Munkeh SMASH!

Hiiiiii! Happy Year Of The Monkey! Guess what I forgot about!

Okay, to be fair, I didn’t forget about my Lunar New Year render. I was actually thinking about it a couple of weeks before it happened. Or rather, a couple of weeks before I thought it happened, heh. 😛 For whatever reason, I thought Lunar New Year was on the 11th this year, so over the weekend, I just decided to chill out and planned to look for assets on Monday, pose on Tuesday, render on Wednesday, and on Thursday and Friday and Saturday we chilled on Sunda… no, wait. 😛

Then, on Saturday night, just before going to bed, I see one of those trending stories on Bookface mentioning #ChineseNewYear. Ew, hashtag. But anyway, I hovered over it for the summary for some reason.

“Oh shit, what?!”

Aaaaaand that’s when I realised it was on the 8th. Oopsie! 😛

So, I spent Sunday searching for assets and assembling the scene. I freaked out a little bit at the lack of decent monkey-related assets. Most of it was complete crap; ugly, badly textured and unrealistic. The best things I came across were Gorilla for Genesis, and Ape World 2 for Genesis 2. I decided to choose the latter because it had preset hair you could use with a plugin called Look At My Hair, or LAMH for short. It lets you create fairly realistic hair and fur, a feature that Poser has had since… like… forever. 😛

Now, LAMH is quite impressive and very pretty and everything, but like pretty much all DAZ Studio plugins, it’s utter bullshit when it comes to stability and usability. Seriously, when I installed it, I found three really annoying issues followed by two different kinds of crash within about ten minutes. First thing was that when you attached a hair preset to a model, you couldn’t friggin’ hide the preview, which was super-fun because the hair preview detonates your viewport framerate. Secondly, moving parts of the model wouldn’t always update the hair preview, making it even more annoying. Thirdly, I found out that you couldn’t easily hide the hair; you had to go into the hair group and disable every single friggin’ child object.

Eventually I became impatient and placed the hair group into an actual Group object, which are special because all their children inherit the visibility and selectability (yes not a word shut your face :P) of the parent. So by putting the hair group into a Group object, you can disable the Group object to disable the hair in one click. Great! Smart move! Devs failed to think of something a derp like me came up with! 😛

Then I tried a test render for the first time, and immediately got an error from DAZ Studio. “Error during rendering!” even though it hadn’t actually started rendering yet. 😛 Hilariously (not), when trying to render again, DAZ said there was a render in progress when there… wasn’t. Nothing I could do about it. I saved, quit, and restarted DAZ Studio. I then tried to load my scene. DAZ Studio crashed. I eventually found out that this crash was caused by LAMH freaking out and failing to load a hair group because it was in a Group object. Riiiight. Why the hell does that cause it to crash?!

Oh, and there was another type of crash I found when loading a scene, also to do with LAMH. I don’t exactly know what caused that because I fixed it by uninstalling LAMH, opening the scene, deleting the hair group, saving, then reinstalling LAMH. Great plugin. Great.

Anyway, blah blah blah whine moan bitch. Eventually, the plugin worked long enough for me to start a final render, and DAZ Studio actually managed to render a moderately simple scene without crashing the graphics driver or Windows more than… twice or so. 😛 So here, have an orangutan! He’s like an orange Hulk, and wants to punch you in the FACE:

2016 - Year of the Monkey (1080p)
(Available in these flavours: 1080p, 1080p Dark, QHD, QHD Dark, UHD, UHD Dark)

Man, I was worried this one was going to suck so hard, but I don’t think it turned out quite as bad as I expected it to. 😛 The one thing that was really annoying me about this render is that no matter what I tried, I couldn’t get the monkey to look like a monkey instead of a human that looks like a monkey. I punched loads of different dials to make him a bit bulkier without going over the top, and eventually found and messed with some hidden parameters to reduce the length of his legs. I think it sort of worked; still looks a little bit Planet of the Apes-ish, though. Well, what can ya do. 😛

So, render stats! At 1080p with DoF, LAMH, UberEnv2 on the High preset and raycast shadows, the render time was 41 minutes 33.70 seconds. Postwork includes the custom background, a bit of motion blur behind the monkey and specular highlights on the eyes. 😛

I’ll get the 2K render done overnight, and kick off the 4K render tomorrow morning. Optimistically speaking, that is. DAZ Studio will probably crash Windows while I’m in bed, but there isn’t really anything I can do about that. Could try the new DAZ Studio 4.9, I guess… although I didn’t notice any new features when I tried the pre-release build of it a while ago, and it still crashed Windows when rendering. Seriously, causing a crash so severe it affects the friggin’ graphics driver and the kernel; how the hell did they even make that bug? 😛

Anyway, time to sleep off this meeting that pretty much ate the entirety of my work day. G’NIGHT

UPDATE!!

Just added the QHD and UHD versions. DAZ Studio caused six BSODs before it randomly decided to stop crashing and do both of them one after the other. Shrug, maybe it rolls a D20 when it starts up and doesn’t crash for the entire session if if gets a 15 or above, or something. That’s what it feels like. 😛

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