modernwizard: (Default)
I was going to stay off the compooper, but I couldn't resist shooting a few crappy photos of Mr. Pointyhead McDemandypants, who arrived today. Detailed commentary later this week. For now, feast your eyes on the cheekbones that can cut glass!!!
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I picked up Jareth's head[s] at the Pine Street carrier station just now. From what I can tell, he conforms exactly to the pictures and measurements given in the final photos. He also has a magnetic headcap, which is very convenient. The Volks compatible white has a yellow undertone which the Doll Chateau white body does not. Who cares?

I notice that he has very deep ear canals and nostril passages. He also has some pretty thin resin around his upper and lower eyelids. I attribute that to Angelsdoll's addition of the eyewells.

I'm preliminarily very pleased, but I won't be fully pleased until I stick him on his body and confirm that he looks like he belongs there.
modernwizard: (Default)
Angelsdoll successfully read my .obj file! \o/ \o/ \o/ I just have to get them the width across the eyes of a DC adult male head, as well as the height of such a head from crown to chin, so that I can insure that Jareth will be in scale to my chosen body. I should also reiterate head circumference, neck circumference and eye size in that message.

Oh yeah, and they quoted me a price of ~$740.00 for 2 heads, including s/h. But they also said earlier that I could use my Angelsdoll points toward the cost of custom head services, so I think it'll be more like $660.00.

I am preliminarily hopeful!

P.S. I'm awake right now because I made the mistake yesterday of laundering one of my pillows. Naturally, the cleaning process destroyed the perfect head groove that I had worn into it, and it was rendered chunky and extra thick by its trip through the washer and dryer. I have to hit the mall later today [hah!] to get another one [and some new sheets and some new towels]...if only I can figure out when the stores open on Labor Day. I foresee several naps in my future. :(
modernwizard: (Default)
I just sent off the .obj file of Jareth to Angelsdoll with the following note:

Hi Angelsdoll. I am inquiring about a custom BJD head sculpt. I am attaching an .obj file for the custom head that I would like made, as well as the .mtl file. Please let me know if you can open them.

The specifications for the custom head are as follows:

Head circumference: 20.5cm

Neck circumference: 9cm

Eye size: 14-16mm

Resin color: Volks compatible white

The head is going on a Doll Chateau adult male body. [Shoulders are 13.8cm wide.] Please refer to the following pictures of the body + blank head for proportions: http://www.doll-chateau.com/pro_detail.asp?id=206

Please note that the .obj file shows the head with realistic human proportions, instead of BJD proportions. Please adjust the size of the skull and face to fit BJD proportions, but do not change the relative sizes and positions of the facial features.

Can you give me an estimate for how much it would be to have 2 or 3 custom heads sculpted and shipped to me? I'm in the USA.

When you have a 3-D model of the head ready, please send back an .obj file so I can look at it. Thank you.


Let's see what happens!!
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I left my headsculpt of my Jareth alone for 5 days so that I wouldn't be tempted to fiddle with him and ruin the great likeness I had captured so far. This evening, I went back to him with fresh eyes.

I tinkered with various values, deleting them completely, then putting them at high, low and medium levels, just to see their effects. In the end, the only changes for this round were slightly increasing the x axis width of the face from 95% to 97.5%, lightening the creases at the ends of his smile and lowering his eyelids marginally to give him a more relaxed look. And that was it. I was done with my part of the sculpting.

I exported him to an .obj file, and now I'm waiting to work with Angelsdoll on getting them the file, making sure it's readable and making sure that they are going to adhere to my requested measurements and my digital sculpt as closely as possible.

Here he is!
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His head looked too wide, so I reduced the x scale to 95%. The latest iteration is on the bottom.

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Put ears more flush with head, gave more depth to philtrum and shape to upper lip, narrowed lower face a bit, pinched outer corners of lower lip a bit, narrowed full dorsal plane of nose a bit, dropped outer corners of eyes down a bit, narrowed top of head to more realistic proportions, erased forehead folds, narrowed width of back of head.

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I would make some Labyrinthian crack about "downloads untold and .objs unnumbered," but I'm way too tired. All told, I spent maybe 6 hours finding the correct program, downloading it, installing it and then beating it into submission. At long last, however, I have finally achieved an .obj file that hopefully will be useable by the Angelsdoll team when they are sculpting Jareth. Behold -- I have finally figured out how to remove the eyebrows and eyelashes from the .obj!

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Reduced the width and overall size of the eyes, set them a bit father from each other, relaxed the left brow.
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I was exporting Jareth's head to an .obj file last night, and these stupid extra polys from the eyelashes and eyebrows kept coming with the basic headsculpt. After asking around on the Daz forums, I learned that I will have to take the .obj into a modeling program, remove the offending polys, resave and re-export to a new .obj.

Therefore, I have to download another huge, bloated memory hog [even if it is free] and figure out how to use it well enough to achieve the desired results. Argh.

I'm doing this because I love you, you pain in the ass. You hear me? Because I love you. :p

EDIT: Here's the salient piece of advice from chohole in my thread on the Daz forums: "[W]hen I export an obj into Bryce I can select the eyebrows and lashes as separate meshes and remove them."

And advice from JimmyC_2009 for Hexagon: "[Y]ou can do it in Hexagon too.  The head comes into Hex as one mesh, but you can select a poly in the eyebrow, grow the Selection, and then delete it, same with the eyelashes."

Regarding Poser, chohole says, "In Poser I would go to the hierarchy editor and turn the eyebrows and eye lashes off before exporting."


EDIT 2: And an archive thread from Runtime DNA on the same topic.

EDIT 3: BrowsGone and LashesGone morphs???
modernwizard: (Default)
Loosened the crease between eyebrows, exaggerated the arch in the brows, made the lower lip smaller.
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I just asked Angelsdoll if they accept .obj files as reference material for their custom headsculpts. Will update with response.

EDIT: THEY DO!!! That increases my confidence in their head-making abilities exponentially!
modernwizard: (Default)
Widened the jaw a bit, lowered the eyes slightly, removed sculpted bags underneath eyes. He's pretty much there! I should just leave him alone for a while....
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Uh oh...from what I hear, Nobility Doll's custom sculpting service has a poor track record of wretched communication and quality control. If I'm trying to get a sculpt made of a character that means a lot to me, I'd rather spend more $$$ to go with a company that I know makes good stuff.

Angelsdoll offers a custom sculpting service that looks like it could meet my needs. I really like that you can specify head circumference, neck circumference and eye size, and I think it's cool that they do their sculpting with a 3-D modeling program. [I wonder if they would accept OBJ files as source material?] I am also familiar with Angelsdolls' beautiful non-custom headsculpts, their prompt communication and their great customer service.

The only catch is that the minimum order is 10 heads. I have no desire or need for 10 heads...2 maybe, 10 NO! I also have no desire to go through all the work of setting up a group order to order 10 heads and distribute them all. I have therefore asked if I can get just 2 heads for the price of 10. Yes, that's $500.00 a head. No, I don't really care that I'd be overpaying. My Jareth short-circuits logic!

EDIT: Angelsdoll got back to me, saying that they would be willing to work with me on the price, which they are thinking about lowering anyway. \o/
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I was originally rerendering my Jareth on my old compooper, on which was installed Daz Studio 3. The compooper moved very slowly because most of its memory was used up. While I was trying to get to sleep last night, I thought that, if my Jareth is going to be a long-term project [which he is], I should probably move him to my new, current compooper so I can easily futz with him.

And so began the Epic Trek. I thought that I could [relatively easily] port him over by saving his morphs as a Daz character preset [or a pose preset -- not clear on the difference]. Then I could install the latest version of Daz on my current compooper, as well as the files needed to build my Jareth. Then I could load the appropriate raw Jareth materials, then apply the presets, and voila! Insta-Jareth [TM]!

Insta-Jareth [TM] took about 5 hours because Daz Studio 4 is, as the kids are calling it these days, a horrid piece of shit. First I downloaded the raw Jareth materials, which took about an hour [huge files]. Then I downloaded Daz Studio 4, which took about another hour. Then I installed it, which took a ridiculously long time because it wanted to add all sorts of slick starter content and fancy plugins that I did not want. Then I spent some time swearing at the new interface until I beat it into intelligible submission. I installed all the raw Jareth materials and sent up a raw Jareth-to-be figure, downloaded my presets, tried to apply them and...

And nothing. Daz Studio 4 could not, for some reason, read my preset files from Studio 3. I'm not sure why. I ended up taking screenshots of my morph settings on my old compooper, saving them, then referring to them on my new compooper as I transferred the values by hand. Yeah, that took a little bit of time. >_>

Anyway, my Jareth model is now on my new compooper, along with a whole bunch of other starter content crapola that I have no use for. I may try uninstalling Daz Studio 4 and seeing if I can redo a custom installation. I don't need your freebies, Daz!

I don't understand how anyone can use Daz Studio for more than either amateur futzing and/or digital porn. It's a bloated, jerry-built piece of software with a non-intuitive user interface and way too many bells and whistles. Did I mention it was also a memory hog? Its documentation remains incomplete, woefully behind the times and obscure.  I only know how to use it because I climbed its steep learning curve several years ago, and I'm only using it now because I bought a lot of content threw a lot of $$$ in the Daz toilet, and it's perfect for this particular case.

What's that? Oh yeah, I did futz with my Jareth today. Here he is with a much less pointy nose, although it's probably almost impossible to tell from this angle.
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After getting all excited about commissioning a BJD that looks like my version of Jareth, I decided to recreate, to the best of my ability, the Daz render I did about 3 years ago that looked as much like my version of Jareth as I could get.

To do this, I had to go back to my old compooper where Daz Studio still lives. Then I had to download Michael 3 [the Daz male base figure], all his Daz morphs [so I could change his shape], plus Capsces Digital Ink's super awesome custom morphs for M3 called Brom. I have probably previously sung the praises of these morph packages, which she releases for every major Daz base figure, but I'll sing them again. Capsces' morphs add so much more customizability to the models, and they come with handy-dandy face and body presets that fit my preferred aesthetic: stylized, exaggerated and full of character.

Anyway, I dumped all that onto my compooper and slowly fired up Daz. When I last modeled my Jareth, I worked off a preset Brom face, which is the digital equivalent to a headsculpt. If you'd like to see what I started with, you can go to the Brom page and click the first thumbnail under the main product picture. I started with the pink elf guy in the center of the second row, though, of course, he had a different texture when I was using him.

I futzed around for a few hours, pushing sliders to distort specific areas of the digital model in specific ways; in essence, I was digitally sculpting. Here's my rough draft. The hair and complexion are just placeholders; they don't really matter for sculpting purposes. It will be further futzed with later to increase its accuracy [to the character in my head]. Wheeee!


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