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.
Last week (week 2) I solved some content import problems I was having and jumped right in and created a scene with a posed character. The result was not so good, but it did give me a good overview of the Daz Studio workflow. I also started a tutorial from skillshare.com which I’ll be finishing up in this week 3 article.
Finishing (Almost) the Skillshare.com Tutorial
Last week I began a skillshare.com tutorial “Create a Realistic Portrait in Daz Studio”. It is by Manu de Mey. He takes you through setting up you character, clothing and pose (Victoria 7). I like how Daz makes the workflow so simple. Tabs to the left of the interface show what section you are working in and folders within those sections display content (wardrobe, models, props, hair, etc.
I was quickly able to get my Chloe figure (from Anagord at Renderosity.com) set up with default clothes. I did buy some eyes from Renderosity (xx) as the eyes provided with the default content didn’t really look good in renders.
Basic 3-Light Setup for a Portrait
Manu does a good job taking you through the process of add spotlights (to the left and above the camera and to the right and slightly below the camera). The 3rd light is a backlight (behind the posed model) which provides a bit of light on the edge of the face. Manu also shares his use of HDRI (high dynamic range) lighting which is basically a 360 photograph which captures the light at wherever the photograph was taken. It fits like a dome over your scene and provides highly specific ambient light.
Stupidly, I decided to fiddle around with the render settings in Daz Studio in an attempt to shorten my render times. Unfortunately, I only succeeded in screwing up my render as you can see below (left side):
I wasn’t sure how to fix the problem so I decided to go back to defaults on all render settings. Daz Studio conveniently places a default button at the top right of each window in the render settings. However, this didn’t solve the problems and I had imperfections in the face.
Thinking it might be the skin materials for the model I went into the Gen8 materials and chose “Base Mat All Maps” which is an MDL file. This seemed to fix the problem as you can see below, but the skin appears clay-like and the eyes are off. I’m going to have to try more types of skin materials. Perhaps I’ll need to buy a good one for this portrait
I think I’ll be diving into rendering instead of lighting for next week. There are several good iray tutorials both at Daz and Renderosity. I’ll be checking them out and see if I can’t get a better understanding of Iray rendering in Daz Studio.