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 Subject: Making a face morph for genesis

millighost opened this issue on Aug 29, 2011 · 88 posts

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  millighost ()  ( posted at 5:51PM Mon, 29 August 2011 

Here is how you can create a simple face morph for DAZ's Genesis figure using only blender, in 12 easy steps.

Install the import plugin

First you need to load the Genesis mesh into blender. You could use either wavefront obj files, or you could use the included plugin (see link). I describe the latter way, since it is easier. Download the plugin and rename it to import_dsf_geom.py.

  millighost ()  ( posted at 5:51PM Mon, 29 August 2011 

Installing the plugin

Open your user preferences from blender's file menu. You can usually install the plugin by clicking the "Install Add-On" button on the bottom of the page.

  millighost ()  ( posted at 5:52PM Mon, 29 August 2011 

Install the plugin

Point the file browser to the downloaded plugin, and then click the "Install Add-On" button

However in the current version blender has problems with installing plugins from network drives (which is the case for me). In this case you can install the plugin manually by copying it into blender's addon folder. On my computer the addon folder is V:/blender/2.59/scripts/addons. Simply copy the import_dsf_geom.py into that folder.

  millighost ()  ( posted at 5:53PM Mon, 29 August 2011 

Load the Genesis figure

From the file menu's import submenu select "dsf-geom (.dsf)" (if you prefer the space menu, the operator is called 'import dsf-geom').

  millighost ()  ( posted at 5:56PM Mon, 29 August 2011 

Activate the plugin

I almost forgot, sorry: After the plugin is installed you need to enable it: In the user preference window, select the Import-Export plugins. The import plugin will appear in the list as "Import-Export: import dsf-geom". Enable the check-box for it. You can select "Save as Default" now, so blender will enable the plugin on the next restart.

  millighost ()  ( posted at 5:59PM Mon, 29 August 2011 

Loading the Genesis figure

After you select the import from the menu, you will be presented a file dialog in which you can choose the Genesis.dsf file. The Genesis.dsf file is located within your DAZ-Studio installation's data folder. On my system this is V:/dsdata4/data/DAZ 3D/Genesis/Base/Genesis.dsf. Note that there might be another Genesis.dsf within the People directory, this is _not_ what you need.
The other options of the plugin (materials, groups, uv-map) are not effective, because this is a reduced version (i wanted everything one one not-too-big file).

  millighost ()  ( posted at 6:00PM Mon, 29 August 2011 

Prepare the morph

After you have successfully loaded the Genesis loaded you can scale it down a bit, since it is very huge (around 100 blender units). Scale it down in object mode, not in edit mode, so the actual mesh will not be distorted. You can also rotate it in object mode if you want, because it is lying flat (DAZ-Studio uses Y-axis as up).
In the mesh tab create a new shape key for the Genesis mesh. Press the Plus-sign twice to create one base shape key and another shape key for the morph. The first shape key is the Base shape-key and not to be modified. The second one created is the one that holds the morph, which is currently empty.

  millighost ()  ( posted at 6:01PM Mon, 29 August 2011 

Prepare the morph

In order to use the shape key later for creating a morph, assign a name to it right now. Currently it is named "Key 1", the default name given by blender.The shape key's name is later used by the exporter to assign a group and a name to the created morph. To tell the exporter the name and the group, assign a name to the shape key where the components are separated by slashes ('/') starting with a slash. I set the shape key's name to /Millighost/LongNose, so it will appear in DAZ-Studio in the modifiers list under "Millighost" and have a name "LongNose".

  millighost ()  ( posted at 6:03PM Mon, 29 August 2011 

Create the morph

Make it the created shape key the active shape key (it must have a blue background) and enter edit mode. Here you can move vertices in whatever way you like for your morph. In the illustration i made the nose longer by selecting a view vertices at the tip of the nose, and drag them out with the proportional editing tool. Do not delete or add vertices in any way, or the morph will not work.

After you are done, go back to object mode. The newly created shape will disappear, you can check what it looks like by playing with the Value parameter of the shape key.

  millighost ()  ( posted at 6:04PM Mon, 29 August 2011 

Install the exporter

To write the created shape key as a morph, you need another plugin that writes the shape key as a dsf file. Download the attached file and rename it to export_dsf_morph.py. Install it into blenders plugins in the same way you did in step 1 for the import plugin.

  millighost ()  ( posted at 6:05PM Mon, 29 August 2011 

Activate the exporter

Like the importer before, this exporter has to be activated, too. In the list of Add-Ons of the user preferences select the Import-Export section.The plugin is named 'Import-Export: export dsf-morph'. Enable the checkbox for it.

  millighost ()  ( posted at 6:06PM Mon, 29 August 2011 

Now call the exporter by choosing it from blender's Export menu, where it is called "dsf-morph (.dsf)" (in the space menu, it is "export dsf-morph"). You get a file dialog where you can choose a file name under which to export the shape-key/morph (i use a name "longnose.dsf"). The file should end with ".dsf", otherwise the name is not particularly important.

  millighost ()  ( posted at 6:12PM Mon, 29 August 2011 

If all worked so far, you can stop blender now. The exported file "longnose.dsf" needs to be copied to your DAZ-Studio contents directory. Usually the morphs are within the ".../data/DAZ 3D/Genesis/Base/Morphs" directory within DAZ-Studio's installation data directory. DAZ-Studio seems to look in there for files by default. You can create a subdirectory within the Morphs directory for your own morphs. I copied it to V:/dsdata4/data/DAZ 3D/Genesis/Base/Morphs/Millighost/longnose.dsf. After that you can start DAZ-Studio. With Genesis loaded, in the parameters tab, select the Actor group. Based on the name you have given the shape key, the morph should be listed in there. Dialing the slider should dial in the morph/shape-key.

That was it. Hope this works, i only tested this once with windows, since i use linux most of the time, so let me know if there is something not working :-)

Good night & good luck.

  DoomsdayRenderer ()  ( posted at 11:10PM Mon, 29 August 2011 

Wow, millighost! Impressive. I must try it when I have time. Looks very promising!

  _Venkman_ ()  ( posted at 12:13AM Sat, 17 September 2011 

Neat script. DS4 can save as a variety of different kinds of DSF files, and so I was wondering if your script could handle a user created Character or Figure DSF? Or is the Genesis.DSF you use in your tutorial the only one it can handle?

What I would like to do is dial up an approximation of a Genesis character in Daz Studio, save it as a Character or Figure DSF, and then bring it over to Blender via your script for scupting, etc.

  millighost ()  ( posted at 10:12AM Sat, 17 September 2011 

Quote -

Neat script. DS4 can save as a variety of different kinds of DSF files, and so I was wondering if your script could handle a user created Character or Figure DSF? Or is the Genesis.DSF you use in your tutorial the only one it can handle?

The import script given above handles all dsf files that contain figures, or so it should at least. However at the time i wrote it, there were no other figure files than genesis available, so i only tested it with the genesis.dsf, so i am not really sure if it would really work with different figures. Probably your best bet is to just try it out on a different figure. If it does not work, and the project is not top secret you could send the file to me and i can try to guess what is going on...

Quote -

What I would like to do is dial up an approximation of a Genesis character in Daz Studio, save it as a Character or Figure DSF, and then bring it over to Blender via your script for scupting, etc.

I am not exactly sure what you are doing in DS; can you describe it more detailed, like exactly which menu items you use to export the character dsf? (I am relatively new to DS, i still did not find out which buttons to press to export the dsf files that i want it to).

However the script above does not import morph files, if that is what you need. If you do - i guess i can post one i have made (but still needs some smoothing). 

  _Venkman_ ()  ( posted at 12:41PM Sat, 17 September 2011 

No top secret project, I was thinking it might be nice to have something other than the default male shape when you bring Genesis into Blender, like the Basic Female shape. However, I've since realized that if I was going to redistribute my morphs later, this wouldn't work out unless I could zero out the influence of the non-default morphs I didn't make myself. Still, for going back and modifying one's own work, being able to import a morph file could be handy.

I use DS4 Standard (, and I have options for saving Character File, Shaping File, and Pose File DSFs. Pro or the CCT has more options, like Figure File, and I'm going to guess that Figure File should have everything like the base Genesis DSF. I'm still new to DSFs, so I can't really say what the difference between some of these are.

Here is how to export your own DSF: Load Genesis and apply any morphs you would like. Then, with just Genesis selected, go to File>Save As> and you should then see some DSF options. Unfotunately, I don't think the 'Smart' Content tab can find these, or I haven't figured out where it puts them because they weren't in Unassigned last I checked, while a DSF pose I made was.

  SilverDolphin ()  ( posted at 8:58PM Sat, 17 September 2011 · edited on 9:05PM Sat, 17 September 2011

This is great millighost!

Thank you for the Blender Daz import scripts!

This is very generous of you!:biggrin:

  ElenaHD ()  ( posted at 1:39AM Wed, 05 October 2011 

Fantastic! Thanks millighost!

I was able to make my first own morphs for DS4 :)


But, after tweaking my DS4 installation and upgrading to Advanced plus CCT now I have the problem to import dsf Files.  Maybe it has to do something with absolute paths. I wonder how your importscript can find Genesis.dsf, since my dsf Files only seem to have relative paths, beginning with /data?

For example: 

"url" : "/data/DAZ%203D/Genesis/Base/Genesis.dsf#geometry"

  SickleYield ()  ( posted at 7:49PM Wed, 14 December 2011 

It works!

Quick proof-of-concept earless morph I just did:


Thank you thank you thank you!! 

  XaatXuun ()  ( posted at 6:28PM Thu, 22 December 2011 

I don't know why, but let's just say I've never done it, but how do I rename the script from txt ?

I have retyped the name, many times now, but it still saves in Txt, what am I doing wrong ? or forgetting something

  SickleYield ()  ( posted at 6:31PM Thu, 22 December 2011 

Do you have your operating system set to show file extensions? If not it may be renaming to .py.txt instead of just .py.

  XaatXuun ()  ( posted at 8:19PM Thu, 22 December 2011 · edited on 8:26PM Thu, 22 December 2011

Quote - Do you have your operating system set to show file extensions? If not it may be renaming to .py.txt instead of just .py.

hmm thought it may be that, I just took a look and the extention is not shown , so now I need to recall how to add it , I'll search for a refresher for me to remember


ETA: yup, just needed a refresher, of how to do it,   got it  now.

now to play with blender, thank you

  bruce32466 ()  ( posted at 4:59PM Tue, 07 February 2012 

Is it posible to add multiple morphs in this maner? Would it be a matter of adding more shape keys? What I'd like to do is creat a morph to pull the nose out as you did and then use a second morph to widen the nose. If it's just a matter of creating another shape key, I could use a little help. I can create additional keys but when I go to eddit mode, the figure goes back to it's original state so the keys are not progressions of the previous key. Yep, a noob. Anyway, thanks

  SickleYield ()  ( posted at 5:12PM Tue, 07 February 2012 

It's absolutely possible to do multiples. I've done a whole product pack of elf ears with this method.

Do you mean when you go to object mode?  You have to have created your width morph in edit mode for it to exist at all.

Either way, when in object mode, notice the "value" bar below the Shape Keys dialogue.  You can type a value in this or click and drag to increase value of a shape key in object mode.

I don't think you can create a shape key additive to another one (that is, with a previous one applied and visible in edit mode), but I'm willing to be corrected on that point.

  bruce32466 ()  ( posted at 9:35PM Tue, 07 February 2012 

Hi SickleYield, Thanks for the response. I think I asked the question incorectly. I fallowed the directions above and all went well. My question is: how should I go about including another morph to furthe modify the first morph. When I create a third shape key, the figure in the third key starts out like the base figure (no modifications). I did try with the value set to 1 as well as 0 and made no differance. the figure would always revert back to base shape.  With the value set to 1 on shape key 2 in object mode, I could see the changes made to the mesh. but as soon as I try to go to edit mode for shape key 3 the figure reverts back to its base shape.

  SickleYield ()  ( posted at 9:55PM Tue, 07 February 2012 

In that case I would have to work around it by duplicating the figure (shift d), moving it to another layer in Blender (M key plus click layer) and directly modifying the second key.

  bruce32466 ()  ( posted at 11:21PM Tue, 07 February 2012 

Hi SickleYield, Thanks again. I would have got back to sooner but I had to do a little digging aroud to figure out what you were telling me here.

So, If I understand correctly, I will create bsasis and 2nd key, modify 2nd key, press shift + d to copy it, select the copy i just made and push the m key , move copy of 2nd key to a new layer, modify it further, create 3rd shape key and move the modified copy back to original layer and export.

Didn't work:( can't get to edit mode on new layer, m key doesn't seem to do anything in edit mode. I'm sure it's probably something simple I may be missing I hope. I've started playing around with this 3D about a couple months ago and is very cool stuf

  SickleYield ()  ( posted at 12:48AM Wed, 08 February 2012 

The m key is just for moving to a new layer in object mode.  Once you're on the new layer, you will need to select your copy that you moved by right-clicking on it in order to switch to edit mode.

  millighost ()  ( posted at 1:43PM Wed, 08 February 2012 

Quote - ...

I don't think you can create a shape key additive to another one (that is, with a previous one applied and visible in edit mode), but I'm willing to be corrected on that point.

You can enable shapekeys in edit mode by clicking on the small cube-lookalike button (see illustration). That enables the shapekeys in edit mode according to their current value. That includes the shapekey you are currently modifying, though. So to use it, you have to dial the shapekey to 1 before going into edit mode, otherwise you will not see what you are doing.

  SickleYield ()  ( posted at 1:46PM Wed, 08 February 2012 

Excellent, thank you. :)

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