As you know I've been working on this project for 4 years now, 2 years if you don't include the first iterations of the project. I wanted it to be an Evolution from V4, but that would have been very difficult to pull off without getting into legal drama with DAZ. So finally with the release of P11 and yet another underwhelming Poser figure, I thought it was time to cut the crap and make a brand new figure entirely from scratch.
That was 2 years ago, lol.
Anyway, I lot has changed since then, I had to scrap a lot of wild ideas and keep it practical, but the basic idea stayed the same: a detailed, anatomically correct (or as good as), 3D female figure that was designed for Poser. The free Demo gives you the opportunity to see the rig from up close in Poser and also gives you an introduction to the figure (available at CGbytes and Renderosity). If you like what you see you can get the Early Edition at CGbytes. The Early Edition is actually a kind of test run for Evolution, and so far it seems that people are happy. So the Official Edition will be done soon and will hopefully be released at both CGbytes and Renderosity simultaneously (not yet confirmed though). Dates pending.
The Official Edition (or Final Edition) is basically the same as the Early Edition, but with a few more details added. Anyone that has bought the Early Edition from CGbytes will get automatically upgraded to the Official one (you don't need to buy it again).
Lessons learned? If you ever want to make your own figure, allow me to give you some advice: keep your ambitions to a bare minimum, don't share too many of your ideas, don't get too many people involved, and don't mix business with creativity, especially if you're in the process of discovering how to do something. Creative projects like this have their own set of challenges, marketing is a totally different animal. They don't mix! Wait until you've completed the figure before you start making business plans. Because the moment you start telling people what it is that you hope to achieve before your project is complete, some eager folks might start making plans, which is cool, but they end up getting disappointed because everything has changed, and you end up getting blamed. Creativity is not something that follows a set path, especially when using tools that have limitations. You will cut corners and end up making decisions to get things done, and that will change the initial plan of the project. Creativity needs to be free to be done right. Business comes in once you actually have something to sell. Remember that.
So, therefore: I am not going to say a thing about a male version. All I will perhaps say is that I need it for my own comics.
Speaking of which, from now on, it will probably be just comics. I need to recover from all this and get this blog sorted out. I'll be back to normal soon. In the meanwhile, check out my Deviant Art page and Gallery. LOTS of fun stuff!
This girl probably doesn't need any introduction by now. Here she is!
Project Evolution started off in Malawi 2014 as 'Project E' in response to underwhelming Poser figures that were being produced time-and-again. For years I had immersed myself in Poser and I knew what it was capable of, despite its issues, and could not accept having to see my friends struggle with persistently lifeless CG girls. In a world where the beauty of the female human has inspired poems, books and entire wars, where some of the oldest carvings are of women, it seemed wrong for a crowd of over-eager CG artists not to be able to partake in this ancient tradition. And yet I was effortlessly doing just that by myself. I made my own female characters over and over again. It was then that I decided that I needed to share this with my friends and art-buddies. This is Project Evolution.
I withheld the name until very recently, because even though I made my own figures, I was not sure if I could pull this particular one off. Making a figure for yourself is one thing, making a figure for thousands of extremely diverse artists is another thing entirely. It was a big risk to take, with failure being very real. But I figured if I could use a figure like this in my art, I'm pretty sure others can too... maybe not all, but perhaps just eough to kick off a fun and lasting trend.
Half way the project I was close to giving up, I encounterd too many issues and didn't feel confident that this figure would be manageable for other people... but I kept getting reminded of the fact that I was working with a very awesome self-made Poser figure. And still my friends had nothing to play with. So, slowly I picked it up again, ignoring the issues, and finally she started to develop into a proper woman. And when I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, I felt confident enough to reveal her true name.
I named her Evolution also in response to the constant re-invention of the wheel when it came to figures. How many versions of human are out there? I don't remember any Homo Sapiens v2.0, 3.0 or 8.0. That's because there isn't. Yet why is it that we always have to start all over again when someone creates a new figure?
Sure, its nice to get something new once in a while, but we cannot always afford to re-stock our closets with new clothes. Besides, most of us grew up wearing hand-me-downs, right? And if vendors are constantly busy repeating the same content over and over, when do they get to improve their stuff? Instead of the usual tshirt, now an addon pack with new prints, or new morphs and bones to make it flutter in the wind.
But Evolution is a big project, bigger than I anticipared. It tries to achieve a lot of things, among others to show off what Poser can do, to be a versatile female figure for many different artists out there, to overcome a deep trauma in the Poserverse, to intriduce a radical way of rigging, the type that was only used sparingly before, and also introduce a way to speed up content creation. I had my deadline set for Xmas 2017, because after over 3 years it was time to draw a line and throw her into the wild, but even at the deadline, there was so much still left to do. Which is why I present you with the Early Edition.
The Early Edition is basically the complete package, with a few things that still remain to be refined. But its a perfect opportunity to also show her to the world, and see what everyone thinks of her. In the next few months I will be listening and taking notes, as well as making some addons and helping friends make content for her. Be patient, but let us know what you think. Yes, I'm not asking much for it. 30 bucks is nothing for this girl. Of course I do need to pay my bills, but I also don't want you to have to deliberate about this girl. She's ready when you are.
I want art to be about impulse, inspiration and spontanity again, not about hard choices and bargaining. I hope Evolution will inspire you and put your mind at ease when it comes to Poser. But, I also hope it will inspire SM to refine thier understanding of Poser and its meaning to the men and women that use it, and thereby mature their approach towards it.
What started out (again*) with much enthusiasm / confidence in November 2015 should have been completed within three months, including base figure, essential morphs, detailed morphs and base textures. It was going quite well at first, but because of an endless array of bugs, limitations and inconsistencies in Poser, the project suffered many setbacks, and six months later, the base figure is still not entirely complete. The delay has depleted my funds and caused a huge backlog in my comic making plans (this was already the case since 2014, where development of the older project E also ran into issues).
I will resume development on Project E just as soon as I have time and money. For the time-being, the project is too big a risk for me to take. It is true that many of the problems in Poser that I reported have been fixed, and Poser is now much better because of it, but for me was too late.
Can we help?
I've had many many kind and gracious offers of financial support, from near and far, but I dare not accept them because this is the most unpredictable project I've ever worked on. I simply, flat out, do not want to gamble with other people's hard-earned money.
How far is she?
I hope I will have time and money later this year to wrap her up as she is. Her base rig is 90% done. I still need to make all the morphs and optional morph packs, prepare the mannequins, make a base texture, some simple hair to start off with, and some instructions on how to effectively use her. Its also VERY possible that she's going to end up working in DS, with some minor adjustments. Tests have been successful thus far.
Not like a comic
Make no mistake, making a figure like this is not a joke. Its not like with comics that I can fudge my way out of a screwed up render. Everything in this figure needs to be more-or-less perfect, since this figure was supposed to last me 4-6 years. Things get complex with compatibility if I change the figure after release, and support won't be guaranteed. I also confess to be very reluctant to touch her since her development suffered so many problems that I simply dreaded opening Poser. That last part is very unhealthy for my career. When I stopped, it took me well over a month to feel happy about opening Poser again. So when I do resume development, I'll still prioritize comics, otherwise I'll go nuts.
Also, I need to be honest here, there's another challenge I'm facing, and that is that the main reason I started with this figure is now irrelevant for me. What initially motivated me to push on is because I needed her myself, but because of all the setbacks I was forced to save time, improvise and combine my old figure (mesh4) with my new rig (mesh5), the former containing the FBMs for all my main characters. I also did this to preserve compatibility between the two, regarding clothes. But as a consequence I've now developed the perfect comic figure for my work (The Erogirl figure / mesh4.5). This figure is not suitable for the store since she has 110K polys, some mesh issues and V4's head. So my primary incentive to push on with PE.mesh5 is more or less gone. I'm not entirely sure what this has to mean for PE, I've always used my self-interest in projects as a guarantee of some kind of quality. Perhaps this will prove irrelevant, but only time will tell.
However, this basically means that the only reason I'll continue making this girl, is for you (and perhaps also because many others and myself spent lots of time on it). You have all supported me so much over the years I feel I owe it to you. If it wasn't for you, I'd have stopped long ago. So I will do my best when I get the chance. I've listened to all your requests on Renderosity and CGBytes and elsewhere... and who knows, if she does well, perhaps I might even start using her myself too. I will confess I recently tried her out after a few months of not touching her, and I did get a little more excited than I used to. She's pretty nice, so this could all still work out.
26 September, 2016
in short: I just ran into a brick wall with my optimism / enthusiasm, and now I'm just doing damage control until I feel I have enough time / courage to wrap this project up.
*this project actually started back in 2013, mainly experimental, but mesh5 would have been the last phase.
to the new project.e information page
Click here to view the old page!
Click here for Specifications
!! project.e.mesh5 is still in development, so things are still subject to change!!
Still in rigging stage, no morphs yet.
What is PE?
Project 'e' is an attempt to create the best working and most realistic female figure in Poser*. She was primarily designed according to my own requirements in my comics, but since the last year also include new innovations from existing figures and ideas suggested by the community.
The meaning of 'e' will be revealed during the first phase of testing.
Availability for DS will be problematic, but it will be looked into!
*Poser 10 & 11 (incl pro). Other versions not tested yet.
- Entirely new mesh
- Entirely new rig
- V4 Equivalent Polycount
- Expression handles (Octane friendly)
- PP2014 Compatible
- Minimal JCMs
- T-Pose Rig (mesh designed for A-Pose)
- Articulated toes (perhaps two digits)
- Carpal bones
- Detailed ocular anatomy
- Integrated 'erogenous zones'
- Integrated oral anatomy
- Double upper & lower lashes
- more info here
- Irises (left & right)
- Tissue (left & right)
- Cornea (left & right)
- Retina (left & right)
- genital areas
Project.e will be released under the name that is now abbreviated by 'e'.
Her base rig will be provided for free, along with a few options, so that one can see if this figure will be of use to you.
There will also be a cheap 'experimentation' pack available if the free package is not enough to decide. If you do decide to work with her, you will be discounted the value of the experimentation pack when you buy any other items for her.
I aim to provide as many options for her as I possibly can. Modular morph packs and base textures will hopefully be combined with more elaborate contributions from other vendors into themed content bundles.
She will be released at a new, user-friendly and secure vendor site called CGBytes. The place is still getting built up, but there should be some fun stuff appearing there soon!
Created by an artist, designed for artists!
The idea behind project.e is to continue and develop on a proven and successful formula in a way that is meaningful to artists like me and many other artists, vendors and hobbyists in the Poser community.
I hope project.e will be of use to you too!
Be sure to check the specs page!