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DAZ|Studio F.A.Q (Updated: 2020 Sep 04 1:56 pm)


 Subject: DAZ Bridges (3ds/Maya/C4D/Blender) are DC or DIM only

Sarsifas opened this issue on Aug 07, 2020 · 15 posts

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  Sarsifas    ( ) ( posted at 9:51PM Fri, 07 August 2020 

I have to admit that DAZ making their bridges (3ds/Maya/C4D/Blender) DIM and DAZ Central only really bothered me. I emailed them and asked them when the manual downloads for these products would be available, pointing out to them that all of their previous plug-ins (including all of their other import/export functions, like DSON, GoZ, FBX, etc.) are either built-in and require a purchased serial number to activate or are available via manual download. The answer I received was "no manual downloads are planned, because they need to be DC or DIM only in order to install and run properly".

The customer service rep who emailed me was very nice and professional, but her answer sounds like total bullshit to me. Sure, the new bridges are processing more data than the previous import/export functions, but it seems to me to be more of a difference of degree rather than of kind. For 99.9 to whatever nth degree of users, all of the information that's going to be exported out is going to be located exactly where it needs to be, and arranged exactly as it needs to be. I would think that only someone with an oddball install or a power user like Erogenesis who practically tears the application apart and then rebuilds it to their exact specifications (and he only works in Poser, anyways) would experience some kind of issue with these bridges.

When DAZ started encrypting content several years ago, I deleted my account and stopped buying there like I and lot of others warned them we would. But when they backed away from that about a year later, I gave them the benefit of the doubt, assumed that they had taken their lumps (financially, anyways) and learned their lesson, and signed back up again. This move with the bridges, tho', has me thinking that maybe last time they were simply unprepared for the amount of backlash they received and so they backed off, hunkered down, and bidded their time until they could come up with a different plan to achieve the same goal.

And I think that that different plan is to take a more gradual and more palatable approach, which is to start enticing their customers away from the manual downloads and onto their clients, DAZ Central and DIM. I think that their goal may be to become something similar to Steam or iTunes, only for 3D content. DAZ never really committed themselves to the encryption scheme, judging from the fact that they never released any of their core figures at the time (Rune 7, Ivan 7, etc.) as encrypted-only, and that's because they didn't dare lose out on the sales of those figures that encryption would have cost them. The stuff that they did encrypt were relatively few in number and (IMO) not much in demand, done more to test the waters with DAZ prepared to take the financial hit.

This time, tho', DAZ has a better idea of the opposition it's facing, and I think it may be prepared to grit its teeth, jump in, and weather it out. I believe that DAZ is going to try enticing its customers away from the manual downloads and onto the clients by offering them perks and goodies only available via the clients. Over time, more and more items will be DAZ Central or DIM only, and fewer and fewer will be available via manual download. And the stuff available only through the clients won't be the same piddly crap that DAZ was willing to take a financial hit on like last time -- this time it'll be the big shiny toys that everyone will want. Today, it's the bridges. Sometime in the near future, I wouldn't be surprised if the Genesis 9 figures are DAZ Central or DIM only -- and I'll bet that they're going to be absolutely gorgeous and hard as hell to resist jumping on board for.

I can see DAZ eventually going the way of Steam or Battle.net, with a relatively small installer program that connects to DAZ's servers to download and install the main app (DAZ Studio), and then use Studio to purchase and install content. (I know -- you can already browse, purchase, and download content through Studio. That was a carrot to the encryption's stick.) The manual downloads, of course, will be discontinued as "outdated", "inefficient", "costing too much time and money to maintain multiple download options, so the old manual downloads have to go", or that old stand-by "to fight content piracy". We'll hear endlessly that the new client way of installing and updating DS and our content is "fast", "easy", and "fun", and we'll be strongly encouraged to forget that DAZ will be acting as gate-keeper all the while.

I know this reads like I'm rehashing the fight with DAZ over content encryption, and that's actually not my intent -- it's just that so much of this is applicable to both situations. DAZ failed last time because they tried too much all at once and it blew up in their face. This time, they're boiling frogs, taking a slower, more incremental approach to the same goal.

Of course, content won't be encrypted this time. (Maybe, or maybe at least not yet.) But DAZ certainly will control the only means to download and install it, and we'll back to the same situation we were four or five years ago with DAZ promising to provide a way to access our libraries in the case of DAZ's sudden demise. (And again, with absolutely no way to guarantee that that will actually be possible.)

What all this means is that keeping copies of content purchased through DAZ backed-up onto disc locally (where it can be accessed at will) will no longer be possible. Keeping copies of previous versions of Studio (in case you need to revert to an earlier version) will no longer be possible. DAZ will control the only means to access or update DS or your purchased content, and God forbid they suspend or terminate your account and you lose EVERYTHING. Remember those stories of Battle.net or Magic the Gathering Online players being locked out of their accounts by Blizzard or Wizards of the Coast, and losing thousands of dollars of purchased content? Exactly. Hard to do when everyone has their manually downloaded content backed up on disc, but oh so easy to do when everything relies on going through a client.

At first I told DAZ that until the bridges were available via manual download, I wasn't going to buy another God damn thing from them. (I spend ~$400 a month or more at DAZ, with a content library there worth ~$10K, and spend about another $100-to-$200 split between other sites like Renderotica, Renderosity, CGTrader, RenderHub, etc.). However, the more I thought about it, the more it pissed me off.

So I'm out. I'm done. I deleted my account at DAZ 3D yesterday, and they won't be getting a second second chance from me. DAZ is just too sneaky, too creepy, too God damn untrustworthy for me to continue with. They just create too much uncertainty for me to want to continue investing time and money with their products.

This is what I think is coming. You may disagree with me and that's fine, but I hadn't seen anyone else talking about this and I thought that it was important to point it out. And if I am right, just remember that you heard it from me first.

Thanks...


  Bejaymac    ( ) ( posted at 6:02AM Sat, 08 August 2020  · @4396318

My opinion on the lack of braincells in the community, vendors & staff alike is well known by the mod team at least, going by the few hundred posts I've had deleted on similar subjects.

So it's no surprise to me that the bridges are DIM/DC only, even then there were quite a few "I'm too stupid to get this to work" posts and threads, so even locking it to a DIM/DC download doesn't make the system "idiot proof".

Which is a big problem when you have a "captive audience" full of people like that, it doesn't help that DAZ have catered to the "load, pose & render" mindset for far too long, treat people like idiots and idiots is what you get, and tbh there are only two real ways to make anything "idiot proof", one is to keep them as far away from it as possible, second is to educate them, that way they are no longer idiots.

DAZ haven't done either.

As for deleting your accounts, talk about cutting your nose of to spite your face, best part is they will still be there, if you have spent money on digital content then DAZ can't just delete the account, by law that content has to be available for you to download for as long as DAZ exist, all DAZ have probably done is locked the accounts.


  jestmart    ( ) ( posted at 10:19AM Sat, 08 August 2020  · @4396339

I don't know why so many people have a hang-up with DIM. There is nothing evil or nefarious about nor are you locked into installing to the defaults. Central is another matter as it is just a prettier but dumber version of DIM aimed at simple minded computer users.


  Bejaymac    ( ) ( posted at 5:59AM Sun, 09 August 2020  · @4396403

Paranoia about what info it's sending back the to evil DAZ Corp, trying to avoid being under Big Brothers thumb etc, etc. Funny part is they have been under Big Brothers thumb from the day they were born, they just don't realise it.

I use DIM but only for downloading, only real issue I have with DIM is installing software with it, I'd rather use an installer for that, especially on a W10 system. W10 is one seriously paranoid pos, I recently had one pita moment where W10's security systems seen the CMS as the parasite program it really is, and blocked it from running, took me a couple of hours to convince this pos to leave it alone.


  Sarsifas    ( ) ( posted at 7:39AM Sun, 09 August 2020  · @4396409

Something I should have asked before going off on this rant is "Are there any other DAZ Central-only/DIM-only items in the DAZ store?". To the best of my knowledge, there aren't, but if there are, I'd love to know what they are and what the reasoning was for making it so.

DAZ's encryption scheme failed because it provided absolutely no benefit to the customer (just the opposite, in fact) -- it was entirely in DAZ's favor in that it made the content impossible to pirate, while making it impossible for the customer to back-up locally. Encryption didn't make the content cheaper, more stable, prettier to look at, easier to use, etc. -- there was absolutely no benefit to the customer, while imposing a lot of new restrictions on them. It was simply bound to fail.

So DAZ won't attempt such a move again until they can convince the customer that it's to their (the customer's) advantage, or at least until they can plausibly demonstrate that the customer doesn't care one way or the other. And to do that, they'll want the numbers to tell a certain story. I believe that if they can get a simple majority of their download traffic over a certain span of time (say, 50.1% or greater over three months or so) to be through the clients (which they can do by enticing their customers with perks, goodies, and hard-to-resist offerings -- "purchase and install the new Genesis 9 figures through DC/DIM and get 50% off"), then that will be all the pretext they need to start phasing out the manual downloads, and at that point, you can kiss goodbye to your control over the content you paid for.

Remember when DAZ tried jumping into the 3D printing market? They restricted everyone's accounts until they agreed to the updated EULA -- you couldn't download your purchased files until you agreed to the new terms DAZ was imposing.

Now imagine six months or a year has passed since DAZ started phasing out the manual downloads. Everyone is now accustomed to using the clients to install their content, and no one is backing up anything to disc, partly because they're being incentivized not to do so and partly because that option no longer exists. In a situation like that, would you even notice if DAZ quietly started encrypting your content again? Or what if, after that six months or a year or so, you go to log into the store or fire up DAZ Studio on your computer, and you get slapped in the face with a demand that you submit to a newly updated EULA -- and one imposing content encryption -- before you can access your content?

THAT'S what I think is coming.


  jestmart    ( ) ( posted at 8:07AM Sun, 09 August 2020  · @4396411

The EULA agreement change was when they switched to DIM and zip files. The old installers required agreeing to EULA built in to them before continuing.


  wolf359    ( ) ( posted at 6:37PM Sun, 09 August 2020  · @4396462

The customer service rep who emailed me was very nice and professional, but her answer sounds like total bullshit to me. Sure, the new bridges are processing more data than the previous import/export functions, but it seems to me to be more of a difference of degree rather than of kind. For 99.9 to whatever nth degree of users, all of the information that's going to be exported out is going to be located exactly where it needs to be, and >arranged exactly as it needs to be.

Actually that Daz rep was being truthful with you.

Something you must understand about those "bridges" which are not actually bridges but unidirectional Genesis 3/8 Data dumps that result in largly unusable 6-19 Gigabyte Character files over in Blender ,C4D etc.

The Daz genesis figures are highly dependant on Massive amounts of Data being streamed in near realtime from your Massive Data folder, for all of their Corrective and HD morphs to function in the Daz studio viewport.

During a standard FBX export all of that crucial data gets left behind making the mighty Genesis like some poor Startrek TNG holodeck Character who loses his physical intergrity a soon as he tries to step out into the ships cooridoor.😌

Sure with Standard FBX you get a rigged weighted FBX figure over Maya, Max Blender etc. but nothing truly distiguishable from any native Maya, Max Blender rig perhaps even less so.

This is the EXACT reason why NO MAJOR ANIMATION STUDIO will ever use the Daz genesis models in a TV or film production.🙄

Because to get thier full functionalty(like HD morphs) you have to work in Kiddie pool software that does not even have a real Ik system for character animation.😔

SO Daz has decided to dump as much of the Data as possible into the "bridge" exporter which will technically emulate the Look of DAZ JCM's and HD morphs, in the other program, as they are accompanied by several gigs of Morph data that used to reside unobtrusively in your local Data folder.

It does not even export animation Data so all of your DAZ Animate2 ,mimic lip sych Data is left behind as well. 😏

SO indeed Daz's highly prized HD morph system may be more easily reverse engineered if you have a stand alone installer hence the cryptic reference to "processing more Data"

The so called Blender "bridge" was not even developed by Daz, they bought and rebranded it from some guy who was trying to sell it to the pro 3DCC community on Gumroad.

They claim it is "open source" which I suspect is typical duplicitous "Dazspeak" for; "we will crowd source bug fixes and any theoretical updates"

Not sure how "open" the source is when you can not have a stand alone installer that you can archive & share as you can with Blender installers.

I personally dont care As I have left the Daz eco system entirely For Reallusion Iclone and CC3 Pipeline where We have rational exporters to Maya,Max Blender and C4D as well as the major game engines. 😜



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  Male_M3dia    ( ) ( posted at 5:29AM Mon, 10 August 2020  · @4396486

wolf359 posted at 6:19AM Mon, 10 August 2020 - #4396462

Not sure how "open" the source is when you can not have a stand alone installer that you can archive & share as you can with Blender installers.

Well if you set up DIM not to delete the installer files you can back those up. Also there are fewer things that you can send to blender than you could with other bridges because of the license.

Like the exact post on 'rotica... it comes down to centralizing, resources and amount of support. It makes more sense to set things up so it's easier to support and install (though it will never be perfect for everyone) and use those freed resources for development.


  Sarsifas    ( ) ( posted at 8:48AM Mon, 10 August 2020  · @4396504

jestmart posted at 8:45AM Mon, 10 August 2020 - #4396411

The EULA agreement change was when they switched to DIM and zip files. The old installers required agreeing to EULA built in to them before continuing.

The last EULA change I recall was several years ago when DAZ tried jumping into the 3D printing market. They restricted everyone's accounts and you couldn't download your purchased files until you agreed to the new terms that they sprung on us with absolutely no warning. I had never encountered that before or since, and I've been a daily visitor to the site for well over a decade.


  Sarsifas    ( ) ( posted at 8:51AM Mon, 10 August 2020  · @4396505

wolf359 posted at 8:49AM Mon, 10 August 2020 - #4396462

The so called Blender "bridge" was not even developed by Daz, they bought and rebranded it from some guy who was trying to sell it to the pro 3DCC community on Gumroad.

I know that there's an alternative Blender bridge that's been in development for some time by some guy -- I have a link saved to it somewhere, but I don't have access to it at the moment -- but my understanding is that DAZ's bridge is something new, not something licensed and rebranded.


  Sarsifas    ( ) ( posted at 9:19AM Mon, 10 August 2020  · @4396509

Male_M3dia posted at 8:52AM Mon, 10 August 2020 - #4396486

wolf359 posted at 6:19AM Mon, 10 August 2020 - #4396462

Not sure how "open" the source is when you can not have a stand alone installer that you can archive & share as you can with Blender installers.

Well if you set up DIM not to delete the installer files you can back those up. Also there are fewer things that you can send to blender than you could with other bridges because of the license.

Like the exact post on 'rotica... it comes down to centralizing, resources and amount of support. It makes more sense to set things up so it's easier to support and install (though it will never be perfect for everyone) and use those freed resources for development.

And this was covered in the conversation I was having about this with someone over at Renderotica. I have never used DAC Central or DIM, so I admit I'm unfamiliar with exactly how they work. One user explained to me that currently you can configure DIM to retain downloaded ZIPs after it downloads and installs your product(s). (My understanding is that it would otherwise delete these files after installation.)

Most likely, a future version of DIM will simply no longer have the option to retain downloaded files. It would download what it needs to install your content and then immediately (and irretrievably) delete everything afterwards. After all, it would make no sense to eliminate manual downloads only to leave that channel open in DIM. It would be like locking your doors but leaving all of your windows wide open. Whether DAZ would announce this change or say nothing about it at all until someone notices and complains is anyone's guess. (And my guess is, they wouldn't say shit about it until they absolutely had to.)

Only a true die-hard or an absolutely compulsive personality would be motivated to dig through their installation to copy off the files and folders they need to construct an archive by hand, but the vast majority won't.

Now imagine a year or two after DAZ has migrated a majority of its traffic onto its clients. The manual downloads are going or are gone, and DAZ is perhaps getting ready to roll out some new big ticket items (Genesis 9 if they haven't already come out, or perhaps Genesis 10). The damage has already been done for anything that's already been released, but DAZ may draw a line in the sand at this point and say "no further". You go to log into DAZ's site or to fire up DAZ Studio, and you get slapped in the face with a newly updated EULA -- again, with absolutely no warning and no way to access your content until you agree to DAZ's terms. They've done this before, and they will do it again at some point. And imagine if that EULA reimposes the content encryption. (Keeping in mind that DAZ has never admitted its mistake, has never apologized for it, and has not promised not to do it again at some point.)

As I said in the other thread, I think that those of you who choose to remain with DAZ are about to be boxed in.


  Sarsifas    ( ) ( posted at 9:25AM Mon, 10 August 2020  · @4396510

Male_M3dia posted at 9:19AM Mon, 10 August 2020 - #4396486

wolf359 posted at 6:19AM Mon, 10 August 2020 - #4396462

Like the exact post on 'rotica... it comes down to centralizing, resources and amount of support. It makes more sense to set things up so it's easier to support and install (though it will never be perfect for everyone) and use those freed resources for development.

And I totally get that. I understand that maintaining multiple channels that effectively achieve the same goal (delivering content to the customer) is a drain on resources that could be directed elsewhere. What I'm saying is that -- given DAZ's history -- I think the likely end result is going to favor DAZ a helluva lot more than it's going to favor the customer, but I also admit that that is my personal opinion -- every other user is going to have to decide for themselves whether that kind of arrangement is favorable to them or not. It's not for me, which is why I'm out.


  Male_M3dia    ( ) ( posted at 9:39AM Mon, 10 August 2020  · @4396512

Sarsifas posted at 10:31AM Mon, 10 August 2020 - #4396504

jestmart posted at 8:45AM Mon, 10 August 2020 - #4396411

The EULA agreement change was when they switched to DIM and zip files. The old installers required agreeing to EULA built in to them before continuing.

The last EULA change I recall was several years ago when DAZ tried jumping into the 3D printing market. They restricted everyone's accounts and you couldn't download your purchased files until you agreed to the new terms that they sprung on us with absolutely no warning. I had never encountered that before or since, and I've been a daily visitor to the site for well over a decade.

The rest of us have accounts over at DAZ as well and I've had mine for over a decade; and this is happened multiple times. Again this is because the eula is part of the installer that you would have to agree to once for all your downloads, not every time when you installed content with the old content. Again, this is consolidating and streamlining installations. I don't miss having to run multiple installers to install bundles or multiple products that I purchased which is now several gigs in size. I just let the installer download the gigs of content, back them up and do the actual installation later. And your "Daz history" is just opinion, especially when there developments over the last few years in both figures, content management and installation was to make the experience easier NOT harder.


  wolf359    ( ) ( posted at 9:42AM Mon, 10 August 2020  · @4396513

Sarsifas posted at 9:41AM Mon, 10 August 2020 - #4396505

wolf359 posted at 8:49AM Mon, 10 August 2020 - #4396462

The so called Blender "bridge" was not even developed by Daz, they bought and rebranded it from some guy who was trying to sell it to the pro 3DCC community on Gumroad.

I know that there's an alternative Blender bridge that's been in development for some time by some guy -- I have a link saved to it somewhere, but I don't have access to it at the moment -- but my understanding is that DAZ's bridge is something new, not something licensed and rebranded.

No.....they bought it from this guy.

https://gumroad.com/l/CiEpM



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  Razor42    ( ) ( posted at 8:29PM Mon, 10 August 2020 · edited on 8:31PM Mon, 10 August 2020 · @4396564

This thread for the most part reads a lot like a conspiracy theory. I am not saying your concerns aren't real, but maybe it's best to stick to where we are at now, not where we may be heading to. There are a lot of "most likely" and "imagine ifs" here, starting a conversation like that could lead it almost anywhere.

For instance,

"Imagine if" DAZ 3D is run by toad people from the planet Ribbet and DIM is "possibly" a way to locate where the best place would be to land their "likely" approaching mother ship. Clearly Daz Install Manager may not have any indications just yet that it really is a precursor to a Global Toad Hole Location Program, but think about it, if they are possibly toad people from planet Ribbet what's to potentially stop them from possibly changing DIM into a Global Toad Hole Location Program in the future? Possibly without you even knowing or your consent, then how will you get your already paid for content? Everyone knows GTHLP programs are terrible at content installation and provide absolutely no future proofing for access to your content. They could even change their licensing terms to only allow usage of their content to create toad people desensitisation images, look at this content they have released. It appears that the evidence is there for those that know where to look.

bullwarg-hd-for-genesis-8-male-03-daz3d.jpg

If it turns out that way remember you heard it here first. ;)



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