This post contains a BIG COCK!

Ohayo gozaimasu! Or konnichiwa! Or konbanwa! Depending on your current time zone and the current rotation of the Earth! Monmasuta no Warudo shacho no Monmasuta desu! Dunno why I’m using Japanese words and a broken Japanese sentence in a post about a Chinese celebration, but hey, that’s just how I ROLL! Just like BOWLING! BOOM, STRIKE! TUBE STRIKE! SOUTHERN RAIL STRIKE!

ANYHOO, Happy Lunar New Year! 😀 Feels like it happened kinda early this year. I mean, the last few’ve happened in February, although I think Year of the Dragon was in January too but I CAN’T REMEMBER STUFF LIKE THAT FROM FIVE YEARS AGO! 😛 On that note, sheesh, five years… it feels way longer than that since I started my Chinese Zodiac series of renders. I’m kinda surprised I’ve managed to keep it going this long. I mean, the first two, Dragon and Snake, went really well, even though I remember being rather ill when doing Snake. Every year after those, though, I’ve been worried about whether the render was doable or not. Horse wasn’t so bad apart from the model featured le foal-creation toolset, which wasn’t detailed or anything, but it was still awkwardly visible. Thankfully, I discovered the Mare morph. 😛 Goat was difficult, because it wasn’t easy to get hold of a decent goat model. That, and it took several re-poses before I had something that looked alright. And DAZ Studio was crashing the PC during renders. And it was being completely insane, as I demonstrated. As for Monkey last year, I didn’t even realise what day the Lunar New Year was happening that year, and the only decent monkey models I could find were all supermorphs for Genesis figures, so they looked way too human-like. And it took me ages to get my friggin’ act together and make a good pose. And DAZ Studio was crashing the PC during renders. 😛

So what about this year? What about Rooster?!

It went pretty smoothly, actually. Heheh. 😛 Way smoother than I was expecting.

My main worry was the model. There were like… two models to choose from. One of them was an extremely low-poly chicken which almost certainly had no morphs, but luckily, the other was a somewhat detailed cockerel with more morphs than I was expecting. 2K textures, too, which was… eh, not bad, really, could’ve been worse… although about 40% of the pixels of the textures are just friggin’ unused because the UVs are crazy. 😛 But yeah, through some miracle, the model hunt turned out fairly well!

Posing wasn’t too difficult, either, nor was adjusting the texture settings. Creating the background was simple-ish too, thanks to my past self leaving detailed notes. And DAZ Studio didn’t crash! At all! Kinda expected that, though, since I’ve already fixed the cause of the crashing. 😛

Right anyway yeah yeah yeah yeay yeay, yeay heay hey, I said hey what’s going on. Prepare your anus, for here is A BIG COCK FOR YOU TO ENJOY, WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT:

2017: Year of the Rooster - DracoIndomita
(Available in these flavours: 1080p, 1080p Dark, QHD, QHD Dark, UHD, UHD Dark)

Wahey! I mean, he’s not as fat or as fluffy as I was expecting him to be, but I think it turned out fairly well; way better than I was expecting! I just wish the texture quality was more better. And like hell can I texture a model, let alone retexture someone else’s model. 😛

Anyway, who wants render stats?! No-one? Well, I don’t care, here they are anyway. 😛 In 4K with DoF, UberEnvironment on High, a shading rate of 0.2 and 32 pixel samples, the render time was 32 minutes 37.1 seconds. Not Bad. Postwork includes the background, touching up the highlights on the eyes and adding a bit of Epic Motion Blur(tm) behind the turkey. Uh, rooster. 😛

So, this is the halfway point for the Chinese Zodiac series; just six renders to go until I’ve made the set! YEAH! 😀 Next year’s pic should be much easier to get a model for, too. But for nao, I’m off. Catch ya laterz!

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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. 😛

Outta the way horsey, it’s the goat’s turn!

Aaaaaaaand it’s over. It’s no longer my year. Damn. 😦  Ah well.

Happy Lunar New Year, y’all! Especially to all you goats out there! 🙂

Well, did ya get it? The sneak peek? I totally dropped one in my last post. 😀 Not a very big peek, but I took a screenie of the folder which contains my collection of finalised renders. There was a thumbnail of Year of the Goat in there. 😉 If you did notice, nice one, eagle-eye. 😀

Anyway, without further ado, I present the full-ass version of the 4th in my Chinese Zodiac series of renders, Year of the Goat! ‘ERE:

Year of the Goat - DracoAurarius

(There’s also a Dark version, as usual! I did 4K renders this time, too; if you want, you can grab the 4K Light and/or the 4K Dark version! But hahahaha who even has a 4K monitor. 😛 )

Honestly, between the render crashes, the questionable quality of the model, and the fact that I decided to re-pose it three times, I was worried that this one was gonna be a stinker. But I’m pretty happy with it! I kinda fulfilled my objective of making a goat look cool! 😛 The only thing that annoys me is the model and texture quality. I masked it as much as I could, but you can probably see better quality in games. 😛

Render time was insanely fast. Max quality at 4K finished in less than 20 minutes when I got around the annoying-as-hell crashing issues. This CPU is a BEAST. 😀 Postwork is the same as Year of the Horse; a custom background as usual, with a glow and a subtle yet sweeeeeet blur effect. The postwork took way longer than the render. 😛

Not much else I can say about it really. I hope you liek! 😀

The year is mine!

The Year of the Horse hath begins! 😀

I so greatly prefer the Chinese New Year over the actual New Year. Why? Well, because the animal zodiac is cool, as well as the folktale behind it. Everyone is a certain animal depending on which animal was the presiding animal when they were born – 1990 makes me a horsey. 😀

Another cool thing is that you get to say “hey, this is my year!” every 12 years. 😀 Like now. HEY, THIS IS MY YEAR! Big high-one to all other horses!

Yes, a high-one. Or a high-hoof, I guess. Horses can’t give high-fives. 😛

No, no brohooves. 😛

Anyway, to celebrate it being the Year of the Horse, I dove into DAZ Studio again, and came up with this in about 24 hours (including render times):

Year of the Horse

Yep, it’s one of these themed images that I’ve done every year, starting with Year of the Dragon. 😀 It was the first time I’ve ever posed, or even LOADED, the Millenium Horse. So I was a bit surprised when the model included the… y’know. The things male horses have. 😛

I dunno why, really, there’s no slider to “make the magic” happen, so to speak. So even if you really wanted to, you can’t make horse porn. 😛 I was a bit worried, actually, since I really didn’t want to have the horse’s junk visible in the image, so I tried to mess with the pose and camera angle to obscure it. Thankfully, I found an easier way in the morphs. I found the “Mare” slider. Set it to 100% and all was good. 😛

I also did a little experiment with motion blur in Photoshop which I think looks pretty cool. You can see it most clearly around the horse’s hooves and head – the fetlocks kinda give off a white blur which makes it look like the horse is moving fast. And/or is epic. 😀 It’s especially visible on the alternate “dark” version that I made:

Year of the Horse (Dark)

The dark edges kinda put more focus on the horse. 🙂

Anyway, I’m pretty happy with the way it came out! My favourite out of the three images still has to be the Year Of The Snake, though. What do you think?

Right, this horse is now off to graze. On some STEAK PIE, BABY. 😀

That’s how many months now?

Just under 5 months of notpostingonablognoonereads-ness! Wow. *blows dust away*

How is everyone? Good? Great. I’ve been hard at work on my placement, but we’ll get to that in a sec. 😉 First of all, I finished a new render today. I’ve posted it in MongMaster’s Other (Bad Word) already, but if you haven’t seen it yet, here it is:

Year Of The Dragon - DracoAurarius

Sure, it’s a little premature, but happy Chinese New Year, y’all! Couldn’t miss the opportunity to create something for Year of the Dragon. 😉 It was my first time ever rendering with the Eastern Dragon, and although his crazy length outfaced me at first, posing him turned out to be pretty interesting! 😀 Oh, and that epic background and the badass neon Chinese characters? That was my lame Photoshop skillz in OVERDRIVE. 😀 I’m planning on making similar pieces for the Chinese New Year from now on. Especially can’t miss Year of the Horse – that’ll be my year. 😉

Anyway, yes – I’ve been on my placement for about 4-5 months now, and it’s… alright. It’s cool that we’re making games in a team and not doing uni work at the same time… well, sort of – we’ve gotta do stupid reports and a dumb diary to pass the placement year. What a pile of crap – surely you auto-pass the placement year if you don’t get fired? But yeah, it’s alright. We’re making two mobile games (yes, mobile games, *shudder* :P) at the moment; a domino-knocking-down puzzle game called Lapsus, and a tiki head-breaking action-puzzle game called Katu Toka – the one I’m working on.

I don’t like Lapsus at all. It’s one of those puzzle games where you end up looking at a single level for ages – I find it really boring and really frustrating. Katu Toka is alright, I guess. It’s fun, but I don’t know whether that’s the gameplay, or the ridiculous sounds and music I’ve put in as placeholders. 😛 Those’re just my opinions; I hope they both do well, of course, but I doubt they’ll get much attention, and they probably won’t sell. Because neither of them are like Angry Birds. But hey, at least they’re not shit and don’t completely rip anything off. 😛

We’re making them using a horrendous SDK called Corona. You program for it using Lua, which is simple enough, BUT it’s not object-oriented. And that makes it painful. What makes it even more painful is the way Corona has over-simplified everything. It actually makes it less powerful.

Also, when you get an error, it’s USELESS. It only ever gives you a tiny piece of the stack traceback, saying where it thinks the error occurred, but it very rarely tells you what was called before that. Oh, and it CAN’T detect syntax errors properly, it spams the console if it comes across an error in an enterFrame event instead of just halting the simulator, and 90% of the time, Corona directs you 200 miles away from the error, leaving you to figure it out for yourself. Many times, I’ve had to put a massive number of print statements where I suspect the error is, and find out where the code stops executing, so I can understand at least WHERE the error is. For simple stuff like crappy recipe apps or lame little games, it’s excellent, but if you wanna do something complex with it… God, it’s horrible. It’s like Multimedia Fusion 2 – trading power for ease of use. 😛

Anyhoo, they’ll be out on the Apple App Store and Android Market at the end of this month, hopefully, if SOME people decide to pull their thumb out of their ass and get some testers in to help. 😛

What else… ah yes, Ultimate Lame Ship Game. 🙂

Now, because of the placement, it’s almost impossible for me to find time to work on it. I’m not doing it after work, cuz I’ve just been working all day. I’m not that interested in doing it over the weekends either, cuz again, I’ve been working all week and want to chill. 😛 It’s kind of annoying, because I DO want to work on it and get it done.

I was updating it last weekend, aiming to figure out why it was being so slow on a low-end PC, or when it was being run off a memory stick. To be honest, I’ve had this problem with it ever since college, but it’s never been as intense as it is now. I didn’t understand the problem back then at all… but now, I think I do. 😀

When the game loads, it copies all its data into a temporary folder on your PC’s main drive, so I figured it wasn’t an internal MMF problem such as inefficient rendering, or a user performance problem such as a slow card or slow loading times or anything (can’t be anyway – I’m running a GTX 295 and a Solid State Drive, and it still runs slowly off an external drive for me. :P) So… if it’s still slow, the game must access something ELSE on the external drive while its running.

*click* Of course! The save file! That stays in the ULSG directory!

What I think is happening is that the crappy INI extension I’m using looks directly in the file for information, instead of loading the file into memory and reading it from there. Because of this, I also think that every time data is changed, it updates the INI file. This… is very, VERY costly, especially when you’re running it off an external drive which can only communicate with your PC using the comparatively slow USB.

So, I’ve gotta change the extension I’m using. I’ve started converting my code to use Ini++, which actually loads the file into memory. In addition, you can control exactly when it saves and loads data. This should help. One problem, though. It’s going to take FRIGGIN’ AGES. I’ve gotta go through every single event that has something to do with the INI, and change all the actions. And there are many, many actions. >.< This, paired with a ton of other tedious crap I’ve gotta do, is NOT helping my motivation. Especially when I could be working on ULSG V14 – a nice clean slate devoid of lame code. 😛 I’ve really gotta set myself some sort of target, such as working on it every other weekend, or making a major update every month or something. Otherwise it’ll never get done. 😛 Speaking of updates, there’s something I’ve decided. I’m changing the place I make updates. Might be a separate blog dedicated to ULSG, might be something else, I’m not sure, but I’m not gonna use The Daily Click any more. No biggie, cuz I doubt the site’ll last much longer, due to the oh-so-massive amount of money it costs to run. >.> I’ll post the final version there so people can find it, but won’t make updates.

Why? Cuz I’m not liking how the site’s turned out. People are constantly whining about the admins, who aren’t doing their job. One of the site founders left, probably because he can’t be bothered with all the bullshit he has to put up with. And I swear that the core of this site is just a circle of friends. For example, an admin apparently left, but I’m not sure how they knew because he never said anything about leaving anywhere on the site. “Well-known” members who have been around since very early on seem to get special invisible privileges, such as the admins and other “well-known” members siding with them automatically, even if they’re in the wrong.

Also, people keep talking about members that disappeared or got banned, like they’re gods or something. One of them actually came back and started spamming news posts and stuff, and hasn’t been banned again for some reason. It’s ridiculous. And members only ever care about the games that the “well-known” members make, that is, if they’re actually making a game and not just sitting around the forums whining and moaning. I bet if I were to update my devlog there, it wouldn’t even get looked at. On the other hand, if a “well-known” member updated their devlog, people would swarm all over it. It’s a site where the rule seems to be “the longer you’ve been around, the more authority and popularity you have”.

So, anyway, like you even care about that crap. 😛 The bottom line is, I’m making updates elsewhere cuz TDC’s community is annoying me. I’m pretty sure I’ll just make another WordPress blog and do it there, or maybe there’s another site out there that has good features. I’ll post the link to it when I decide. 🙂

Alright… I think that’s all for now. 😀 I’ll see ya later. 🙂