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Sparky's products at HiveWire

Miss B

Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time
CV-BEE
I have a Pan character I was developing for Dusk but once I got the legs looking similar to yours... well I know very little about rigging from scratch to get them to move the way they should. Love to pick your brain about that or a tutorial on converting from the default rigging to one that has natural bends and movements like digitigrade legs. So for the time being he's shelved but oh I would so love to finish him one day!
You know Rich, I always wondered what happened to Pan. I remember all the work you were doing on his hair.
 

Freyfaxi

Adventurous
Oooo..that's looking great, Sparky :) Are you planning on doing any more anthro characters similar to those you have up on Philosopher's Egg ?
 

Sparky

Monster Maker
Contributing Artist
Thanks, guys! :x3:

I have a Pan character I was developing for Dusk but once I got the legs looking similar to yours... well I know very little about rigging from scratch to get them to move the way they should. Love to pick your brain about that or a tutorial on converting from the default rigging to one that has natural bends and movements like digitigrade legs. So for the time being he's shelved but oh I would so love to finish him one day!

Your work is outstanding as always! :)
The legs I've made are a morph, and I just adjust the joint centers until they bend reasonably well, then fix any remaining problems with JCMs if necessary. The really long, delicate legs I did for the Deer characters didn't bend well without JCMs, but the beefy Werebeast legs seem to be fine without JCMs. One thing I would recommend when making a really extreme morph like digitigrade legs is to pay attention to where your groups are and making sure you keep the geometry fairly relaxed so it will still bend right with the weight maps on the figure, because you can't alter the weight mapping, in Studio at least. You can make injectable weight maps in Poser, but I still don't think it's best practice to alter them, otherwise third party conformers won't work well with the shape.

If you're rigging a conformer, you'll add a few bones from the donor figure, in the case of conforming legs, probably just the hip/chest/abdomen/pelvis bones. The bones for the legs themselves I would likely choose not to conform to the base figure's leg bones, because I think one of the major problems people had with the Creature Creator legs was that the thighs and shins conformed to M4/V4's legs. Maybe conform the thigh bones, it's a balance between keeping pose information from the base and having easily posed creature legs that don't have the base figure's rotation limits imposed on them (a lot of users don't realise they can turn limits off). So they would need to be named differently from the base figure's leg bones. Group your object with weight mapping in mind, and try to put your groups where you want the influence of the bones to be. When you're adding bones to a figure, I find it helps to visualize where the skeletal bones of the appendage would be, and place the joints there. Weight mapping is pretty darn easy in Studio. Start with the hip and fill the whole figure 100%, then go through each group and fill the corresponding weight map with 100%, copying the weight map from one axis and pasting it into the other two. I seem to recall that newer versions of Studio have a utility for that, but I'm just really used to doing it manually. From there, you just tweak things until you're happy, I tend to make generous use of the smooth brush.

Not exactly a comprehensive tutorial, more of a ramble. I have been thinking about maybe making some training material of some sort, like a video course. Though I don't pretend to be a master of the subject, I think I've got a few tricks up my sleeve that some people might find surprising and useful. ;-)

Oooo..that's looking great, Sparky :) Are you planning on doing any more anthro characters similar to those you have up on Philosopher's Egg ?
I was thinking I might try to convert part of my Philosopher's Egg catalogue to modern figures, as well as make some new ones like the Werebeast. The boar test seems to me to be quite promising. I'll have to test out a few projects to see whether there's a market for the rehashed characters, or if it's better to put my effort into new characters, though I have to say, I'm dangerously close to the brink of running out of animals to anthropomorphize on M4/V4 LOL!
 

JOdel

Extraordinary
HW Honey Bear
Moving your Anthro characters beyond gen4 would be great. I did manage to GenX Rana (and one of your other characters as well) to Genesis 1 and 2 and they came over reasonably well. But it would be even better to be able to work from a modern, Studio-compliant base. Dawn and Dusk would be fine, but getting costumes onto them would be tiresome. I have a *much* more extensive wardrobe for the Genesis series.
 

Hornet3d

Distinguished
Today, my day consisted mostly of waiting around for renders to happen, so I played in ZBrush again. I wasn't feeling very artistic, so I thought I'd do something rather more utilitarian. I made an M4 clone for Dusk. The work went more smoothly than I'd anticipated, and I got it all done in a few hours.

View attachment 32936
Can you tell who is the REAL Michael 4? LOL

To test its suitability for my purposes, I decided to try and convert the boar character I'm currently working on. Here he is fresh from the Transfer Utility.

View attachment 32937
Clearly, he needs some clean up, but it was a solid starting point.

With the M4 clone shape still in play, I was able to project my original polypaint on M4 straight onto Dusk. After that was done, I removed the M4 clone shape, did any final touch ups to the shape and added some hooved legs (the M4 character uses the Creature Creator conforming legs).

Here's a quick and dirty render in Studio of the shape and diffuse textures applied.
View attachment 32938

Still need to paint hooves onto the texture and convert the bump/specular maps, but all-in-all, I think it was a successful experiment, and I'm hoping to be able to support a wider range of figures more easily in the future. Just need to hack myself the time to create a clone army. ;-)

I wish I could be that productive when I am not feeling artistic, which is most of the time :).
 

carmen indorato

Extraordinary
Thanks, guys! :)

View attachment 32919

Thought I'd set up an environment for the Werebeast promos, too, while I was at it. I'd probably have a lot less trouble with finishing promos if I set them up in advance like this every time. ^.^

Now he just needs textures...
Wow dear.
Love this. As an integral character w/o having to add other stuff to it is a gotta have. Now I can finally use my Dusk for it and no longer pine for the beast at Content Paradise and Renderosity that I have been wanting for years. When will this be avilable?
 

carmen indorato

Extraordinary
Moving your Anthro characters beyond gen4 would be great. I did manage to GenX Rana (and one of your other characters as well) to Genesis 1 and 2 and they came over reasonably well. But it would be even better to be able to work from a modern, Studio-compliant base. Dawn and Dusk would be fine, but getting costumes onto them would be tiresome. I have a *much* more extensive wardrobe for the Genesis series.
That is where content creators will have to step up nere and create product add=ons to get for this figure. It is called "SUPPORT"! LOL
 

carmen indorato

Extraordinary
Today, my day consisted mostly of waiting around for renders to happen, so I played in ZBrush again. I wasn't feeling very artistic, so I thought I'd do something rather more utilitarian. I made an M4 clone for Dusk. The work went more smoothly than I'd anticipated, and I got it all done in a few hours.

View attachment 32936
Can you tell who is the REAL Michael 4? LOL

To test its suitability for my purposes, I decided to try and convert the boar character I'm currently working on. Here he is fresh from the Transfer Utility.

View attachment 32937
Clearly, he needs some clean up, but it was a solid starting point.

With the M4 clone shape still in play, I was able to project my original polypaint on M4 straight onto Dusk. After that was done, I removed the M4 clone shape, did any final touch ups to the shape and added some hooved legs (the M4 character uses the Creature Creator conforming legs).

Here's a quick and dirty render in Studio of the shape and diffuse textures applied.
View attachment 32938

Still need to paint hooves onto the texture and convert the bump/specular maps, but all-in-all, I think it was a successful experiment, and I'm hoping to be able to support a wider range of figures more easily in the future. Just need to hack myself the time to create a clone army. ;-)
I love the idea but for my needs this would need more work.
The head is too big for the body especially the neck and shoulders it is set on. Upper body would have to be pumped up a bit to hold up that head. As much as I loved and owne your other morphs for Mil4 figures that was my only pet peeve about them. There were no morphs for the bodies to make them look more able to hold up the big head of say the minotaur with head of horns. Neck has to be thickened and somewhat of a hunched shoulders fix added. I tried using the hunched back morphs for Mike4 Creature/Plus Plus add-on pack but it was not too good. It would have been better adding a sculpted morphs set that worked with the head and body out of the box.
I love the lower legs and their thickness but the upper leg/thigh parts seem a bit long. Chest should have been broader along with the body and neck changes mentioned above.
I know this is a fantasy creature but I use body proportions and weight distributions notions in determining this stuff. Also images I have seen of similar creatures done through the years by other artists have molded my eyes into wanting to see proportions in a different light. Your Werebeast on the other hand is freaking gorgeous.
I know it sounds awful picky coming from someone that has never created a 3d mesh but I have done a lot of technical and anatomy drawing and sculpting and do have some ideas on the subject not to mention being a picture hound since I was in 4th grade especially fantasy art.
Not a criticism dear just some thoughts. ;))

Oh and will the M4-ified Dusk be able to wear M4 stuff or vic versa? It would be cool if that was possible.
 

JOdel

Extraordinary
HW Honey Bear
That is where content creators will have to step up nere and create product add=ons to get for this figure. It is called "SUPPORT"! LOL
Actually, clones for the Genesis series for Dawn and Dusk would probably fill the gap adequately. Or vice-versa. But to get those, I'd need to build my own. It's doable. Other people have done it. But I'm dragging my feet.
 

Sparky

Monster Maker
Contributing Artist
I generally leave the torso area alone so that people can dial in morphs to their liking, and use conformers without needing to transfer the body morph to the conformers. Especially on the legacy figures (Mil4). A lot of people who use the anthro characters aren't using them as monsters, so a built-in pumped up hunched over monster body wouldn't suit their purposes. I always test out my shapes with the FREAK and superhero body morphs on the Mil4 figures and generally found the results pretty good. The hunchback morph from the Creature Creator I never thought looked very good in general, but I don't imagine it would look good at all with the beefed up animal necks, lol. The length of the thighs between the werebeast and boar characters are pretty comparable. They just look better on the Werebeast because he is posed. Nothing looks natural in TPose. ;-)

Having an M4 clone for Dusk does mean I can auto-fit clothing/hair/etc from M4 to Dusk.
 

carmen indorato

Extraordinary
Thanks, guys! :x3:



The legs I've made are a morph, and I just adjust the joint centers until they bend reasonably well, then fix any remaining problems with JCMs if necessary. The really long, delicate legs I did for the Deer characters didn't bend well without JCMs, but the beefy Werebeast legs seem to be fine without JCMs. One thing I would recommend when making a really extreme morph like digitigrade legs is to pay attention to where your groups are and making sure you keep the geometry fairly relaxed so it will still bend right with the weight maps on the figure, because you can't alter the weight mapping, in Studio at least. You can make injectable weight maps in Poser, but I still don't think it's best practice to alter them, otherwise third party conformers won't work well with the shape.

If you're rigging a conformer, you'll add a few bones from the donor figure, in the case of conforming legs, probably just the hip/chest/abdomen/pelvis bones. The bones for the legs themselves I would likely choose not to conform to the base figure's leg bones, because I think one of the major problems people had with the Creature Creator legs was that the thighs and shins conformed to M4/V4's legs. Maybe conform the thigh bones, it's a balance between keeping pose information from the base and having easily posed creature legs that don't have the base figure's rotation limits imposed on them (a lot of users don't realise they can turn limits off). So they would need to be named differently from the base figure's leg bones. Group your object with weight mapping in mind, and try to put your groups where you want the influence of the bones to be. When you're adding bones to a figure, I find it helps to visualize where the skeletal bones of the appendage would be, and place the joints there. Weight mapping is pretty darn easy in Studio. Start with the hip and fill the whole figure 100%, then go through each group and fill the corresponding weight map with 100%, copying the weight map from one axis and pasting it into the other two. I seem to recall that newer versions of Studio have a utility for that, but I'm just really used to doing it manually. From there, you just tweak things until you're happy, I tend to make generous use of the smooth brush.

Not exactly a comprehensive tutorial, more of a ramble. I have been thinking about maybe making some training material of some sort, like a video course. Though I don't pretend to be a master of the subject, I think I've got a few tricks up my sleeve that some people might find surprising and useful. ;-)



I was thinking I might try to convert part of my Philosopher's Egg catalogue to modern figures, as well as make some new ones like the Werebeast. The boar test seems to me to be quite promising. I'll have to test out a few projects to see whether there's a market for the rehashed characters, or if it's better to put my effort into new characters, though I have to say, I'm dangerously close to the brink of running out of animals to anthropomorphize on M4/V4 LOL!
Here let me help you come up with some ideas for that Sparky!

-Sphynx Male bulky and massive as well as a finer more delicate female for Mil4 and Dusk/Dawn
-Cyclops
-2 head giant
-single mesh centaur, minotaur and satyr that will work with Mil4 morphs for at least human body parts or with enough morphs to make everyone like me happier than a Poser piggie in dial spinning/character options heaven! LOL
You already have the components just gotta splice them together and vamp up the textures
-Mil4 and Dusk/Dawn Nagas (snake figures) with morphs and armor or clothing accessories
-3 headed dog like Cerberus which I have longed for since Sixus created that ugly thing he set out there on the poser community in another life time!
-there are hundreds of anthropomorphic figures in fantasy art, deer with tusks, horses with lion heads........sorry got carried away.
How about some images!

boar tusker guy.jpg


boar-nalfeshnee-jr.png


Killer P'orc.jpg


pigman warrior-32a6d5afcd1b400.jpg


the_elhorn__horned_horse__by_virginiecarquin-d68ug2b.jpg


rhino guy.jpg


the neck of the last character is what I was thinking for boar and minotaur head you did for M4.
 

Sparky

Monster Maker
Contributing Artist
I think a good solution will be to convert my existing catalogue of anthros, and then make some new, more beasty, monstrous characters going forward. ;-)

More fun with clones, I've made a Dusk clone for G8 and converted the Werebeast as a test. I can see that developing for the Genesis figures is going to be very difficult for me without access to the HD morph tools for Studio. The mesh doesn't have enough resolution to hold much detail for extreme morphs. They really were developed with HD morph dependency in mind. On the upside, the Dusk>G8 conversion was much cleaner than the M4>Dusk conversion.

G8Werebeast.png
 

JOdel

Extraordinary
HW Honey Bear
Looks very good to me. And really, as difficult as it is to get it to behave itself, an LAMH preset could cover up a lot of the missing HD details.

A pity the ears can't be a bit bigger, but I suspect that they probably can't.
 

Sparky

Monster Maker
Contributing Artist
I could make an adjustment morph to make the ears bigger. The ear size is just an aesthetic preference on my part. My comment about the resolution of the mesh referred more to the other sorts of morphs I tend to do, like the horses, which are more extreme. The Werebeast is actually one of the less extreme shapes I've done. LOL
 

JOdel

Extraordinary
HW Honey Bear
Oh, I've heard your complaint regarding the issues related to the missing tools for creating HD morphs over in the DAZ forums for some time. It was an issue with G3 as well. Eventually I suspect they'll make an escape, but no telling how long that will take.

It took the whole development cycle for G3 before it became clear that the PAs were just not going to lose sales by building skins to the individual character base UVs any more. DAZ finally stopped trying to play that game with G8. So far the new character bases have all been built on the base UV.
 

carmen indorato

Extraordinary
I could make an adjustment morph to make the ears bigger. The ear size is just an aesthetic preference on my part. My comment about the resolution of the mesh referred more to the other sorts of morphs I tend to do, like the horses, which are more extreme. The Werebeast is actually one of the less extreme shapes I've done. LOL
I can see where bigger ears would be attractive but despite my always finding fault with stuff this creature i pretty much love the way it is. Maybe adding ear movements and expression and character adjustment morphs would be preferred by me for my use. For body, fat guy, skinny and muscular, young and old as well as of course detailed female version including the usual including a pregnant morphs for it and even a K4 version for those happy family outings at the tar pits! :p
I am sure I could get a lot of use out of this if properly decked out as a set. It just smacks of fantasy art!!!
 

Sparky

Monster Maker
Contributing Artist
Holy crap! The Carmen seal of approval! :notworthy: How often does that happen? :x3: The werebeast will be for Dawn/Dusk (and, I s'pose Genesis 8) so it'll be able to use all their morphs in addition to any custom morphs I wind up making for it. ;-)
 
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