Yearly Archives: 2019

Building an Indoor Pool Scene with DAZ Studio

In this live event I’ll build a scene with the Hotel Indoor Pool product from DAZ and Imaginary 3D (available for free this week for Platinum Club Members). I’ll explain how to walk through the scene to explore the the whole set, pick a good camera angle, convert existing objects into light sources and add new ones underwater. I’ll throw in some workflow tips and tricks and build the above image.

Any questions, please add them in the comments – or join me on FRIDAY at 10am EST / 3pm in the UK / 4pm in Europe

Catch this episode on my 3D Podcast:

Creating ZBrush Morphs for DAZ Studio without GoZ

In this episode I’ll show you how to create a morph for an item in DAZ Studio using ZBrush, without using the GoZ bridge. It works by exporting your object in OBJ format from DAZ Studio, importing and changing its shape in ZBrush (or any other 3D modelling app for that amtter), then re-importing the object to DAZ Studio. This workflow does not require any specific bridging tools that can sometimes be difficult to work with.

This is a follow-up video to my previous one about how to create morphs using ZBrush and the GoZ tool. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtYFaIZah6A

For Roger and MH LI.

Catch this episode on my 3D Podcast:

DAZ Studio 113: Using Cameras

In this episode I’ll tell you many interesting things about how to use cameras in DAZ Studio. It’s a rather complex topic, which is why this episode is a little longer than usual.

We’ll create a simple scene together from the latest Platinum Club Freebie product, frame up a shot, and create a couple of cameras to play with. Along the way I’ll cover how to handle camera parameters, the concept of foreshortening and perspective, how focal length influences your shots visually and how to set aspect ratios for each shot.

The props I’m using in this episode are from the Sleek Lounge Furniture set.

Any questions, please let me know.

Watch the full course in one convenient playlist:
Catch this episode on my DAZ Studio 101 Podcast:

Creating a Turntable Animation in DAZ Studio

In this first Live Event I have planned for y’all I’m going to explain how to create an easy turntable animation in DAZ Studio. We’ll dress up a character, pose him (or her), set some lights and create a 360 degree slow spinning animation of it. This technique is a nice way to show off one of your creations from all sides.

The tools we use are DAZ Studio 4.10 – that’s it.

Note that this is the first live broadcast I’m doing from my desk, so bear with me if things aren’t as smooth and snappy as they usually are 🙂

Any questions, please add them below – or join me on FRIDAY at 10am EST / 3pm in the UK / 4pm in Europe

Catch this episode on my 3D Podcast:

How to create DAZ Studio Morphs with ZBrush

In this episode I’ll show you how to create morphs for DAZ Studio using ZBrush, thanks to a free plugin called GoZ for DAZ Studio (it’s like a ZBrush Bridge). I’ll also explain the prep-work necessary for GoZ to work properly and how to install it.

For Allan.

Catch this episode on my 3D Podcast:

DAZ Studio 112: Content and Smart Content explained

In this episode I’ll explain the differences between the Content Library Tab and the Smart Content Tab. I’ll also show how to bring content into your scenes, and touch on the different types of content (for example, a shirt fits on a figure, but a material preset fits on a specific shirt).

Watch the full course in one convenient playlist:
Catch this episode on my DAZ Studio 101 Podcast:

Creating a round cutout mask for OBS Studio

I like the way my PlayStation 4 adds a soft round cutout mask to the PlayStation Camera Feed when streaming gameplay. I wondered how I could best recreate this effect in OBS Studio for a consistent experience, no matter which device I decide to stream from.

Here’s how I did it, with a little help from Photoshop – feel free to use the resulting asset without any need for further fiddling.

Continue reading Creating a round cutout mask for OBS Studio

Display all Keyboard Shortcuts in DAZ Studio

I’ve recently found out that there IS indeed a way to show a list of all DAZ Studio Keyboard Shortcuts. Sadly this functionality is not built in to DAZ Studio (as of 4.11 as far as I know), but we can convince the app to use the following script to show us a handy list.

This is the script:

// DAZ Studio version 4.6.2.118 filetype DAZ Script

var oActionMgr = MainWindow.getActionMgr();
var nActions = oActionMgr.getNumActions();
var oAction = undefined;
var oActionName = undefined;
var sShortcut = undefined;
var aShortcuts = [];
var i = 0;

// Create a new dialog
var wDlg = new DzBasicDialog;
wDlg.caption = "Keyboard Shortcuts";

// Create a listbox
var wTextBx = new DzTextEdit( wDlg );
wDlg.addWidget( wTextBx );

// Collect shortcuts
for( i = 0; i < nActions; i += 1 ){
 oAction = oActionMgr.getAction( i );
 sShortcut = oAction.shortcut.toString();
 if( !sShortcut.isEmpty() ){
  aShortcuts.push( String("%1 = %2").arg( sShortcut ).arg( oAction.text.replace("&", "" ) ) );
 }
}

// Collect custom action shortcuts
nActions = oActionMgr.getNumCustomActions();
for( i = 0; i < nActions; i += 1 ){
 oActionName = oActionMgr.getCustomActionText( i );
 sShortcut = oActionMgr.getCustomActionShortcut(i);
 if( !sShortcut.isEmpty() ){
  aShortcuts.push( String("%1 = %2").arg( sShortcut ).arg( oActionName.replace("&", "" ) ) );
 }
}
aShortcuts.sort();

// Populate the textbox
for( i = 0; i < aShortcuts.length; i += 1 ){
 wTextBx.append( aShortcuts[ i ] );
}

// Show the dialog
wDlg.exec();   

This code comes courtesy of Rob and msmorrels in the DAZ Studio Forums (thanks guys). Upon execution, we'll get a window similar to this one, and much longer too:

Wait... how does this work?

Technically, you copy the code and paste it into an empty plain text file. Name it something like Shortcuts.dsa (the .dsa extension is important). Then, open it in DAZ Studio with File - Open - and navigate to your file. That'll bring up that list.

Because life too short for repetitive and soul destroying tasks, I've already done that and added it to the following ZIP file for you! Download, unZIP and open:

Note that user defined shortcuts are currently not supported as far as I can tell, nor are viewport shortcuts (such as "hold alt, then left-click and drag", that sort of thing). Perhaps over time these features will be added. Until then, enjoy!

Contribute on GitHub

Sadly I know nothing about DAZ Studio scripting, but perhaps you do - or maybe one day I'll find out. In any case, here's the same code on GitHub for centuries to come. Feel free to contribute to the code via pull requests:

My Rig

From time to time I get asked what hardware and GPU I’m using for DAZ Studio, as well as for gaming. Rather than typing it out every time, I thought I’d make a handy post that I can refer interested parties to. This is that post 🙂

Hardware

I’m using a (rather old) HP Z600 workstation for rendering and PC gaming. I picked it up for a song (about $170) in 2016 from eBay, after a discussion with Jonstark on the Carrara Forums.

It has two Intel Xeon quad-core CPUs working in tandem, which means the CPU alone can use 16 threads for rendering. It came with 4GB of stock RAM, to which I’ve added an additional 16GB, which means today it has 20GB in total. I also added a USB 3 card and a USB WiFi dongle for network connectivity.

GPU

The fastest GPU I could find that would fit into the Z600 (vintage 2009) midi tower case was a GeForce GTX 970 graphics card (by ZOTAC) with 4GB of RAM. I bought it specifically for use with DAZ Studio, which requires an NVIDIA compatible card for the Iray rendering engine.

What makes Iray tick (and render fast) is a metric called CUDA cores. The more of those a GPU has, the faster it can render. Mine has 1664, which at the time was quite impressive. It was $199 when I bought it on Amazon in 2016.

Operating System

The Z600 came with a Windows Vista license, but I’ve installed Windows 10 Pro on it pretty much immediately. It needs the Pro version because it has multiple CPUs, which cannot be addressed by the Home version.

You can read more about how I built this system here.

Current Consoles

I also have a several games consoles in current use:

  • Playstation 4 (Slim)
  • Playstation 3 (Super Slim)
  • Nintendo Wii (with WaveBiird wireless GameCube controller)

I also use an Xbox 360 controller with WiFi dongle for use on my Windows system.

Other Systems

Aside from the above, I also use the following:

  • a Mac Mini 2012 on my desk
  • two Mac Minis in the cloud
  • Microsoft Surface Pro (First Generation)
  • 3x GoPro cameras (HERO 4 Silver and 2x HERO 5 Black)
  • Blue Yeti microphone
  • Logitech C922 Pro Stream Web Cam
  • various iOS devices
  • various lapel microphones

Discovered in December 2018

I’m a big fan of Anders Enger Jensen. He’s a retro composer from Norway, I’m proud to support him on Patreon, and I love using his music for incidental underlays and many other video projects (with his very kind permission of course).

His latest compilation album is available on Sportif – check it out and give yourself some happy music – eighties style.

Tech Things