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Custom action Figures

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Wraith_Shadow
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Custom action Figures

3D PRINTING IS THE SHIZNIT!

One of the more fun things this game can do, would be action figures of YOUR characters. Not just statuettes or mock ups but actual action figures. Using the Character creator model/frame, add in spots for the joints and stuff, so they would/could grow with the model, and team up with any of the numerous custom figure companies out there. There is an entire slew of smaller companies that would love to have an official license to this stuff. Weapons and items would be made based off of molds and such, while the bodies and parts themselves were made from the model of the characters. They could add money sinks by allowing for part picking from accessories and weapons, or generic parts (hands/feet in various poses), and for extra money, they could even be painted by a person to be the colors they are in game.

Granted, this wouldn't be cheap, being anywhere from $25 for a 3.75 inch figure to $80 for a Fully painted 6 inch figure. Guaranteed to be on the expensive side but people would totally pay for this. More so, if you could pick parts, buying just the custom heads or torsos or capes and such that they could add to existing figures and paint themselves.

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Wraith_Shadow wrote:

Yeah this has been talked about several times over the years on this forum. From what I recall the Devs are basically in favor of the idea and people have generally debated exactly how "easy" it would actually be to do but like most things this probably wouldn't happen anytime at all until well after launch.

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Yep. Geeks Gone Bad has a 3D

Yep. Geeks Gone Bad has a 3D printer I think he made himself and killer laser setup. Maybe he'll share the video he made with him using the laser in a very appropriate way for this forum. :D

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The problem is the models for

The problem is the models for the game aren’t designed for 3D printing. We would have to make ne models specifically for that purpose.


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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

The problem is the models for the game aren’t designed for 3D printing. We would have to make ne models specifically for that purpose.

When this topic came up a few weeks ago your point about the models was mentioned. But who knows maybe in another year or two some third party might figure out a way to "recompile/reformat/translate" your models to make 3D printing more directly feasible. It's not like yours would be the only game to benefit from something like that. These things are getting easier/cheaper all the time and it's hard to believe this kind of thing would be "difficult" forever.

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Maybe get an arrangement with

Maybe get an arrangement with the folks from Hero Forge. Give them a license to add parts based on the CoT costume items. The hardest part will be with body sliders; which may be a show-stopper.


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I'd imagine the wide usage of

I'd imagine the wide usage of UE4 might allow for a somewhat universal translation of the models to vector maps and such


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desviper wrote:
desviper wrote:

I'd imagine the wide usage of UE4 might allow for a somewhat universal translation of the models to vector maps and such

That was basically my point. General overall demand (again not just from this game) will likely drive innovation in this area eventually.

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avelworldcreator
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If/when I have time I'll

If/when I have time I'll research things. I know our base model uses an industry standard FBX format that we import into the engine. How it handles it from there I'm not too certain about. At that point the model is modified as the user changes it and gets all the colors and layers on top of it. That mixture is what needs to be exported into a format that a 3D printer is capable of working with. If anyone else wants to look into the mechanics and find a solution I'm all ears.

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avelworldcreator wrote:
avelworldcreator wrote:

If/when I have time I'll research things. I know our base model uses an industry standard FBX format that we import into the engine. How it handles it from there I'm not too certain about. At that point the model is modified as the user changes it and gets all the colors and layers on top of it. That mixture is what needs to be exported into a format that a 3D printer is capable of working with. If anyone else wants to look into the mechanics and find a solution I'm all ears.

I don't think anyone who even has an inkling of what's involved ever said it would be a trivial matter.

On the other hand a number of people on this forum (including myself) have claimed they'd be willing to pay into the hundreds of dollars to get high quality 3D prints of their CoT characters so having an economic motivation such as that might help you to assess what overall priority MWM might want to give to this opportunity in the future.

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hopefully..... someday...

hopefully..... someday...

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I still think that something

I still think that something like figures could be outsourced. Send original 3D files to a 3rd party and let them convert those files into something printable. This way, MWM only needs to concentrate on making the game, and then they'll get a cut from every figure the 3rd party sells to us.


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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

I still think that something like figures could be outsourced. Send original 3D files to a 3rd party and let them convert those files into something printable. This way, MWM only needs to concentrate on making the game, and then they'll get a cut from every figure the 3rd party sells to us.

This is really what I've been kind of implying all along. I've seen people talking about wanting to "3D print characters from computer games" for the better part of 20 years now and while the technology involved today is obviously much more advanced than it was even 5 or 10 years ago I have to think that sooner or later being able to import custom character data from "various game graphics engines" into the 3D printing process will not be the "technologic impossibility" that it supposedly has been up until now.

The "demand" for such as thing is always increasing such that it seems improbable that someone, somewhere won't make the process a relatively simplistic one eventually. Heck they now have machines that can make relatively decent 3D models based on just a handful of scanned-in 2D pictures so you can't really tell me that character data intended for a popular graphics engine such as UE4 can't be readily converted for the same purpose.

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Mmm, how about 'can't be

Mmm, how about 'can't be readily converted' yet? Because, if it were anything like a reasonable process, people would be doing it?

I recognize the point you're making and I also recognize the impulse that leads to "Someone should do this! It can't be that hard." And it might not be so very difficult if a person has access to a supercomputer or some other system that's able to interpolate a crap-ton of data. Or somebody has to write an 'interpreter' that can read one form of data into another.

If people have been interested in it for twenty years and there's a market, then the issue must not be so simple, or some college kid would have worked it out on his TRS-80. *grin* Just like Lothic said in an earlier post.

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It's actually hard. Getting

It's actually hard. Getting at the data for the model of any specific character isn't a trivial task. Getting the data for the raw model is trivial because we made it and imported it into the engine, but after that it gets substantially transformed - in memory - after being pulled from that original file data.There is the matter of format conversion and the quality of the model data that is exported.

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Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

Mmm, how about 'can't be readily converted' yet? Because, if it were anything like a reasonable process, people would be doing it?

I recognize the point you're making and I also recognize the impulse that leads to "Someone should do this! It can't be that hard." And it might not be so very difficult if a person has access to a supercomputer or some other system that's able to interpolate a crap-ton of data. Or somebody has to write an 'interpreter' that can read one form of data into another.

If people have been interested in it for twenty years and there's a market, then the issue must not be so simple, or some college kid would have worked it out on his TRS-80. *grin* Just like Lothic said in an earlier post.

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One more time I clearly said this obviously not a trivial thing to accomplish. We're clear on that point right?

But even with that as a given 3D printers have been around for effectively decades now (the earliest started getting experimented with in the 70s and 80s) so perhaps I'm SIMPLY AMAZED that people are still finding in it "prohibitively hard" to print 3D models from the data formats native to graphics engines. That really seems like one of the very first things people would have figured out and standardized a very long time ago. It's almost like someone invented a pair of scissors years ago and it's still hard for most people to realize you can actually use them to cut things with.

So sure I wouldn't think "some college kid would have worked it out on his TRS-80" in a single afternoon. But those same bright young college kids have had DECADES to figure at least some of this out. Perhaps those same kids are too busy selling our PII on Facebook? ;)

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avelworldcreator wrote:
avelworldcreator wrote:

It's actually hard. Getting at the data for the model of any specific character isn't a trivial task. Getting the data for the raw model is trivial because we made it and imported it into the engine, but after that it gets substantially transformed - in memory - after being pulled from that original file data.There is the matter of format conversion and the quality of the model data that is exported.

I simply remain amazed this kind of thing is still "hard" to do. Obviously it's not trivial, but how many DECADES will it collectively take at this point? Given how quickly other similar tech is evolving it simply appears the folks who are 3D printing experts are seriously dropping the ball here.

It doesn't really matter how many gyrations the data needs goes through or how many format conversions we're talking about here - eventually there could be a standardized "final product" set of data that would contain all the info a 3D printer would need to create customized figures. We're not dealing with IBM 360s anymore - decent desktops today can process lots of data. I routinely process terabytes of radar signature data (which undergo multiple translations/reformats) on workstations in time frames under an hour. These things -can- be done.

I'm not really knocking MWM here as much as the state of the technology itself. Perhaps for me this is just another case of the "flying car" - something that everyone would have assumed would have been ubiquitous by now but for various reasons still isn't. *shrugs*

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Actually I'm kind of amazed

Actually I'm kind of amazed too. Unreal gives us no tools, in the API or anywhere else to capture and export the data needed. If I can get that data It'd be trivial. It's that step that's been a hangup or I'd have already been on it. I wonder if Epic is under some kind of licensing restricting that prevents them from doing it.

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avelworldcreator wrote:
avelworldcreator wrote:

Actually I'm kind of amazed too. Unreal gives us no tools, in the API or anywhere else to capture and export the data needed. If I can get that data It'd be trivial. It's that step that's been a hangup or I'd have already been on it. I wonder if Epic is under some kind of licensing restricting that prevents them from doing it.

Clearly something is preventing the whole thing from being relatively straightforward thus far and that "something" might be as arbitrary as licensing agreements.

I get that between the various 3D printer manufacturers and all the various software/data formats in existence that getting things to match up will always be a challenge. It just seems that by now somebody, somewhere would have established some common industry accepted ICDs to handle these things with standardized formats and tools to extract/configure the data required. I'm assuming that's still the key part of the problem - sorting out whose Apples and Oranges you're going to work with.

Again for what it's worth you can probably easily wait a couple more years before you'd have to -seriously- address this issue. Perhaps by then somebody will have figured out a better way to make this whole thing a little less painful.

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

It just seems that by now somebody, somewhere would have established some common industry accepted ICDs to handle these things with standardized formats and tools to extract/configure the data required.

Unless you make it Freeware ... how are you going to monitize that in order to extract money from your work in perpetuity?
Yes, plenty of people WANT this to be possible, but no one wants to put in all the work to make it happen and get nothing in return for having done it.

Yes, yes ... open source ... but still, someone has to be MOTIVATED to solve this particular chicken versus egg problem before it'll be cracked, and the most common (and basest) motivation around would be monetary. And that's to say nothing of being able to CONTROL the "standard" once it has been released such that other people don't take your work, file the serial numbers off and flagrantly pirate it to make their "standard" to compete with yours (hello, Micro$oft). In other words, who's going to support AND defend this new standard?


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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:
Lothic wrote:

It just seems that by now somebody, somewhere would have established some common industry accepted ICDs to handle these things with standardized formats and tools to extract/configure the data required.

Unless you make it Freeware ... how are you going to monitize that in order to extract money from your work in perpetuity?
Yes, plenty of people WANT this to be possible, but no one wants to put in all the work to make it happen and get nothing in return for having done it.

Yes, yes ... open source ... but still, someone has to be MOTIVATED to solve this particular chicken versus egg problem before it'll be cracked, and the most common (and basest) motivation around would be monetary. And that's to say nothing of being able to CONTROL the "standard" once it has been released such that other people don't take your work, file the serial numbers off and flagrantly pirate it to make their "standard" to compete with yours (hello, Micro$oft). In other words, who's going to support AND defend this new standard?

One word for you... Replicators. You really think the demand/motivation won't be there one way or another?

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As a Mad Engineer friend of

As a Mad Engineer friend of mine likes to say, you can do anything with enough Time, Tools and Tech Manuals.

Right now, there aren't enough of all three elements to produce Replicators. The fun thing is, as soon as Replicators get invented, you can kiss Capitalism goodbye due to the lack of scarcity that Replicators will make possible.


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Okay, but no Replicants.

Okay, but no Replicants.

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Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

Okay, but no Replicants.

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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

As a Mad Engineer friend of mine likes to say, you can do anything with enough Time, Tools and Tech Manuals.

Right now, there aren't enough of all three elements to produce Replicators. The fun thing is, as soon as Replicators get invented, you can kiss Capitalism goodbye due to the lack of scarcity that Replicators will make possible.

I'll grant you the part of the fictional Star Trek version of Replicators that are based on Transporter technology probably isn't going to happen anytime soon. But as my earlier link suggested they are already experimenting with 3D printers that can "print" food and various types of plastics, concrete, metals and clays. In related research they've even been able to create matter from light so I wouldn't discount how far they could eventually take these machines towards being almost like Star Trek in terms of how cool they might be.

As far as capitalism goes you'll still need a few people to repair the robots that maintain the replicators so there will always be "jobs" for a handful of people. So there... ;)

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Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

Okay, but no Replicants.

What about spoofs of Replicants?

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

As a Mad Engineer friend of mine likes to say, you can do anything with enough Time, Tools and Tech Manuals.

Right now, there aren't enough of all three elements to produce Replicators. The fun thing is, as soon as Replicators get invented, you can kiss Capitalism goodbye due to the lack of scarcity that Replicators will make possible.

I'll grant you the part of the fictional Star Trek version of Replicators that are based on Transporter technology probably isn't going to happen anytime soon. But as my earlier link suggested they are already experimenting with 3D printers that can "print" food and various types of plastics, concrete, metals and clays. In related research they've even been able to create matter from light so I wouldn't discount how far they could eventually take these machines towards being almost like Star Trek in terms of how cool they might be.

As far as capitalism goes you'll still need a few people to repair the robots that maintain the replicators so there will always be "jobs" for a handful of people. So there... ;)

I thought Star Trek replicators worked by breaking down waste/other materials to their base atoms then rearranging said atoms to make foods.

Or messing with the atomic structures of things to rearrange them as something else.

"Let the past die. Kill it if you have to."

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Project_Hero wrote:
Project_Hero wrote:
Lothic wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

As a Mad Engineer friend of mine likes to say, you can do anything with enough Time, Tools and Tech Manuals.

Right now, there aren't enough of all three elements to produce Replicators. The fun thing is, as soon as Replicators get invented, you can kiss Capitalism goodbye due to the lack of scarcity that Replicators will make possible.

I'll grant you the part of the fictional Star Trek version of Replicators that are based on Transporter technology probably isn't going to happen anytime soon. But as my earlier link suggested they are already experimenting with 3D printers that can "print" food and various types of plastics, concrete, metals and clays. In related research they've even been able to create matter from light so I wouldn't discount how far they could eventually take these machines towards being almost like Star Trek in terms of how cool they might be.

As far as capitalism goes you'll still need a few people to repair the robots that maintain the replicators so there will always be "jobs" for a handful of people. So there... ;)

I thought Star Trek replicators worked by breaking down waste/other materials to their base atoms then rearranging said atoms to make foods.

Or messing with the atomic structures of things to rearrange them as something else.

Yeah basically Star Trek replicators are specialized transporter units. Instead of beaming people from one place to another they take matter (I suppose it could be waste and/or bulk generic material from the ship's cargo holds) and use it as raw material to create whatever you're asking for.

Like I said earlier the "transporter" part of replicators (beaming matter from place to place) might not happen any time soon but all you'd need is a sophisticated enough 3D printer physically connected to all sorts of pipes leading to raw material storage to get the same basic end result in the real world.

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I think some scientists

I think some scientists somewhere were able to like... Teleport a photon or something...

Oh, did a quick google and seems some smart cookies were able to teleport a particle into space. I didn't read any of the results though, so I can't verify any of this as being actually factually true.

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Project_Hero wrote:
Project_Hero wrote:

I think some scientists somewhere were able to like... Teleport a photon or something...

TL;DR ... quantum entanglement proof over long distance (orbital distance).


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Yeah Quantum Entanglement is

Yeah Quantum Entanglement is a wonderful thing. It may even allow for FTL transmissions. As they are technically the same item, no matter how far apart they are, transmissions between them are instantaneous.

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I do have high hopes for

I do have high hopes for quantum entanglement based communications.

Dude what's you ping?
It sucks dude it's like 21ms to Alpha Centuri.

on topic:
I have seen this thread at least 3 times on this forum. By thread I mean train of questions and thought. Modelling is hard. There is a guy on DA that makes 3D printable models or characters, he charges 300+ to make each model and has a 3 month waiting list last I checked. It's hard work. I've built models for simple things at work. It takes time and knowledge, which I've had to develop on the side (cause my company doesn't pay or provide any training). People have tried to build programs that will rip 3D data from games. But there is a ton of cleanup work to be done. And that person no longer supports that program because they made it free. There wasn't a reward for the work other than the occasional "thank you!" there's also a lot of liability for that work. What do you think is going to happen if the next Mass Effect comes out and someone rips the assets and sends them to China to be mass produced as action figures. Someone is getting sued. Do you think fan guy who just wanted a model of his character or a model of a space ship is going to risk the epic lawyer stomp that is going to follow that? That's why there isn't a "tool" to do it. UE isn't going to develop it either because the major studios, their cash cows, don't want it. And if someone develops it for UE, those same companies will say it's helping to steal their IP if they use the UE engine as well, epic lawyer stomp to follow. It's late. I'm rambling. Basically It's hard, is the TLDR of a very complex multi faceted issue that likely wont see an answer till post release when Avel has time to look into it. And Avel will only be address COT, not UE. Avel I'd love to help, but I haven't the slightest idea how to start. And getting me up to speed to work on my own would probably take more time than it's worth right now.

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avelworldcreator wrote:
avelworldcreator wrote:

If/when I have time I'll research things. I know our base model uses an industry standard FBX format that we import into the engine. How it handles it from there I'm not too certain about. At that point the model is modified as the user changes it and gets all the colors and layers on top of it. That mixture is what needs to be exported into a format that a 3D printer is capable of working with. If anyone else wants to look into the mechanics and find a solution I'm all ears.

Been there, done it. Afraid I can't go into detail as it is actually covered under NDA, but... it is entirely possible, *if* you make certain assumptions (that are related mainly to the deliberate inability to extract random mesh data from the client at runtime, which is done for IP protection reasons).


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DeathSheepFromHell wrote:
DeathSheepFromHell wrote:
avelworldcreator wrote:

If/when I have time I'll research things. I know our base model uses an industry standard FBX format that we import into the engine. How it handles it from there I'm not too certain about. At that point the model is modified as the user changes it and gets all the colors and layers on top of it. That mixture is what needs to be exported into a format that a 3D printer is capable of working with. If anyone else wants to look into the mechanics and find a solution I'm all ears.

Been there, done it. Afraid I can't go into detail as it is actually covered under NDA, but... it is entirely possible, *if* you make certain assumptions (that are related mainly to the deliberate inability to extract random mesh data from the client at runtime, which is done for IP protection reasons).

Oh, and I can confirm that the hard part isn't getting this. It is getting anything that avoids violating the "rules" for a usable 3D print. Unlike the game world, the real world has physics you don't get to just turn off or tweak to your liking. :)


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Seems like machine learning

Seems like machine learning could do this sort of like those, uhm, hmmm teen rating... those fake vids that get real deep.

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Hero_Zero wrote:
Hero_Zero wrote:

Seems like machine learning could do this sort of like those, uhm, hmmm teen rating... those fake vids that get real deep.

Lawl. Subtle!

Foradain
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Until our devs get enough of

Paddles are live, Clear!
*1.2 gigwatts goes through the thread*

Until our devs get enough of the game done to consider side projects like exporting character designs for 3d printing, I'd like to distract everyone direct people's attention to Hero Forge's latest Kickstarter, specifically down to the 1.3 megabuck stretch goal: Decal Pack X: Tights and Masks. Of course we have no way of knowing when they'll reach that g-
Sorry, seems they've already blown past that, and past Banners, Wings, Scars, and Spell Effects. ^_^. So when they let people do the full-color 3d-printed figures, at least some superhero costume memes will be supported.

Foradain, Mage of Phoenix Rising.
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Airhead
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Foradain wrote:
Foradain wrote:

... I'd like to distract everyone direct people's attention to Hero Forge's latest Kickstarter ...

It sure is addictive.

"The illusion which exalts us is dearer to us than ten thousand truths." - Pushkin
"One piece of flair is all I need." - Sister Silicon

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I read airhead's as "additive

I read airhead's as "additive" which was a great pun. But then I read it correctly and I was disappointed.

I've learned a bit more about 3D printing. One of the key problems in converting a 3D model from game or even movie render is that the model is frequently made up of many 2D surfaces which have no depth. Meaning there is no volume. You can't print something with no volume. Most game models have these features. One easy example is in hair modelling. There are almost always small planes with textures and transparency used to create depth. Details like layered clothes, ribbons, leaves, and fabrics are also frequently modeled with a 2D planes.

In the case of the heroforge models you can see there are no 2D planes. As an example in the 700k reward on the HF KS you can see the dress is thick. I would bet there is a decent curve under the dress out of sight to provide maximum support of the outer geometry. Further more fine details like hands/fingers and the high heels are exaggerated to prevent them from being too thin to print.

For COT models you can already see that they are using 2D planes and the art style is not conducive to avoiding thin/fine features that are difficult to print.

One work around is to simply print larger models. The fine detail minimum requirements get proportionally smaller as the model gets larger. Some company's use large format laser printers that would allow for these larger models. However other companies use printers that can't support the larger models. As the model size grows, the cost of the materials and time to print grows. Large models can take hours or even days to print. In order to reduce material costs some models will be hollowed out. But that's not enough for some printers. Those printers require the model to be vented, which can be a complicated task for a custom made model, made to be printed, much more so for a model that is generated from a non-ideal model.

The big question is how to convert non-ideal models into something that could be printed. There is one method that might work, to a degree. In the real world we can use a specialized laser scanner to create a point cloud that can then be turned into a solid mesh by drawing lines between near points, near lines define polygons. In the game world we could potentially use a similar method, which would need to be developed, to create a solid 3D mesh that might be printable. This would work on layered 2D planes that you can't really see behind, like a skirt or certain hair details. One problem with the digital world is that we get exact values. Something like a trench coat, cape, or popped collar which could potentially be "measured" from both sides would report a zero volume and therefore be unprintable. Not insurmountable but it would increase the complexity of the scanning program.

I think this is beyond most volunteers. The ideal group to develop this scanning software would be nVidia. Their Ansel software already takes the first step by creating a high res digital model straight from the game where you can then move the camera around after. A little manipulation of that software gets us a step closer to our scanning software. They would also be the best able to make the judgement calls for those nasty no volume planes that have plagued us throughout the process.

If money is not an object, I know a guy, he opens commissions from time to time but has a long wait list. He does NSFW art so I can't link to his DA, but expect to pay at least 300 euros for just the 3d files. From there you will have to go to shapeways or similar to have it printed. This could be another 100+.

/end vent.

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The Heroforge kickstarter is

The Heroforge kickstarter is entering its final 3 hours. Color-printed custom posed and dressed 28mm figurines, less than $40 each. Quality isn't perfect but looks fun to me. Also cool graphical costuming and posing tool, very highly customizable. Delivery of printed figurines could take months, they've got over three million dollars of orders to fulfill now...

"The illusion which exalts us is dearer to us than ten thousand truths." - Pushkin
"One piece of flair is all I need." - Sister Silicon