Daz 3D Avatars and Clothing in Sinespace: A Look at Three of the New, More Realistic-Looking Human Avatars from Daz Originals Now Available in the Sinespace Shop!

This blogpost is sponsored by Sinespace, and was written in my new role as an embedded reporter for this virtual world (more details here).

Daz Productions, better known as Daz 3D, is a software company specializing in providing rigged three-dimensional human models and associated accessory content, for countless markets. You might have seen Daz 3D models used in games, advertisements, and movies, perhaps without even knowing it. I know an author who uses Daz 3D models to create images to illustrate the science fiction novel he is writing.

Forbes recently reported that Daz 3D has become a featured developer for Sinespace, providing whole avatars, clothing, and accessories to purchase from the Sinespace Shop (their store brand is called Daz Originals):

You can see some of the new Daz Originals avatars in this two-minute YouTube video which was recently published by Sinespace, showing the almost endless options of their powerful avatar customization system:

So, I decided to take some of these Daz Originals avatars out for a test drive. And I have written up step-by-step instructions on how you can get started, for free! (If you act quickly.)

I started with a freebie I picked up using the promotion code in the Forbes article, the Shyla skin and shape bundle; the promo code is only good for the first 50 people who use it, but I just tested it with an alt and it still works as of the day I wrote this blogpost, Jan. 4th, so be sure to snap it up before she’s gone! If you missed your chance to get a promo code for the free Shyla offer via Forbes, you can purchase the complete Shyla avatar bundle for 1,355 Gold in the Sinespace Shop.

You’ll have to have a Sinespace account already set up to use the promo code (if you haven’t done that yet, here are step-by-step instructions). Then sign into the Sinespace website with your username and password, click on My Account in the top menu, then click on Redeem Code:

Once you have redeemed the promo code, open your Sinespace client and click on the Inventory button. Up top you should see an icon for the Shyla bundle, which you must unpack before you can use. Click on the Shyla icon in your inventory, and select Use:

Then you will get a listing of the contents of the bundle. Click the Get button to receive the items into the various skin and outfits folders.

Then, click on Outfit, and click to create a new female avatar:

You’ll be asked to give her a name. Then, starting from the default female avatar, click on the Wearing button (the wardrobe), and remove everything—we’re starting from scratch here!

Now, click on the Body button on the right hand side, and select all three of the following items under Morphs (this is important):

  • Base Shape Body F
  • Base Shape Head F
  • Shyla Female Face Shape

Then, click the Skin button, and add the Shyla eyes and skin:

Then, dress her as you like using clothing under your Accessory, Body, Top, and Bottom buttons!

Be sure to click the Save & Close button in the bottom right-hand corner of the Outfit window to save your new creation!

I did a little bit of fiddling with the default dimensions of the Shyla avatar (I gave her a bit more muscle tone, and for some reason, the default hands were rather large). I also shopped for some new hair, and a new pair of brown eyes I liked much better than the default Shyla ones. Here’s a few pictures I took. The detail on the skin texture is insane!

Then, to outfit her properly, I purchased the Solaris outfit in black from Daz Originals, which is a complete, mix-and-match set including a miniskirt, leggings, boots, corset, belt, bra, gloves, a shrug and a necklace. The Solaris outfit comes in turquoise, copper, pink-and-white, or black-and-silver, for 605 Gold each.

After Shyla, I bought two different male avatars from Daz Originals.

Here is the incredibly realistic-looking Mr. Woo avatar (2,505 Gold in the Sinespace Shop), wearing the red-and-black Wise Master outfit (639 Gold):

Then I purchased the Luke avatar (1,075 Gold), the Soledad hair in red (99 Gold) and the Beast Master outfit in gold and white (665 Gold). A very impressive warrior indeed! The skin quality is, once again, excellent.

The detail on the clothing and armour is incredible!

The Beast Master outfit also comes in iron, navy, red, and black, for 605 Gold each (you can also buy each piece separately if you wish):

It is clear that we are going to have some really good, realistic-looking avatars in Sinespace! I’m looking forward to seeing what other Daz 3D assets become available in Sinespace. This looks to be the start of a very fruitful partnership. Adam Frisby, the Chief Product Officer for Sinespace, says:

We’re really excited to see Daz’s work come into Sinespace, they’ve got an amazing character library with so much original content that’s never been in a virtual world legitimately before. Furthermore, their content is all designed to work nicely with all our other fantastic creators’ avatar content – so you can mix and match your favourite Daz content with your favourite content by our other creators.

The coolest thing is they’re pioneering a lot of our new morph technology, we’ve been really keen to see that take off, and to have such an esteemed developers content using it, is really something we love.

A Look at How Cutting-Edge Game Company Research Is Being Used to Make Sinespace’s Human Avatars Ever More Realistic-Looking

This blogpost is sponsored by Sinespace, and was written in my new role as an embedded reporter for this virtual world (more details here).

I want you to take a good look at the person in this photograph:

Actually, this is not a photograph of a real person. This is a completely computer-generated game character, an example of the astounding progress that AAA videogame companies have recently been able to achieve in creating realistic-looking digital simulations of humanity.

This picture was taken from a presentation made at the 2013 Game Developers Conference by Jorge Jimenez and Javier von der Pahlen at Activision Blizzard, where they talked about the recent major strides in research in this area of computer science.

Historically, one of the biggest problems in making digital humans is the Uncanny Valley effect: when people’s reaction to a humanoid object that imperfectly resembles a human being ranges from dislike to outright revulsion.

Here’s a good example, again a picture taken from that presentation; you can tell that something is not quite right, and you might find this picture rather creepy as a result:

What’s wrong here? Well, for one thing, real human eyes have a slightly translucent quality; when you look at a person, you can actually see a little bit of the back of their actual eyeball, instead of the flat, opaque, billiard-ball type eyeballs you see here.

Now compare that picture with the improved version:

See the difference? It’s subtle things like this that make or break the realism of an avatar in virtual worlds.

Sinespace is hard at work improving avatar skin textures. AAA games use high-resolution (4K or 8K) skin textures with lots of additional detail maps for closeups, but they are huge files—about 120 MB of data after compression! Even worse, they consume 500 MB or more of GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) RAM. In other words, it would only take a small crowd of avatars wearing these high-resolution skin textures to make even the best computer graphics cards cry and bring most virtual worlds to an absolute stand-still.

Sinespace has decided to create a new set of “universal” skin maps for both male and female avatars. If you select the “High Quality Skin Shading” option in the Sinespace client, it will include these new pre-baked skin maps (they simply get added to the existing skin maps on the avatar).

Here’s a slide from Sinespace’s Chief Product Officer, Adam Frisby’s recent keynote address showing you what that looks like:

Notice the new sliders for skin bumpiness and even skin age!

Sinespace is taking and applying some of the lessons learned from the cutting-edge research conducted by AAA game companies like Activision Blizzard in their quest to make more realistic human avatars.

For example, yet another avatar skin improvement that Sinespace will be working on is something called SSSS, which stands for Separable Sub-Surface Scattering, which refers to the way that light bounces around and even through human skin. Like the human eyeball. human skin is slightly translucent and not 100% opaque. You can see this if you hold your hand over a bright light source; you’ll see a reddish glow where the light is going through slightly.

You might not know that the skin shaders in Sinespace already have subsurface scattering, using an older algorithm pioneered by Activision Blizzard, but this will be a “new and improved” version. Sinespace will also be working on multi-layer skin improvements to avatar skin; human skin actually consists of multiple layers, which subtly changes the reflective properties of your skin.

In addition to improvements to avatar skin, there will also be new avatar eyeballs coming soon, which will feature moisture and occlusion settings to more closely resemble the real-life human eye! As you can see from the previous pictures, even these small changes can make a big difference.

However, none of these changes are going to help if they slow down performance. So Sinespace is also hard at work on rendering optimization, with the result that the amount of RAM used in your computer to display each avatar in a scene will be lowered dramatically (which means less lag in big crowds!).

This is exciting work. Sinespace is going to have increasingly realistic-looking human avatars over the next few years!