Frequently Asked Questions


Why aren't you offering your animations on Renderotica as well?

That's easy. We've found that working with Renderhub was a much more pleasant experience for us.
They are good people and support us as artists. And that's all there is to it.


Why is there strange figure movement during the animation?

This can be caused by old keyframes that are still applied to the figure when you load a new animation. Make sure to clear the timeline for that figure first by selecting it, and then right click on the [Parameters Tab] label and select Clear Animation > Clear Figure Pose. That deletes all preexisting keyframes from the figure. Do that for G8M, G8F and the Dicktator figure. You can also multi-select Dicktator and NGV8 and select "Clear Figure Shape" for them.
This ensures a clean timeline for the figures without any errand keyframes already on it.


Why is the guys hand not fully touching her leg?

Make sure that you have unlocked the Genesis 8 figures bone rotations before applying an animation. Use our BoneUnlocker script on their hip bone for that.
And always select [Turn limits off] when asked.


Can I string sequences together?

Yes. Go to the last frame of the current animation, select one of the three figures and set a key on that frame. Make sure to select "Object" when setting the key. This will ensure that everything is keyed on that figure and consecutive keys from the next sequence won't affect it. Do this for all three figures. Then load the next sequence on the next available keyframe, or give it more space on the timeline to create a transition.


Why these bland expressions?

It is much easier to apply an expression to a character that's in it's default state, rather then trying to wipe a grin of the guys face and make him frown instead.
Just go to the first frame of the animation and apply new expressions the characters. Make sure to set keys on the last frame if you're adding animations to the timeline after this.


How can I adjust body parts, like a head position for example?

There are several ways to do that without having the animation "pop". If there is little movement on that body part, you can just select it and then right click on the [Parameters] pane and select Clear Animation > Clear Selected Item Pose. This will wipe all animation keys from that part of the body and you can then make adjustments to it on the first frame of the animation without having that body part "pop".

The other way to go about it is to select a body part and then adjust it's keys in the timelines graph editor (DAZ 4.12.x and up).
Select the heads "Bend" parameter in the Parameters pane for example and then drag select all of the keys in the graph editor and move them up or down.
This way there won't be any "popping" in the animation.


How can I speed up rendering times?

Good question! But you already knew that.. :)

There are several ways to get more frames rendered in an hour (or a day, or a week).
All involve compositing the final animation in a program such as Adobe Premiere for example. Rendering your character’s motion in the full environment takes a super powerful rig. So instead, you lock off the main camera and render the environment without your characters to create a background for your composition.

Next, you make your characters visible again and use Iray section planes around them to exclude anything getting rendered from the environment except your animated characters and any objects (like a desk for example) that receives shadows from their activity. Make sure to turn on “Clip lights” in the Iray planes parameters, or the lighting of your characters will change too much and your shortcut becomes very obvious.
This will speed up rendering times considerably, because DAZ doesn’t have to render the stuff on the side of the Iray planes that is facing away from them. Once the frames have been rendered, you just composite them with the background layer in Premiere.
And done!

What we do to render our promos takes a bit more up-front work, but drops per-frame rendering times very nicely.
We set up the complete environment, including the active characters, to evaluate the overall lighting of the shot.
When everything looks good, we remove the characters and position a camera at eye level with a spherical lens (parameters/lens) right in the center of the scene to generate an HDRI image of that scene. This HDRI will later be used to render only the character’s animation frames without any environment, but with the appropriate environmental lighting.
Take a look here on how to create an HDRI from a scene in DAZ.

Once you have the HDRI, you can delete the entire environment out of your scene and light it with the HDRI instead. But use “Dome & Scene” because you will have to balance the lighting with at least one or two spotlights. Load the pre-rendered background as an environment map background [Environment tap], the HDRI as the environment lighting map [Render settings] and light your characters with a spotlight. Adjust environment intensity setting and spotlight brightness until the scene looks believable, and not composited.

Use a DAZ batch render program to knock those animations out and start compositing!



How can I make an animation sequence more dynamic?

We always like to add speed changes to our promo animation renders in order to mix it up a bit. This can easily be done in the video editing software by adding speed ramps to some of the loops in a sequence.

In order to do so you’ll have to render the animation loop at a higher frame rate, or it will sputter when you slow it down a lot. But it’s well worth the extra time it takes to render.


Can I use these animations in other programs, like Unity for example?

Yes, you can. DAZ Studio (a free application) let's you export animations as FBX files, which you then can import into Unity. There is even a free DAZ to Unity bridge available that does the conversion for you.
The problem that you might run into is that the figure meshes don't match close enough. We take great care of making sure that our animations work flawlessly with the standard DAZ Genesis 8 figure meshes.
Hands stay on the skin and don't sink into the body or float inches above it, and so on. This is just a real buzzkill for us.
So you will run into these issues when applying our animations to different figure meshes in other software packages. The DAZ to Unity bridge might be able to alleviate some of those problems, but we haven't tested that.
We offer free samples from some of our animation packages, so just get one and give it a shot!


How about putting some heels on the girl?

Yes - absolutely crucial!!!
If it was up to us... well, never mind.

Putting heels on the girl will in most cases change her foot pose, and you will have to compensate for that or the animation will pop.
There are basically two ways to go about that:

A. The easy way:
Select one or both foot bones of the girl and then right click on the foot and click "Select / Select children".

This selects the foot and all of its bones below it. With all the bones selected, right click on the Parameters tab and select "Clear animation/Clear selected item(s) pose". This removes all animation keys from the foot and toes.

Now you can add heels to the girl on the first frame of your animation, without having the foot pose pop. If the feet now penetrate the surface below because of the changed foot angle, just select the girls shins and move their Bend keys until both feet now clear the surface.

 

B. Retaining the foot animation:
In order to retain the swaying of the girl’s feet you'll have to fix the feet’s Bend, Twist and Side-Side keys after adding some heels to her.
Apply the heels at the first frame of your animation.

Then look at the Bend/Twist/Side-Side keys in the timeline and you'll see how the first frame animation keys have changed after applying the heels compared to the rest of the keys.
But don't worry!
Select all but the first key in the timeline and move them up or down to smooth the curve. Look at the first and the very last key and try to match its position or value to the first key.
Do this for the Bend, Twist and Side-Side curves on both feet and if needed move the shins Bend keys to clear any surface intersection.