I have a SubDragon lip-sync configuration file… BUT…

… it’s not really that great. Sad It works brilliantly with some of the sample sounds you get with DAZ Studio, but it struggles with others. Some phonemes are a bit retarded if the lip-sync tool can’t "hear" them properly, and you might need to use a text file to give the config file some assistance.

I was GONNA post a video to show it off and to "introduce" it, but DAZ Studio thought it’d be a great idea to render every frame in my animation and then crash as it’s saving the friggin’ video file. Even though most other 3D packages generate the AVI file AS IT IS RENDERING, aiming to avoid someone waiting many hours for a render just for the program to crash as it’s saving at the end. But no – DAZ 3D proves once again that it is WAY behind in technology.

Getting bored of DAZ 3D blowing their own metaphorical non-existent trumpet, too. "The verdict is in…Success! IN JUST TWO SHORT DAYS, THOUSANDS HAVE JUMPED ON THE CARRARA 8 BANDWAGON!" I don’t give a shit, DAZ. Your new version of Carrara is crap – you’ve ONLY JUST added multithreading, you’ve ONLY JUST added negative lights, and you’ve ONLY JUST put a physics engine in there. And lol, it’s taken them this long to make it 64-bit. 3DS MAX, Maya… in fact, almost every other 3D package has had these things for years. Then there’re other stupid things, like "God Rays", Barn Doors and… heh… NORMAL MAPS. Seriously – they’ve only just put normal maps in Carrara. SLOW DOWN DAZ, YOU’RE GOING TOO FAST!!!!11!one! There’s also mesh editing (which you can easily do in ZBrush, probably with a thousand times more precision) and
Puppeteer (which will always be pointless).

And in the newsletter, they say that there were too many NEW features to list in the newsletter, when in actual fact, I’ve just listed all the NEW features in the above paragraph. Tongue out

And it can’t be doing that well if you’ve had to knock 50% off its price in its first two days of release… and don’t give me that shit about "special offers", you’ve lowered the price because barely anyone would pay $150 for it. People would pay more for a more competent program made by a more competent company, because then they have peace of mind that the program won’t friggin’ crash as it’s saving a movie file that may have taken DAYS to render!

ANYHOO, sorry about that – didn’t mean to go off on one then. Tongue out Their newsletters are just starting to annoy me, that’s all. And their programs don’t work properly, either, which is also quite irritating. Tongue out

Anyway, SubDragon config file. (Right click, save link as, otherwise you’ll just see the source code. Tongue out) Just stick it in your "DAZStudio3pluginsdzmimicConfiguration_Files" folder (should work with DAZ Studio 2, as well Smile). It won’t work automatically (because, y’know, DAZ 3D never made a config file for it Tongue out), so you’ll have to browse for it and select it when you try to lip-sync the SubDragon for the first time in a scene. Smile Feel free to try a few lip-syncs and laugh, then feel free to open the file in Notepad (or something like that) and laugh, then go ahead and fix it if you can. Then, if you do fix it, it’d be nice if you could send me a copy. Wink

I’m done with animation now, though. I suck at it and I just can’t be arsed, and when I CAN be arsed, it decides to not save my animation properly, or it does something equally stupid. Tongue out Really wanted to do a few dragon-oriented short animations, as well. :/

But never mind, I’ll still render a cool image every now and again. Wink

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I’m getting somewhere…

So, I said I’d write a Lip Sync/Mimic configuration file for the SubDragon in my last post, yeah? Well… it’s tougher than I thought it’d be. Tongue out

Don’t worry (if you were Wink), I’m getting somewhere with it, but the stupid configuration files that DAZ 3D thought up are totally crap. Plus, Mimic Pro is also pretty bad. Sure, you can import a model into Mimic, add the phoneme definitions by messing around with some morphs to get the correct mouth shapes, and then generate a configuration file from the model. Funnily enough… the SubDragon doesn’t work properly with Mimic – pretty much ALL of the morphs are missing. Even more amusing – the SubDragon is a model made by DAZ 3D, and Mimic is a program made by DAZ 3D. Strange how their OWN creations aren’t compatible with each other. Tongue out

SO, I’ve had to MANUALLY edit the configuration file just to add the morphs I needed. After that, I had a shit-ton of other problems, such as the SubDragon not even being able to open his mouth properly, having to figure out which phonemes were assigned to which numbers in the configuration file, and a load of other stuff that I just can’t be arsed to explain – it’s confusing to TALK about. Tongue out Or write. You know what I mean. Wink

Simply put, if you’re not one of those countless people who hate the SubDragon for some reason (probably Poser users – suckers. Wink), and you like to animate the SubDragon, and you want him to talk without having to spend countless YEARS lip-synching to audio in a program that can’t even handle audio properly… stay tuned. I’ll have a .dmc configuration file pretty soon. Open-mouthed I’m fairly sure it WON’T work with Mimic Pro, because that program can’t even find the damned morphs on the SubDragon, but it works just fine with the DAZ Studio in-built lip-sync tool. Open-mouthed

Hehe, I’m so glad I grew up with computers and I’m now on a programming course. Open-mouthed

Anyhoo, that’s all for now. See ya later! Smile

Screw politics, let’s render some dragons.

I would rather Gavin from Autoglass inject his special resin into my brain than speak (write Wink) and/or hear about politics. It was boring when it started, and it’s EXTREMELY boring now. So, let’s move on to the random crap I’m about to post that may interest you to a varying degree depending on who you are, eh? Open-mouthed

DAZ Studio. Open-mouthed I’ve grabbed a bit more content recently. There’s "The Gun", which is a stupidly customisable firearm, you can make it a pistol, an SMG, an assault rifle, a flamethrower, a NET LAUNCHER… all sorts! Open-mouthed There’re five parts to it, and I’ve got part 1 and 5 at the moment. Will get the others at some point. Open-mouthed I’ve also got a SPORTS CAR, and a TRUCK. Open-mouthed
The sports car (the Predator) looks good, but it’s so badly modelled it makes me want to puke. The wheels appeared in the WRONG POSITIONS when I imported the model, and hilariously (not), it won’t let you move the front wheels. But it WILL let you move the back wheels. Sarcastic Anyway, I fixed that by dramatically adjusting the size of the calipers, which then caused the calipers to look retarded, so I had to hide them. *sigh*
The truck is also good, but it was designed for sci-fi scenes. Hence… it has no wheels. Surely, adding an option where the truck HAS wheels can’t be that difficult, can it? For me, yes, but for professionals, no! Tongue out

But whatever – I don’t care about that. Open-mouthed I also don’t care about the impossibly difficult ordeal of getting a SubDragon to sit in the Predator. It’s evident the SubDragon modellers never thought that people would pose them like I do. Wink Meh… that doesn’t really bother me. Especially when the render comes out like this:

Usually, I’m quite modest and stuff, but… THIS IS AWESOME! Open-mouthed The limitations of DAZ Studio are starting to get annoying, though – especially the environments. There are no environments for a car chase in the desert, so I had to find a background image to use instead. Tongue out Anyway, I think it came out great – one of my best! What’choo think? Open-mouthed

I’ve also had a look at the DAZ Mimic configuration files out of interest. And I actually reckon I could make one for the SubDragon, so that the Lip Sync tool or Mimic Pro would work with the SubDragon. Open-mouthed I’ll give it a try, but… I shouldn’t even be doing this. It’s DAZ’s friggin’ model and their friggin’ program, THEY should be doing it!

Ah well, whatever. If anyone reading this has already found a SubDragon configuration file lurking in the bowels of the Interwebs, I’d be grateful if I can get a link to it. Smile If there isn’t one, then I’ll make one and post it here. Open-mouthed

Right… I’ll probably think of something else to post later on, so until then, see yas! Smile

PS: Also, I tried Akuma’s arcade mode of SSFIV the other day, and completely PWNT Ryu. So I is happy now. Open-mouthed

I CANNOT ALLOW YOU TO WIN!!

O-ho-ho-kay, right, I’ve completely lost my temper with the bots in Super Street Fighter IV.

I’ve been playing arcade mode ON NORMAL (big note, NORMAL) as Akuma, and throughout the course of the game, I have had five, count ’em, FIVE PERFECTS. I have been kicking SERIOUS ass with him, and my score hit almost 600,000 before the second bonus stage, where, unfortunately, I came across Sagat. Normally, I’d be okay with that, but the bots are cheap and gay and when they use Sagat, they CONSTANTLY SPAM TIGER SHOTS faster than I can counter them by either jumping over them or Hadoken-ing back. I’d block them, but, ah… that’s not getting me anywhere, is it? I can’t move forward and block. Tongue out So, I lost my hard-earned score because of a gay bot. Great.

That’s not REALLY what annoyed me, though. After beating him, the opponents that came AFTER him were easy. See what I mean? Capcom have THE MOST RETARDED difficulty curves in the history of mankind. It’s NORMAL MODE!! IT SHOULD BE NORMAL ALL THE WAY THROUGH!!

But never mind, even THAT’S not what REALLY irritated me. Tongue out Eventually… I got to the rival battle, against Ryu. And holy shit. I very, VERY nearly threw my controller at the screen. No kidding.

Now, when Ryu hits you first (which he probably will), he’ll say "I CANNOT ALLOW YOU TO WIN!!", which I thought was a nice addition, but, uh, the game actually means that. No matter WHAT you do, the bot knows, and counters it. You try to jump into a combo, the bot’ll launch a Shoryuken. You launch a SINGLE Hadoken, the bot’ll start a Hadoken SPAM. All other attacks, the bot’ll IMMEDIATELY block them and counter in THE most perfect way possible. And I’m not joking about the IMMEDIATE block. Ryu was stood up RIGHT in front of me, and I was crouched down, blocking, and the bot seemed to be thinking of what to do. I went for a LIGHT kick, which is EXTREMELY fast. The bot IMMEDIATELY crouched, blocked it, and countered IMMEDIATELY afterwards with a Shoryuken. I have no idea how it knew… oh wait, yeah, it
has access to your controller every single frame. Sarcastic In the event that you manage to hit the bot, the bot will FLIP OUT, and become EVEN
MORE DIFFICULT to beat.

The bot uses its perfect timing and knowledge of your controller state to full advantage. I went for a maximum power Ultra, WHILE THE BOT WAS RECOILING FROM AN ATTACK I JUST LANDED. Now, this ultra CAN’T BE BLOCKED, and the attack was in such close proximity that, if it’d have been a human opponent, it would’ve been guaranteed to hit. In fact, I was SO confident it WOULD hit, I said "Bye bye!" and put my controller down. UNBELIEVABLY, the bot immediately stops recoiling, and the very FRAME before my attack hits and would have resulted in me winning the match, INSTANT SHORYUKEN, followed by a METSU HADOKEN, which I block, but he still gets the win because of chipping damage. The only consolation I get is to see a "C" for CHEAP appear under the bot’s status, but who cares? It was still a friggin’ win… >.>

That was about when I nearly threw my controller at the screen, but then I realised that it wasn’t worth it, so I just turned off the Xbox. Tongue out The difficulty was on NORMAL, for God’s sake… not "Starts normal then gets IMPOSSIBLE IMMA RAPE YOU IN THE ASS SIDEWAYS LOLOL!" Sarcastic

I’d try it on easy, but guess what, ladies and gentlemen? Easy is TOO EASY!! GAAARGH! Angry AND you don’t get any achievements when playing below normal. *sigh* Capcom, PLEASE try to understand – there are such things as NOVICE PLAYERS… Tongue out

Yeah, so that’s my rant on SSFIV’s impossibly gay bots and difficulty curves over and done with. If you were skipping the rant because you don’t give a crap, you can start reading from here!

Yeah, see, that got your attention, didn’t it? Wink

D’ya know what Street Fighter needs? A ROLLING START. Yeah, one of THESE. Open-mouthed I REALLY want to go to an arcade, find Daytona USA, and play it, now that I’ve discovered it. It looks awesome. Open-mouthed Or, I could just get a Sega Model 2 emulator and play it. Open-mouthed I just wish modern games were all happy and bright and memorable like they were back then. Smile

Anyhoo. Open-mouthed

I’ve also tried out a few new (to me Tongue out) games while I’ve been AFB (away from blog Wink). I tried out God Hand, which Aaron recommended, and I found it pretty awesome. Open-mouthed A little annoying at times, and I still don’t understand a few things about it (WTF DOES LEVEL DO?! Tongue out), but the cheesiness MORE than made up for that. Floating fruit which gives you health, girls have a grab attack where they slap you about 15 times within two seconds, and best of all, there’s a RANDOM AUDIENCE. HELL YES! I love those! Open-mouthed The audience CHEERS when you level up, if you dodge a load of attacks in quick succession, the crowd goes wild, and if anyone gets hit in the balls (most commonly when you use the Ball Buster special attack), there’s a "DING!!" sound, and the audience starts laughing! Open-mouthed IT’S EPIC!! Open-mouthedOpen-mouthed But yeah, it is a good game. Open-mouthed

Also for PS2, there’s Monster Rancher 4. Before getting MR4, I remembered having Monster Rancher 2 for the PS1 when I was younger, so I tried that out first. It wasn’t BAD, but… meh. It wasn’t particularly amazing, either. There wasn’t really much to it. It was what I like to call a "luck-based mission", the game almost SOLELY relied on luck. Hit percentages, your monster had a random chance of failing when doing a drill, and so on. I like the ability to get monsters by ripping data from ANY disc, but that, again, was a luck-based mission. Tongue out I tried three different discs, and I got the same monster EVERY TIME. Tongue out

Monster Rancher 4 is better, though. You set your monster on a task for the week, and they WILL complete it, but their performance depends on the monster’s focus, hunger and fatigue, so it’s not REALLY luck-based. Also, the battle system is a little simpler and more interesting (yet still pretty luck-based, especially Counters Tongue out), there’s a more meaningful story (which actually isn’t awful! Tongue out), different monsters, and RIDICULOUSLY easy E-rank battles. Saying that… the D-rank battles are too easy, as well! Tongue out It does start to get difficult when you hit B-class. I don’t even think I want to TRY S-class. Tongue out

Only problem is… heh… um… I can’t get new monsters from a disc, because PCSX2 doesn’t really support disc-switching. Tongue out So, I have to rely on my luck in Adventures (another new feature, which is quite cool) to find me a "Saucer Stone", which will contain a monster. I can then generate that monster without needing a CD. Open-mouthed Also, since Saucer Stones are pretty rare, I need to COMBINE monsters to create new ones. And that’s just annoying. Tongue out But nevertheless, it’s still a fun game, although I couldn’t play it for several hours straight. Tongue out Which is good, so then I don’t complete it retardedly fast. Open-mouthed

Anyway, I’ll probably blog about a few more games I’ve tried later on. Smile Moving on…

Ah, yes, student accommodation is SORTEHD. Open-mouthed It’s expensive, and the only reason I can afford it is because I don’t drink alcomahol, but I don’t care, because it’s my OWN kitchen, my OWN ‘net connection, and it’s about three minutes from uni, and two minutes from Sainsbury’s. Open-mouthed Oh, and the shower isn’t just bolted to a wall in the bathroom, it’s got its own cubicle. Open-mouthed It should be pretty awesome next year. Smile

What else… ah yes, I’ve picked up Dragon Tail. Again. Tongue out I WILL get this finished eventually, it’s just… the length of the story is actually ridiculous. I have to go through every chapter, adding extras and highlighting things I’m happy with, things I don’t want to change, things that could be written better… then I’ve gotta keep an eye out for plotholes that may have popped up, mistakes I’ve made, etc. etc. I’m predicting that the final word count will be around a quarter of a million words. Oh yeah. Open-mouthed Still don’t have a clue what I’m gonna do with it after I’m done. Tongue out

I’m also going to pick up ULSG at some point. I’ve coded it so badly, and it’s been putting me off. Building a basic game and then adding major features such as unlockable ships near the END of development is a BAD idea. Tongue out Trust me on that one. Wink But yeah, I’ve still gotta get ideas together for Challenges – I have 8 ideas, I need 13. Tongue out Anyone got any ideas? Open-mouthed

Right, that’s enough typing for one day, methinks. Open-mouthed I’ll see y’all later! Smile

I went to outer space.

Holy <<SOUND>>, it’s been a retardedly long time since I last blogged! Surprised I’ve probably got a ton of stuff to talk about, but I’ll try and limit it so you don’t get bored and change sites. Tongue out

Firstly, I got Super Street Fighter IV. And it’s pretty awesome. Open-mouthed There isn’t MUCH different from Street Fighter IV (which I had an illegal copy of Tongue out), but there are a fair few extra characters, some who are new, and some who have returned from older versions of Street Fighter. I’ve tried playing as them, and I had a small amount of success with Juri (JUMP, QCB KICK KICK KICK and repeat Tongue out)… but I can only REALLY play as Ken or Ryu, because I’m one of the worst, noobish players in the world. Tongue out (I DON’T Hadoken spam, though. That’s SERIOUSLY ghey. Tongue out)

And by the way, I’m not kidding about that "one of the worst players in the world" bit. Tongue out I tried playing online, and I DO NOT UNDERSTAND what I’m doing wrong. The game rates you at the end of a multiplayer match, giving you ratings from A to E for Offence, Defence and Technique. I keep getting either D or E for Defence, a D, C or B for Technique, and I almost ALWAYS get an A for Offence. (Apart from my first online game, where I got a D. Tongue out) My win percentage was sickeningly bad at the end of my first set of multiplayer matches. EIGHT PERCENT. Tongue out Over time, however, I HAVE managed to repair it, and it is now around 30%. I’m blaming the matchmaking system, because it seemed to put me against RIDICULOUSLY good opponents when I first began. Probably experts who had just got the game and therefore had a low rating, and were in the D class. The people that beat me are probably well into the B or A class now. Tongue out

But when you do get matched with an opponent of your skill online, it’s great fun. Even if I get owned 2-0, just as long as the fights were good, fair, and fairly close, I still consider them good matches. Smile There is pretty much no noticable lag in most games. But when there is even the SLIGHTEST HINT of lag, it makes me want to throw my controller at the wall. Especially when it’s basically sudden death and it lags JUST as the opponent is going to attack. Sad But never mind – I’d still recommend it. And if you do get it for Xbox, tell me, and we’ll play a few games. Open-mouthed Maybe you can teach me a few things, cuz I suck. Wink

As for future games that are out… I wouldn’t really bother with anything apart from Crackdown 2. There’s Call of Duty Black Ops… which I’m not particularly EXCITED about for some reason… and then there’s Halo Puke, SORRY, Halo Reach. It’s such an outdated, boring, senseless series, now. It was good when Halo 1 was released… hell, the story even made SENSE! Now it just doesn’t, and it’s boring. And sure, the Halo 3 multiplayer was good for a while, until the novelty of starting with an underpowered assault rifle and requiring to hit the enemy with almost EVERY FUCKING SHOT just to kill them started to wear thin. That, and the retardedly slow walking speed annoyed me, especially when the enemy had managed to get ALL of the power weapons and the battle rifle was NEVER available because people kept friggin’ taking it.

Oh yes. and there’s also Gears of War Pee… THREE*. I’m sorry, but that is going to be just as mind-numbingly boring as its predecessors, and it’s just Epic desperately trying to milk the IP for all it’s worth, just as Bungie are doing with Halo. Epic, if you see this (which you won’t) please try to drill this into your thick heads and remember it during the course of development: EVERY CITY IN THE WORLD WAS FUCKING DEMOLISHED IN GOW2, the world is COVERED IN SEA WATER, and ALL THE LOCUST WERE DROWNED. YOU CAN NOT CONTINUE THE DAMNED STORY!! Although, it’ll be fairly interesting to see what Epic can shit out just to make some more money out of a clearly dead series. What is it going to be, a mass-breeding-strategy-Sim-City game? Or is everyone going to suddenly become Jesus and gain the ability to walk on water, while the humans find that the Locust have a skill which gives them +100% resistance to water? Tongue out

Whatever. Tongue out

Staying on the subject of games, I managed to deploy Ultimate Lame Ship Game 2 onto my 360. Open-mouthed Oh yes, check it out:

Alright, so MAYBE there is one major problem. I had to develop ULSG 2 for WINDOWS for my university project, and hence, the graphics are drawn onto the screen without taking the TV’s safe area into account… because a window in Windows doesn’t have a safe area. Tongue out So… when porting it to Xbox, the graphics are drawn OFF the screen, so you can’t really see the HUD or certain parts of the menu. Tongue out
Other than that (which will take a shitload of coding to fix Tongue out), it’s perfect! It actually runs SMOOTHER than it does on the PC, it looks clearer, and it’s just… great! I’m going to poke it some more at some point, to see what I can do to make it better. Adding Cillit Bang would be a start, increasing the laser size depending on its power is important, and new ships are a must. I’ve also got to try and see what I can do to use the third dimension. I thought about creating a neat camera angle when you get a Super Ninja Skillz bonus (flying the ship between two enemy ships very closely without crashing Open-mouthed), but that’s all I’ve got so far. Will think of other stuff. Smile

Alright… I think that’ll do for now. I’ll probably post some more stuff tomorrow. See yas! Smile