This article is all about the new Daz3D Genesis 8.1 technology. We will highlight you all the great new features it brings and compare it to Genesis 8. The new Daz Studio 4.15 update brings us the long-awaited new figures. Sadly, it is not a Genesis 9 update, but a Genesis 8.1 instead. But this is still big news. So let’s look at what exactly does Genesis 8.1 bring, how it is better than regular Genesis 8 and is it even worth upgrading?
If you prefer more watching see our video below, otherwise keep reading.
Daz3D Genesis 8.1 Features
At the moment of writing this article the only Genesis 8.1 figure available is the default one and Victoria 8.1. Let’s look at the new and updated features and compare them directly to the Genesis 8 on the go.
Genesis 8, Genesis 8.1 and Victoria 8.1 figures
Daz3D Genesis 8.1 Compatibility
A really good and important feature to start with is compatibility. It is the thing that can be the most important for some – will the new figure be compatible with your Genesis 8 assets? And the answer to that question is yes. Developers promise that most of your Genesis 8 assets and content be it clothes, morphs, hair or poses – everything should work fine with the new figures.
But it is worth mentioning that sadly 8.1 assets are not backwards compatible. Meaning that if you buy something that is aimed only for Genesis 8.1 figures – it will most probably not work with earlier generations.
Source Victoria 8.1
There is also an addition to the overall compatibility. Male and Female anatomical elements are now common. Which means that you can both use male elements on female figures and vice versa.
Daz3D Genesis 8.1 Facial Expressions
One of the coolest things in the new generation is that it brings big improvements to the facial expressions. Now it is much easier to create detailed natural-looking expressions. This is thanks to the Facial Action Coding System(FACS) implemented in Genesis 8.1.
If we go to the Pose Controls of the Genesis 8.1 figure that is found in the “Posing” tab – we will see there a bunch of new settings.
These are new individual settings for each movement of the face. So you can precisely control which parts of the face will do what.
Genesis 8 always had some presets for different emotions built in tselft. Genesis 8.1 also has exactly the same presets, but remade using a new FAC system. Let’s compare two “Angry” faces from before and a new one.
Genesis 8 and Genesis 8.1 Angry expression
On the left is Genesis 8 character. Expression looks okay, but it does look artificial. A feeling of the uncanny valley comes to the user. It looks more like a robot mimicking humans than a real human. But the face on the right from Genesis 8.1 is much better. It really does look like a real human. Emotions are not over the top and everything looks natural. Especially the fact that the face is not symmetrical makes this very believable.
Overall facial expressions are a lot better in the new generation. They are more diverse and expressive. The fact that face movement is broken down into individual muscle movement makes it easier to work with.
Daz3D Genesis 8.1 Skin and Shaders
Now let’s talk about Shaders and Materials. Daz3D claims that they improved materials and introduced a new PBR shader for skin that should be better. But we did not really see any difference in the comparison image above? That is because the default Genesis 8.1 figure still uses the same shader as the Genesis 8 figures.
To find the new shader you need to go to the A”Surfaces” tab and find it amongst other Iray Shaders.
Here it is on the right. But before applying it we need to select where it would be applied. Go to the Editor in “Surfaces” and select the Skin preset of your character.
After that you can go back to Presets and apply the Iray PBR skin shader by double clicking on it. Let’s render and see how it looks.
And it looks terrible. Skin is white and bright with no details. But worry not, there is nothing wrong with the shader or your model. If you return now back to the Editor, you will see that all the main features of the shader are turned off by default. This includes such important things as Translucency, Bump, Dual Lobe(glossiness) and more.
To try and fix the problem we simply need to turn these things on, as they are vital for a good skin shader. After doing that the result is like this:
And it is already a lot better than it was. But I would not say that it is better than the Genesis 8 skin. Well this is because just turning on settings is not enough. You would also need to set them up properly for a really good skin. Small changes already can do better.
But you really need to know what you are doing and how in order to create a beautiful skin. Thankfully, there is no need for you to know that. The new 8.1 figures will already come with this new shader in place and everything set up. Just look at the Victoria 8.1 and her skin. It looks very detailed and realistic, overall gorgeous.
Additionally to updated textures and UVs, there was also one small but very pleasant change. The vellus hairs have been added for the female face and body, which makes close-up shots that much better. For the male figures this update should bring more detailed hair on body and face.
Daz Genesis 8.1 Eyes and Eyelashes
Besides overall all skin improvements, generation update comes also with the eyes enhancements. Eye and eye area has been reworked with new UVs, better optimizations and textures. Irises has been fully remade and all future models will feature highly detailed sculpts for the irises.
Genesis 8 eyes
Victoria 8.1 eyes
Additionally to the irises and eyes – the eyelashes were reworked too. It can be clearly seen on the comparison how the original Genesis 8 eyelashes are a bit of a random mess that is not detailed at all. While new eyelashes are clearly better, more prominent and look beautiful.
Plus to everything mentioned above, there is also an absolutely new geometry added to an eye. It is called “Tear” and should help you by providing more geometry to work with, thus more control over the scene.
Daz3D Genesis 8.1 Mouth
The last important change regarding the new generation is the mouth. Changes were made to improve the level of quality by working on textures, details and overall sculpt of the mouth, teeth and even gums.
Genesis 8 mouth
Victoria 8.1 mouth
Comparison clearly shows all the improvements. Just look at the teeth. They were all uniformed and just plain white. On Victoria 8.1 you have very realistic teeth with real human colors and shapes. Same goes for gums and tongue. Materials on Genesis 8 are very weird. They are too reflective and don’t look how they are supposed to. All this is fixed in the 8.1 generation.
Even though this generation is very new, there are already some important and useful products to improve your experience.
I have already mentioned the Victoria 8.1 itself a lot and that it is the only 8.1 figure available at the moment. The good thing that it came out with some bundles. So instead of buying the single figure, with the Victoria 8.1 Loving Life Bundle and Victoria 8.1 University Bundle you can have a lot of additional assets such as hairs, poses, scenes etc.
If you are not into buying a bundle, you always can take a look at individual products that add important and useful things. Such as The Expression Collection for Victoria 8.1. Which adds a lot of detailed premade expressions for you to use in your scenes.
Also there is a Victoria 8.1 HD Add-On that is really worth mentioning. This product adds high-definition material to your Victoria 8.1, which makes it even better and far more realistic looking.
Source Victoria 8.1 HD Add-On
Besides products exclusive for Victoria 8.1, there are a lot that will work also with your default Genesis 8.1 figure. This includes a nice set Z ASL Alphabet for Genesis 8.1 Female and Victoria 8.1.
Or a sweet, spunky and fun Summers End Outfit for Genesis 8.1 Females should also be suited for any Genesis 8.1 female character with no problems.
Skin Detail Resource 1 by Handspan Studios is a product that can’t be skipped. This pack of 25 patterns make your Genesis 8.1 figures skin look even better than it is. It adds Micro Skin Detail maps at 4k resolution and seamless tiling. And the result is the soft and beautiful skin.
Yes, Genesis 8.1 is no Genesis 9. This is not a huge leap in technology and this is not the biggest of the updates. On the first glance you probably won’t even notice the difference between the 8.1 and 8 gen figures.
But the differences are in the details. Skin is better, eyes and eyelashes, mouth, teeth, gum. Everything was improved or reworked entirely. And any close-up shot will look definitely better with a Genesis 8.1 figure. See also our other Top 3D Model Reviews and Daz Tutorials.