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What is the current state of Daz to Unity?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by nonojuice, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. nonojuice


    Apr 18, 2019
    Hi, I don't know Unity yet but I know C#. I read that Unity is the most productive game engine.

    I've long had an idea for a 3D story-driven detective game, but didn't think I'd ever be able to do it (for lack of help to create all the assets), until I looked into Daz. Daz would let me use ready-made models (customized to my desires using "morphs") and animations that look absolutely amazing, saving me a whole lot of effort, seemingly without requiring any 3D modeling/animation experience. If I could easily reuse Daz models, clothing and animation in Unity, that would allow me to do the whole game on my own!

    I saw comments saying it's not easy, that there's always issues you have to fix by hand. But they're from 2 years ago. How are things now?

    Here's the sort of things I'd like to be able to do, are these easily fone nowadays:

    1. Import Daz model, animations, clothings
    2. Play any desired animation for the given model
    3. Cancel the given animation at any time
    4. Change clothing for a given model

    I'm also wondering if I can join multiple Daz animations in Unity, for example: I have a "holding telephone" arm animation, could I combine it with "walking" leg animation to have a model talking on the phone while walking? Or would I need to create a third walking+telephone animation in Daz and import that?

    Similar to the previous question, the main character needs to show injuries on his face/body, and Daz has texture packs for that. Would I be able to just import an injury texture and apply it to the Daz character model, or would I have to import a brand new "injured main character" model into Unity?
    yosun likes this.
  2. CityGen3D


    Nov 23, 2012
    I believe Character Creator 3 has a Daz import (and Unity export) and is the recommended up-to-date workflow for creating game characters from Reallusion content.

    I'm a novice and haven't used it much yet though, but certainly the export to Unity was easy when I tried it and I think there are up to date tutorials on importing Daz characters and clothing (although I've not tried that bit specifically myself).

    CC3 has some really good features for creating game ready (lower poly) characters from hi-res Daz content. But as I say I've only just scratched the surface with it so far, but I do recommend it from what I've learnt.

    One thing to be aware of is you need to ensure you have the Export license for Daz content you intend to include in a game, because as I understand it, the cheaper of the two licenses doesn't allow you to do this and is for renders only.

    If you dont already own Daz content you can also purchase assets ready made for use in CC3 as well, which makes the workflow even easier.
  3. Ony


    Apr 26, 2009
    Those are all totally doable within Unity, yes. How doable they are for you depends on how much game development experience you have, and how much you understand Unity workflow and game dev workflow.

    Daz models can indeed be imported into Unity. We used them as a starting base for characters on some of our more recent games. What I mean by starting base is that they required a ton of work to get them usable in the way that we needed for those (3D) games.

    Not sure how much research you've done on it, but it's not just a matter of exporting characters from Daz and popping them into a ready-to-go game framework.
    Ryiah and Lurking-Ninja like this.
  4. Lurking-Ninja


    Jan 20, 2015
    Also due to DAZ licensing and the cost of the software you can expect yourself north of $400-600 to start. AFAIK the base licensing at Daz does not allow real time rendering, you need to buy license extension for that. CC3 content usually allows it or you can buy a version of them with it for a reasonably price.

    CC3 is good, I like it and own it, although I wouldn't use it for main characters or characters which may become 'iconic', because of license issues. You can forget secondary works altogether (merch and such).
    Ony, xVergilx and Ryiah like this.
  5. Voronoi


    Jul 2, 2012
    My experience was the the Daz3D models come in as seperate skeletons for hair, clothes and the body. The body was 70K of polygons, all of which was covered by clothing. It may be the person exporting didn't know what they were doing, but it was barely usable.

    The bigger issue was that you could not make the character a Humanoid avatar for Unity's animation system. Makes sense, humans only have one skeleton, not 3. This meant that you could not combine animation from other sources at all and would be a huge limitation.
  6. petersx


    Mar 5, 2015
    I think you are wrong. Unity autorigging system is the best in all game engines. You can apply any humanoid animation to any Daz model (G2/G3/G8) - it fit almost perfectly.
    In latest versions of Unity only need to "reset" animation to T-pose.
    Also there's a method do import separately body and other components like hair, clothes, etc. and copy bony hierarchy with special script. For example you can look at videos tuts on channel:

    Second approach to change clothes in daz model imported into Unity is add all clothes into model in Daz Studio, then export as fbx and import into Unity. Then you can enable/disable any clothes by hand in editor or in runtime by the prepared simply script.
    Ony likes this.
  7. Ony


    Apr 26, 2009
    You can combine the meshes into one skeleton at runtime via code, or do it ahead of time in a separate 3D program, before exporting to Unity. As far as the polygon count, Daz offers a Decimator plugin that helps with that, or, again, you could do it in a separate 3D program before exporting to Unity.

    So yup, Daz is usable in Unity, but to do it right requires a decent amount of game development knowledge and external tools. Your average person asking about using Daz in Unity is coming from Daz and thinking, "hey, I heard Unity can allow me to do whatever I want with these amazing characters!" which is technically true, but true in the same way that thinking "if I simply learn Japanese, I can talk to Japanese people" is true.
    alexzzzz, Martin_H, vviking and 2 others like this.
  8. artwhaley


    Aug 11, 2014
    I've done some work with Daz to Unity lately. It's perfectly workable, but it's not easy.

    To start with - the Genesis 3 body is down around 30k polygons. That's not what we'd call 'optimized' for a game, but most hardware can handle a handful of those at a time. Daz clothing and hair, on the other hand, is often very inefficiently modeled - since the typical Daz user doesn't seem to mind spending hours per frame on a still render. So, plan to spend most or all of your decimating time on those details... and they're tricky. When you start reducing the poly count of hair and clothes, the perfect fit they had to the underlying body starts to break down and you get a lot of pieces popping through. With clothes... you can often compensate by turning off slices of the body... but hair's a pain. You'll fall in love with a hair asset and then realize it's got 400,000 quads in it... and then add in that you may be thinking about using a double sided shader with transparency... and...the hair should scare you. If you've got any inclination towards learning to create your own hair, or are willing to adapt made-for-game-asset hair, you'll be a lot happier with how your game runs.

    By number -
    1. Importing Daz Models and animations is easy. It essentially just works... you set it as a humanoid rig, enforce T-pose, and it does it's thing. The hard part is optimizing the model before you leave Unity for the best performance.

    2. To do multiple animations and recall the one you want is pretty easy too. If you're trying to use a bunch of DAZ animations... I'd add them to the model's timeline sequentially and take note of the frame numbers that each starts and stops at. When you bring the model into unity, you can split that long animation into all of the smaller ones and name them each.

    3. Stopping animations will be easy enough too. You probably want to watch some tutorials on basic animator use and basic character controller setup to understand how animations are started and stopped via Mechanim.

    4. Not that bad. If you only need a couple of outfits, you can put them all in the same model before exporting from daz... and just enable and disable the parts you need at any given moment. If you want something more complex and/or flexible (i.e. - the ability to add future outfits without redoing everything associated with the character) it's not that hard either. You can export each outfit individually with "export base figure as skeleton only" enabled in the export dialog and you get just the clothes, no duplicates of the body. And you build some sort of wardrobe management system that will instantiate the outfit, set the character as it's parent, and then copy the parent's skeleton to the child... and then they behave like clothes, following the base character whatever it does.

    None of that is hard... but it's not an easy first project either. I'd definitely encourage you to start with some game-ready assets and play around. Use the standard asset character and animations to get comfortable with moving a person via script and animator. You want to really understand how it's all SUPPOSED to work before you try to bring a model that wasn't made for this purpose into Unity and get that to behave perfectly.
    Ony likes this.
  9. ina


    Nov 15, 2010
    CC3 has a tool called Transformer that lets you take a Daz model into CC and export it with its LOD decimator

    This doesn't seem to support blend shapes, but the biped rigging seems fine