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Creating Morphs to use DAZ Figures in Mimic for Lightwave

Author: kennez

Tools Needed

  • Poser
  • Mimic for Lightwave
  • Lightwave 7.5 or above

Support Files

Introduction

You are using DAZ figures in a Lightwave animation project, and you need to add lip sync and facial animation. Here is how to create the morphs needed by Mimic to automate most of the work. This technique works for both the full body, and just a part of the body, such as the head used in this tutorial.

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Step 1 - Creating the Morphs in Poser

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Load up Poser, and delete the default figure. For this tutorial, we will be using Victoria 3 by DAZ. Load the Victoria figure into the scene, and switch to the face camera.

Next, open up the Pose library and select the V3 Expressions INJ entry.

Inject the first morph, in this example I used RBrowUp, and using the Morph dial at the right of the Poser interface, set the value to 1.0.

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Step 2 - Exporting the Morphs

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We will now export this Morph as a .OBJ file, so go to FILE > EXPORT > WAVEFRONT OBJ. In the first menu that appears, just click OK. On the second box, click on UNIVERSE to deselect everything, and then click on the entries NECK, HEAD, LEFT EYE and RIGHT EYE, and click OK.

Then you need to select a directory to save, and a file name. It is good practice to name the exported OBJ file with the name of the morph that you are exporting. In the final dialogue box, uncheck everything, and then click OK.

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Repeat this for the other morphs required (see the support file MORPHS.txt for the morphs I use)

We also need to export a base object that will be used as the default head, where all the morphs will be merged. To do this, remove all set all expression morphs to zero and follow

the export instructions above.

Step 3 - Setting up the Morphs in Lightwave

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Open up Lightwave Modeler and open the BASE.OBJ object. Save this as BASE.LWO. Open up each morph you created in Poser, and save each of these as an LWO, using the same name as the OBJ file.

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After you have created all the LWO files, close them all and reopen BASE.LWO. Next, open RBrowUp.lwo and hit copy at the bottom of the Lightwave interface. Close RBrowUp.lwo and switch to Layer 2 of BASE.LWO. Paste your copied morph into Layer 2.

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Step 4 - Adding the Morph to the Base

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Make sure that Layer 2 (your morph) is in the foreground. Click on the M at the bottom right side of the interface, and switch to the Map tab at the top of the interface.

Click on New EndoMorph on the toolbar at the left of the interface (assuming you haven't customized the interface). When the dialogue appears, type 'Brow.RBrowUp' (without the quotes), make sure Relative is selected, and click OK.

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Put Layer 1 in the foreground, and Layer 2 in the background, and click on the button BkgToMorph. When the box appears, select the name of the morph you created and click OK.

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Step 5 - Testing the Morph

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To test your morph, click on the arrow at the bottom right of the interface and select [base]. This will make the base haed the active morph. Now, click on the arrow and select [Brow.RBrowUp], and the figure should change to the correct morph.

Step 6 - Creating the other Morphs

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Repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 for all of the morphs you created in Poser (see the support file for the names I used for each morph). Make sure to test each morph after you create it.

There is nothing worse than spending an hour adding all these morphs to your figure, only to find that when you get them into Layout that they don't look as they should! (I know from first hand experience!)

Step 7 - You've Finished....Nearly!

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After you have created each morph in Lightwave, and applied it to the base model, you can go ahead and delete everything except Layer 1. Layer 1 contains all of the morph targets that Layout will use, so make sure you don't delete it! You can now go ahead and texture your BASE.LWO file ready for use in Layout.