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Subject Topic: Tips, Help for free Daz Studio Post ReplyPost New Topic
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pedrov
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Posted: 01/21/2008 at 1:43pm | IP Logged Quote pedrov

In response to frequent questions on this topic, I decided to start a FAQ thread for D|S (Daz Studio). I hope this is the correct place for such a thing ("Tips" seemed dominated by DJ software tips). I am definitely not the only D|S user here (and certainly not the best), so please feel free to add tips as you come across them. Also, it would be nice to avoid directly duplicating things found on DAZ's forums. If you find something useful there, a link to it would be better.

[edit] Tips was obviously the right place! I knew it all along!

Edited by pedrov on 01/22/2008 at 3:13am


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Posted: 01/21/2008 at 2:21pm | IP Logged Quote pedrov

Organizing your D|S files
(note: I'm currently using version 1.7.1.9)

Most of the content you will use in D|S comes in one of two systems of organization: organized into a "Content" folder (this is the style used for D|S only content), and organized into one or more "Runtime" folders (this is the style used for Poser, but it works nicely in DAZ as well).

DAZ files tend to be named things like: *.ds, *.dsb,
*.daz, and so on. I hate using the DAZ structure for content, so I'm not gonna spend much time on it at the moment. Poser's use of "Runtime" folders makes much more sense to me personally.

Most "Runtime" folders will contain a "Geometries" folder, a "Textures" folder, and a "Libraries" folder. There are others, but these are the most important.

The "Geometries" folder mostly contains *.obj files. These are a generic 3d object format that many pieces of software can read. *.obj files are the actual 3d objects on which textures are added and poses or morphs are applied.

The "Textures" folder contains tons of *.jpg files for texturing your 3d objects. When I retexture a model (like changing hair color, or adding depth to skin, I'm usually working with a *.jpg from the "Textures" folder in Photoshop.

The "Libraries" folder is a bit more complicated. There are a number of standard subfolders here: "character" (*.cr2), "face" (*.fc2, other image files), "hair" (*.hr2), "light" (*.lt2), "materials" (these are for certain versions of poser), "pose" (*.pz2), "props" (*.pp2), and others that vary. The file types listed for each folder MUST be located under the corresponding folder name. For the most part, these files tell D|S or poser where to find textures to apply to 3d objects and what settings should be used. You don't want to mess with these, though they can be edited in a text editor (for example, if you want Victoria 4 to always load with a particular texture, you could change this in the pz2 file).

D|S looks for DAZ and Poser styles of folders each time you run the program. If you select Edit - Preferences - Directories, you will see a box with the title "DAZ Studio Content Directories." Anything in the DAZ style of organization (i.e., "Content" folders) can be found here. If you select the title box, it will open a pull down menu. From here you can switch to "Poser Content Directories." Then "Add" the runtime folders where all your stuff is located. The directories should stop at the folder level ABOVE the runtime folder. E.g., I have runtime folders devoted to each of the major figures as well as Creatures, Environments, etc., When I look under Poser Content Directories, I see D:/Poser Content/!01 Victoria, D:/Poser Content/!02 Michael, D:/Poser Content/01 Creatures, and so on. Each of those folders contains a runtime folder (e.g., D:/Poser Content/!01 Victoria/Runtime).

Note: D|S will crash less often if you uncheck the box "Automatically Refresh Content Folders."

If you're new to D|S, I strongly encourage you to organize your content carefully. There is so much free stuff (e.g., renderosity, runtime dna, and more) that your content folders will get cluttered VERY quickly. I have well over 35 GB of content (about 115,000 files).

Everyone does this differently, but this is how I do it. My software (e.g., DAZ Studio) is installed on my fast, but small C: drive. All of my content is stored on my big, but slower D: drive. As long as you tell D|S where to look in the preferences, you could have stuff all over the place. Okay, so on my D: drive, I have a folder called "Poser Content". The subfolders in here are divided up for each major category of content.

D:\Poser Content\!01 Victoria
D:\Poser Content\!02 Michael
D:\Poser Content\!03 Stephanie
D:\Poser Content\!04 David
D:\Poser Content\!05 Aiko
D:\Poser Content\!06 Hiro
D:\Poser Content\!07 The Freak
D:\Poser Content\!08 MilBaby
D:\Poser Content\!09 The Girl
D:\Poser Content\!10 Laura & Luke
D:\Poser Content\!11 Madison & Matt
D:\Poser Content\!12 MilGirls & MilBoys
D:\Poser Content\01 Creatures (animals, monsters, etc.)
D:\Poser Content\02 Environment (buldings, plants, etc.)
D:\Poser Content\03 Figures (shared among several figures)
D:\Poser Content\04 Other (vehicles, other oddities)
D:\Poser Content\05 Non Commercial (things for personal use only)
D:\Poser Content\DS Content (additional content in DAZ structure such as materials settings).

Although it's a pain to set up each of these folders in the directory the first time, you'll be grateful when you need to find something and you're scrolling through hundreds, rather than thousands, of choices. Another good reason for doing this is that poser content creators have an annoying habit of giving their texture folders counterintuitive names. Again, sorting from among dozens of annoying folders is better than sorting through tens of thousands of them!

EDIT (April 20, 2008): After installing D|S 2.3, my first wild version of Studio in a while, it occurred to me that some of you may be getting lost in the myriad of options available for displaying your content... in fact, I was lost just moments ago . The instructions outlined in this post for organizing content will make the most sense if your preferences are set the same as mine.

Near the content tab, there is a small triangle that will get you to options. I've circled it in the image below.



After clicking it, select "View Folders as Tree" as shown below.



This should at least get you on the layout up as me to understand the tips in this thread. Also, if you've recently upgrade from a pre-2.1 version of D|S to a 2.1+ version, this is how to get back to your old settings.

Edited by pedrov on 04/20/2008 at 3:01pm


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Posted: 01/21/2008 at 3:02pm | IP Logged Quote pedrov

"Fit to" and "Change Parent"
(or, how to keep aiko's pretty little head on!)

The problem - You rotate Vicky's head, only to find her hair (model is Maria Hair from DAZ) didn't go along for the ride.


When you add things to a figure in D|S, like hair or clothes, you should get in the habit of using the "fit to" command. You can access the command either by selecting the object you would like to fit (e.g., hair) and then selecting the appropriate object to fit it to (e.g., Victoria 3) in the "fit to" pull down menu in the "parameters" tab. You can also access this command for many items by simply right-clicking on the object you want to fit (you'll get several choices, one of which is "fit to").

The solution - "fit to"


Objects that are "fit to" another object will scale together. This is great when you want to deck out The Freak in Freak-sized armor, then scale all of it to dwarf size! In the image below, Vicky's hair is "fit to" Vicky so they scale together... eyes are a different matter!


The "fit to" command links one whole object to another WHOLE object. This works for most situations, but sometimes you need one object to be linked to a particular PART of another object. This is where "parenting" comes in to play.

For example, I'm working on some isometric medieval houses at the moment. I wanted to create night versions of each with cool lighting effects coming from each window, and I wanted to do it all in D|S. In addition, I wanted to create four perspectives for each building (accomplished by rotating the building but keeping the same isometric camera position).

Example png (model by faveral):


The image above contains several kinds of lights (I'm not good enough yet with lights to give in-depth info about that). Suffice it to say, there are two distant lights way off in the sky to simulate a typical night lit by the moon and stars. These lights need to stay in place, even as I rotate the house. However, the lights inside the house (and the embers in the forge) need to move with the house. To do this, I parented the lights on the house to the house itself. I do this by right-clicking in the preview (viewport) window the object I want to "parent" (for example, the point light that makes the embers glow), selecting "Change Parent," and then selecting the house from the menu. Now, when I rotate the house, the parented lights go with it.

Rotated with some of the lights "parented" to the house


Note: I use a black background in all of my renders now. This is especially useful for DJ since we often add drop shadows or outer glow and the background color you choose in D|S will bleed into your rendered images (you'll notice some of my earlier pieces have little white halos around them). You can change this in D|S by selecting the Viewport Options (it is a very-hard-to-find menu you can access from a little arrow near the "draw style" and "camera" settings. When you pass your mouse over it, it will say Options - Display the Viewport Options. Just select the background color and choose black.

Edited by pedrov on 01/21/2008 at 4:18pm


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Posted: 01/21/2008 at 5:12pm | IP Logged Quote dragonwolf

Excellent tutorials.

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Posted: 01/22/2008 at 12:58am | IP Logged Quote Kepli

Nice work

since DAZ and other 3D application aren't applications like DJ, there is no competition between them. So I moved this to Tips and made it a Sticky.

Thanks for all the work Pedrov

Edited by Kepli on 01/22/2008 at 1:00am


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Posted: 01/22/2008 at 10:54am | IP Logged Quote Digger

When I save my images I save them as png then the stuff around it is already deleted.

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Posted: 01/22/2008 at 11:37am | IP Logged Quote pedrov

Digger wrote:
When I save my images I save them as png then the stuff around it is already deleted.


Yeah, I save to png as well, and the background is transparent, but something happens during the render that causes bleeding into the object (even when output to png).

These are straight out of D|S, no postwork.

Here is a white sphere on a red background:


Here is a white sphere on a green background:


You have to look closely, but there is a slight halo in the fuzzy areas around the edges of the spheres. Rendering with a black background is most compatible with shadows.

Edited by pedrov on 01/22/2008 at 2:38pm


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Posted: 01/22/2008 at 11:46am | IP Logged Quote Digger

Thats why I rarely use the software render that with the package, I dont find it that good, but I use the next setting down and then use adobe bridge.
I see what you mean about the bleed though.

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Posted: 01/29/2008 at 3:56pm | IP Logged Quote supercaptain

Hey Pedrov could you help me...my folder are all messed up, Your tutorila is not simple about the folder....I dont have poser ( and I dont really know what it is ) I use Daz 3d...here is how my things are seted up..can you tell me how to move things in order to get oraganized? Theses are screenshots of what my Daz_Studio-content_   folders are like





I have buyed alot of stuff theses last 3 or 4 days ( 175$ of stuff) and there is some I just cant find after installing them in the daz content folder, some that are not working at all...lots of clothing not fitting on the supposed figure...I hate it...but now its bought...so I better get organized...can you help me???
thanks Ped
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Posted: 01/30/2008 at 4:01am | IP Logged Quote pedrov

Sure. Looks like you've got two choices.

If you want to keep everything where it is currently, you'll need to tell D|S where to find it. In studio, select EDIT - PREFERENCES - DIRECTORIES and you'll see a box with the title "DAZ STUDIO CONTENT DIRECTORIES." It should currently be listing your D|S folders (C:\Program Files\DAZ\Studio\Content). This is fine for almost all of the folders you show in your second screen shot (animals, data, lights, people, props, readmes, scenes, and scripts). The folder you need to pay attention to is RUNTIME.

Use the pull down menu to change "DAZ STUDIO CONTENT DIRECTORIES" to "POSER CONTENT DIRECTORIES." Click "ADD" and navigate to the folder level just superordinate to your RUNTIME directory (in your case, it would again be C:\Program Files\DAZ\Studio\Content). That should give you access to all the folders from RUNTIME down (e.g., camera, character, face, etc.).

The other option is to create a new folder for your poser content. For example, create the folder C:\Poser Content and then cut and paste everything from your "RUNTIME" folder to the new location location. Follow the same procedure for adding a poser content directory, but this time navigate to C:\Poser Content. Just remember that some of you poser readmes will still be hanging out with your D|S stuff.

I still prefer a system like the one I outlined in the second post above with a folder for D|S content (e.g,. D:\Poser Content\DS Content) that is separate from the D|S program folder (usually C:\Program Files\DAZ\Studio) and separate folders for runtimes that are categorized by model or type of model (e.g., D:\Poser Content\!05 Aiko or D:\Poser Content\01 Creatures). But, this method should work as well.

Hope that helps. If something doesn't make sense or isn't working right for you, let me know. I've made my email available in my profile in case you'd rather contact me that way. Good luck!

[edit] The only thing I'm a little unclear about in your folder structure is the !DAZ subfolder in your runtime directory... I'll have to check that out when I get home from work.

Edited by pedrov on 01/30/2008 at 9:26am


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Posted: 02/01/2008 at 4:54pm | IP Logged Quote ursus

So, I said to myself, "Hey, wouldn't it be great to get this free D|S software and make some top down figures to represent PC's in Battlegrounds?"

Then, I downloaded the software to find that it is indeed free, but most of the objects are not. I have found a few freebies, but I still need more clothing, props, etc. to make some decent figures. And, even if I want to buy content, I'm overwhelmed by the amount of stuff to look through.

I was wondering if someone could make a short list of essential content for creating fantasy genre figures.

Thanks in advance.

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Posted: 02/02/2008 at 2:21pm | IP Logged Quote pedrov

First, grab anything free that you can. There are many great packages available at DAZ: M3 is free, A3 is free, 3D Bridge Starter pack has tons of stuff, and of course there are other freebies as well. Oh yeah, the freebies at renderosity.com are also fantabulous! From the "choose an area to browse" pull-down menu, choose Poser or DAZ Studio. Also, look closely at the usage rights in the "details" link for each item. Most of them are straight forward, but some are sneak (e.g., stuff posted by adamthwaites). Either way, it's best to check the readme files in any zips you download.

The key to DAZ is to learn how to be a value shopper. I almost never buy anything that isn't on sale. The stuff that I do buy at full price is usually software of some sort (not always from DAZ, but always essential).

One of DAZ's biggest sales of the year is March Madness. Tons of items go on sale and it is a great time to join the platinum club. Kep and DW turned me on to the platinum club and, honestly, it is a fantastic buy if you're in to 3d art at all. My membership now costs me about $8 per month and at the beginning of each month, I get a $5 voucher to spend on stuff (i.e., about $3 per month). So many things are much cheaper as a PC member.

Probably the best purchases you could make from a fantasy perspective are the models: M3, V4 (notice the PC price), V3 is still worth getting and may be free from downloads.com; A3 is quite nice, SP3 is good, D3 is decent, The Freak is quite useful (but wait for him to hit a sale); H3 is very undersupported as are MilBaby, Matt & Maddie, and Luke & Laura.

For female clothing, the Morphing Fantasy Dress is a must (though you need to get the MFD for each female figure, the textures generally can be applied to all of them). For male and female figures, the Tunic and Cloak sets are great to have (again, must be purchased for each figure, but the textures are pretty flexible).

There are other nice clothing sets that have a lot of utility, but you can't go wrong with MFD, Tunics, and Cloaks. Learn with those until you have a better idea about what else you want. Usually, the value of a clothing set can be determined by looking at how many add-ons it has (there should be a link at DAZ for each clothing set) or how many free mods have been made available at sites like renderosity.

You should also watch the sales closely for the various "morphs" packs. Each figure has a morph pack that allows you to change the structure of their bodies and faces. For top-down rendering, this may not be a priority. But for portraits and advanced work, the morphs are a must.

Lighting and cameras are luxuries in my opinion. I can set up my own lights and create my own cameras, so I don't tend to buy such sets. Also, many things you buy and many things for free come with lights and cameras, so you can just build off of those.

Textures are nice, but you may not need them so much for top-down rendering. In addition, many textures sets can be used by other figures with only small amounts of tweaking.

Overall, I think the best approach is to get a PC membership, raid the PC items, and wait to reap in tons of models during the sales (I've got a nice 3-figure dollar amount waiting for the next big sale!).

Edited by pedrov on 02/02/2008 at 3:13pm


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Posted: 02/02/2008 at 3:08pm | IP Logged Quote heruca

Great tips, Pedrov!

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Posted: 02/02/2008 at 3:29pm | IP Logged Quote Digger

Its well worth getting cross dresser and the licences for the characters you use the most, a lot of the costumes I use were not designed for the figures they are on but converted with crossdresser.

You can also alter any clothing texture by using the surfaces tabs abd loading in materail texture, and when you feel more confident, using photoshop recreate the skins of a character like I did with a v4 skin which I used to create the sexy babe stuff I have in the lounge.

Edited by Digger on 02/02/2008 at 3:36pm


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Posted: 02/04/2008 at 1:41am | IP Logged Quote Digger

This Pack is well worth getting

Daz Creature Creation Pack



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Posted: 02/07/2008 at 5:10am | IP Logged Quote pedrov

This is a list of free models, some of the links work and some don't, from poser pros. Free registration is required (they're a companion site to Daz3d).

It's worth investigating some of the response posts as well... and not all the sites are in japanese!

Edited by pedrov on 02/07/2008 at 5:36am


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Posted: 02/07/2008 at 6:19am | IP Logged Quote greytale

Wow. I just found this thread. Thanks Pedrov.

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Posted: 02/07/2008 at 6:50am | IP Logged Quote Alynnalizza

Here is a great list (albeit most are not free, but still great items)

Fantasy Poser/Daz Items

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Posted: 02/07/2008 at 7:28am | IP Logged Quote ursus

Thanks for the links pedrov.

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Posted: 02/08/2008 at 4:41am | IP Logged Quote Digger

Some free Poser Props and Outfits.

Free Stuff

Some more free stuff Here

and at Sparky World Here

Edited by Digger on 02/09/2008 at 5:52am


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