It’s been a good while since I’ve done one of these, and I’ve been meaning to have a proper full-on play with Honey Select Unlimited Extend’s Studio Neo for a while. No time like the present, eh?
For those just joining us, Honey Select Unlimited is a legendary hentai game from developer Illusion that is most well-known for its excellent character creation tools rather than its filthy content. (Its filthy content is very good too, mind.) Honey Select Unlimited Extend is an expansion pack for it, and part of that expansion is an all-new photo studio app to complement and/or replace the original Honey Unlimited Studio application.
The Hundred Honeys Project, meanwhile, is my ongoing attempt to break the Honey Select Unlimited studio applications by ramming as many characters as possible into a single scene without my computer exploding.
Studio Neo takes a little adjusting to if you’re accustomed to the original Honey Unlimited Studio software, because it’s much more complex and flexible. That’s not to say it’s difficult to use, mind — there’s just a lot more you can do with it, and many of the things you could do in the old Studio software are now found in different places.
There’s a much stronger emphasis on using “objects” in the scene, for one thing. Objects can be the characters themselves, but they can also be additional props, special effects, animations and even ambient sound effects. Here we see localiser Fakku’s mascot splashing some water on Maon Nagase, making use of a “shower” particle effect to create the illusion of splashing water.
You’ve got a lot of control over animations in Studio Neo — and there are a lot more of them, too. While the original Honey Unlimited Studio mostly confined you to animations that were in the main game, Studio Neo features some unique animations. Once triggered, these can be sped up, slowed down, looped and even frozen in place. By making creative use of the “freeze” feature, you can find good starting points for poses.
You can then develop these poses further using the two “kinematics” modes. “FK”, or “forward kinematics”, allows you to rotate joints to create poses; “IK”, or “inverse kinematics”, is the opposite, allowing you to move end points such as hands and feet, and the appropriate joints moving accordingly. Only IK was available in the previous Studio application; FK allows a lot more control over all aspects of the characters — even allowing you to take command of breast and clothing physics!
The facial expressions are as good as ever, allowing you to choose from a variety of mouth and eye expressions independently, then use a slider to control how open each of them are. This can also be combined with various hand poses (which actually work this time, unlike those in the original Studio application) to create all manner of different setups for your characters.
Here we have zombified Honey Salena being dead as usual, this time face-down in the baths, and Kotori isn’t quite sure what to make of the situation.
Here we have Zelda and Rinoa in the background, with their “offspring” created using Extend’s Character Fusion option in the foreground. The Fusion option mixes characteristics of both “source” characters together to create a new, third character.
You can then fiddle around with that new creation further if you so desire; it can be a good starting point for new creations if you’re having a bit of maker’s block.
Maria Kazami (in the middle) was the first character I created in Honey Select Unlimited, so I’m very attached to her. I’m glad she still works absolutely fine with all the new stuff going on. Not that there’s any reason she wouldn’t.
Here, we can see Studio Neo’s “camera light” option at work, which uses the camera angle as a dynamic light source, casting shadows according to where you position your viewpoint. You can turn this behaviour off if it prevents you from creating the effect you want, and even insert new lights into the scene manually.
The default camera settings also provide some nice depth-of-field effects without requiring any fancy post-processing; all of the images in this article are unprocessed, raw captures from the game. By positioning the camera carefully and making good use of the zoom function, you can really draw attention to a specific character or detail with your composition.
Plus it wouldn’t be a Hundred Honeys installment without absolutely-not-a-2B-clone A7 doing something dumb. In this case, she’s leaping into a bath which is much too shallow to dive into. Hasn’t anyone shown her those warning signs that you get around 1970s pools…? Oh well. She’ll have to learn the hard way, I guess.
And here’s the whole gang. In Studio Neo, you can save up to ten predefined camera angles, so if you compose a lovely overview shot and then want to focus on some details (much like I’ve done in this article), you can save the angle you want to come back to, move the camera around freely and then recall your original composition whenever you like. It’s very convenient.
And that’s another installment of The Hundred Honeys Project. By my reckoning, that gives us 50 characters in total, putting us halfway to that elusive 100. Now I just need to figure out how to fit 50 more of these little buggers into that pool area…
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