Meshbox Design, which is a division of Proactive International has released a Poser and DAZ Studio compatible 3d character called Chunk™ over on Toon People. This is the first in a series of free 3d characters. Chunk is also a framework character in that it is the new core of the forthcoming Toon Santa 11 character – a 3d character made famous primarily for his status as an official Santa Claus for the NORAD Tracks Santa website. If it seems like my interest in free is really blooming – well – it is.
The notion of free characters is nothing new. Of course Poser itself has shipped for years with numerous free characters, including those that are owned by the owning company of Poser (Metacreations, Curious Labs, E Frontier, Smith Micro…) and those supplied by third parties. Perhaps the most famous is DAZ 3d’s Victoria – at least up through Victoria 4.2. Victoria 5 appears to be the beginning of an all pay Victoria.
Chunk™ and forthcoming other free models are going to pick up where Victoria left off. It gives customers something new and fun to work with, and it also gives other third parties an opportunity to build their add-ons around Chunk. In short, its there for all the same reason that it was being done with Victoria.
As many developers already know, this isn’t the only free product I have been involved with this month. Paradigma Software announced that Valentina Server /5, which is a very advanced, ultra fast database server and enterprise class reports server is now free. The database part – Valentina DB – is a modern, object-relational columnar storage database system. Yeah, that’s a lot of tech talk. It is modern because the way it can treat objects in its database is very efficient, requiring much less coding, and object-relational in that those same objects can be treated as metaphorical objects within development. That part boils down to less code and easier to read code – meaning, much lower maintenance costs. On the columnar end, Valentina native data is stored in columns and not rows – finding, searching, sorting and most other database operations are thus much, much faster. Yes, this really does make a difference in terms of business. Think about running an ad-hoc analysis on a client’s data DURING a meeting and then displaying the results immediately, rather than having to call them the following day, or have to schedule another face to face meeting. You can get Valentina Server /5 over on the Paradigma Software website.
An interesting discovery by users of DAZ Studio (yeah, back to 3D), is that DAZ 3d’s product DAZ Studio has a content management system built on top of Valentina DB!