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#1 Posted : Sunday, July 2, 2023 2:44:55 AM(UTC)

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First I would say that I appreciate the dedication Davo puts in his customer support even after many years . Hence my question. This is about Imperial Probes and more particularly Expansion Pack 1 for DS8+. I was very disappointed by the way it worked (and I have noticed Davo/Freeone has/have changed his/their approach since this release). What I like in Davo props is their logical mechanical aspect and it is/was perfect in Poser (which is now totally outdated) but I have noticed several problems in DS (I have the most recent 4.21 but it was the case even in DS4.9 and 4.12) and the most infuriating appeared trying to use Imperial Probes accessories. My problem was in the rigging and the easypose (and also the morphs which are sometimes the reverse of what you would guess, for instance using the slide of the Probe 3 IW base node length morph had no effect). I wanted to fit the fabulous and ominous accessory 5 of the Expansion pack (the mechanical claws) to probe 3 (as in image 5 of the package currently on line), I was surprised it was not a wearable and placing it was very difficult and counterintuitive (after that I created my own wearable of course but it really should have been provided initially) the problem was due to the rigging of the claws (and it is the same horribly tedious affair with all the tentacles in the probes packages) : It is totally counterintuitive to have the posable segments beginning at the claw level (IAseg_000 and finishing at the "elbow" level with IAseg_120) why isn't it the reverse ? I would like to move the claw logically (to have complex gestures and manipulations of frightened G8s in personal complex poses) from upper or mid "arm" and the upper arms parented to the null base (and not the hands), I hope you see what I mean (I want to move the hands/claws and not having the hands moving the body). I suppose it does not work this way in Poser and the rigging is  different, there may be a DS conversion issue. I tried to "invert" the rigging myself but there was no simple way to do it (or I have no clue). I hope Davo will test this product again in DS just to confirm the problem (I do not like to be limited to "canned poses") or provide a hint. Sorry if this seems stupid but I have now some experience in DS and in Davo products (curiously 75% are perfectly rigged but sometimes it is not logical and severely limiting). The ideal would be to have two possibilities, a fast wearable-fast posable and a fully functional (not parented to the victim but on the contrary  moving the parented victim after open custom  mechanical positioning) prop/figure. I know there is a pose set by Sledgehammer about these probes but I want to create my own custom poses (I need them for RPG scenarios illustration). Perhaps my mental approach is different from others, I am willing to learn if there is something I have misunderstood. Any opinion is welcome, of course I would be glad to hear from Davo... Thanks for reading my obscure rant.

Edited by user Sunday, July 2, 2023 2:54:24 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

#2 Posted : Sunday, July 2, 2023 10:29:16 AM(UTC)

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Hi Ravencore,

whew, it's a long read, but I understand where you are coming from.

After I officially started using DS, I switched the posing method from wearable presets (device parented to figure, for example exam table being parented to G8) to manual parenting of G8 figures to a logical part of the exam table then applying the supplied poses. This enables you to keep your character in position while you rotate a part of the exam table. It also allows you to modify textures on the exam table without them being blown out of the scene when want to move on to the next pose. Prior to my official move to DS, this was out of my control.

As for easypose and tentacle bending, I had a lot of pros/cons discussions with several users of my products and the 'vast' majority said it was too difficult to try and pose a tentacle or tool hose from the source (whatever the tentacle or hose was attached to) toward the intended character/victim. They said it was an endless and painful process of moving the first node back and forth to get the last node (on the victims end) in position then further difficult to fine tune the connection between the last segments and victim. It was easier for them to place the business end of the tentacle or hose into position on the victim/character then pose the hose back toward the source such as a hose port or creatures tentacle hole. ( I know, my choice of words here is comical). This is why it seems like things are backwards from normal mechanical function, but it's been proven easier for most users, which is why I stick with it. This method comes into dispute mostly with people who do animations, and those people are far fewer than the average user. My regret with DS is that I can't display the main easypose master bending nodes in wireframe in preview mode like I can in Poser. This made it easier to find the nodes. I haven't figured out a solution to this yet and Daz was less than helpful.

What I try to keep in mind is what the average or most users will do. I have kind of categorized users into groups:

1. Novice users who want to open the box, apply the supplied pose with no modifications to pose or device and move on to another product. Boom, they are done.

2. Moderate/Experienced users who want to open the box, apply the supplied poses, do more progressive renders, for example, a comic scene where action progresses and they modify the position of the device and change expressions on the character then move onto the next pose and do the same. These users also a little more advanced and do kit bashing, texture manipulations, scene setups and more attention is paid to lighting and body expressions.

3. Very advanced users who do animations and usually export the figures into other programs such as unreal, max, blender, zbrush or more to do more advanced atmospheres, rigging etc.

Group 2 is my focus group as that's the level of most of my customer base. That's why I try to add as many morphs to most parts of my figures so you can fine tune and adjust poses and fits. I can't, nor can most vendors, anticipate the needs of all users, so we kind of aim in the middle and have a certain expectation that most users can adjust and compensate, with some level of work perhaps, to get the product into it's final position for a render.

Water Works 2 was my last collaboration with Freeone so all products since Devious Device 06 have been done by me and my methodology/ texture interpretation is a little different from his methods. I do parenting of character to device rather then wearable preset. I still do easypose hose/tentacles bending from character/victim back toward source device, that will always be the case unless I get an overwhelming response from users that they prefer the other direction, and so far I haven't had any feedback since I switched the directions way back in the day.

I hope this address some of the logic and reasoning for the way things are done. I appreciate your feedback because it is very helpful. For me, it's always kind of been "no news is good news" and I keep plodding on the same direction. If I get more feedback from more users about the easypose bending, I'll see what I can do to accommodate.

Length Morph on the LW base node on probe 3 lengthens the part "into" the body of the probe, so it's not apparent. You move and position the part away from the body of the probe (which moves all the other attached parts with it so you don't have to reposition those if the length morph worked the other direction) then apply the length morph as needed. Took me a long minute to remember that's how it worked, lol.


#3 Posted : Sunday, July 2, 2023 11:32:45 AM(UTC)

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Joined: 3/11/2013(UTC)
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Hi Davo, that was a swift and thorough reply, thank you for your attention and dedication. I understand your arguments and point of view even if I am not happy with the consequences (because it is counterintuitive with my way of designing scenes) and I will remember it for my future work. By the way your new parenting method is perfectly good in my perspective (mechanically logic), I was talking about wearables/subsets for the probes not the G8/3, i have now a ready army of probes with different tools that the emperor can send against the female rebels (but not all the claws will reach them...) Thank you for taking the time to review my questions, that's great customer service ! Keep up the good work !

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