SlotForum banner
1 - 20 of 141 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
309 Posts
Hi Guys

As you may have seen in my Brands Hatch build thread I have been making and printing some 3D figures, I'm hoping I can make an easy way for others to do this as unfortunately the EULA of the software I use precludes me from sharing my files theselves.

Figures currently take about 6-7g of PLA to print (approx 150 figures for a 1kg reel which works out about 10p ea)

They take around 1.5-3.5 hours per figure to print at 0.1mm layer thickness.

First of all you will need some software... don't worry it's free, though if one wants to expand the possibilities (I.e. wardrobe and accessories) extra content is required and that can cost though much can also be acquired free if one is prepared to search and to experiment with positioning of objects.

So lets start...DAZ3D... this is where I build my 3D character models

You will need to sign up to DAZ

https://www.daz3d.com/customer/account/create/

Once you have done that it should open a popup to download software... this is the Install manager it helps you download and install software and content and I find it very helpful to keep track of what has been downloaded and installed.

Once the install manager has been installed you can allow it to run, you can run it online or offline. You'll need to be online to download unless you have already downloaded the files.

Once you have got into the installer you will see a long list of content that you have free. From this you can choose what to download.

I would suggest what I have ticked is a good starting point.

You need the DAZ software itself.

Genesis 2-4 are the figures.... so you need them

dforce allows you to drape clothes, I strongly recommend that too.

I do not think you need the Poser components but you may choose to download them.

I am also uncertain what the 3D print components are, I don't use them.

I have ticked what I think is a good minimum starting point you may wish to add other components.

The DAZ3d promo image shows the Newport outfit for example, which is included.

Then Start the queue to let the software download you can install.

I'm finishing the post with an image I created in DAZ and 2 of my 3D printed figures from DAZ3D models
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
309 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
OK lets take some time to look at DAZ as at first glance it can be a little daunting. I know there is a lot I still dont know and I learn more every time I use it.

Lets start by taking a look at the main screen.

There are 5 main areas

1. There is a menu bar across the top of the screen. This is the usual file/edit/options type menu, you wont need to think much about that at first except for file saving loading and exporting. We'll talk about some of the other features later as they become useful

2. The content window.

This is on the left of the screen, its where you select what components you want to load into a scene... figures, clothes, props etc. The software is actually quite intelligent and can detect which cothes are associated with which figures (more on that later)

There are a series of tabs donw the right side of this window which control how you select content, how you can render images and how you control dynamic clothes (you can drape some clothes or even animate them to get clothes that 'move' with the figure)

3. The Model Window

This is where you will see the figures you have made, you can zoom,rotate, translate and select objects here, and also get a good idea of how they will look

4.The Scene Window

When you load up DAZ for the first time ths tends to look like a second viewport, i find it most useful to switch the tab on the left side to scene, in this way you will get a content tree showing parts of the figures and associated objects. You can select parts to modify or turn them on and off with the eye icons .

5. The Parameters Window

This is the window where you can change objects. You can morph a figure or change its pose, you can make hair move or change shape, you can re orient parts of the fugures or props. (You can also change texture and colours but again that is more for rendering than for our 3D purposes)
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
309 Posts
Let us next put a simple figure in the scene

First of all you should go to the content Window and select the Smart Content Tab of the Content Window... you can see a list of possible things to insert into teh scene on the left had side.

To begin with we are interested in Figures.

If we click on Figures a new box opens showing several options

Genesis

Genesis 2

Genesis 3

Genesis 8

These are different generations of figures.

Dont worry that it goes 1,2,3 and 8 you are not missing 4,5,6 and 7.

In the early days of DAZ and Poser there were several base figures... Victoria, Michael, Aiko and these received new generations out of sync.

Around Victoria 4 and Michael 3 Genesis was introduced to standardise the figures somewhat. Victoria, Michael etc continued as variants of Genesis so Genesis/Victoria 5 were connected, as were Genesis2/Victoria 6 and Genesis 3/Victoria 7.

Eventually it was decided to sync up the numbers so Genesis jumped to 8 to match Victoria 8.

So

Genesis is the simplest figure

Genesis 8 is the most complex and realistic (if rendering) we dont mind what we use we cant have super detail anyway with FDM printers.

We should note... in most cases clothes for early genesis models CAN be used on later genesis models but not vice versa. Poses unfortunately cannot as there are different parts of the figures which are controlled in the different generations.

SO let us start with Genesis 2 Essentials

We double click on Genesis 2 and the content window changes to become a subset of Genesis 2, here we can go to figures.

Hover over a figure and you can see some of the base components that came free with the software

I'm going to double click on the Genesis 2 Base Male and he will appear in the Model Window

So now we have the figure in the model window. In the Scene window you can see the Genesis 2 Male object listed. If you expand that list you can get acess to parts of the body, hands arms etc to position the figure.

In the parameters window you have some simple modifiers, size, position etc.

If you go to teh shaping tab however, you can see more modifiers, nody builder etc to change the shape of the body. When we put clothes on him, they will conform to the changed body shapes.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
76 Posts
When I saw what you were creating back in May I immediately downloaded the software but then I read the license. For a piece of software that is capable of producing limitless figures in different poses the licence prohibits distribution of product or even file exchange between other users of the software. I then put it in the too hard bin. Too hard to find the time to learn a software package that at best I would only print a couple of each different figure. Your tutorials make it easier for people to jump right in. Thanks for all your work on this.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
309 Posts
When I saw what you were creating back in May I immediately downloaded the software but then I read the license. For a piece of software that is capable of producing limitless figures in different poses the licence prohibits distribution of product or even file exchange between other users of the software. I then put it in the too hard bin. Too hard to find the time to learn a software package that at best I would only print a couple of each different figure. Your tutorials make it easier for people to jump right in. Thanks for all your work on this.
Hi Geoff

I would very much have liked to just make the stl files available but they don't allow that so that was rather disappointing.

Hopefully this can help you get started and I'm very anxious to see what you produce.

I thought what I'd do here then is show the simplest way to get started... and then expand from there.

If there is anything that seems unclear, that I have jumped over or left too large a step, please let me know and I'll go back.

I am by no means an expert, but I think I am getting better with the figures, designing and printing (do not try to print fingers that are at all splayed, they just come off when you break the figures away from the supports).

I should point out that I am having most success with Cura as my slicer. It is very good at filling holes left by gaps between clothes and fiigures, but not so good at making 'hair' thick. This is mainly where the mesh wrapping comes in.

I intend to go through DAZ, Blender (maybe something else for wrapping the meshes as currently I use an FE pre-processor for that... though its not vital) and Cura... including the settings I use for Cura. I only have an FDM 3D printer so I cant guarantee things will work with resin, though in theory they should be much more detailed prints.

With FDM I find that 0.08mm-0.1mm produces the best prints. Though I am using a 0.4mm nozzle. In theory 0.04-0.05mm layers should produce more detail but am not seeing any real improvement. If I switched to a 0.25mm nozzle that may change.

I generally print a figure in about 3 hours

All the software will be free... the only cost should be raw materials and some additional clothes for DAZ to extend the possibilities if you choose... unless you find them for download (DAZ is not the only source). I possibly have a bit more DAZ than I need, but I was still learning.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
309 Posts
For the next step I thnk it might be interesting to see what we can do with the shape of the figure.

There are a small number of 'morphs' available with each of the genesis figures as standard and some of these are visible in teh last screenshot.

By selecting the 'shaping' tab on the parameters window you wll see these avalabe morphs.

The most obvious ones occur when you select Actor, these affect the whole body

Bodybuilder (Bodybuilder Detail/Bodybuilder Size)

As one might expect this increases the musculature of the figure with or without muscle detail

This is certainly something one might want to use to differentiate characters

Emaciated

This makes your figure much thinner. I do not recommend using this setting as thinner figures become harder to print. You will probably want to use the base figure and some amount of the bodybuilder or portly morphs

Portly

This makes your figure somewhat heavier set. I fnd some degree of this results in a more pleasing 3D print as the slicing proces sometimes redces thicknesses a little.

Now you will also notice that in additon to Actor yo can select parts of the body, Head, Mouth, Ears, Hands, Chest, Waist, etc

Under these you will find other morphs which can change the shape of the face and body.

Morphs which may be of particular interest are

Head Propagating Scale

This allows one to change the size of the head relative to teh body. DAZ provises a somewhat idealised figure, with a small head relative to body size. This is something very common in art but in 3D figures it is common to increase the size of the head a bit. This also gives us more detail in the final print. somewhere around 5-10% is probably ok

Hand Propagating Scale

Just as with the head this increases the size of the hands. In my early prints the fingers were somewhat lacking, in some cases not even present, it is therefore useful to increase their size to aid in 3D slicing.

Feet Propagating Scale

Much the same as above
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
309 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is a nice start... we can have a series of bald naked men playing aeroplanes around our track
tongue.png


Lets make him a little bit more suitable for attending a race though.

First of all, I think he needs some hair, so we go back to the Content window and now instead of selecting figures we can select hair.

Hmm we only have Toulouse hair, I don;t think I like it for this figure.

But remember we are in the Genesis 2 essentials sub area at the moment, if we go back a layer in the content window we can see more. SO lets click on that little blue arrow on the left hand side of the window just above the Green 2 Genesis box.

Now we are back to the base level of the content and when we move to 'hair' we see a lot more options.

I think I like Basic Hair

so we make sure the figure is selected in the Scene Window at top right ( so that we apply the hair to the correct figure) then we double click on the Basic Hair. This enters teh basic hair layer of the content window and we double click again.

And now our figure has hair. Do not worry about changing his size and shape, in DAZ the clothes and hair will morph to follow the body size and shape.

We do not need to change colour now as it is irrelevent for printing, however if we wish to do so for aesthetic purposes while we prepare the model or perhaps to visualse how painting might affect the look, we can.

We select the hair now in the Scene window and Materials in the Content Window. By double clicking on a colour we now have a Ginger spectator.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
309 Posts
Clothing our nudist spectators is probably our next step and it happens in very much the same way as adding hair.

First, make sure we have the figure selected in teh scene winfow (top right) and not the ahor or this will try to attach the clothes to the hair.

Then lets go back a level in the content tree with that little blue arrow on the left of the content window we used before.

Now instead of selectng hair we want clothes so lets go to wardrobe.

Here we will find selections for each version of genesis and also the Newport Outfit which I think will be our first.

I should note that in the past clothes and hair would only fit the version of victoria or genesis for which they were designed... this is no longer true as DAZ has become very good at fitting versions of clothes from other genesis models automatically.

We will look at that in another post. Here I just want to get our spectator covered.

SO now we double click on newport outfit and having entered that folder we can 'dress' our figure with shirt, trousers and shoes... provided he is selected in the scene window.

ALWAYS double check you have the figure selected.

And now we are no longer at a race for nudist spectators.

But he's still playing aeroplanes, not exactly what we want, next time we'll change the fit of his clothes and his posture.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
309 Posts
Tonights will contune looking at the wardrobe possibilities.

As you know by now, Daz is free, the content hoever is not, and if you look you can see that even quite simple clothings, hair etc can be rather expensive, perhaps up to $35. There is also a massive choice of clothes props and hair (as well as character morphs and textures, but they are irrelevent to us for 3D print). It would be very easy to spend a fortune.

Plainly we dont want to do that so there are three things we need to consider.

1) Be selective in the wardrobe selections you make.

2) Don't rely on DAZ, quite a lot of components can be found for download often for free. Have a good look around for what you can find.

One good place for example is sharecg, at sharecg you can find clothes hair etc for free which is eminently usable.

Here for example is a sweatshirt.

https://sharecg.com/v/85332/browse/21/DAZ-Studio/Morphing-Sweatshirt-for-Genesis-2-Female

And here a search for DAZ components in *.dson format.

https://www.sharecg.com/b/21/DAZ-Studio/?keywords=&fsf=a&s=dd&member_type%5BAll%5D=on&attribute%5B4277%5D%5B5265%5D=1&attribute%5B4279%5D%5B4320%5D=1&attribute%5B4278%5D%5B-1%5D=1&tdm=a

3) Clothes for one verson of genesis can usually be used on a later version and DAZ can automatically fit them. The base package includes some good clothes which provide a decent baseline from which to work, but the forst two points are sensibel ways to increase.

In addition, many of the clothes include morphs that change their shape and style.

So lets go back to our base figure and see what we can do with these clothes.

Firstly how do we acces them?

In the Scene Window at top right we can see the Figure and hair listed but not the clothes.

If we click on the right pointing triangle just to the left of the figure object it will expand the contents of the figure. Now we can see that the clothes are associated with the Genesis 2 figure. Furthermore if we select for example the Newport Pants, we are now presented in teh Parameters window with a series of morphs for the trousers. WE can for example make them longer or shorter, or we can loosen or tighten them.

Similarly if we select the shirt there are a variety of morphs there to loosen or tighten the shirt. Other clothes often contain morphs which change the style.

But what if we don't like the shirt for example?

Let us hide thw shirt (click on the eye next to the shirt in the scene window and it will disappear AND not be exported, clicking on the eye can bring it back)

Lets ty a different piece of clothing, perhaps from a different Genesis. We use that little blue button on the top left of the content window to get back to the base level of content. We select Wardrobe again and we can then go into the Genesis Essentials.

Now lets double click on the tshirt and we can apply it to our genesis 2 figure. At this point, DAZ will try to autofit the older generation clothes to the new figure. Sometimes you may need to tell DAZ what generation the clothes came from (Genesis,2,3 etc) and what it is (shirt, full body , etc). In this case Unsupported is enough.

As previously stated, this should work for clothes designed for earlier genesis. It is also sometimes possible to morph female clothes to male figures and vice versa.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
309 Posts
I like this better than the Newport Shirt, I can just imagine a tshiirt professing support for one of the races . But he is still playing aeroplanes, I don't thing that's awfully common behaviour at the GP.

Let's give him a little more interesting pose..

Firstly lets make sure we have selected the figure again and not the clothes. Highlight the figure in the Scene Window.

Now using the blue button to go back to the base content level we can also go from wardrobe to pose.

Unfortunately poses are not as well handled as clothes so generally one must stick to poses defined for the specific generation of Genesis on which you are working. (There is a script to convert poses but it is rather complicated and certainly something for much later consideration) SO lets go into the Genesis 2 Poses.

Poses in red are predominantly 'feminine' poses and in blue 'masculine'.

Hmm, if we scroll down the content, I think I like pose 14... so lets try that. Ahh it asks if we want to turn off the limits (DAZ limits the rotation of joints to normal human movement with the supplied poses its normally perfectly OK to turn the limits off as it can help make a pose just a littl emore pleasing)

Actually now that I have seen it I dont like it much. But I notice he is pointing so... why don't we actually make him point?

First let us click on his forearm

We can see now this has been selected. In teh Scene Window at top right, the content tree for the figure has expanded, you can see all the flexible parts of the body from the figure's core (hip) to thr right forearm.

If we go to the paratemeters tab of the parameters window we see we can modify the position of this forearm... in twist bend and side-side. The Bend is very high alread as the arm is very much bent. SO let us straighten his arm. We can use the bend slider to do this.

He appears to be pointing at something on teh ground though so we will need to go back to his shoulder to raise his arm a bit. We can either click on his arm or go to his shoulder in the scene window. Now we can change bend again and raise his arm further.

It still doesnt seem right as he's looking down but pointing straight, so lets raise his head somewhat. Click on his neck or head and here we can bend tilt etc as we please.

I've somewhat broken a rule I stated earlier by having one finger pointing put. We may get away with this but it is potentially problematic. Certainly we should try to keep the fingers together.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
309 Posts
Tonights session will be a bit disjointed as I'm going to discuss briefly the subject of fingers, before we go onto exporting and printing.

Once we have a simple figure printed, we can go onto more complex things such as dynamic clothing at a later date. Mainly I want to get us to a printed figure.

Software

I would first like to talk with you about Software, in trying to improve the conversion from DAZ to 3D print stl file I have found a different piece of software which I find much easier to use than Blender. So I am going to give two links for free software that I strongly recommend you use.

Meshmixer

http://www.meshmixer.com/download.html

This is a REALLY useful piece of software. I mean ideally in a just world, the obj files exported from DAZ would be ok for slicing immediately. However this is not the case in practice as parts of the model, especially the hair will not print correctly. Nothing is ever that easy. So you need software to make sure the object is solid enough to print.

I have been mesh wrapping with various pieces of software but I have now found Meshmixer which seems MUCH more suited to the task.

Download it. You won't be sorry.

Ultimaker Cura

https://ultimaker.com/software/ultimaker-cura

Current Version: https://ultimaker.com/software/ultimaker-cura

Previous Versions (some 3D printers may require certain versions): https://github.com/Ultimaker/Cura/tags

You need software to 'slice' the 3D object into layers for your 3D printer. For me Cura is by far the most effective.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
309 Posts
Firstly though the question of hands.

As I said before, the fingers can be a problem as they are very thin and it is easy to break them during printing or afterwards.so I recommend that where possible you pose the figures where they touch the body, perhaps hands on hips or in pockets or that for the main part you keep the fingers together.

Sometimes there will be hand poses in the content library, they can be found under Poses>By Region>Partial Body>Hands

Alternatively you can go into the Scene Window Tree and find the fingers. This can be a bit of an fiddly process, but I'm at the point where I can usually get a hand to my satisfaction in about 5mins. Its not too bad with practice

Essentially, you want the carpal side-side settings to be 0 for the fingers, and a similar amount of bend on each part of the fingers.

You can 'walk' up and down the scene tree as you would any content tree in most programmes.

If this needs mpre explanation please let me know.

I would at this point like to get us a 3D file that we can load into Printer software though.

So now we go to the top menu... then File> Export

We want to export the file as a Wavefront OBJ file. Since we can't export directly as an STL.

I usually use the Maya settings 1unit = 1cm. We will have to rescale the model anyway in Cura before we print, but I would recommend you keep these units, for the moment, so that the actions performed by Meshmixer can use the same settings I do. Once you feel confident, you can experiment but we should probably all start from a baseline.

Now you should have an OBJ file. I'm going to skip ahead now to make a point don't worry I will come back and do everything in order so that you can see the full process. I just want to illustrate now the limitations of going directly from DAZ to a slicer.

Firstly, I loading the OBJ into Cura, rotating, resizing and slicing.

It looks very promising already... except for the hair which is very patchy.

You will also see similar difficulties in other figures, when the figures are in more complex poses like crouching. But next time I will show you Meshmixer.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
309 Posts
MeshMIxer

As we saw earlier, DAZ gets us close to a prnted figure but not all the way. You would have seen if we had more complex clothes, an open jacket perhaps, that there were more and more areas which would not print directly from DAZ.

Thisis the point I suspect at which people tend to give up.

Fortunately, my work as an engineer gives me access to 3D meshing software that can 'wrap' an incomplete mesh. That is how I progressed.

In looking for a free alternative I have found Meshmixer which is possibly better than the mesh wrap I have been using. So let's take a look at what we can do with meshmixer.

Opening Meshmixer allows you to import via File>Import 3D models including obj files or you can simply drag and drop an obj file onto Meshmixer and it will load.

The position and orientation of the model may be off (y and z axes) so you can either re-orient the model in Cura later or now.

I tend to do it now as it makes visualisation a little easier.

This is achieved by clicking on teh Edit icon on the left and then clicking on transform in the new menu which appears.

I commence with a 90 degree rotation about the x axis, and accept

Then I follow this with a translation 50mm in z and 70mm in y. These may vary of your figure was moved in DAZ. It is not vital to do this I just find it more convenient to visualise.

You can move around dragging with the centre button and zoom in/oit with the mouse centre wheel.

Now we get to the important bit. Once we have transformed the model MeshMixer returns to the edit menu and now we select MakeSolid. This is the most important step, a new progress bar will appear telling you it is filling holes, then a new pane will appear with several parameters, whilst the model now appears smooth but rather featureless.

Our next task is to tune the parameters to get back as much detail as we can whilst maintaining printability
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
309 Posts
Parameters

The following parameters are my starting point,

Solid Type : Accurate

This gives you control over all the parameters

Colour Transfer Mode: No Colour

We need no colours unless you want to try to print in multi colours, I dont even want to think about that.

Solid Accuracy: 512 [Cell Size 0.357mm]

This is the highest accuracy. 0.357mm seems large, but if you have exported the model at 1unit = 1cm from DAZ then a reduction to 30% will give you a figure which is about 5'9" when printed. 0.3*0.357mm = 0.1mm. About the layer height of the prints we are going to do. Its usually accurate enough.

Mesh Density: 340 [Cell Size 0.35mm)

I have been matching this to the solid accuracy. You may wish to experiment

Offset Distance: 0.2mm

This effectively swells the model, you loose a little detail but given that the slicing procedure seems to thin parts I generally find that about 0.2mm is good, in practice of course this is 0.3*0.2 = 0.06mm when printed.

Min Thickness: 0.3mm

This also swells the components especially very thin components. It helps to make sure that in cura they are thick enough to be picked up by the slicer. Again at 30% this is about 0.1mm.

You may be able to pick up thinner components with a -.05mm layer height or 0.25mm nozzle. These numbers are guidlines only, please experiment and find out what works best for you.

You can keep trying by pressing update until you get to the version you want. Then press Accept. This can take a few minutes, one one cant completely tell how it will print until you;ve taken the model into a slicer. It is however relatively easy to 'do over'

Now in the Object Browser pane which has appeared on tehr ight of the screen, make sure you select the (Solid) version

And now Export either as an obj or stl if you choose.

If you have chosen your parameters correctly you should now have a printable stl or obj file.

That wasn't too bad?

Next Time: Cura and a printed figure.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
309 Posts
And so to the printing.

Here I will not teach you to suck eggs, I am sure those of you with 3D printers are used to getting the best out of them. I will instead therefore just mention a few of the settings I have foudn to give me the best results.

I generally use Cura 3.6 (though I have recently installed 4.4).

Once I have loaded the figure, my next step is to rescale. 30% of teh standard genesis 2 charatce gives you a model 54.7mm tall or about 5'9. SO really anwhere between about 48-59mm is a good height for the figures, nice in fact to have a variety.

Next There are a series of settings I find helpful.

Layer Thickness: 0.04-0.1mm

I generally print at 0.08 or 0.1mm. I have not found any noticeable improvement with 0.05mm layers, so I cant justify the extra time spent to print. If you have more luck with the thinner layers, please let me know. I suspect it may be due to me still using my 0.4mm Nozzle.

I would be VERY interested in seeing results.

Top Layers: 99999

Bottom Layers: 0

These effective set every layer to a top layer. My understanding is that this essentially results in 100% infill, although I set Infill to 100% too.

This uses a little more plastic but the solid model seems to give a more accurate print.

Print Speed: 25-35mm/s

Figures seem to print more accurately and with less stringing at low filament speeds. 35mm/s seems to be a good maximum

Mesh Fixes

These may not be needed if your obj/stl file is a nicely formed solid.

Union Overlapping Volumes: On

Often I will have imported a cylinder or something to use as a stand. Or I might import a prop for the figure to hold. By selecting this, they will be attached to gether in the print of they overlap

Remove All Holes: ?

Should not be necessary, but it can help with obj/stl files for which the slicer is skipping areas.

Extensive Stitching: On

Helps to ensure a well closed solid

Keep Disconnected Faces: ?

Worth experimenting with but not vital.

So now let us see how this first, basic figure has printed.

The final pictures are with the supports removed but no additional tidying.

I hope this somewhat rapid ride through to a printed figure has been interesting... and perhaps less daunting :)

I will do additional parts to cover some more features of Daz as time goes on.

In the meantime if you have any questions I will do my best to clarify, and I would love to see anything you produce.

Cheers

Joe
 

Attachments

1 - 20 of 141 Posts
Top