There are a number of 3D rendering programs on the market. 3D rendering programs are very important for the quality of a 3D configurator. 3D Some of them specialize in character models (like Like Poser and DAZ Studio) and others in landscapes (Like Bryce and Carrara). In this article we will introduce the software DAZ-Studio a little bit closer. There are two versions of the program – an extended program that you can buy (like Poser) and a free version that you can download from the website.

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How to use the software.

Click on the DAZ-Studio icon on your desktop or in your Start menu to start the program. When you run the program for the first time, you will be asked to register. Click on the online registration option and you will receive a free registration code that you can enter. If you receive other pop-up messages, such as the question whether a standard camera is OK, simply click Accept.

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Once you’re done, you should see an empty viewport with two toolbars on either side. Usually the toolbar on the left side is for the content you have installed and the toolbar on the right side is for switching between motion and size options for a model you have added to the scene.

You can browse your models in the left menu. The content is divided into categories such as “Figures”, “Props” and “Poses”: these three are the most commonly used. Below the figures you will find most of the character models downloaded from them, such as the DAZ series Victoria and Michael and their installed clothing. Under Props you’ll find some of the smaller accessories for outfits and environments and under Poses you’ll find preset poses that you can add to your character or environment depending on what you’ve installed.

No one can tell you what makes a good rendering. How you want to create a scene is up to you. For our example, we will place the Victoria basic model in a dancer outfit in a forest. The forest and the Victoria basic model were integrated into the DAZ Studio and the dancer outfit, which we downloaded free of charge from the DAZ website. As soon as you have found a figure in the left menu, you can load it into the scene by double-clicking on it and then use the controls in the right menu to set where it is in the scene and how big it is. With human models and some animal and environmental models, you can also set where arms, legs, neck and joints should bend. Essentially, simply click on a part of the model and a new set of motion options will appear in the right menu.

Note that there are two ways to select the models in the scene. You can click directly on the model in the Viewer and a gray box will highlight the part you selected or you can click on the Scene tab in the left menu. This will show you a list of all elements currently loaded into the scene. Click on one to select it and then use the Parameters tab on the right to adjust it.

Once you have arranged your scene, make a note of where the camera is. What you see in the window is what the rendering will basically look like, so you should adjust the camera to get the best possible angle. The controls for the camera are located in the upper left part of the viewing window.

You can also add a new light source. By default, the light source is the camera, but if you want it to look as if the sun is above them and not where the camera is pointing, you will want to add one of them. Go to “Create” and “New High Beam” or “New Spotlight” in the menu above. Spotlight is much smaller and covers the entire scene. The light you insert into the scene is automatically selected and you can use the parameters on the right to move and rotate the light until it comes from the desired angle.

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When you are satisfied with all these options, click “Render” in the top menu. Depending on how powerful your computer is, rendering can take from one minute to ten minutes. The basic scene we’ve created won’t take long to render because it doesn’t contain anything too fancy. But the more you load into the scene, the longer the rendering takes. Things like shadows and reflections also slow down the render time. Once the rendering is complete, go to File > Save last rendering and then you can save the just rendered image to a folder where you can then share and edit it, just like with any other two-dimensional image.

Advanced tools you should know.

The basic scene we created above looks good, but it lacks a certain element that really makes it a hit. It’s the lighting in the specific application. A light source produces the right lighting, but what really makes it look good is realistic shadings. To create them, click on their light source again. Remember that this can be done from the Viewing window or by clicking on the Scene tab in the left menu. Scroll down the right menu until you reach the end of the parameter options. You should see an option that displays Shadow Type. Select Deep Shadow Map from the drop-down menu. This will increase the time it takes to render your image, but the results are very drastic. It will create all the necessary shadows of your characters and their environment, making everything more bold and realistic.

The other tool you should know is a tab on the left side of the Content menu. It’s called “Surfaces”. If you don’t see this tab, click “View” at the top of the menu, then “Tabs” and activate “Surfaces”. This tab controls which image or mat is placed over the 3D models in the scene. For example, we could replace the skin structure of the Victoria model with an image of a stone surface, because with it you can also make parts of props invisible so that they look more like your taste, and you can change the look of existing models so that they look different. Any image you have on your computer can be used as texture for a 3D model, but depending on the image it can be distorted and show the lines where it begins and ends. The best images you can use are repetitive textures. For my last render, we changed the texture to Victoria’s shirt.

The Surfaces tab also controls things like reflections and bump mapping, so it’s a tool that all DAZU Studio users should get to know and play around with.

There is also a “Background” option in the Edit menu that allows you to insert images on your computer that can be used as backgrounds for your characters. For example, if you want to put Victoria on a photo you took of the Grand Canyon, you can do it here. Your image does not become 3D, but any model can be manipulated to look as if it were on the flat image.


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DAZ Studio is a detailed and often complex program. While this article and the tutorials on the DAZ website can help, you hardly scratch the surface. For this reason, much of their knowledge will come from Trial & Error. It’s a fun program to play around with, so don’t be afraid to try new things. If you are stuck, there is also a large community of experienced users who are more than willing to help you with all the problems you may have.

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