A solid bridge between Blender and the content-rich world of daz3d et al. would be a great boost to the use of Blender, don’t you think? So we’re not forced to model everything from scratch. There is so much Poser-compatible content out there, including highly detailed human models (see e.g. http://www.renderosity.com), rigged and textured, and sometimes free. A few of us actually use such. For example, Parrotdolphin (http://parrotdolphin.deviantart.com/) produces wonderful artwork, modeling in Blender, that incorporates DAZ-owned models. Their flagship, Victoria, has become a de facto industry standard.
Would anybody reading this be willing to contribute prize money to such an effort?
Apparently, most of the groundwork is already laid:
DAZ Studio (free) now exports Collada 1.4; Blender has a Collada 1.4 import script, but apparently it ceased to work when Blender moved to Python 2.5. DAZ3d also owns Carrara (modeling and animation), which is not free, but affordable. Currently it does not I/O Collada, but “.3ds” format. I’ve been able to transfer rigged and textured objects via “.3ds” from Carrara 6 to Blender. The transfer works until it doesn’t. For example, with “.3ds” I can transfer a pair of boots, but not a full humanoid. But the “3ds” format does not record the riggging. “fbx” is supposed to preserve the rigging, but that export is currently flawed in Carrara.
The way to go (don’t you agree?) is Collada, since, apart from powerful, it’s an open standard, endorsed by several high-profile hardware and software manufacturers: http://khronos.org/
Blender is much better at vertex modeling, in my opinion, than Carrara, whereas the latter has the merit of being able to load Poser characters directly, through all their hierarchy of specialized files, and even opens heavy scenes prepared in DAZ Studio.
Parrotdolphin tells me that she hasn’t figured out a way to pose her DAZ characters in Blender, so she does that in Poser, then exports the geometry, frozen!
I’m willing to cast the first buck for a Python 2.5 update to the script that allows Blender import of Collada 1.4.