Well I got my copy of Quidam3 along with the 3ds max plugin and some packs. I went for the studio version thinking that the low poly feature would serve my needs better in the long run.
Quidam is a very quirky app. I think I will enjoy it more when it gets to version 5. I suspect they’ll have animation controls by then. In any case it is built to build characters and you certainly get that. Unlike Poser, Quidam gets you quick results that are easily modified. The use of gestural modelling techniques and “on model” painting means you don’t need to venture outside of Quidam very often. You can select a base character, add some imported props and then adjust the shape of the mesh a bit like clay. (similiar to mudbox, z-brush and modo).
The base model allows for materials to be adjusted or you can paint direct onto the mesh (like bodypaint, silo & modo paint). A really nifty feature is the ability to paint an imported image onto the surface interactively. They have some tutorials on the n-sided site.
The best news for antics users is the ability to get the characters from Quidam into Antics whilst keeping the skinning and texture maps. I’ve worked on getting a mesh skinned and then weighted in Max before and it takes an awful lot of time. You have to line each bone up to the middle of each limb and then apply skin weights for the skin to be driven by each bone in the skeleton. Invaribly you then need to go through and tweak the weights until the mesh behaves like it should. There are two ways to skin a cat, sorry bone a mesh, hmm …. there’s the skin modifier and the physique modifier. Youtube both to get familiar.
When you bring in a Quidam creation you’ll see it’s the skin modifier that’s invoked.
What I worked out was that if you rename the bones on the newly imported Quidam skeleton so they match the naming convention of a Max Biped. Then it’s possible to copy the skin weights across. (drop me a line if you want to learn how to do this). Then you can export the character out of max into Antics (yipppeee!).
So now with Quidam I can make previz with any characters necessary, and with any facial expression I want.