This is the start of a series of articles that are meant to be a down and dirty guide to Daz 3D pulling from my own personal experience while being easy to understand. Because of this, It is not meant to be in-depth but instead to get you to a point of having a common ground understanding of the software so you can take advantage of the tutorial and resources that are out there.
What is Daz 3D?
Daz 3D is a 3D manipulation software that allows you to take pre-made models and attempt to turn them into a more original design by using sliders called morphs. You can practically do anything you want with Daz 3D from making your own comic and animations or use it as a base to create something more original
Where can I get content for Daz 3D?
It should go without saying that Daz3d.com is one site that you can get assets from especially given that it is the company’s main source of revenue, but just to cover all bases let’s go over it. The site covers just about everything that you will need to get started with Daz 3D, however they are safe-for-work so if you are looking for something a bit more risqué you will have to go to one of the following websites.
Next up is Renderosity.com. They are a bit more loose on their restrictions, opting to censor the more risqué options than to outright refuse them. If you are looking for something that can be worn in respectable company but also is lewder in a way, Renderosity most likely has it.
Now if you are looking for things that are straight-up pornographic, Renderotica.com would be the website you should visit as it is their main content. Sex poses? got it. Better genitalia? Got it. Fetish gear? Definitely has that.
A rule of thumb is that for clothing, props, or environments you either go to Daz3d or Renderosity as most of the selection there will suit your needs regardless of what you need it for as it is very easy to kitbash (the act of taking pieces from different modelling kits to try and make something more original) something together.
While if you need more explicit morphs, poses, and fetish gear you go to Renderotica
Keep in mind that these sites are more than just their storefront as each of them caters to their own communities with forums and in some cases blogs. Along with these, they have subscription models that can help you get deals on products along with access to a rotating selection of freebies along with other benefits.
What are generation/genesis?
Daz 3D models’ iteration was labeled as generations and is now going off of the genesis label. I can’t really speak to generations because it was before my time. But from what I understand the main reason for the switch to the genesis label was the introduction of the morph slider. Effectively turning all their individual models into one. From there genesis 2, 3, and the weird leap to 8 gain better fidelity and the ability to be posed. At the time of writing the current model of genesis is genesis 8.1.
What can I use Daz 3D for?
Practically anything although there is a limit. If you’re going to stay in the realm of images, animation, and visual novels you are fine and have nothing to worry about.However, if you planning on making a full-fledged video game you need to start worrying about getting your hands on an interactive license which itself can greatly add to the cost of attaining assets
What kind of computer should I get to work with Daz 3D?
Daz3d is can be run on windows and mac as this writer minimal recommendation you should have at least 16 gig ram and 8 gigs of video ram (ram that is on the video card) that is an Nvidia graphics card if you plan on using Iray (a rendering engine created by Nvidia) and Intel Xeon/Core 2 Duo or Quad /Core i7 or AMD Opteron/Phenom processor(s)
How do I install content and what is the content library and smart content?
The content library is what it sounds like. It contains all the content that you have collected for daz3d when properly installed on your machine. Its organization base on the file structure of the governing folder that contains all of it.
You can access it at the following:
C:\Users\”username”\Documents\DAZ 3D\Studio\My Library
User directory>Shared>My DAZ 3D Library
Smart content is a much more organized version of the content library that has access to the Daz 3D store meaning that any asset that you brought from there can be downloaded, installed, and updated from the smart content itself and will organize itself based on several factors such as what is selected in the scene and categories listed. Do note that the only content that will show up here by default are things brought from the Daz3d storefront. Everything else will have to be scanned for the necessary metadata files, which if they are not included you will have to create them yourself.
To install any third-party content that you get simply unzip them and move the associated files into my library folder for the daz3d subfolders.
Are there any terms that I should become familiar with?
Several, the following is going to be terms that you should become familiar with.
- Objects/Model: a term that can be used interchangeably it referee to items brought into a scene
- Scene Hierarchy: in Daz 3D any Object that is brought into a scene
- HDRI: High Dynamic Range Imaging is specialized images that can contain data used for lighting
- Parent/Child: if an object such as clothing is brought into a scene it will become a child of the model it was selected to apply to with the object it is the child of considering it parent.