't make lots of renders of stuff everyone has already seen, and most people don't render the same exact character twice.

    I really like your ideas! Could you describe how to make HD morphs for Poser? As much as I find adding resolution only does so much if the edge loops aren't there (I discovered that with clothing, so I find it pretty universal), I really am interested in being able to add detailed morphs.

    I hope things go well with your family emergency. Health problems are so deeply upsetting, and make all of life so much more difficult. Even if you're not the one going through them. I wish you and yours all the best.
     
    Deleted member 789, LisaB and Chris like this.
  16. Hornet3d

    Hornet3d Distinguished


    Don't beat about the bush, tell us what you really think:). No, only kidding, that is a very detailed description much of which is written in a way a below average Poser user can understand. I like everyone's viewpoint but it is fairly rare to see it from the vendors point of view and it is also useful from a content buyers point of view. With my simplistic view of the market I often cannot understand why a similar dress for different figures is quite different in price, now I can see that part of it can be the complexity of figure in question.

    So far this thread has given some very different views on La Femme but what I like is the fact that, so far at least, it has been done in a very adult way. Both positive and negative feedback has included reasons for those views which is very informative, very different to the feedback I saw when Scarlet was released. Long may it continue.

    I have always struggled with the level of returns vendors get for their work. Part of me thinks the prices should be much higher but then I also know that higher prices would exclude many with a fixed and limited income. Personally, I tried to do my bit in a small way to make sure that there is some return. Yes I like a sale but I often pay full price for what I regard as a good product and I have often paid $30 - $50 for content and that is not a bundle price. Sadly, as a Poser user, my ability to do so is dwindling because such purchases are often old catalogue items from vendors who have abandoned Poser some time ago. Once I have the items I need from a particular vendor those purchases will stop. There are some the still create for Poser and, once again, I am happy to pay full price as I see it as a small reward that they are still working with Poser. Sadly I am just one individual so any benefit I can give is limited.
     
    Rae134 likes this.
  17. Sparky

    Sparky Monster Maker Contributing Artist

    Thanks! I haven't had too much experience with the SubD morph feature myself as yet. It seems to require ZBrush, unless you use Vilters' workaround*. Even using ZBrush, it does look a bit tetchy. My trial runs indicate that one must use the GoZ bridge with the SubD level applied, and without closing Poser at any point during the process create the shape in ZBrush then GoZ the shape back into Poser. The workaround I'm using for having to make an hd morph all in one sitting is to sculpt the morph as desired in ZBrush and save it. Then, having set the GoZ bridge options (in ZBrush) to import objects as SubTools rather than Tools, I send the subdivided figure through GoZ from Poser to ZBrush. Then project my proper ZBrush sculpt onto the GoZed subtool. Once the HD morph is back in Poser, it doesn't seem to affect any subdivision level other than the one it was exported as. To fix that I get the morph brush tool, select my imported HD morph, check "Bake Down for Subdivision" and make any small change to the morph using the brushes. That will cause the entire shape to bake down to all other subdivision levels.

    Another option is to create your SubD morphs directly in Poser with the morph brush tools.

    Sorry if that wasn't terribly coherent, it is just about 6AM, so I'm a bit in need of sleep. ^.^

    Thanks for the kind well-wishes! Recovery seems to be in sight.

    *Vilters' workaround
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
  18. Ken1171

    Ken1171 Distinguished Contributing Artist

    HD morphs first emerged in DS as a consequence of the poly reduction and topology simplifications that came with Genesis 3's new "game model" rigging. Until Genesis 2, the poly count was high enough, and the topology was faithful enough to facilitate creating body morphs that simply worked with the default resolution. With Genesis 3 and up, that was no longer the case. Since the figure topology and resolution didn't help, their solution was to sculpt on a subdivided mesh like we do in zBrush. Since neither Poser or DS were meant to handle heavy meshes, this is NOT a good thing, but they came up with a fancy "HD" name for it that sold it as a good thing. The basic idea is to compensate for mesh and topology deficiencies by working on a subdivided geometry.

    I believe Poser has adopted it in version 11. In a nutshell, you can sculpt in each subdivision level individually, similarly to how things work in zBrush. If you switch to a lower subdivision level, the work you have done in the higher ones will not be visible. You can only see the sculpting done in the current and lower resolutions. Each subdivision level adds on top of the previous. That's HD morphs in simple terms.

    You can either export individual subdivision levels to sculpt using GoZ, or sculpt with the built-in Morphing Tool in Poser, which is how I do everything. The advantage of doing it in-house with the Morphing Tool is that I can create JCMs directly since the figure is always posable. Otherwise, things can get a bit more complicated and time-consuming.

    Now back to LaFemme, I have to agree with kobaltkween that I was disappointed with the "grid-like" mesh topology. I cannot see any of my "Body Type" series working with a topology like that because it simply doesn't follow the muscle outlines like Dawn does. The only alternative is to use HD morphs, which [IMHO] is not a good thing, but it's an available solution.
     
    Hornet3d likes this.
  19. Hornet3d

    Hornet3d Distinguished


    Always amazes me how some must low tech is made to look high tech by adding the odd word or letters, things like Smart, HD, UHD get added to the most inappropriate objects.
     
  20. Ken1171

    Ken1171 Distinguished Contributing Artist

    The thing about technology is that the current one is a big deal comparing to the previous, so we tend to name it like "High Definition" (HD). In computer screens, that was mere 720 lines tall, which is low-res nowadays. So when 1080 came up, they called it "Full High Definition" (FHD). Now we have 4K displays, so they've called it "Ultra High Definition" (UHD). That's the problem with naming things - what was once considered high definition can no longer be called as such nowadays.

    When it comes to "HD Morphs", that is quite a misleading name. There are 2 ways to model an organic model so that it bends and morphs properly: with quality topology (like it was until Genesis 2), or with brute-force high poly subdivided meshes (like it is with Genesis 3 and up). Either ways will work, but the latter is heavier on computer resources. For example, if you subdivide everything in your Poser scene, even if just 1-level, you will immediately feel a toll on performance. Moving the camera and posing the figures will feel sluggish.

    On the sculpting side, if you don't have the edges going to the direction you need them to be, even if you subdivide the model, the sculpted shapes will not be as smooth as if they followed the topology lines. HD morphs try to compensate with brute-force heavy meshes, and this will never be better than quality topology. This is why I consider Genesis 2 better than anything that came later. It's not just the topology, but also there was a reason why multiple weight maps per joint (TriAx) are better than a single one (General Weights). A single map per joint cannot produce good bends in all 3 axes, so we have to compensate with a multitude of corrective morphs (JCMs). I am glad Poser didn't go that way.
     

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