Topic: Graphics Tools

A thread to discuss various artistic tools.

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Re: Graphics Tools

Thought I'd start up this thread to talk about various tools we use or come across.

I just came across the fact that DAZ Studio Pro is free. This may not be news to anyone, as it has been forever it seems, but I didn't realize it until last week. Haven't downloaded it to try it yet, was hoping to get some feedback here if anyone has used it. Looks like a pretty powerful 3D modeling application.

Anyway, here's the link:
http://www.daz3d.com/daz-studio-4-pro/

-Jason

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Re: Graphics Tools

As I understand it the basic program is free, then you have to pay for the models to base the scene on. Or something like that anyway.

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Re: Graphics Tools

Hmm, I saw that their model packages you had to pay for, but I thought the base program came with a few models as well. I also was hoping there was community created content that could be used. Now I'm less excited about it. sad

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Re: Graphics Tools

You are both right:

the basic DAZ Studio is free, but you have to pay for all the tasty sauce: models, textures, plugins, and so on. Anyway, the base package comes with enough juice (the Genesis 2 Female Starter Essentials) to allow learning a lot and even producing some nice renders.

Of course, DAZ is not a charity so if you want to go to the next step, you probably have to open your wallet. But there is also a lot of free community created content.

So my advice is:

1) download the base package with its free add-ons, and practice with it. Practice, practice, practice. The learning curve for 3D art can be quite steep.

2) When you have squeezed everything you can do from the base, have a look around and search for whatever you need in the free communities (Daz and Renderosity forums are the first stops).

3) Only if and when you cannot find the item you want amongst the free ones, browse the various marketplaces (Renderosity firstly, then the others).

"My faith protects me. My Kevlar helps" - (Jim Butcher)

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Re: Graphics Tools

And please allow me a little correction:

Jason Andersen wrote:

Looks like a pretty powerful 3D modeling application.

Actually DAZ Studio is NOT a modeling application. It is a "posing" application, that is, the "nerd version of playing with dolls". It allows you to insert and pose 3D models in a scene (humans with their clothes, objects, whatever), apply light sources and render a picture. But it only works with existing 3D models, which are previously loaded into its library. It does NOT allow you to create such models from scratch.

This operation (the actual modeling) is MUCH harder, and requires different skills and different programs. For example, there is a free modeler called Blender which is quite powerful (but not easy to learn).

"My faith protects me. My Kevlar helps" - (Jim Butcher)

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Re: Graphics Tools

Ah, so it's similar to Poser. I must have misread/assumed it would also allow creation of models. Darn.

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Re: Graphics Tools

Exactly. Poser and DAZ Studio are quite similar in terms of available tools. Poser is more powerful, easier to use and more versatile, but obviously is not free.

If you are interested in 3D modeling, try Blender. It has an huge and very friendly community, and there are gazillions of tutorials to learn it. As I said, in my opinion it is not "easy" to use, but maybe it's just me. Expert Blender users can do really awesome things.... and it is completely free.

"My faith protects me. My Kevlar helps" - (Jim Butcher)

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Re: Graphics Tools

Thanks, I'll check it out. I haven't done any 3D modeling since my college days (you know, back when you had to do 3D modeling on punchcards  tongue ), but it didn't seem that hard back in the day... Of course, we weren't making  complex organic models with millions of splines either. Do they still use splines these days or am I heavily dating myself? LOL. At this point I assume 3D modeling software is advanced enough the users don't have to worry about doing spline calculations themselves, but maybe for the more advanced stuff they still do.

-Jason

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Re: Graphics Tools

For modeling, Blender uses both "traditional" polygons and a variant of splines, called NURBS.

For rigging, Blender can use both bones and splines, even mixing them together, but luckily their use is heavily automatized. Notice in this short video how splines are used for "soft" rigging like braids, while bones are used for... well, bones.

~Giò

"My faith protects me. My Kevlar helps" - (Jim Butcher)

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Re: Graphics Tools

I'm totally going to download and play with this now. I was watching Blender videos last night, I'll check out what  you've linked tonight. smile

-Jason

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