Swatch Maker Product Review

Swatch Maker Version 3 Product Review for Windows.

Swatch Maker Version 3 is a very handy tool to have, especially if you work with textures. There is a free Lite version and the Full version. I will review the full version in this blog post.

What is Swatch Maker?

Swatch Maker is a standalone program for Windows. It can transform any texture or pattern into a larger canvas. It can be used for both seamless and non-seamless textures. From personal experience I can tell you that it is better to use a seamless texture or pattern when working with Swatch Maker. It tiles better around the 3D model.

How does Swatch Maker work?

It is very easy to use. Create a new canvas by loading a texture. Canvas sizes are based upon the size of your original image. Sizes can be: 32×32; 64×64; 128×128; 256×256; 1024×1024; 2048×2048; 4096×4096 and 8192×8192.

Swatch Maker; Winterbrose; Nelmiphotography; Nelmi; Textures;

Swatch Maker V3 by Winterbrose.

The above example illustrates how Swatch Maker works. Tiles can be flipped horizontally or vertically and can also rotate 90 and -90 Degrees.

Pro’s and Con’s of using Swatch maker?

Swatch Maker is ideal if you have a small texture and you want to upscale it to a larger texture. It can also be downscaled if needed. This comes in very handy if you have a seamless texture that you need to resize. This can also be done in Photoshop by using patterns and the fill bucket but it is a lot quicker in Swatch Maker.

It is also ideal if you want to see what a texture looks like if you upsize it. For example: If you have a texture that needs to tile 2048×2048 and it makes blocks when upsized, then chances are very good that this texture will not work when wrapped around  3D model.

Unfortunately it does not make a current texture seamless. This is a downside to version 3. This functionality was available in version 2.

Where to purchase Swatch Maker?

Swatch Maker can be purchased directly from the Winterbrose site. The cost is currently 5 USD and purchases can be made online. Register the product and you will recieve an activation code.

Pulling UV templates of OBJ files for texturing

How to pull UV templates off obj’s for texturing?

I run into some problems with UV templates that were not available on products that I have purchased. Why do I need the templates? Templates are needed to re-texture clothing for either re-sale or giveaways.

If the templates are not included in the zip files, you could contact the vendor directly. Products purchased on the Daz Store normally includes the templates in a separate folder. It makes it a lot easier. This could take time. Luckily there is an easy solution.

Download the free program called UV Mapper or the paid version UV Mapper Pro. I tried to purchase the UV Mapper Pro version but the following message appeared:

Notice: is in the process of setting up new eCommerce solutions to handle the secure purchase of UVMapper Professional.  We hope to have this resolved fairly soon.  Thank you for your patience.

To be honest, I am not sure what the Pro version does but the normal version worked just fine.

Process to pull the UV templates in UV Mapper.

The product that I want to texture did not come with the UV templates. I loaded the clothing in DAZ Studio and saved the top as an OBJ file. Open UV Mapper and follow the procedure below:

File > Open Model. Load your saved OBJ file.

The UV template will immediately be visible. Now you have to save the template to a folder on your harddrive. I normally create a Work-In-Progress folder with all my templates and textures.

File > Save Texture Map.

The size is important. I normally work with templates that measure or 2400 x 2400 or even 3000 x 3000. It all depends what I want to texture. It will save as a .bmp file.

UV Mapper; Nelmiphotography; UV Templates; Texturing Clothing; Daz3D

Save templates from UV mapper.

What to do now?

The UV templates can now be used for texturing.


Content Gatherer for Daz and Poser

Content Gatherer for Daz and Poser.

Content Gatherer has become one of the tools that I am using on a daily basis. It helps me a great deal when I package products for Renderosity for sale.

What is Content Gatherer and how does it help you?

It is a stand-alone tool for both Windows and Mac. It is a light weight tool and doesn’t use a lot of system resources. It has been designed to analyze your content files for Daz Studio and for Poser and locates them on the system.

Why would you want to use it? Mainly because a Runtime library can become messy after a while and sometimes products stop working as they should. This tool is ideal to find all the scene or content related files and tell you which ones are missing.

Content Gatherer Daz and Poser; Dimension3D; Packaging Daz and Poser Content; Missing files in Daz Runtime; Nelmi;

Content gatherer for Daz and Poser

I use Content Gatherer exclusively for packing content files for distribution. It analyzes all my files, where they are located and which files are missing. Daz is sometimes making use of auto-adapted files and these are difficult to locate when you want to package a product.

I find that Content Gatherer has been helping me a lot. Once all my files have been analyzed I use the tool to create the file list, which is normally used for Readme text file for Renderosity. Then I ZIP the content with Content Gatherer and my product is almost ready to go.

Where to purchase Content Gatherer?

Content Gatherer has been made by Dimension3D and is available from the Daz Store. It is not available on Renderosity as far as I know. It is currently selling for 23 USD but it is money well worth spending.


How to save a Head and Face preset of a morph in Daz3D

How to save a Head and Face Preset in Daz Studio?

I am currently busy working with Genesis 2 Male in Daz3D and want to save a few head and face presets for a new product. I do not want to save them as new characters because it is only the head and face that will be affected. So, how to do that?

Saving presets for Daz3D; Head and Face presets for Daz3D; Saving presets for characters in Daz3D, Daz3D tutorial

Selecting the components to save.

It is in fact very easy to do providing that your character has been morphed inside Daz3D.

If your character was morphed outside of Daz3D for example Hexagon, then you need to add a couple of steps. I am not going o discuss the steps in this blog.

Load your Genesis character and apply the changes that you want to make. Remember we only want to save a preset for the Genesis original character without changing anything to the mesh. Select your character and go to:

File>Save>Shaping Preset

Select the folder where you want to save the preset and give it a name. Now for the most important part. Select only the items that are applicable to the head and face or whatever you have changed. In my case it was only the head and face and I did not make any changes to the body.

Saving presets for Daz3D; Head and Face presets for Daz3D; Saving presets for characters in Daz3D, Daz3D tutorial

The new preset will appear here after you have saved it.

Once it is saved it will appear in the folder that you have selected and it will indicate that this is a preset. To test it load your base model, select it and apply the preset. If it is working then you have just managed to save your first preset. If not, then you need to retrace your steps and see if you have selected or not selected a component.


Fixing Ribbon fingers in Daz Studio

How to fix ribbon fingers in Daz Studio?

Recently when posing a Genesis morph I encountered a problem with the fingers and arms that were distorted. The fingers looked like ribbons and I had no idea how to fix it. It took a couple of hours to find the right information and to fix the problem – permanently.

Ribbon fingers Daz; Morph distortions in Daz; Ribbon fingers Genesis; Rigging problems with fingers in Daz;

What Ribbon fingers look like in Daz,

First of all I need to point out that this was a Genesis Base Morph that I have changed in Hexagon to create a new figure. I have made her smaller than the original Genesis morph and that is where the problems started. You can see it clearly when you look at the bone structure. The bones of the new morph does not follow the shape of the original Genesis figure.

This also happens when you apply a younger figure and one of the forums spoke about problems with Genesis 2.

As I mentioned before the bone rigging is getting messed up. There is a quick fix by going into Edit>Rigging and adjust the rigging to the shape. That will fix it but it is a pain to do every time you start up studio.

Permanent fix for Ribbon fingers.

I have tried many things to fix it permanently but I found that this worked the best. Saving as a new morph asset did not work for me. When I saved it as a Figure/Prop Asset, it worked.

MENU: Edit –> Figure –> Rigging –> Adjust Rigging to Shape

TOOL: Joint Editor –> [Right-click on selected figure] –> Memorize –> Memorize Figure Rigging

MENU: File –> Save As –> Support Asset –> Morph Asset(s)  –>[Choose a new name]

I think that will save it with the new rigging. If not, save a copy of the whole figure after memorizing figure rigging:

MENU: File –> Save As –> Support Asset –> Figure/Prop Asset(s) –>[Choose a new name]

Daz3d Multiplane Cyclorama

How to work with the Multiplane Cyclorama in Daz3d?

I tried to find tutorials on how to modify the Multiplane Cyclorama Prop in Daz by adding my own images. I couldn’t find a tutorial that worked for me. The old Daz forum had one but the links to the screen shots are broken. After error and trial I found a way to load my own images into the Multiplane Cyclorama.

One of the reasons why I love working with the Multiplane Cyclorama is because the scene is not static. In other words I can move my camera around the scene and the background will be moving with it. The other reason is the fact that the ground pane can be set to reflect or cast shadows. When I pose a character on the ground I am able to make the scene look realistic because of the shadow casting. When you simply load a background and then pose your character, this will not be possible because the background image is not a 3D object. It has it’s limitations as characters often look like they are hanging in the air.

Where to get started with the Multiplane Cyclorama prop?

First of all you need to load the Multiplane Cyclorama prop from your Daz3D library. The one I refer to is the LS_mvc3rlite prop. With the prop selected in the scene’s tab, navigate to the surface tab and find the following:

Scenery left;
Scenery right;
Scenery center.

These are the important components that will make up bulk of the Multiplane Cyclorama scene. The next step is to find an image that you would like to load into scene. I selected a fantasy background that measures 2700×2700 in size. Now open the image in a photo editing software program. I use photoshop. I changed the dimensions to 3600×1600 pixels. To make it easier I named the images left, right and center. The first one that we are going to save is the Scenery left. Load the image into your Daz Multiplane Cyclorama by selecting the surface tab and then the Scenery left. You will be able to see the changes immediately.

Sky Reflections Backgrounds

Sky Reflections Backgrounds applied to the Multiplane Cyclorama in Daz3d.

Back to Photoshop. Use the same image (dimensions 3600×1600 pixels) and flip the image horizontal. Save this image as Scenery center and load it into the Multiplane Cyclorama prop. Now you can see that it is only the right part that is missing. Use the Scenery left and load it in the Scenery right. You should have a seamless 3 pane background. A word of caution. This technique doesn’t always work with all types of backgrounds. If you have an image that varies in tones and colours then it might not work.

Once you are happy with the scene, load the lights and props. I didn’t change the ground pane in this example but you can easily locate it in the surface tab and then modify it in Photoshop.