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DAZ Studio Pipeline

In this pipeline,we will show you how to prepare and convert a DAZ figure into an animatable iClone character.
In additional to DAZ Studio, you will also need a plug-in for exporting FBX files from DAZ. Please refer to DAZ Studio's website for the FBX plug-in here.

Step 1. Prepare the character in DAZ Studio.

Launch DAZ Studio. Select 'DAZ People' in the Content folder, then double-click on Victoria 4.2 EZ to add the figure into the scene.

Apply poses along the timeline or use other animation tools like 'Active Pose', 'PowerPose' or 'Puppeteer' to animate the figure.


Step 2. Export the character with animations as an FBX.

Select 'File > Export' to save as a new file.
Make sure the file type is an 'Alias Motion Builder FBX 6.0'

Set the export options as the image shown below:

First 'Set to Defaults' below on the General panel.
Select 'Custom LightWave version ' and 'Embed Textures' in the Export File Type. Cancel the 'Cameras' and 'Lights' options in Scene Components if you are just exporting the character.
Make sure that 'Animation ( or Pose )' is active.
Click "Accept" to export the FBX file.


Step 3. Convert FBX into iClone content.

Launch 3DXchange 4. 
Open the exported FBX file and leave the default settings and Click 'OK'.

The model is now converted into an iClone format. Once imported, sometimes the figure lies on the ground as DAZ Studio uses Y as the "Up Axis" and iClone use Z.

To correct it, just rotate the figure 90 degree on Z axis.

Use the playback control to play and review the animation.


Step 4. Modify Material Settings.

In this step, we will adjust the materials of the figure in order to correct some defects and make it look better. Make sure the Pixel Shader is on.

Select "Victoria 4.2 EX" mesh node by double-clicking on the model, or by clicking the node in Scene Tree. 

Go to the Material section, and turn on 'Effect All Material', then adjust the specularity. This makes the skin shinier and also brings up the model & texture details.

Pick the material of the white area and set the Opacity to zero in order to make it invisible.

Pick the Eyelash materia, restore the black color and set the Specular to zero.


Step 5. Add Animation Clips.

When we export this figure from DAZ Studio, animations are also embedded in the FBX file. In 3DXchange4 the imported animation can be split into clips and become Perform commands in iClone. The steps are:

Use the two triangle markers on the play bar, or type the 'Mark in' and 'Mark out' values to define the range of the clip.
Click the 'Add New Clip' button to add the animations within the defined range of the Clip List.
You may 'Rename' or 'Delete' the existing clips.
You may directly change the start or end frame of a clip in the list, or modify the 'Mark in' or 'Mark out' values and then click the 'Update Clip Range' button.
Use 'Move Up' and 'Move Down' to arrange the clip order.



Step 6. Export the Figure as iProp

Select 'File>Export...' or click 'Export' tool in order to open the 'Export iClone Content' dialog box.

In the 'Export Option' group, select 'All' to export the prop with the animation clips and then Click the 'OK' button.

Load and examine the Prop in iClone 4. Test the 'Perform' commands that were added as animation clips in 3DXchange 4.


Step 7. Export the Figure as Non-Human Character

If you want to pose or animate the figure in iClone, you have to convert it from an iProp into Non-Human Character.
Go back to 3DXchange4
Find the 'Convert to Character' button in the 'Character' section, and click on it.

In the pop-up dialog box, you may modify the settings

Bone Bounding Size: select a bone, then adjust each bounding size one at a time. The bone bounding boxes are shown for bone picking purposes when you editing motion in iClone.
Bone Axis: pick bones and observe how the pivot gizmos align with the bones, then decide the Bone Axis.
The color code of the pivot gismo is: Red = X, Green = Y, and Blue = Z.

Click 'OK', and the model will be converted into an iClone Non-Human Character.
Select 'File>Export...' or click 'Export' tool in order to open the 'Export iClone Content' dialog box.

Please refer to 3dXchange4 help for more details on export settings.
Click 'OK' to export the character.
Load and examine the character in iClone4.
In addition to the 'Perform' commands, you may also pose the character and create animations.


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