Learning Dark Arts

Come learn the art of 3D computer generated art and animation. This blog deals with the lessons learned and the art created by Robert G. Male using DazStudio from Daz3D. Also covered are the ancillary software, tools, techniques, and processes needed both before and after rending in the 3D software.

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July 18, 2011

First Daz Studio 4.0 Thoughts

I installed Daz Studio 4.0 finally and the first thing I did was I tried to lock down the render aspect ratio and the pixel dimensions of my renders. I was immediately frustrated. The Render Settings tab has no save button like it used to, instead you have to close it with the x. It would not keep the numbers I gave it. The tab opened randomly as I switched which other tabs were open. I no longer remember if it was the case in Daz3, but I solved it by saving the preset settings I desired with a button that doesn't really stand out. I am testing right now to see if it retains the exact same scene with different tabs open. The answer is "Constrain Proportions" must be off in the render settings to maintain the exact same scene every render. I use this a lot to cut and paste from scene to scene and of course to merge different renders by other means in postproduction. Turning the constraining on and off but not moving cameras seems to have no affect on it, so that's good. It does make the amount of the scene visible change though because it shows what is outside of what will be rendered.

The Render settings box.
The unconstrained window.

Here are some of the things that I learned.

  • For Layout I am using City Limits. I started off with Self-Serve but found it to be hiding some things I wanted.
  • I do not know what I did wrong or how to fix it, but my saved scenes are listed as "Unassigned" below wardrobe in the list of Files under the "My Stuff" tab. On the other hand if I switch to the "Content Library" tab then my scenes are under "Daz Studio Formats" then "My Library". My old saved scenes are under "Daz Studio Formats" then "Studio".
  • One of my previously Victoria 4 set-ups I had made with certain add-ons saved did not open correctly. Just trying it again a moment ago of writing this I crashed Daz4 twice. I won't give it a third try on that particular file. Trying a different pre-set-up Victoria 4 results in the same slew of errors, but at least didn't crash the program. A full scene I saved gives me a bunch of errors too. In all cases where it didn't force a crash it tells me to resave them using "Save As", which I have done with three scenes so far, but will only do on an as needed basis from here on out. Something about the install for Daz4 left Daz3 in place so I will be leaving it on the hard drive in case other issues come up trying to use old files. A most recent old saved file loaded with no issues, so it isn't everything.
  • To get at your old content takes a little bit of digging. I found it all under "Poser Formats" then "Studio" then "Figures" or whatever other category they were originally under.
  • I noticed that the "Surfaces" tab doesn't always give you all of the options the first time you click on an item with a lot of different surfaces, such as say Aiko 3. I had to double click the name under "Currently Used" a couple times before I was given the entire spread of surfaces.
  • In the "Scene" tab, I had one item highlighted and I right-clicked on a different object in the scene to delete it and rather than delete the one I right-clicked on it deleted the highlighted one. Oops.
  • Here are a couple pointers on the new Genesis figure. It loads as a grey generic male. It took some stumbling around, and I actually stopped to watch a tutorial video to figure it out, but once you load this Genesis then you have tabs under "Parameters" such as "Shaping" where you can turn Genesis into men, women, and children among other controls. Back to the "My Stuff" tab there is the "Presets" folder below "Hair", and at the bottom of those items are the character maps.
  • I rendered a scene within about an hour, though admittedly some of that time was messing around with lights trying to create shadows where I wanted them. I apparently moved the camera then saved because I cannot return to the shot that I rendered here...
  • I think I found the lights to work a little differently. I used a set of lights that came with Daz4. Turning some of them off made others appear. In Daz3 only so many lights affect the scene without rendering and new lights do not appear in the working window. Maybe itís just me. In any event this has gone on long enough for today. Once I worked out some of the new ways of doing things Daz4 looks like a good upgrade. There are some bugs, and maybe there are more I havenít found yet. Either way I like it so far. What will be possible with it that wasn't before remains to be seen to me, so we'll see, and I'll tell you as I come across new tricks.
Music: Fire by Bruce Dickinson.

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Robert G. Male

Name: Robert G. Male
Location: Ontario, Canada

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