Software Review: DAZ 3D

This is actually not a piece of writing software. However, I love it. First the description according to the DAZ 3D website:

DAZ 3D – DAZ Studio is a free, feature rich 3D figure design and 3D animation tool that enables anyone to create stunning digital imagery. This is the perfect tool to design unique digital art and animation using virtual people, animals, props, vehicles, accessories, environments and more. Simply select your subject and/or setting, arrange accessories, setup lighting, and begin creating beautiful artwork. DAZ Become a 3D Artist for Free. Reviewed April 7, 2010.

I found this program while browsing deviantArt. So many awesome artist there. How I wished I could be one. Some artist did commissions. However, I read authors shouldn’t bother with buying cover art since it’s a cost the publisher takes on. I’m not a published author yet, so I can’t rely on my publisher to create cover art for my novels. I wanted my homepage to have something. So I searched for options.

Then I came upon one artist who listed the tools of her trade. DAZ 3D being one of them. Now I’m not an expert with DAZ 3D, but I’ve managed to develop some simple cover art and my headers using a combination of DAZ 3D and Photoshop Elements. Check out here and here for the cover art and my website header. All the figures (animal, creature, and human) come from DAZ 3D in addition to some of the backgrounds. Someone more artistically inclined and creative could definitely do better. For someone like me,  who’s never taken an art class in my life, I’m pretty pleased with the results.

I have to admit, it took me a bit of time to get the hang of it. I found myself moving my arms and legs around to understand exactly how the models worked. Pretty much any position a person can do, the models can also perform. Plus, each model comes with a set of predefined positions which translate to other models as well. Once the models are properly placed, DAZ allows for the picture to be rendered in a variety of different formats. Personally, I like the .png files which takes just the models, no background so I can choose to add my choice of a background later if I choose.

The DAZ website also offers a series of online tutorials, both in video and written format. Some of it was too complex for my pretty lil head, but the way its presented lets the user build upon what they know: Beginning, intermediate, advanced, and well out of my league.

Give DAZ 3D a try. DAZ Studio 3 is currently a free software, but you can upgrade it to include additional features. There is also a page for free models so you can really get the feel a for the program.

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