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MakeHuman - half a thought left over from yesterday's post

Date/Time Permalink: 01/28/08 06:03:24 pm
Category: Reviews

This time I tried exporting a model from MakeHuman to Blender, and did a full number on it. So, for those of you wondering what a troll looks like, here it is:

A stunning portrait of Mr. Troll

Note that it's not very polished. That's not the point. The point is that I ran this up from scratch with less than three hours work. MakeHuman and Blender make a heck of a powerful combination.

Because it is still beta, I figure it makes a better non-human maker, since I just tried exporting a lovely female only to have her come out as a gray-skinned waxy corpse with magic-marker Groucho Marks eyebrows. There's some issues to work out. For actual humans, I'm sticking to screenshots for the time being.

While browsing the source, I discovered modules for clothes and teeth, which suggests facial expressions. When these are developed, it will be a cause for celebration.

Let me suggest something completely crazy: what about a command-line mode? Since the GUI interface is really just setting numerical values for the character (there's even numbers under each setting in the panels), and there's a console as well, obviously it should be possible to simply call it from the command line with a bunch of switches and numbers. You could print out a cheat sheet with the parameters in a chart with pictures.

This would cut a half-hour session down to seconds, once you knew what you wanted. Especially with a library of saved poses and characters. And if vector graphics can be expressed as XML data and ImageMagick can be manipulated entirely from the command line, there's nothing to stop you from making the program do this:

"makehuman -s F -a 32 -w 120 -h 67 -c 'MySavedTweaks.txt' -p 'Yoga'"

...and out pops a female 32-year-old weighing 120 pounds and standing 5' 6" with my custom tweaks for eyes and nose and positioned in the yoga pose, ready as a mesh for Blender import. Ding!

Yes, I know, darn that stubborn old-school grouch who wants everything in the world to be a command line. But that's all the program is anyway, is a command line with a GUI glued on the front.

Does anybody else think this is a good idea?

(My previous review of MakeHuman.)

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