Virtual Victoria Keeps Turning Heads
Most 3D digital artists encounter the Victoria 3D figure developed by DAZ 3D early on in their careers. It is often a landmark moment when artists realize the capabilities of 3D art, when being able to introduce dynamic human figures into a scene, that gives an image so much more impact.
The life-likeness of human figures in 3D graphics was a thorny issue in the beginning. A human figure doesn’t bode well for limited processing power and pixels—too many complex joints, curves and blemishes to deal with. However with the advent of Poser, the first kernel of it developed by Larry Weinberg in the late 80s, a digital manikin maker was suddenly available for the amateur artist. It added a great element of fun into imaging—especially with all the clothing and scene props you could integrate with a figure. Nowadays, Victoria offers thousands of add on (DAZ 3D quotes 10,0000) clothing and props items.
It’s a widely supported model that deserves its high popularity. But aside from Victoria’s sassy visual appeal, why has she kept turning heads and how was she initially developed?
Born Just Before the Millennium
Victoria has been available since February of 1999 from DAZ 3D (known then as the Zygote Media Group). Her earliest roots were at the time of Poser 4, when she was known as the “Millenium Woman”, but the lovely name of “Posette” was the figure’s more popular moniker. Do you remember that classic box front image for the Poser 4 software, with the precarious girl hanging from a trapeze? I wonder what prompted that particular pose to help sell the software; perhaps circus acts were “in” during that time?
Victoria 1 was the first named figure for use with Poser. Later the Stephanie and Michael figures would join her, but Victoria remained the prima donna of this group. At this point Victoria 1 was $100.
Victoria 2 was improved with extra body shaping features and thankfully a better range of facial expressions was introduced. This version had a more detailed mesh, and looked smoother as a result. There was backwards compatibility with Victoria 1 and could use the same conforming items.
Victoria 3 was a bigger leap forward. This time there was a good density of polygons (now over 74,000 compared to almost 29,000 polygons for the previous models).It was the first of DAZ 3D’s “Unimesh” figures which included a much improved method of body shaping called “Morph injection”. And the base model was now free!
Victoria 4 had a new excellent body shape and there was some new technical improvements to the figure. The mesh for Victoria 4.0 was developed using Luxology’s Modo.
Version 4.1 was released in April 2007 and improved on the capability to load multiple sets of morphs into the character without causing conflicts.
Version 4.2 was released in February 2008 which added a set of built-in male morphs and further technical improvements.
Version 5 This long awaited version came in the end of 2011. Victoria 5 is part of the “Genesis” 3D platform, which offers greater versatility for the model, allowing it to be altered to be a male, a minor, or even a gorilla!
Genesis clothing fits all genesis figures, not requiring a ‘unimesh’ morph. The mesh of Victoria 5 was updated and made smoother, with the use of weight maps and optimisations native to Daz Studio. These could let morphs and movements be smoother, without glitches or bumps . It means that Victoria’s joints bend better and the skin detail is more precise. Both proportions and mass of the figure can be altered in a variety of ways without losing the superior bending and detail within the mesh.
Poser can still load her with some plugins or exporting from Daz, but will lack enhancements not supported in Poser. Previous generation clothing and add-ons can be re-configured to fit the Victoria 5 Genesis figure using DAZ Studio 4’s Auto-Fit tool. At the time of writing the version 5 base model is $40.
What’s Your Experience with the Victoria model?
Tell us what success you have had with using the Victoria model and let us know if you’ve used the latest version 5.