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The scale cube method of OBJ importing from Poser into Bryce…

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A tutorial I created a while back with Bryce 4, but it is relevant as long as Bryce has issues with importing large .OBJ files from Poser…

I will not go into great detail of how the scaling of objects in Bryce works – because I don’t really understand enough of how they work. Susan Kitchens and Victor Gavenda in their book “Real world Bryce 4”, dedicate the entire 6th chapter to this aspect of Bryce.

It is enough to say however, that when Bryce imports objects from other programs (in this case WaveFront OBJ files) it scales them according to its own internal grid, and the results are sometimes quite erratic. So let us start with the problem:

Importing single OBJ figure files from Poser to Bryce is quite easy, but I noticed a problem when I started creating larger files in Poser with more than one figure – especially DAZ3D’s Millenium figures. I created a scene with 2 figures including the Victoria 2.0 figure and exported them as a single OBJ group file in Poser. I then closed Poser, fired up Bryce and imported the OBJ file…

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…and got the following error. (this is an ongoing problem since Bryce 4 and still reoccurs in 6.1 & 7)

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This is a pretty common error with large .OBJ files. I have noticed similar errors with .3DS files (3D Studio) and with 512Mb of RAM it is hard to believe! The solution comes with its own problem…

I then returned to Poser and set about splitting my Poser scene into its individual figures and exporting them as smaller .OBJ files. (Bryce cannot import a single large .OBJ file, but can import smaller .OBJ files even though the smaller files together are larger in size than the single OBJ file!) I then imported them one by one into Bryce into the scene that I had prepared…

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…and immediately I could see that there was a problem with scale. The German Sheperd dog was now the same size as the woman and the side view in Bryce confirmed it!

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Apart from physically rescaling the individual object in Bryce, (which is not an easy task as percentages are not used in the Object Attributes and proportional rescaling is not well supported) the placement of the figures is a difficult task too and all my hard work with the posing of intricate items like hands in Poser has to be tackled again when placing the individual figures in the group.

The solution lays in Bryce’s own internal grid and something common to both Poser and Bryce – a simple cube!

Enter the scale cube…

When I created simple geometric objects with other 3D programs – including Poser – and I imported them into Bryce I noticed that they appeared at pretty much the size and position that I wanted them. I then started to experiment with a technique I call the “scale cube” method.

1. Load or create your scene in Poser

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2. Select the Props menu on the right hand menu of Poser. (You will have to click on the strange looking tab on the right edge to access the library lists) A drop down menu will appear. Select the Prop Types library category.

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3. In this category there should be a default item called “box”. Double-click on the box item or select the item and click on the small tick icon at the bottom of the menu.

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4. The box will now appear in your scene. At this stage you can leave it at the default size or you can scale it up to your preferred size.

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5. I usually rescale the cube to match the height of the human figure, in this case about 700% and move it off to one side next to the figures.

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Now comes the tricky bit – the exporting of the Poser scene to Wavefront .OBJ files

6. Select the File…Export…WaveFront OBJ menu item. Now deselect all the items (removing the X in the Universe list item usually works) and then select the first figure AND the box_1 item which will usually be at the very bottom of the hierarchy list. A small X should appear in the box next to the body part in the Hierarchy Selection window.

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7. After selecting the directory to export to and the name of the OBJ file, the next requestor will appear. Select the following options:

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The Export progress window will appear…

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Now most of the hard work is behind you. It is now time to get the files imported into Bryce…

Each figure in the Poser scene has now been exported to an .OBJ file with a “scale cube” attached. Bryce’s Import functions can now use that to scale the figures correctly.

Importing into Bryce

1. Select the File…Import Object… menu item and select the first of your figures with the scale cube. Because the files are now relatively small you will not get the dreaded “out of memory” error.

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2. When the 2nd file is imported the success of this method will already be visible – perfect scaling and perfect placement. (And it works on any number of imported objects)

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3. With all the figures imported, you can then go about getting rid of the scale cubes. They are not needed anymore! Hold in the Ctrl key (On the Macintosh the “Command Key”) and click on one of the scale cubes. A pop up menu will appear and the items in the immediate area of the Ctrl-click will be listed.

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4. Select the scale cube from the menu. It will be listed as “box_1_1” or something similar. The scale cube object within the imported group will now be highlighted. Press the Delete key and the scale cube will disappear. Repeat this step with all the redundant scale cubes. You can now place the remaining groups into one large group for final placement.

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A side view of the figures show that their scaling and positioning is perfect.

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5. Now you can set up your Bryce scene further, adding lights and textures.

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 Even if minor amounts of rescaling are needed or the positioning is a few Bryce Units out, it is easy to align and scale the figures using their attached scale cubes. Of course you must leave the scale cubes intact to do the adjustments and then delete them!

The basis of the above scene (the rocks and the water) were taken from the “Real World Bryce 4” CD-ROM that came with the book. Copyright for this scene therefore belongs to Susan Kitchens.

Being a typical human being I am sure that I have made some mistakes, and places where improvements can be made. Let me know , and I will certainly try to improve it.

Happy Scale Cubin’

Hamfast