Disclaimer: Not meant to be taken entirely seriously. Not entirely. Just seriously enough.
So. You may have noticed that more of "Old Friends - The Awards Scene" has resolutely failed to appear.
Now, to be sure, this is in part because, for varied and sundry reasons, it's been a bit hard to focus on something longer form.
In part, this is because I discovered, somewhat to my surprise, that I have an acute lack of modern evening gownage. You'd be surprised how many of those things you need to run an awards show, even if you only plan to do a few scenes. (The guys are easy. Everybody wears tuxes. Change the color and fabric of shirts and lapels, and you're done. Colorful penguins ahoy!)
But I have the MFD, I have a few other things, I can get through, more or less. Sort of.
Now, what you may not know -- because I didn't mention it -- is that maybe 50% of the reason that Romana Smacky IS ... Sheba Lawless!
actually exists is that I was using the scene to test out varied and sundry dresses to see what I had and how they would work for "Old Friends". And doing this led me to an important discovery.
And that discovery is ...
According to the makers of 3D evening gowns and long dresses and the like ...
In long dresses ...
Do not ...
Nope. They put on those long dresses, and apparently their knees magically lock into place, and they just never get to sit down until they take them off. (Thus explaining why, to a non-dress-wearing observer, it looks like it would be massively difficult to go to the bathroom in some of them. I suspect it's just as difficult in their real-world equivalents, too.)
Oh, women wearing such dresses may lounge decorously. (Heaven only knows how they manage to stand up again.) But actually sitting? Nope. Not happening. Not according to most of the makers of these dresses.
So here's the thing. What I ran across, over and over and over again, is that the dresses (and some long skirts) frequently did not have sit morphs. And OK, fine, not a huge difficulty as long as the dress was properly boned and rigged.
And ... that wasn't happening, either. Most of them stop having proper rigs somewhere around the thighs. Apparently, women in long dresses do not bend their knees for any reason whatsoever.
Some of the dresses and long skirts have this weird "Sit 45" morph, which bends the thigh area of the dress/skirt to 45 degrees, and does bend the knees slightly. (I did mention the whole "lounge decorously" thing -- I guess it's for that purpose.) The problem being, of course, most women's thighs bend rather more than that when they sit down.
Some of the dresses have draping morphs so that the women actually can sit down! .... in very very specific or restricted positions with specific poses and pose sets. Without the right rigging, you can't tweak the dress after the pose drape morph is used to get it to match what you actually want to do, rather than what it wants you to do. And some of those need to be, shall we say, a bit more informative.
Take, for example, the G3F Corset Dress skirt built by Daz. (The only vendor I will pick on by name, because they also do things right -- see the trusty old MFD -- and they can take it.) The Corset Dress skirt has a raft of pose drape morphs that probably allow you to do quite a lot ... as long as you have the pose set or at least know what pose set the morphs are supposed to match. Do the morphs tell you which pose set they go with? No. Does the product page tell you what pose set it's supposed to work with? No! Does the readme so much as mention any pose set at all? NO! So, you think, maybe this matches the Fashion Model set that shipped with G3F/V7 as the base pose set. But ... the pose drapes show 10 morphs with 10 mirrors, and Fashion Model has 18 poses with 18 mirrors. So heaven only knows what poses those morphs are supposed to match; I certainly don't. (And the Corset Dress skirt is one of those with a weird rig; fully rigged through the thigh, then with RHandle and LHandle, which are really meant to handle side/side motion and twists -- because the dress has a split in its geometry -- more than anything else. So G3F can actually sit in the Corset Dress; she just needs to keep her legs sticking out straight.
Some of the dresses do have full rigs with quite restricted ranges of movement. So you think, "Ok, fine, I can just take limits off on the thigh and shin bend bones, and sitting will be achieved!" And, well, yes ... and no. Yes, it will then bend more or less properly. No, because most of these dresses, when you take the limits off, deform quite spectactularly -- some of them got staggeringly long, growing well past the character's feet. Or they balloon out at the thigh and knee and shin. Long dresses and skirts frequently can't tolerate proper bending is what I'm saying. (To be fair, I suspect this is why they have rigs with very restricted movement; the vendor couldn't figure out how to allow more movement without the dress going insane.)
I would blame this on dForce (and more about that in a second), but most of the dresses I have pre-date dForce. This is just the way they were built.
dForce is, however, making this situation some considerably worse. Vendors are, somewhat understandably, not including much in the way of motion morphs in dForce dresses, because dForce itself takes care of that. However, when you include that with attenuated rigs, what that means is that a character can't sit down in a dForce dress because you can't get the skirt portion into the right position for much. For example, in the Sheba Lawless image with the MFD, what I did was to get her legs where I wanted them, get the dress more or less where it needed to be with a combination of bones and morphs, and then added dForce and simmed to get it to settle into the right places, without that sort of over-full look that morphs alone can sometimes give. Without the combination of sit morph and full rig that the MFD has, that wouldn't have worked.
So always remember and never forget: women in long gowns and dresses do not sit. EVER.
Thus concludes today's rant.