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The Personal Web Site of Ben Margolis

 Information Architect, Database Engineer, and CGI Illustrator

Ben's CGI Blog

February 1, 2014

THERE! (Finally.)

The Seventh Seal has been broken!  The last DAZ Studio compatibility issue has been resolved.  After the most extensive beta testing in our company history, I’m happy to report that now we have the Universal Sizing Apparatus compatible with DAZ studio.  Special thanks to Tom Latham for all of his diligent work.  We could not have done this without you, Tom.

What we’ve learned during the course of this project about cross-platform compatibility between Poser and DAZ Studio could fill a book (and just might).  While, to us end-users, Poser and Daz Studio appear to be very similar programs, they are not.  It is true that they both read the same data files, and do very similar things, but they are about as alike as CorelDraw and Adobe illustrator, or Microsoft Access and dBase.

While you could import two Adobe illustrator files into CorelDraw and merge them, you would not get the same results as you would if you merged those files in Adobe illustrator.  Nor would you expect to.  They are different programs, and as they import or export each other’s data they make minor changes to it.  The same is true for Poser and DAZ studio.  But because those programs represent a three dimensional “real” space, we expect things to be real in there.  To be consistent.  But they are just two different programs with two different ways of juggling bits and digits and the results are similar, but not identicUniSizeM-PoserDAZal.

A given morph target will work in both programs, but, from our experiments we’ve learned that minor, nuanced adjustments to morph targets do not produce the exact same results in both programs.  And most likely, no one has ever noticed, or cared.  But for the Sizing Apparatus to work, we needed precise, identical behavior in both programs.

We solved the final puzzle by adding large amounts of data that forces DAZ Studio to interpret the parameters in precisely the same way as Poser does.  This extra data is unnecessary for Poser, but does not negatively affect it.

So now with this knowledge we are ready to finally wrap up this project.  The Universal Sizing Apparatus/Man has been ready for weeks but he wanted to fix this before we release it.  Now all that is left is rewriting the Manual to include all this new information we’ve discovered and then packaging these products at for distribution.  It’s been a good week.

January 10, 2014

(I used to love that game.)

Suddenly I feel like Cave Johnson: “Some of you may have noticed that the Beta Testing for PzDB 1.3 has gone on longer than we expected.  Well it turns out trying to keep people from stealing your software is a little like trying to keep the NSA out of your email.” 

But seriously, we like to make software that works. But a Product Activation is designed to keep software from working when you don’t want it to work. And making software work when you want it to work, and not work when you don’t want it to work, well sometimes that doesn’t work.

So we’ve got good news and bad news: first the good news, the next version of the PzDB 1.3 does have the new Product Activation system built in, and we have the new Product Activation web server up and running.  And the bad news, we just can’t seem to get PzDB to talk to the new web server, and time is running out.I mean that literally.  But the PzDB 1.3 beta version the distributed back in September as an expiration date built-in of January 15. And so: TIME EXTENSION!

Everyone involved in that PzDB 1.3 beta test will be receiving email shortly with a patch that will extend the beta test for one month.  We certainly expect to have all of this ironed out by then.  (Hmmm maybe we should have made it two months.)

December 15 2013
I got it… I got it… I got it… I ain’t got it.

OK, everyone who has a working Universal Sizing Apparatus in DAZ Studio take one step forward … Not so fast Margolis.  So close, and yet so far away!  Despite my recent reports to the contrary, conflicts with DAZ Studio continue.  Every time we fix one thing in Poser, we break something else and DAZ Studio.  But we are making progress.

Thanks to the diligence beta testing efforts of a user in Austin Texas, we’ve established that the original sizing apparatus was off by a little less than 1%.  Turns out, some of the original measuring devices that we used to create the apparatus and the first place, were themselves inaccurate.  We have now recalibrated the apparatus to the internal measurement systems in both programs.

I cannot list all the things we learned about poser and DAZ studio compatibility issues,  internalized geometry files are one problem right there.  Links to external .OBJ files are much more stable.  We’ve learned all kinds of things about how to create parameters that don’t have cross talk.  But still there are problems.

The current Universal Sizing Apparatus/ Women imports properly into DAZ studio, measures correctly at maximum sizes, minimum sizes, and default sizes, and yet does not actually measure correctly between them.  How on Earth is that possible?

Work continues…

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