mcjWarp plugin for DS3 PC

mcjWarp plugin for DS3 PC

by mCasual / Jacques

( version: 2010 07 25 16 30 )


mcjWarp lets you sculpt objects in your scene using a point and shoot method.

Subdivision surfaces are not supported

Standard character body parts, clothes, props and primitives are supported.


The installation files are located at the bottom of the web page: mcjwarp-plugin-for-ds3-pc contains the plugin and a few image maps (chisels).

It should be unzipped in your DazStudio 3 folder

For a standard installation, this means in "C:\Program Files\DAZ 3D\DAZStudio3\" contains the manual you are presently reading,

it can be unzipped anywhere you please

The first version of the installer was missing the crosshairs/target image
so if the zip file you have is dated older than "Thursday, July 29, 2010, 4:27:32 PM" you should download and install again. ( it only adds an image in the mcjWarp folder )

mcjWarp works fine on daz studio versions 3.....135 and 3.....144

with version 3.1.148 i encountered this problem: the "Create/mcjWarp" menu item was not visible. So i went in DS's "Edit/Customize" panel, on the right side of the panel i went in "Toolbars" then in "Create", i clicked on the "Create mcjWarp" menu item, then i clicked on the "Restore Defaults" button. And now the Create mcjWarp menu item is visible

Using mcjWarp

First select the objects that will be subjected to the Warp effect.

In this example we select a 64x64 divisions plane.

Click on Create / New warp

For each object subjected to the Warp, a morph channel labeled "Warp" is created.

mcjWarp will use this morph channel to store your sculpts.

In most cases you should not modify the Warp strength, and leave it at 100%

To start sculpting, make mcjWarp the current Tool by clicking on Tools / mcjWarp

Optionally, for a quicker access to mcjWarp, go in Edit / Customize panel

Drag mcjWarp from the Viewport Tools and drop it in the list of actions for

the Load Activity.  You can repeat this for other activities.

As you can see mcjWarp is now part of the Load Activity Toolbar

When mcjWarp is active, a target keeps tracking your mouse movements. This target is only usable through the default Perspective Camera or any other perspective camera you may create.

This target is in fact a special node ( a mcjWarpNode ).

You can find it in the Scene tab, under the name  "Warp".

Avoid scaling rotating or translating the Warp node.

Shoot !

Click on your left mouse button as you move the Warp Node across the plane

... tada! you're a sculptor ( but then again ... no, said Elton )

The mcjWarpPane

The mcjWarpPane is where all the sculpting parameters are located

You can bring up the mcjWarpPane by going in Daz Studio's View / Tabs / mcjWarpPane menu item

The Chisel settings

Displacement  Min and Displacement Max

controls amount of  displacement of the surface for each mouse click

By default Min = 0 and Max = 0.5 cm

Most times you'll want to leave min at 0 and set Max to a positive or a negative value

Selection Depth

sets the depth of the warp effect ( 4 cm default ). By carefully setting this, you can sculpt

on a character's face without disturbing the back of the head. Depth zero is where the

cross-hairs of your Warp hit the surface.

Ignore selection depth

If the surface you work on is a simple plane, this checkbox lets you turn off depth

checks. This will speed up mcjWarp. The other advantage is that the cross-hairs of your

warp don't need to "hit" a surface.

Ignore invisible materials

This will be mostly valuable for facial sculpts. If you make the gums, teeth, tongue, inner mouth invisible

by turning their opacity down to 0%, then mcjWarp will not modify them as you are sculpting the lips and nose.

Image Map File

The wide button which currently reads "None" lets you load and use a gray-scale image

map as your chisel point. The brighter the pixel, the stronger the warp effect.

Here you can see one such map, ( mcjDomeBrush.png is part of the installation package ).

The plane we are warping is 1 meter wide,  we set Displacement to 50 cm

in 1 mouse click and we get a dome

Here's mcjConeBrush.png

and the result

Sculpting everything "by hand is difficult, so you may want to create more

complex brushes like mcjWarpBrush.png

We get this result ( on a 100x100 divisions plane )

( this example could be handled effectively by Daz Studio's displacement maps )

The Sculpt modes

The Add / Replace / Subtract / Clamped check-boxes let you control  the sculpt mode.

In previous examples we used the Add mode.

The Subtract mode gives us the same effect as setting the Warp's Displacement to
its opposite value and using the Add mode.

In Replace mode existing sculpts are removed before applying the new ones.

Setting the Warp's Displacement to 0 and using Replace makes a handy eraser!

In Clamped mode the new sculpt replaces the old one only if it's stronger ( deeper
or higher ), a bit like a router

The Displacement Vector(s)

By default our sculpts are pushing or pulling the vertices along the Camera to Warp vector

that's the Camera-To-Warp mode. If you want the displacements to occur along the Y

axis, select the Custom-Vector mode and type in your direction vector. If you want the

vertices to move as if they were pushed aside or pulled together, use the Radial mode.

Here's a cool effect you can get in Radial mode, on a 64x64 plane.


Saving your Warps

If you sculpt simple objects like primitives, you could export them using Daz Studio's

File / Export / Wavefront Object (.obj) menu

mcjWarp also lets you save them as morphs

Important note

Say you sculpt a dog on a 64x64 plane, and you convert it to a morph using the morph-channel named PBMCC_01, and you save this as a Daz Scene file (.daz)

...  then a few days later you sculpt a cat on a 64x64 plane and you also convert it to a morph using the morph-channel named  PBMCC_01, and you save this as a Daz Scene file (.daz)

... then a few days later you open your cat scene  .... your cat is gone, forever, replaced by the dog.

This is due to the way Daz Studio stores objects and morphs in its data folders. When Daz studio saved the cat scene, it looked in the data folders and saw a morph for the 64x64 plane, for the channel named PBMCC_01 ( the dog ) and concluded it did not need to save it again, and that's when our beloved cat got thrown out in the digital abyss.

In conclusion, avoid using the same morph channel name for a given object, and export precious sculpts as .obj or .pz2 files.

Save Warp(s) As a Morph injector (.pz2)

Type the name of the destination morph-channel in the field titled Channel Name.

Type the label for this morph in the field titled Channel Label.

Click on Save Warp... 

When asked for the destination file name, don't forget to add .pz2

Convert Warp(s) To Morph Channel(s)

Type the name of the destination morph-channel in the field titled Channel Name.

Type the label for this morph in the field titled Channel Label.

Click on Convert Warp...

Create empty morph channel(s)

Daz Studio can only import a .pz2 morph file if the target object ( or body part )
has a morph channel with the same name as the morph channel name specified in the .pz2

If you saved a Warp as a .pz2 , and specified the channel name PBMCC_01.
You may need to create a morph channel named PBMCC_01 on the recipient of that morph

Select the objects or body parts that need a new morph channel

Type the name of the morph-channel in the field titled Channel Name.

Optionally type the label for this morph in the field titled Channel Label.

Click on Create empty morph channel...

mCasual Jacques,
Jul 29, 2010, 9:50 AM
mCasual Jacques,
Jul 30, 2010, 8:17 AM