Over the past month, I have been debating on updating Ariane for her next game. The above was an early draft which I am NOT going to use as I will explain.
The last high quality DAZ figure with full Poser support was Victoria 4, which is now over a decade old. Ancient by tech standards, and still widely supported with new clothes hair and accessories, because such things still sell well.
But Victoria 4 still has some flaws that make it less desirable to use…
I picked this Victoria 4 image to point out the main flaws: 1.) The armpits are way too high up the arm. 2.) the hip to thigh bend looks unnatural, as does the thigh to shin bend. Finally, 3.) while there are literally hundreds of skin textures available, most do not support the latest renderers like DAZ’s iRay and Poser’s Superfly.
The DAZ Studio solution is really easy: switch to G3 and G8 based figures (there are no G4 to G7 figures because: “reasons”) which DAZ is more than happy to sell you. Most of my fellow Dating Sim/Visual Novel makers have made the switch fairly successfully.
The Poser solution is not so easy. There are advanced models natively available to Poser, namely Dawn and Dusk by Hivewire3D, Paul and Pauline by Smith Micro that come with Poser 11.1, and Project Evolution by Erogenesis that is even more advanced than G8 as far as versatility goes.
The problem is that there is not a lot of support for these figures. Dawn has a fair amount, and Project Evolution may eventually, especially since it has backward compatibility with V4. But the majority of the support for new figures is not surprisingly for G3 and G8.
It is possible to convert G3 and G8 figures to be used in Poser, instructions can be found here. But because it is not supported natively, you have to convert every accessory the same way, and that could get time consuming, and the resulting Poser figures are memory hogs. I briefly considered creating a new Ariane based on Karen 7.
Attempts to make a Dawn version of Ariane
My initial idea was to try and make an “Ariane” using the Dawn figure. While the Dawn figure on the right has a more realistic body shape and curves, I could never get the face right. No matter what I did, the V4 face on the left is better looking and more realistic.
This time, I am sticking with V4. The three problems with V4 mentioned above can be addressed by new products: 1.) The shoulders and other model issues can be fixed with “Perfect V4” by XandM, 2.) The bending problems can be fixed with products like “Overhaul for V4” by ironman13. I used these products extensively to create the graphics update of Date Ariane.
The rendering skins can be updated with a python script “D3D Perfect Skin SSS Lite” which will change a basic skin texture to simulate SSS effects in the Superfly renderer, and as a side bonus, the Superfly renderer renders even faster. (The only flaw is that it shows solid white skin in superfly preview mode, switch to firefly preview mode to see what the textures look like, then switch back to superfly mode before rendering.)
There is still the issue of the body shape looking better in Dawn than V4. I solved that by using the rarely used Muscle Pack for V4. I originally got the muscle pack to make Wendy the Weightlifter look stronger, but adding a “toned” shape to Ariane at about 40%, I can give her the athletic curves I was looking for.
Now to create some new content with this improved Ariane…