Ni hao! How’s your 2018 been so far? If it’s been poopy, never mind, because now it’s a NEW New Year! The Chinese one! And this time, it’s the turn of the DOGE! And of course, a new Lunar New Year means a new Lunar New Year render! 😀

It’s quite funny, actually. In last year’s post, I ended by saying “Next year’s pic should be much easier to get a model for”. In fact, I decided to procrastinate until I got home from work yesterday, because I thought it was gonna be an easy win. I mean, it’s a dog. Y’know, one of the most common pets in the world, “man’s best friend”, there are about 9001 breeds of them, c’mon, obviously there’s gonna be loads of dog models to choose from.

Heh, nope! 😛

When I looked around at first, I could only find the DAZ Millenium Dog, and, well… that’s what, 18 years old? But that was the only reasonable result. Sure, there was a cartoon-style dog, a low-res dog which is designed to be in the background, supermorphs to create furry-esque humanoid dogs, dog tags, and “sea dogs”, but they’re… just not what I was hoping to find. I mean come ON, why was a product containing dog tags the first friggin’ result over an actual dog, sheeeesh… 😛

So I was kind of shiteing bricks thinking I couldn’t find anything good, but then I tried searching for a wolf instead. My chain of logic was like “well, if there’s a wolf, maybe I can get an add-on or do something to make it look more like a dog”. And that’s exactly what happened. 😀 I found a wolf, and then found that it had two add-ons, both of which changed the textures to make it look like a breed of dog. Boosh. 😀

After that slight panic, I thought the rest would be easy, but again, heh, nope! The model itself was good, but it had awful morphs. I had to break several morph limits to get even vaguely close to the expression I was hoping for. Then there was a plugin called Look At My Hair (LAMH for short), which is probably the best plugin available for DAZ Studio. Uh, don’t take that the wrong way, though, because being better than all the other DS plugins I’ve had the displeasure to use is not hard. 😛

I already used LAMH when making Year of the Monkey, and it was pretty, but terrible. It crashed all the time, the hair preview destroyed the viewport framerate and made it impossible to pose, you couldn’t hide the hair preview without clicking on a million things… yeah. This time, though, it was even worse. I’d decided to use Iray for Year of the Dog; the first time I’ve used it in my Chinese Zodiac renders. I decided that because I’m much better with it now that I was when it first came out, and it does tend to produce nicer results. But hey, guess what doesn’t support Iray?! -.-

Well, no, I lie. LAMH does support it… sort of. There’s a function you can use to export the hair into an OBJ. The idea is that you pose first, apply the hair, then press a button in LAMH and it will export the hair as geometry before importing it back into your scene for you. Sounds easy! It should be! Yet it isn’t! It’s borderline broken!

It started out by generating files which were 0 bytes. A file of nothing, great. -.- Then, as I was trying to figure out why this was, it started generating files of nothing, then crashing! Then it started crashing before trying to generate the files of nothing!

It took me hours to figure out just how idiotic the plugin really was. When you press the “to OBJ” button, a dialog pops up confirming a path to where it will save the geometry. If that path doesn’t exist, it will pop up a browse window, starting in the directory where DAZ Studio is installed; a directory which the application has no write access to. No matter what location you choose in this window, LAMH will sit there churning for several minutes before, for some reason, dumping a zero-byte OBJ file in that directory and/or crashing. Oh, by the way, if you press cancel in the browse window, the plugin will Do Stuff(tm) for a few seconds before popping up the browse window again. Hurrr. 😛 The solution? You have to manually create the exact path that pops up in the dialog box when you press the export button. Most likely this dumbass plugin has that path hard-coded into it somewhere, doesn’t bother to create the directory if it doesn’t exist (probably doesn’t even friggin’ check!) and doesn’t properly handle asking the user for a directory (obviously, because it goes in a loop when you press cancel). I just… grrrrrh! As a programmer myself, this retarded bug just pisses me off way more than usual. I mean, I wouldn’t get away with that! In the places I’ve worked, it’d be classed as a critical bug, and we’d have to do an urgent hotfix release to sort it out ASAP!

Anyway, in summary, if you’re having that issue, create the exact path that shows up in the dialog when you press the “to OBJ” button. Should be “C:/Users/DAZ 3D/Studio/lookatmyhairAM/geometry/”. Create that directory and try exporting and it should work properly. You have to sit with the computer though while it does the conversion, because you have to press OK on every “hey I’ve done this bit of the work” dialog box that comes up, because the plugin is shit.

Aaaaand breathe. 😛

So yeah, long story short, I made a render with a dog in it! 😛 I really wanted a Shiba Inu, but I couldn’t get one of those, so I chose a Siberian Husky! BOOM:

2018 - Year of the Dog (1080p).jpg
(Available in these flavours: 1080p, 1080p Dark, 2K, 2K Dark, 4K, 4K Dark, lol5K, lol5K Dark)

After all that crap with LAMH and finding a model in the first place, I gotta say, I think this one turned out great! 😀 This was the first time I (knowingly) used proper three-point lighting… uh, well, sort of. There’re actually four lights; I added a light underneath. But the first three use the basic principles! 😛

Anyway, here’re the traditional render stats: At 4K with DoF, Render Quality 2 at a 97% convergence ratio… oh. I’ve just realised that the render hit the default 2-hour time limit. So it took 2 hours 14.83 seconds and reached a convergence of 74%, god, damn it, fuck. -.- 2K reached 93.5% convergence before it hit the iteration limit of 5000 in just under 2 hours. And 1080p did the same but only took 56 minutes 26.65 seconds. And now I’m suddenly glad I write down the render stats because it made me realise these renders aren’t at the best quality! You see, when using Iray, the render can be, or rather has to be (because there’s no way of disabling it) configured to stop if they take too long or iterate too many times, and the defaults are STUPID!

Welp, I’m gonna have to re-render these later on, but for now, I hope you enjoy them as they are! Check back later for some higher quality versions (although the differences may turn out to be minute 😛 ). Now, though, I am going to go cook a stir fry, because I haven’t had anything to eat since getting back from work and I am HAAANGRYYYY. Hungry like the wolf. Hehe. That song sucks. 😛

Bye for nao! 🙂


Okay seriously, the developer(s) of LAMH can go and suck a dick. How much dumbfuckery can one possibly cram into a plugin?! I’ve just found out that when you load a scene that is supposed to contain exported LAMH hair objects, it doesn’t! So, let’s look at this logically: when I save a scene that contains exported LAMH hair objects, it clearly does save the objects because it takes an age for the scene to save and it ends up being around 300MB instead of 4MB. And then when you load the scene, it also clearly loads the objects because it takes an age to load. So the only possible explanation as to why the hair objects are not in the scene when it finishes loading is that LAMH fucking removes them for no reason!! And because those objects disappear, the material settings also disappear! So now I don’t know what settings I used! So now I have to fag around taking ages to do test renders and tweaking settings that were completely fine until this idiot plugin deleted my shit!

You don’t believe me? Well, because I do tend to doubt myself sometimes even when I know I’m right, I did think that I was wrong for a few seconds. But then I tried pretending to be the plugin developers: I applied dumb logic to reverse-engineer their code in my brain, and guessed that they did something like: “if (there are geometry objects under LAMH group) then {remove those geometry objects //hahah twats}”, even though that makes ZERO sense. So I tried unparenting those objects in the LAMH group (and it crashed the first time because LAMH is broken), then saved the scene and reloaded it. And guess what?! YES! I was RIGHT! The hair objects remained in the scene! And that’s the proof: LAMH deletes parts of your scene for no reason! Seriously, give me ONE good reason why it would go “nah ya don’t need dem jometry objects under dat group even do I genertarded dem, no sirree”.

God damn, if software keeps going like this, they’re gonna have to put me on blood pressure tablets. 😛

Anyway, I’m re-rendering the scene in its various resolutions now. I’ll even throw in a bonus 5K version for people with those idiotic 5K Macs. Such as me! 😛 Yes, I have one. At work. I’m forced to use it. I hate it so so much. 😛


Theeere we go. I’ve re-rendered all the resolutions of the image at best quality and updated all the links. As promised, I also added a 5K version. For some reason, the 5K render took a full five HOURS longer to render than 4K. It was probably DAZ Studio thinking “wtf mate why is it so big what kind of dumb monitor are you displaying this on”. 😛

LAMH continued being fun. I found out that when it exports the hair objects, for some reason, it’s non-deterministic. In other words, it can come up with something different every time it’s exported. So the fur looks different now than in my original renders. Urrgrgh. I mean come ON the hair data is exactly the same as it was a week ago so how can the output be different seriousllyyyyyyyy…

Anyway, here’re some proper render stats! 5K took 9 hours 25 minutes 25.80 seconds, while 4K took 4 hours 24 minutes 17.64 seconds. As for the sensible resolutions, 2K took 2 hours 6 minutes 29.24 seconds and 1080p was 1 hour 32 minutes 22.80 seconds.


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!

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


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! 😀