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Subject: Poses from DAZ to Blender

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FigureSculptor  

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Posted Mon, Dec 31, 2012 11:54 am, Edited Mon, Dec 31, 2012 11:54 am

The biggest gap in the DAZ Studio to Blender workflow for some time has been that it's very hard to bring poses and animations over. Blender doesn't support the FBX format for licensing reasons and none of the third party FBX importers are ready for prime time, the .obj format doesn't support armatures at all and, for some reason, and none of the other export options can be imported by Blender except Collada. In the past, my Collada exports that included animations wouldn't open, or would open without the pose/animation data. That left you with having to use the very buggy BVH exporter in DAZ Studio and then mapping the two armatures with bone contraints, which was time consuming and a pain and not worth the time - easier just to recreate the pose in Blender.


I've been hoping for this to be fixed for a while, so I periodically try to export animations from DAZ using different file formats and import them into Blender. Lo and behold, with the latest DAZ Studio Beta (combined with the latest Blender trunk, 2.65), it appears that whatever the problem was has been rectified. I don't know if it was a fix on the DAZ Studio side or the Blender side, but it's welcome either way.


I figure not everybody keeps checking this, but a few of you might be interested, so I thought I'd share my discovery.


You can get the latest beta at: http://www.daz3d.com/shop/daz-studio-pro-beta and the latest Blender at http://www.blender.org/download/get-blender/


If you want to export a figure from DAZ Studio to Blender with one or more poses, all you have to do now, is this:


1) Design your figure and clothings/accessories in DS as normal, but leave in the default position. If you do pose it, you can always get it back to the default pose by zeroing the figure's pose.


2) Once done, go to the Pose & Animate Tab


3) Go to the Timeline sub-tab (as opposed to AniMate or AniMate Lite)


4) Make sure you're at the first frame and add a keyframe


5) Advance one frame


6) Pose your character or select a pose from the library


7) Add a keyframe


8) Repeat steps 5 - 7 for each pose you want exported


9) Select File->Export and chose the Collada .dae exporter


10) Click the "Show Individual Settings" button to display all options.


11) Make sure the "Animation" checkbox is checked and that "include transformations" is also checked. Select other options as per your needs. Make sure that you're not exporting any morphs, however. Morphs must be baked, or Blender barfs trying to import the file. Never fear - you can import morphs directly into Blender using millighost's dsf-morph script  from http://www.renderosity.com/mod/forumpro/showthread.php?thread_id=2834649 or by importing a separate file containing the morphed figure and joining the two objects as shape keys.


12) Open Blender 2.65 and import the .dae file. Make sure you have a timeline pane open. You should have your figure, attached to an armature, and if you skip through the timeline, you'll see all of your poses ready to add to a pose library. The model will still be rotated -90° on the X-axis because Blender and DS use different coordinate systems, and the materials will still be in need of some loving care (too much specularity, transparency maps not working, and no bump/specular/normal maps), but you'll have your poses and those other issues are trivial to fix.


This exact same process works with bringing animations over, however I'm not sure how to "bake" aniblocks from AniMate so that they export properly without having to add a keyframe at every frame first. Non AniMate animations export fine, however.

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Prof_Null  

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Posted Mon, Dec 31, 2012 8:28 pm

Wow! Thanks FigureSculptor, I really appreciate this.


Blender and DAZ are my tools of choice but I have always worked the other way in the past. Now I might just try it in reverse.

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FigureSculptor  

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Posted Tue, Jan 1, 2013 9:59 pm

Quote - "Blender and DAZ are my tools of choice but I have always worked the other way in the past. Now I might just try it in reverse.
"


Yeah, I feel the same way. While DAZ Studio is a great product, it doesn't have the feature set of Blender, and I also find that it takes me longer to do most a lot of tasks, so I'm really excited about the fact that this now works.

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FigureSculptor  

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Posted Fri, Jan 4, 2013 10:23 am

Just a few caveats I've noticed with this - 


 


It will apply the motions to only the first figure in the scene - a figure being anything with an armature - based on the order in the Scene List view. If you have multiple animated characters, split them into separate .duf files before exporting. Also, if you've deleted the main figure accidentally and undone it, it may not be the first thing in the scene list any more. There's no way to re-order the scene list I can find (please let me know if you know how to do it), but when you delete and undo, it always adds the undeleted object to the end of the list. 


You need to make sure your main figure is first, or you'll end up with animated hair or something.

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