Wednesday, January 13, 2010

DAZ Studio 3 tutorials

IMPORTANT!! These tutorials refer to DAZ Studio 3 specifically ... and as you probably know, or are about to find out, the company behind the program has recently issued Studio 4 ... with an interface that is so completely different, looking at these tutorials won't help you learn Studio 4! I'd wondered if I should delete this quick-list of featured toots, but decided to leave it "up" for a couple of reasons...

JUNE 2019 UPDATE, RE STUDIO 4.10: Some weeks ago I "bit the bullet" and installed DAZ Studio 4.10, which is the latest version (ie., version ten of it: it's not a decimal number) ... and as of this date, the Winter Solstice down under -- June 21, am still trying to get it to perform as it should. Tech Support have been very slow to help, though to their credit, they do get back to you eventually. After weeks "on hold" I'm instructed to uninstall and reinstall the whole program and its support files. Do I recommend Studio 4.10?

Well, the interface has changed from the "Mickey Mouse" interface of eons ago, but the program seems -- at least on some PCs, like mine -- to be "buggy as the whole ant farm." I can't get content into it, and it can't even find its own "smart" content, its database is so stuffed up. And the stuff-up was perpetrated by the DAZ Install Manager, automatically, while I went off and made lunch. Hmm. One of the pros of the prog is that the IRay render engine is built into it; but if you don't own an NVIDIA card (a pretty powerful one, too; luckily, I do), you can't use this. Additionally, the quality of the IRay renders you get depends on the "shaders" (pre-set textures and surfaces) you might own. They don't even make them for the older figures, such as Michael 4, so unless you've abandoned all your old characters and migrated wholly to Genesis, again, you're out of luck. Then, with Genesis, you're still down to an urgent need to own a whole lot of shaders ... shaders for every surface, literally. And you have to buy them. And they are not cheap.

On June 21, I'm dickering over whether to lay down AUD$75 and buy the Reality/Lux plugin, which might (and I say, might!) be kinder to the old texture maps I own, or start showering cash on IRay shaders. In the past I've had pretty good results with Reality/Lux, but the most recent version I've used was 2.0 ... and I have to wonder what Preta3D have changed in the workings of Version 4.0 of the thing, which might make it more or less friendly to the old style surface textures. One thing you don't want to be doing is shelling out AUS$75 for Reality/Lux, then another few hundred bucks for shaders, just to get your oars back in the water! In a word, too expensive ... and that's two words.

It's a conundrum, and at the moment I still have no clear answer. First comes the brain surgery to try to get Studio 4.10 to work properly. When I know more, I'll update this post. Till then -- yep, I'm still working in good old Studio 3, which ... works!

Back to the original post now....................

So maybe you want to use reliable old Studio 3! Maybe you got it a long time ago, and are coming back to it now. Maybe you have the installer on one of the many CDRs given away with ImagineFX magazine over the years. You could have a copy of the installer from six or seven years ago, and only just be looking at the program right now ... in which case, these tutorials will definitely help.

Alas, I won't be updating this page, as Studio 3 is relegated to obsolescence, and I really, seriously dislike Studio 4. I dislike it so much, I still run on Studio 3, and for a long time considered making the switch to Poser, before I discovered LuxRender, and the Reality bridge to get your DAZ content into the Lux engine. Wow. So --

At the time of this writing, August 2015, I'm still running DAZ Studio 3, and using Reality to get my stuff into LuxRender; my landscapes are done in Bryce 7 Pro; and everything is post-worked in a primitive version of Photoshop -- being the one I can actually afford! (The cost of a full legal version of Photoshop to Aussie customers is about the same as a reasonable quality used car; meaning, not many of us can actually afford it.)

Now, I did get into Poser, briefly, but three years ago discovered that before I can load much content into it I need to drop a lot of cash on getting my PC upgraded (namely, a new boot drive);. That had to go on the backburner -- where it still resides even now. I still intend to get the new drive ...still intend to get into Poser. Eventually. But right now, the results I can get in Lux, Bryce and Photoshop are good enough to keep me happy a while longer, so -- when I do make the change to Poser, it'll be to Poser 2015, or Poser 11 -- whatever's the new version (the current versions are 2014, and 10). But till then --

I'll remain with Studio 3, and Lux 2.0. However --

Though I can't help you with Studio 4 toots, because I downloaded the trial version, took a look, shuddered, promptly uninstalled it, I can still highly recommend DAZ Studio 3, and what's more, you can still get Studio 3 ... see the Amazon ad, in the margin to your left!

And, if these Studio 3 tutorials are useful to you ... great. Enjoy. If you would like to get Studio 3 and revel in 3D art without going through the mayhem of Studio 4, you can also get on eBay.com and buy a copy of a back issue of ImagineFX magazine -- just make sure it has the CDR attached. The serial number is given in a text file right there on the disk. Each issue of the magazine had both DAZ 3 and GIMP included on the CR-Rom stuck inside the back cover, so there's gajillions of copies of the Studio 3 installer out there, and though the DAZ company has successfully erased version 3 from the www (meaning, you can't find a download anywhere, no matter how deep you dig in Google), they can't erase the physical copies on these disks ... so Studio 3 will be around for a long, long, long time to come! Trust me: it's simple, clean, crisp, intuitive, and it worked.


How to change the color of a skinmap to any color or shade you need


Where can you buy all these 3D models?


Creating specific body morphs for a whole new character

Creating Character Faces


Working with displacement maps



Doing Surface water effects in DAZ Studio 3: transparency, reflection and waves


How lighting and raytracing affect the appearance of the model



The M4 Bodysuit: using it to make many different M4 costumes


Underwater effects in DAZ Studio 3 -- works for smoggy atmospherics too



How to use maps in DAZ Studio 3




Working with Cycloramas: putting your own images on them to make widescreen landscapes



Making textures for fabrics



Working with textures and maps



Working with textures and transparencies, especially for fabrics



Creating characters in DAZ Studio 3

Working with landscapes: the DAZ 3D Cyclorama


Working with props
Working with lighting to make the 3D subject "agree" with a background image
Creating characters from scratch: making faces

Creating characters from scratch: body morphs

Creating characters: getting them in proper scale


Working with lights: getting subject and background to match up


Painting with lights

Working with lights: casting shadows (part 4)


Working with lights: Casting shadows (part 3)


Working with lights: casting shadows (part 2)

Building scenes: configuring the camera


Working with surfaces: changing the colors of things -- and people

Working with body morphs (Morphs ++ for Michael 4)
Working with lights and image properties to make twilight and firelight


Creating characters: give Michael 4 a whole new face and complexion


Creating realistic characters: putting expressions on their faces
Working with the raw Michael 4: adding skin maps, body morphs ... and a a hardio!

Working with backgrounds: making the background match up with the model

Working with lights: painting with shadows and poses

Using lighting to make twilight skin tones


Working with surfaces to changes the glossiness and reflectivity (as well as color)

Post production work ... cutting corners in 3D art
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