Project: The Beast (WIP)

This post will be updated with my work in progress snapshots from a new modeling project I’m working on. My girlfriend’s favorite car is the 1968 Dodge Charger. If you look around for existing 3D models, it’s easy enough to find a 1969 Charger. But the 1968 had a few differences mostly on the front and back ends. While I can find a 1968 model on Turbosquid, $125 is more than I am willing to pay for a single piece of hobby content.

I’ve watched a few tutorials on modeling a car in Hexagon and I think the one that has the method that works best for my mind is Master Hexagon – Car Modeling Basics available from Daz 3D.

I did however borrow setting up the reference panes from an older tutorial on YouTube Modeling a Car, Part One, Hexagon.

I’m not going to write a lot about how I’m doing this. I didn’t intend for this to be a tutorial. Merely a place to capture the work as it progresses.

BTW, in full disclosure what you’re seeing is my 3rd start on this project. I trashed the first two as the mesh was getting too difficult to tweak and smooth out. This approach has worked much better.

Pre-Modeling – Reference Panes

TheBeast300-ReferencePanes

Reference planes about to to be used for shaping the 1968 Dodge Charger model

Part One – Front wheel well

TheBeast321-Front Wheel Well

The first part of the Charger that I modeled. Basically the whole car “grew” from a single quad face over the top of wheel well.

Part Two – Front bumper

While I did model a bit of the front of the car, I jumped to the bumper because I made it a separate part of the object.

TheBeast337-FrontBumper

Half of the front bumper, including a small push bar and an integrated driving light.

Part Three – Hood and full fender

I finished out the front of the car before starting to move backward from here.

TheBeast345-Hood

Half of the front-end of the car body plus the bumper that I finished in the last step.

Part Four – Roof and Windshield

I kept following back from the hood to flow up over the windshield and across the roof.

TheBeast362-WindshieldandRoof

Showing the body from the front, extending the hood up and over the roofline.

Part Four A – Rear Window and Trunk

TheBeast362-RearDeck

The rear roofline, back window, and the surface of the trunk.

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Creating a Holey Cube

In Daz 3D’s Hexagon forums, one of our newer modelers asked about how to create a cube with intersecting holes from two sides. In his Penetrating a Rhomboid post, I suggested using the bridge function, which got halfway there, but I realized after he tried it that I could have been more complete in my description. So, this is how I did it.

Step 1 – Create the cube

I created a cube primitive with 8 tesselations to give me a nice center set of faces to work with on each side.

Holey Cube 01

The cube we’re going to pierce.

Step 2 – Make holes

I removed the 9 middle faces on each side, leaving the top and bottom solid.

Holey Cube 002

The center faces removed

Step 3 – Bridge two holes

I selected the edges around two opposing faces (click on one edge of each hole and use the Loop selection to select the hole). Then in Vertex Modeling, I chose Bridge and accepted the results.

Holey Cube 03

The first two holes bridged

Step 4 – Bridge the other holes

Then I repeated the process to bridge the other two holes. This creates the structure, but as you can see, the holes don’t go all the way through. Each bridge is blocking the view through the other.

Holey Cube 04

Both holes bridged

Step 5 – Tesselate the intersection

I hid the top of the cube (created a material zone with the top faces and hid that zone) so you can see inside the cube. I used Tesselate by Slice to slice each bridge as close to the other bridge as I could.

Holey Cube 05

Bridge overlaps tesselated

Step 6 – Remove the intersecting faces

Back inside the holes, I selected the new faces that were blocking my view through each hole and removed them.

Holey Cube 06

Intersections removed

Now you can see through, but if you look closely inside the hole there is a slight cap between the edges of each hole.

Step 7 – Weld the edges together

I admit to forgetting about the tools Hexagon offers at first. I started by manually going through and welding the vertices in each edge together. That was painful. Then I remembered the Average Weld function. It’s perfect for this as Hexagon is smart enough to figure out that those vertices are close enough to be welded. That went a LOT faster! Like a single click and it was done. 🙂

Holey Cube 07

Intersection edges welded

Step 8 – Test smoothing

Just to show I wasn’t quite done yet, I set smoothing level to 2. See that mess in the middle? That’s because there are still some faces from each hole that are overlapping there messing up the smoothing algorithm.

Holey Cube 08

Bad smoothing due to overlapping holes

Step 9 – Remove the overlapping faces

I removed the faces from one of the two holes, leaving the faces from the other one in place.

Holey Cube 09

Overlapping faces removed

Step 10 – Tesselate and weld

Once again I took the remaining faces and used Tesselate by Slice to create corresponding edges, making a grid in the center. Then I used Average Weld again to weld it all together.

Holey Cube 10

Intersection tesselated and welded

Final Product

Finally, with Smoothing turned to 1 you can see all my gaps and such are gone. I could adjust the edges of the holes a bit to make them more round instead of square, add some edges around the outline of the cube to keep it from smoothing too much, but that’s just tweaking it for the effect you’re going for really.

Holey Cube 11

Smoothed

Linking to Converted Clothing

This is a tip for people who may be using RiverSoftArt’s wonderful Clothing Converter from Genesis 3 Female to Genesis 8 Female for Daz Studio.

If you’re like me and…

  1. Don’t use Smart Content, but rather browse the Content Library
  2. You followed River’s suggestion and placed your converted clothing somewhere other than your main content library
  3. You’re running Windows 7 or later

…I might have a tip for you to make your converted content easier to find.

    1. Find the full path to your converted clothing. (e.g. c:\users\jonnyray\documents\DAZ 3D\Studio 4\My Library\People\Genesis 8 Female\Clothing)
    2. Open a command prompt as an administrator
      1. Start -> Run -> cmd.exe
      2. right click and say Run as Administrator
      3. click OK on any security warnings)
    3. Change your command prompt location to the location of your main clothing folder for Genesis 8 Female.
      cd “c:\users\public\documents\DAZ 3D\Studio\My DAZ Library\People\Genesis 8 Female\Clothing”
    4. Create a symbolic link to the converted clothing path you found in step 1…
      mklink /D “Converted from G3F” “c:\users\jonnyray\documents\DAZ 3D\Studio 4\My Library\People\Genesis 8 Female\Clothing”

 

What this will do is create a “folder” in your Genesis 8 Female\Clothing folder called “Converted from G3F” that will point to the location where the converter is putting your clothes. It won’t show the metadata tags like “Wardrobe” and such, but everything will load just like it loads from the actual location and you don’t have to browse two different content library structures to find your converted clothing.

3D Modeling Observations

As I’ve gotten back into modeling some of my own 3D content, I realized how it has given me more freedom of expression. A lot of my renders lately are of the roleplaying characters for my girlfriend and I to create snapshots of stories we’re co-writing. We tend to have very specific ideas about the look of our characters and the things they might own; so being able to create simple things myself has allowed me to reach my goals for my images without having to be limited by the content that others have created.

For example, our characters recently got married in-game. So we wanted the images I created to have wedding bands. But she’s particular about wanting to have silver/platinum and simple, but not entirely plain. While there are a lot of ring collections available from marketplace sites like Daz 3D or Renderosity and even freebies from places like ShareCG, nothing was quite what we needed and I didn’t feel like spending $10-12 for a collection of rings that were “close” when I could create some myself.

It took me a full evening to create the rings we wanted, but most of that was actually about getting them to work properly as props attached to the character’s hand rather than the modeling itself.

Moncreiffe Wedding Rings

Wedding rings worn by Conall and Simi

Another example was a simple picture frame that I needed. The story is that they are fans of Tim Burton’s “Nightmare Before Christmas” and so we needed a picture to hang on the wall with a frame that was appropriately just a little unusual. It took me less than 20 minutes to come up with this as opposed to buying a collection of frames or spending an hour searching for a free one.

Framed Nightmare Before Christmas

Picture from Nightmare before Christmas framed and hanging on the wall.

As a final example, the crib below is based off a design that Jenny really wanted to use for the baby. This project took longer because of a couple of false starts on my part. I could go into my mistakes and rework at length, but in the end it was mostly about knowing when to do the UV mapping of the parts of the crib. It also represents the first time I created something specifically to use Daz Studio’s dForce cloth simulation (the canopy is modeled from a basic cone shape and the dForce simulation makes it drape properly).

Siofra's Crib

Baby crib with a lace canopy.

My point to all of this is that none of these objects existed exactly in any 3D market or freebie sharing site anywhere. Learning how to model them myself allowed me to create exactly the items I needed for my image instead of just browsing through my collection of 1000s of pre-made items to find something that is “close enough”. Not having to compromise (and yes, being a bit proud of rendering with something I created myself) is a good feeling as an artist.

I encourage anyone who wants to take their artistry from composing the objects created by other people into a realm where you’re creating images that conform exactly to your vision to learn at least the basics of modeling. You may not ever want to get to the point where you’re creating your own clothing or modeling an entire forest. But the freedom you gain from knowing you can create your own lamps, picture frames, dishes, even furniture is a wonderful new experience!

Daz Studio 4.10 Iray Viewports

Note: A lot of this information is taken right out of Daz 3D’s Getting Started in Iray tutorial video on YouTube. If you learn better from videos, you might find that helpful.

The Problem

I’ve seen repeated questions about improving performance of the Iray drawing style in Daz Studio 4.10 viewports. Imagine my surprise when I was watching the Getting Started in Iray tutorial video and found a wealth of information already available on the topic!

Photo realistic rendering in the Daz Studio viewports can slow down even some of the fastest computers out there because Studio is trying to interactively create a “final” image and has to recalculate light paths, material interactions, shadows, and such each time you move your view or relocate content. This can cause people to feel like the program is really sluggish and/or that it causes everything else on the computer to grind to a halt every few seconds.

Interactive to the rescue!

Technically, NVIDIA Iray has two modes that it can render in. The one that is the default and we’re most familiar with is Photoreal. With only a few exceptions, this will be the mode you want to use for final image rendering.

There’s another mode called “Interactive” which has many of the same features as Photoreal. However, because it lacks support for computationally expensive features like subsurface scattering and caustics, it will generally render much faster.

Rendering Devices

On the Advanced tab of your Render Settings, you have the option to select which devices (CPU or graphics cards) can be used to perform Iray renders. There are separate selections for Photoreal verses Interactive. Personally, I don’t mind if Studio has to fail over to my CPU for a large final render, but for Interactive mode that we’re using on viewports, it’s probably better to uncheck the CPU. This will also stop the Iray engine from grabbing the CPU for rendering purposes and slowing everything else down on your computer.

Render Device Settings

NVIDIA Iray Rendering Devices in Daz Studio 4.10

Render Settings

While we’re on the Render Settings, go back to the Editor tab, Render Mode and change this to Interactive. Technically you might think this would ONLY affect if you’re doing a final render. However the Daz Tutorial indicates that Rendering Style and Draw Style are linked in some way; so it’s best to set this setting to Interactive as well.

Iray Rendering Mode

Choosing between Photoreal and Interactive modes

Just don’t forget to switch it BACK before you do your final rendering!

Draw Settings

Next is setting the drawing style for your viewports. There’s a good chance you don’t have the Draw Setting tab open in Studio. Go to your Window menu -> Tabs and select Draw Settings. You can dock it wherever it feels most natural to you.

Also, you will need to repeat the steps below for each viewport that you’re using Iray in. Most of the time, I will set my Auxillary (Aux) Viewport to Iray so I always have a rendered looking image to refer to even if I’m using Texture Shaded on my main viewport. Draw Settings changes focus for each active viewport that you click on; so make this changes in any viewport using Iray.

Draw Mode

Go to your Draw Settings tab, Drawing section and change the Draw Mode from Photoreal to Interactive.

Draw Mode Settings

Setting the drawing style on the current viewport

Response Threshold

When you’re using Interactive Draw Mode, Studio will pixelate your image when you start moving your view around and then will resolve it back to a rendered image when you stop. Response Threshold tells Studio how sensitive to be to view changes before it changes to the pixelated view. The lower the number, the more quickly it decides to pixelate the image. Higher numbers make the Interactive rendering engine work a little harder, but if your graphics card can handle it, it’s probably less annoying for you. You may need to play with that value to find a number that works for you.

Manipulation Mode (optional)

If you find the pixelated image still feels too sluggish when you’re navigating around your scene, you can choose how the content display changes when the Response Threshold is exceeded. As I mentioned, by default it pixelates the image, but from the Draw Mode tab, General, Manipulation section, you can choose to use either wireframe or solid bounding boxes instead. This is another option for those who are using slower computers or if you have a very large scene with a lot of detailed content.

Manipulation Drawing Style

Choosing how Daz Studio draws content while moving the view

Conclusion

I hope this information is helpful to someone. The Tutorial video covers a few other pointers on using Iray as part of the scene setup process. I highly recommend it to anyone getting started in using this tool.

DS Content Management (Characters)

I’ve seen some posts lately in the Daz 3D – New Users forum about people wondering about how to organize their content. While things like Smart Content and Content Categories have made this a lot easier than it used to be, I still find myself typically browsing the content folders.

So, to make things easier on myself, there are some standard things that I do to make content easier to find. In this entry, I’ll talk about how I move / copy / rename folders for my main characters.

Caveats

  1. The method I’m about to talk about does have a drawback. When there is an update to something that was moved, you will need to go and repeat the move / copy of files and folders. I’ll cover that more at the end, but if you don’t want to have to remember to update your folders and files after a product is updated, this may not be the method for you.
  2. This represents how MY mind thinks about content and what’s important. while it might work for you too, I’m sure there are other ways to accomplish similar goals

My Problem

I have three issues when I’m looking for a character to use. First is that when I’m looking for characters, the names of the folders aren’t always sufficient. 6 months after I bought it, remembering that Giada is a young teen looking girl based on Aiko 8 is almost impossible for me.

Second, even if I do remember the character’s name I’m looking for, the number of clicks to get there is annoying. I’d rather have my base characters available at a higher level in the structure.

Finally, I find it annoying to have all those folders with the default folder icon. Wouldn’t it be better to have the character’s headshot instead of a folder?

DAZ Default Character Folders

By default, DAZ wants to organize your character folders like this:

DAZ Studio Character Organization

The default organization of how folders and files are saved for character content in DAZ Studio

So, to load Aiko 8, I’d have to click on People, Genesis 8 Female, Characters, Aiko 8, and then I find the Actor file to load her. Also, unless I magically remember that Giada and Yuka are two Aiko 8 variants, I might have to click on each one, see their icon and then my memory is jogged.

My Character Folders

I will describe the actions I take on my character folders below, but here’s a diagram of the changes I make.

My Character Organization

How I copy and rename character folders and files

My Approach

Several key steps here in what I’m doing with this organization.

  1. All of the main characters start with an exclamation point (!). Since Daz Studio sorts things alphabetically for you in the content folder view, this will force all of the main characters to the top of the list.
  2. I copy of all the actor files (and their thumbnail png files) to the Characters folder. This does two things for me.
    1. First, it means I can see all of my Genesis 8 Female characters in a single folder
    2. Second, since the Actor file and the folder name are the same, it changes the icon on the content browser from the default folder to the character’s Actor thumbnail.
  3. If the character is another layer down (say for example with Giada, the folder path might have been People> GF8 > Characters > FWSA > Giada), then I move the whole folder up one level. While I appreciate the effort that Fred Winkler and Sabby put into their character, the “FWSA” folder is just an unnecessary click to get to what I really want.
  4. For characters that are derived from one of the base character shapes, I add a prefix to the folder, actor, and thumbnail filename. For example, since Giada’s Product Page says that she requires Aiko 8, I add “A8” to the folder and file names. This helps me group my characters into basic families of similar body shapes. Also, in order for the thumbnail trick to work, both the actor thumbnail file and the folder have to be exactly the same. Other prefixes I’ve used include:
    • Genesis 8 Female = G8F
    • Victoria 8 = V8
    • Olympia 8 = O8
    • Charlotte 8= C8
    • The Girl 8 = TG8
    • … you get the idea.

More to Come

As I said, this is a method that works for me. If it at least gives you some ideas on how to help you get your hands around the 3D Content that you own, then I’m glad I helped. Feel free to post questions here or, if you’re on the Daz 3D forums, drop me a PM at JonnyRay.

I will keep adding other categories of content to this series. Check my Content Management category for other similar posts.

Hair Raising Project

So way  back in 2014, I wrote about the research I was doing on the Current State of Rendering Hair my goal at the time was to see if I could apply the concepts of that research (which was designed for fiber based hairs) to the more common transparency mapped hairs of the hobbiest market. I was targeting the 3Delight rendering engine in DAZ Studio.

Fast forward through a number of life changes in 4 years and I’m starting to look at this again. However in that time the rendering engine of choice for DAZ Studio has changed from the Renderman compliant 3Delight to the physically based rendering Iray engine from Nvidia.

This has some advantages for me since the core of the Material Definition Language (MDL) already has a lot of the concepts of 3D surfaces built into it, I mostly need to write some custom code for the scattering and transmission components. I also still have to work out how to make the rendering engine think a piece of geometry which resembles a long flat ribbon is actually a collection of hair strands, but I have some ideas on that one. Will provide some updates once I get somewhere with this.

What I’ve Been Up To

Consimi-Walking toward the future

Conall and Simi symbolically walking a new path together.

So the last post I made was like what, 2015? Three years sure flies by. Lots of life changes in that time, which I won’t bore you with. But I wanted something on my home page to represent all the work I’ve been doing lately.

Secret World

My current MMO of choice is Secret World Legends (f.k.a. The Secret World). The re-vamp to a free-to-play game through Steam has revitalized the game, brought some much needed money for Funcom, and we just had our first new content release since Tokyo.

Add to that the roleplaying community (both in-game and Twitter) and my lovely new partner Simi and the gaming life is good.

3D Graphics

I’ve lately gotten back into rendering using DAZ Studio and so there are a lot of changes on my 3D Artwork portfolio. This includes the fact that I started taking 3D Commissions from my friends in the Secret World.

I have to admit as a long time fan of the 3Delight engine, I was a little skeptical at first about using the new iRay engine. But as I’ve gotten to understand the physics based lighting and such I have to admit the results are pretty amazing. DAZ must be happy I’m back to based on the way my bank account has been drained lately.

Thanks for Stopping By

That’s about it from me right now. Just thought I should have something up to show I’ve been more active than a 2015 post about MMO auction houses might have indicated. Please feel free to browse around and offer comments / feedback.

 

MMO Income – Part 1 – Planning

Making Money in the Auction House

First this is NOT about making REAL money by playing video games. If you were hoping to fund a new video card, you’re out of luck. If you were hoping to start a gold selling service, please logout of the Internet and never return.

What I did want to share is some general tips and tricks about how to make the most out of an in-game market place, commonly called by players (and some game developers), the Auction House (AH). The tips I’m going to share here should apply to most games as there are some general themes to how these things work.

Sidebar – It’s not an Auction

A minor pet peeve of mine (which I mostly get over) is that technically it isn’t an auction. In an auction (like eBay or Meekum) people bid on an item for sale and the person who bids highest wins. What most games have is more akin to a consignment shop. You sell stuff you found (or made) for a set price and you get the money (minus a commission).

Buying and Selling 101

You’ve heard the great advice, right? “Buy low. Sell high.” Seems like a great idea, and sound advice. But what is “low” and what is “high”? In an active, fluid marketplace how can I tell if the price I can buy an item for is a good value? Or what the best price is to sell the item at?

Sorry to say, but if you’re going to play this part of the game, you’re going to need to do some work on your own. I have a spreadsheet that I use to track prices on items that I typically buy and sell. The sheet tracks trends, calculates statistics, and figures out based on what I expect to sell something for, what price I should buy it at to achieve my goals.

Sidebar – Market Watch Sites

Some games have market watching sites. So, you may be thinking, I don’t need a spreadsheet, there’s this other site that shows what things are worth! Well, not so fast. Any sampling of an MMO market is a “point in time” sample. For items which rotate through the AH quickly, they may be missing a lot of data. Also, you don’t really know how they’re reporting that. Is it an average? Is it just the latest data point? Items tend to change in value to the players as changes in the game systems occur; so trusting that site which is providing an “average value” from the last year may be foolish. Track your own!

Whenever I decide to get into a new market niche, I try to give myself at least 10-20 days of just gathering data until I’m confident in my numbers. If there’s a significant change in the game, I will even zero things out and act like I don’t know anything to see how the market fluctuates.

As a “reward” for reading my guide, I’ll offer a simplified version of what I’m talking about in my next post to the blog. The spreadsheet needs it’s own explanation. J

Failure to Plan…

“Goals?” you ask. “Isn’t the goal to make as much as I can?”

Well, sure. But there are multiple ways to do that. Most games have those handful of high-end “endgame” items that sell for millions of coin. However those are rare, and you’re probably going to be competing with people who have large pocket books for those. At the other end are the “newbie” items which are common to find, but you’re going to make barely (if any) profit on them.

I typically start by setting a profit margin goal. In my case, I use 30%. If I’m not going to make 30% on my purchase, it isn’t worth it to me.

But, that doesn’t mean that I look for something selling for 70% of my target selling price. I also need to account for the fact that the AH is keeping their commission. In my current game (The Secret World), that commission is 15%.

So, to get the REAL buying price, I need to look for something that is 100 – 15 – 30 = 100 – 45 = 55% of my target selling price. As you might imagine, that’s going to significantly limit my target purchases. I’m basically looking for someone who just wants to make a little bit more than selling to an NPC vendor.

Sidenote – Below Vendor!

In every game I’ve played, there are always people who don’t know the floor on the prices they set. I’ve seen time and time again where people post items in the AH for less than what the vendor would have given them if they’d just sold it as “vendor trash”. The reason this happens is that when most people are selling on the AH, they undercut whatever the lowest price is. In TSW, if you hover over an item, it will tell you the vendor price for it. People STILL routinely sell certain things for less than that. I don’t worry about margins in those cases, I will buy even if I only make 2 coins since it’s guaranteed profit.

So, now I’ve told you that you need to gather data and have a plan. But what should you be targeting?

Target Market

I typically look to make profit in three specific areas of a market. These are reliable coin makers. They aren’t going to be the big ticket things, so I don’t normally hit a huge profit. However, in TSW, I average around 1 million coin per day profit. That’s for about 30 minutes of “work” on the Auction house and it’s steady income not relying on loot tables or RNG.

Sub-Endgame Gear

When it comes to buying and selling gear, I tend to target the non-endgame stuff. Endgame gear (mostly desired by raiders and PvP players) is well known and has a lot of market competition. The interesting thing is that those same endgame players tend to see the lesser gear as “trash” and will dump it on the market without a lot of concern.

Let’s say the level cap on your game is 50 levels. If you target gear for level 40-48, you’re going to find a few things. First, the demand is higher. In most games players don’t always make it to the level cap, but they almost always get close. Even if a player caps one character, it’s not uncommon for them to start another to play while they wait for their guild’s Raid Night. Since their endgame character has deep pockets, they’ll fund these alt characters pretty well.

Sidenote – Know your game. In WoW for instance, PvP is tiered every 10 levels. So PvP players will often target an x9 character (19, 29, 39, etc.) for PvP purposes. You may be able to make really good profit with lower level gear just by knowing some things about where the min/max players will try to optimize.

Crafted Items

If you’re going to be a crafter (I love that part of MMOs by the way), then you need to really learn the markets. One category of items that is almost always in demand is consumables (typically food and potions). With their “one time use”, and constant demand, it can be easy to make a lot of coin in this way. The more “accessible” (aka “easier”) crafting is to get into, however, the harder this market becomes. So tread lightly here.

Crafting Materials

This one is VERY game specific. In TSW, crafting materials are created by deconstructing existing items. In most games, materials are gathered from the field. In the case of TSW, I’ve done the analysis to know what prices I’ll pay for different tiers of “Green” (low-quality) gear so that I can break them down into materials and make very steady profit selling them on the AH.

Convertible Materials

I love this category! In both WoW and TSW, I have made a TON of coin by simply knowing that crafting materials can be improved (or degraded). Let me give a quick example using TSW.

In TSW, the highest quality crafting materials are “Sacred” followed by “Pure”. TSW allows me to convert 5 Sacred materials into one Pure material. I can also deconstruct one Pure material into 4 Sacred ones. So, consider the two scenarios:

Scenario 1: Upgraded Dust

Sacred Dust : 1500
Pure Dust : 14000

In this example, if I buy 5 Sacred Dust for 1500, I will have paid 7500 coin for them. But I can convert them (for no additional cost) into one Pure Dust, which sells for 14000. My “buy cost” for Pure Dust would be 14000 * 0.55 = 7700; so buying the Sacred Dust, converting it, and selling it as Pure Dust meets my profit goals.

Scenario 2: Downgraded Fire

Sacred Fire : 2000
Pure Fire : 4000

In this example, I can buy the Pure Fire for 4000, downgrade it to 4 Sacred Fire. This gives me a cost per Sacred Fire of 1000 coin, a bit below my buy price of 2000 * 0.55 = 1100 coin. However, in this case I really need to know my market. Sacred Fire might not be a big seller. Sure there may be plenty listed on the AH, but I need to pay attention to whether it sells or not.

Vanity Items

Oh we gamers are surely vain things! Depending on the game this may be clothing or furniture for in-game housing or dye packs to change the color of your gear. Many vanity items drop randomly. A player who isn’t into this sort of thing may not realize the value of the pink shirt that he just got from a mob. But you’re tracking the data; so you DO know. Snatch it up for 1000 coins, sell it for 5000 and profit!

Sidebar – Above the Vendor?

One of the funniest things to me in WoW was that, because I liked to explore, I knew where I could buy a frilly “pirate shirt” looking thing from a clothing vendor. As I recall, the cost was like 10 silver. However, I could routine sell 2 or 3 of those every week on the AH for 50 silver because people were too lazy to go find where they could buy it on their own.

Wrap-up for Part 1

So in this installment, I’ve talked about knowing your market and setting a goal for yourself. I’m planning a couple more posts on this topic. In the next one I’ll share a version of my spreadsheet and explain it. I also have a post planned talking about how timing of your purchases and sales plays into it. And I’ll wrap up a 4-part series with some other little tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way.

I hope this whets your appetite to come back and read some more. Feel free to post questions and comments, I’ll answer as I’m able to.

Pixar’s Graphics Library

A friend just linked me Pixar’s library of technical papers on computer graphics concepts. As they created the Renderman rendering engine, they often have some of the best insight into how to make the best use of it. Just wanted to link it here to augment my Current State of Rendering Hair article I posted a while ago.

Pixar Graphics Library

A Data-Driven Light Scattering Model for Hair

A Data-Driven Light Scattering Model for Hair

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