Friday, May 31, 2013

Freebie Friday 4

More DM Freebies

The 3D artist team DM offers another excellent free model they call the Stair Wall

Available at

If we start with Fiery Genesis like we have before and then add the Stairwall, we can see chances for some good scenes right away

Lets add in another Stairwall and Y rotate 90 and align them so that we have a corner and the possibilities go way up.

This set is good for dramatic lighting as well.

When a piece is a high quality stand alone, often it is also an excellent high quality component of a larger construction.

Here I combined several Stairwalls with a Chapel (see Freebie Friday 3) to make a set as complex and rewarding as some expensive props.

Here is a list of the contents of my "Castle"

Because the pieces are so compelling the combination has many view points for your dramatic scenes or stories

By turning strategically placed elements the set can have many more rooms/scenes than a simple building alone.

<< r15 >>  << r16 >>

Although this isn't technically a freebie, I want to alert you to an chance at a great bargain.  Recently, at a Friends of the Library sale, I picked up a copy of Les Pardew's book about DAZ Studio for $2.00.  It has a DVD containing V3/M3 A3/H3  A4/H4 V4.2/M4.2 and a few clothes and props.  This is the first edition and although the text is solid it is somewhat out of date.  There is a second edition which is a better book, but does not contain any models.  So, if you shop for used books, you might just get very lucky.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Project Mucha Poses 2

Using Pose Guides

Choose an image for a posing guide.

in a 2D editor (I use Gimp 2.8)  create a new transparent layer over the image.
In the new layer with the brush tool black out everything in the image that is not the figure.  Export as jpg.  Working on the transparent layer preserves the image so it is simple to check your work and make corrections.  Don't spend a lot of time.  Good figure isolation can be very time consuming, but we don't need good edges this time, just be sure the pose is evident.

Create a new Plane 2 m and in diffuse color click on the small triangle on the left side and browse to your blacked out pose guide.
For the plane click on the small triangle for Opacity strength and browse to your pose guide again.

Do it all again so that you have two planes with your guide and arrange a zero level corner with the two guides at right angles to each other with one in the back and one on the left.  Create a third plane, but leave it blank and don't rotate.  Z translate it until it aligns as a floor for the guides.

Add in Genesis

Add skin, hair, and a long dress

Find the closest pose available and apply it.

Make what adjustments possible to fit dress to sitting pose.  Try to find a long dress with a sitting adjust  (SittingAdj or just Sitting in parameters Moves)  This is Genesis MFD. Arrange the view as straight on as possible.  Try getting the grid center line straight back into the distance and until the floor almost disappears.  << r07 >>

In this example the background guide is too large, but that is expected. First turn G's head until it is straight ahead like the guide.  To do this expand Genesis until the Head can be selected.

Use the bend, twist, and side-side parameters that are available for the head.

Generally align the figure with the back guide then Parameters-scale the back guide to the closest size match.  Remember this scale amount.

Save your work often.  Please do what I say and not what I do.  I just lost it all here.  I will get as close as I can and resume.

Apply the exact same scaling amount to the other pose guide.  For this pose this side is much less useful, but it still can give us some check points.  In this example the side guide is good for measuring, but not for aligning.

In the scene tab right click on Genesis and expand all.  Choose body parts in scene and adjust with parameters trying to align with the back guide. Check against the side guide often to be sure sizes still look right.  I have the best luck when I position the hip into the closest "location" and then move each body part from the hip out until it looks right.

This is near the pose for positions, but nowhere near the pose in feeling.  I scaled the chair to fit the pose and opted for fantastic hair.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Project Mucha Poses 1


Alphonse Mucha was a Czech artist renown for his posters that are now seen as some of the best of Art Nouveau.  His Wikipedia article is excellent on his bio and history.

Mucha's outstanding posters can be put into 3 main groups:  single figure mostly advertising, coordinated sets of singles figures representing seasons, stones, etc. and single heads usually in profile.

He first became famous for this poster
with this one

being a close second.  My personal favorite is

For this project we will consider, what are the main elements of a Mucha poster and review them for what we can emulate in 3D Art.

Elements of Mucha Poster image

    Pose  is either simple static or extreme curving
    Expression usually distant, neutral, uncommitted
Flowers - big blossoms usually in 3/4 view

Vines -  unreal, abstracted, a flourish on the framing

Frames  inner, outer and partial

Dress -  long and flowing, extreme textures or plain

Hair -  very long swirling, ...

Ornament - usually fantastic, crescent, disc, ...

Backgrounds painterly and gradated  tans, grays

Opportunities for 3D and 2D

   In 3D we can learn more about posing and managing hair and flowers.
    In  2D we can learn in postwork in an image editor  painting extensions of hair and dresses, text
                backgrounds, ornaments, and frames.
The first goal in this project will be to test the elements in 3D scenes

                  Duplicate of Mucha posters) with strong attention to posing.
                  Post work (in 2D) for frames, backgrounds, swirling hair & dresses.
Nest investigate how to update to be more contemporary approach:

1)closer framing  partial figure more than full figure
2) fewer and less extreme swirling elements
3)concentrate on material textures like silk, velvet more than brocades...
4)composition more 3D than 2D :less flattening, less planar
        5)2D elements Backgrounds, Ornaments, Frames, Flowers (hand drawn or photos)


Monday, May 27, 2013

Modeling Monday 3

Locating an Object

There are 6 things required to properly locate an object in a 3D world.  X, Y, and Z, of course, but also X rotation, Y rotation, and Z rotation.  In navigating systems like in robotics, games, missiles and submarines this is called the "pose".  In a humanoid centric system like DAZ Studio that term is already taken.  Traditionally position only covers the X, Y, Z translations and not the orientations.  I am going to use "location" for now.  I will probably learn that there is already a better more widely used term, but I don't know it now.  When I do learn, I will pass it on.

The X, Y, and Z describe space that contains all of the objects in the scene. In DAZ Studio we build a scene. (An animation is a series of scenes where each scene is a frame in the animation.)  At any time there is only one scene and only one world space.  Because of parenting, fit-to, and other indispensable features.  The exact location of all objects is not so clear cut.  When one object becomes parented to another its "space" becomes relative to the parent.

Here is a small experiment to make this clearer:

Start DAZ Studio and Create New Primitive   cube  1 m  twice  one on top of the other. Only one cube is visible because both cubes are in the same "location". Check the parameters of each cube and you will see they are at 0,0,0 and rotations are also 0,0,0.

Now X translate cube 2 250 and adjust your view until both are clearly seen.  Color them by changing the diffuse color in the surfaces tab.  Pick any two colors, just make it easy to tell the cubes apart.

Parent cube 2 to cube by drag-dropping cube 2 on top of cube in the scene tab. Cube now has a small triangle beside the small icon and name.  When the triangle has the base to the left and the apex to the right the cube is "collapsed" so its children don't show.  When the triangle base is on top and the apex points down cube is expanded and all of its children (now cube 2) become visible in the scene tab and the children icon-names are indented.

Select cube (the parent) and Y rotate 90

Both cubes have moved and cube 2 is now behind cube.  Select cube 2 and X translate 200.

Select cube and Y rotate 0  then Z rotate 90.  This will place cube 2 above cube.  Select cube 2 and Y rotate 45

cube 2 has rotated, but on world space X axis not Y.  This occurs because the location of cube 2 is now relative to cube at the time cube 2 was parented.

Go to the screen tab and right click on cube 2 and choose change parent, when the dialog box opens offering objects choose None.  Now check the parameters.  They reflect what you would expect for world space.  The algebra for what is happening here is not complex, but keeping the details straight can be tough.  As you see DAZ Studio is, naturally, keeping track exactly.  It can be hard to locate child objects by parameters, but fortunately it's not hard to do visually.

<< Screen 05 >>

If you computer is low powered like mine consider unparenting the prop you have to place in a hand etc and using world space to move it where it needs to be then parenting it again.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Freebie Friday 3

An Excellent Prop

Today I will introduce you to a very high quality prop that it available for free as a gift from an excellent pair of 3D artists/vendors.

The prop is DM's Chapel available for download at:


If you click on  Freestuff in the menu line near the top of this page you can seenseveral great free items.  Too many for a single post, so we will work with DM's Chapel this time.

One of the things I like about DM creations is that they are usually a collection of coordinated items.  A very versatile set, several associated items that go with the set, and poses for characters in the set.

The very high quality of the work is readily apparent.  DM has stores on and on  You will find browsing through them inspiring and rewarding.  The consistent excellence is awesome.  Their major genre is fantasy, but  their steam punk and sci fi items are among the best available. Even though my budget is very limited I have bought several DM products and am very pleased.

The products are usually in poser format which will require unZipping them with something like WinZip, jZip, Stuffit, ...  I prefer 7zip.  Good instructions on how to do this for DAZ Studio are available at Doc

An easy to follow PDF file is available on that page - scroll near the bottom.

In DAZ Studio to access the prop in your Content Library tab  choose
poser format - My Library - Props - !DM Free_P6+

The chapel set has two parts:

The chapel itself

and a part called a divider

There are also two injection morphs (These are used to place parts in your scene for you) One to place a divider on the left side of the opening and one for the right side.  If you double click each one both the openings will be filled.

I admit that when I first saw this prop I was disappointed.  I was still thinking things, so a chapel should be a full building.  No I have learned to think sets and this one is truly great.  Let's try it out.  Start by loading our old friend Fiery Genesis 1 and changing the backdrop to None,  In the Content Library tab navigate to the chapel and add it to our scene.