So... these comics?
What is taking so long? Every time I made a comic in the past, I learned something about production and saw where my workflow was slowing me down. As a result the transition to a new comic took long for me to re-adjust. I need to set my environment up so that I can keep producing. A while back I bought two new machines to exclusively take up the heavy task of rendering all the images of my upcoming comics, and so that I can continue on other computers while they were busy. But before I could even think of rendering my new batch of comics, I needed a better figure to work with. Although Victoria 4 served me well and gave me a lot of pleasure, it was time to move on to a better, more detailed figure, tailored to my requirements. I spent the last part of 2014 modelling and rigging Project E, and up until today she still undergoes constant refinements on a weekly basis. I can now safely say that Project E is ready for my comic. (But not yet for the market for this, like promised, I will try to make a simplified version for the store, right after I do some improvements to the mesh... and figure out a way for you to transfer textures!!)
But by far one of the biggest most time-consuming parts of making a CGI comic, outside of making a base figure and rendering hundreds of images, is the posing and animating of the characters in the scenes. When you're talking about a typical Erogenesis comic, you're looking at a different complex pose per image per character (and I always have several in one scene!), and in my upcoming comics we're easily looking at well over 300 images per comic (and 500+ for the next black desk!). That's thousands of unique poses! (I don't use stock poses, they suck) Although in the past I enjoyed working on the figures in such detail, it slows production down immensely!
Enter the Kinect! Poser's latest software solution is called 'Game Dev', which is essentially a pimped-up version of Poser Pro 2014, and it has a feature that allows you to apply motion capture to your figures. Now I've heard that Poser's MoCap feature isn't the best and most accurate in the world, but I am pretty sure it will at least do 50% of the work for me from what I've seen online. So that's one thing I am excited about!
I'm quite sure that most of you have heard about some of the developments taking place in the realm of Virtual reality these days? In the US they've been developing a cheaper way of experiencing Virtual 3D Reality for the consumer market, called the Oculus Rift, and although the device is not yet market-ready, the developer kits have sold like crazy and are sending shockwaves throughout the online community. Youtube is filled with crazy tech-fanatics showing us the possibilities of this Oculus Rift and its got me very interested in joining the hype. One of the first things I'll be trying out is making true 3D images of Lali, and if time allows, I'd love to make an entire comic in 3D!! BTW there are other devices getting developed like the Samsung GEAR and I believe Microsoft also has plans for Augmented Reality.
Can you imagine Lali in 3D?? or Sen for that matter!!!! :D
Genesis 2 attempts
FYI, ever since the release of Lali's Bits for V4, I've been asked numerous times if I'm going make a version for the new Genesis characters by DAZ. Although I was reluctant to do this at first (mainly because of the amount of work involved) I've been thinking about it more these days. Now don't get your hopes up, trust me when I say this: I have tried.
Although DAZ Studio is not my preferred choice of Software, and I do have strong opinions about its design and usability, I am not by default anti-DS. Its still very good figure development software and on top of that it is free! I do keep track of their new releases and I do install it from time-to-time to see what the new features are. I have strongly considered developing Project E in DS like Hivewire did with Dawn, but its DS's learning curve that daunts me, especially considering all the other work I need to do. But who knows, maybe one day I might take up the challenge. In any case, I would be stupid not to keep track of DS's developments considering what I do.
I bought Victoria 6 and Victoria 6 High Definition a while back with the intention of perhaps trying to convert the bits to them. After playing around with them several times, one thing is for sure: whatever development I would wanna do on V6, is not happening in Poser! If I would develop them in Poser, the developments wouldn't successfully translate back to DS at all. And just for the record, the DSON bridge is not an option. Development with DSON lodged inbetween is impossible. What I did was export V6 as a CR2, that seems to let V6 work in Poser without the DSON bridge. Also, V6HD is actually not HD at all, since the base mesh is no different from the regular Genesis 2 models. The HD part is apparently just a DS feature.
So yeah not developing in Poser makes any hope for the bits for Genesis a bit slimmer. And no I cannot just migrate to DS; DS is good for figure development but Poser is way better for comic-making. Like I've said many times, Lali's Bits is a very complex system that can only be developed as I use it. Its like with Project E or what the guys of the Oculus Rift do, we develop these things in an applied environment, fine-tuning them according to what is required of them. Project E is another such an intimately complex system that responds narrowly to the movement of the limbs. You cannot just develop that in a in a separate environment than you actually use it. Within Poser, I am constantly refining her when suddenly I see her doing a pose that causes a problem around some bodypart. I make a morph to correct it, or change the Weight-Mapping or the ERC programming. You don't wanna know how complex Project E is under the hood. I cannot do this for Genesis unless I start using Genesis as my base model, and therefore also DS... and that ain't happening considering how limited Genesis is in so many areas, and how not suitable DS is for rapid internal image production (as you know I only use Poser's inbuilt Renderer to speed up production).
One thing I will try is the GenX plugin whenever I have time. I still considering trying to make something for Genesis since I could use the money right about now. But I think I'd better take my chances with Project E rather than wasting my time with Genesis. We'll see though, we'll see. the point of this story is just to let you know that I have tried!
Jim, I still need to email you haha! Busy busy!