6 Weeks with Daz Studio is a weekly account of my personal adventures with this interesting and powerful 3D program. I’ll share my observations, projects, and ideas about the program along with any tutorials, websites and artists I come across. Be sure to visit Renderosity’s Daz Studio Pro forum and, of course, the Daz 3D website where you can download the program free of charge for Mac and PC.
About Daz Studio
Daz 3D (the company) was originally a content-creation company specializing in Poser-related content. The company decided to build it’s own Poser-like application and released Daz|Studio (as it was known then) in the fall of 2005. Daz 3D poured a lot of money into program development and it shows as the growth of the program (and user base) has grown dramatically. Plus, the program is much easier to use than my first experience with it years ago.
My History with Daz
Daz (the application) has been on my radar for more than 10 years. In fact, I’ve downloaded the program a couple times and played around with it but somehow I never dedicated myself to becoming proficient with Daz Studio. This time I hope to stick with it and really learn this program. There are some very specific scenes I have in my imagination that I want to see if I can re-create in Daz Studio. I registered at the Daz3D.com website years ago (you have to register in order to download the free program).
Once you register at Daz3D.com, you can download the program either manually or through their install manager program. I chose the download manager, which worked like a charm. Be sure to check your hard-drive to make sure you have enough space for the program along with all of the free content you get.
Note that Daz 3D has acquired other 3D programs that compliment Daz Studio. Hexagon is a 3D modeler, Bryce is a digital landscape program and Carrara is another 3D creation and rendering program. You can download Hexagon with Daz Studio for free. I chose to download the additional program, but I won’t be commenting on it in this series. You can find out more information about these other programs here.
Daz Studio is available for Windows Vista or later; Mac OS X 10.6 or later operating systems. I downloaded the program for my MacBook Pro laptop but will be working primarily on my PC workstation, which has a beefy graphics card (Quadro P5000). Full requirements for Daz are available here (scroll about half-way down the document).
Daz Studio Pro and Graphics Cards
One of the great recent additions to Daz Studio was the NVIDIA Iray rendering system. The iRay renderer provides physically-based rendering that simulates the actual physical behavior of light and materials in the real world. This enables users to create amazing photo-realistic renders. It also requires a somewhat beefy graphics card to do it. NVIDIA cards work with Iray, but AMD cards do not. Computers with AMD cards will revert to CPU rendering (which Iray handles very well). This is the reason I’ll be doing most of my work on a PC workstation with an NVIDIA card.
The free content you get with Daz is pretty great. You can check out the list here. Also, your personal page at Daz is very well designed. You can see everything you have downloaded (and/or purchased) right on the page along with download links if you want to add something manually. Since I am using the download manager, I can just fire it up and pick and choose what I want to download.
Renderosity has an excellent video series “Daz Studio New Users Tutorials,” which is very helpful. Daz 3D (the company) also provides a well-written guide to downloading and installing DAZ Studio here.