Category Archives: 3D

My notes on 3D apps I use: ZBrush, Hexagon, DAZ Studio, Poser, Carrara and many others.

Animating sunlight (SS Time) in DAZ Studio

I’ve recently explained how to make use of the realistic sun disk in DAZ Studio. I’ve talked about how to make this thing visible and how to set it to mood/effect you want, and I’m pleased with the results. This workflow works great for still images, but for animations, it quickly becomes clear that the SS Time parameter under Render Settings – Environment cannot be keyframed.

Or can it? Looks like it can, thanks to a little helper tool called the Sun Dial. Let me show you how it works.

Continue reading Animating sunlight (SS Time) in DAZ Studio

Urban Future Fly-Through Animation Workflow

I’ve rendered this quick trailer for my 3D Shenanigans Live Stream, using Stonemason’s Urban Future 6 set the other day. I did this really quick, and there are some rough edges to this animation. It only took 8 hours to render the full sequence plus a bit of post production in Premiere.

I thought I’d share my multi-machine workflow and pipeline with you, indulging some tips of what I might do different next time.

Continue reading Urban Future Fly-Through Animation Workflow

Creating a Sunset Portrait in DAZ Studio – 3D Shenanigans #17

In this live event I’ll show you how to create a realistic sunset portrait in DAZ Studio. I’ll explain how to use the Sun and Sky option in the render settings to tweak the time of day, how to make the sun visible and how to move it into position.

Finally we’ll add a character who’s looking at the sunset, dressed in one of Biscuit’s hair and dForce outfits. I’ll even discuss some Tonemapping options to get a handsome looking image without postwork.

Because after all, it’s my birthday today 🙂

Atmospheric Fog Planes in DAZ Studio – 3D Shenanigans #16

In this live event I’ll show you how to use Atmospheric Fog Planes in DAZ Studio. They can be used as a subtle effect to make your scenes more realistic. Fog Planes can fill the screen, or they can be used as prop splats to show steam rising in parts of your image. I’ll show your both versions, explain the workflow in setting up your planes, and how to create them yourself with Carrara.

For this demonstration, I’m using Stonemason’s Urban Future 6.

All my Patreon Supporters get access to the fog assets I’m creating in this stream.

Rendering with Blender from the Command Line

I through I could some of my computers to good use by helping them render animations. Everyone is stronger together as a team, no matter if we’re built on carbon or silicone. Sadly though, Blender doesn’t start its GUI via RDP, which means it’s not so easy to speak to the application – unless you employ clunky workarounds.

That’s where the command line interface comes in handy. We can issue a text command to Blender, telling it which file we’d like to render, where to render to, and which frames of an animation to render.

Before I forget how it works, I thought I’d best write it down somewhere.

Continue reading Rendering with Blender from the Command Line

Shattering my Logo in Blender – 3D Shenanigans #15

On this week’s live stream I’ll take my 3D Shenanigans Logo and shatter it into pieces, to build a creepy backwards animation using the Cell Fracture add-on in Blender 2.79.

I’ll start by explaining how the tool works, then we’ll move on to building the logo from scratch, add materials, and then we’ll build something similar to this animation: https://youtu.be/pzi6ghRRfLg

I currently have TWO RTX 2080 cards in my system, which means I’ll do the shattering in Blender 2.79, and will render in Blender 2.80. Sometimes we’ll just have to use different versions to get a job done.

Here’s a video by Richard from CGCookie about this modifier:

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEo_9AopfoQ

The Cell Fracture add-on is scheduled to make it into Blender 2.81 later this year.

Creating Animated Fog with Carrara – 3D Shenanigans #14

In this live event I’ll create animated volumetric fog with the highly underrated Carrara. I’ll show you around the app and explain how the programme works, introduce you to some of its features, and then I’ll animate good looking fog. Once exported as a transparent image sequence, I’ll try to animate it live over my own camera feed. It’ll be a hoot!

This concept was inspired by my Skeleton at the Graveyard animation I made three years ago.

We’ve discovered a similarly simple effect last Saturday in Subnautica (the ceiling effect at around 2:15:00).

Using Iray Canvases in DAZ Studio – 3D Shenanigans #13

In this live event I’ll tell you everything I know about Iray Canvases in DAZ Studio. It’s a huge topic, and admittedly I don’t know everything about this subject, but it will cover how to get started with multi pass rendering and the principles of creating separate images from your scene.

About Depth Passes

There’s a great video by DarkEdgeDesign about how to use the Depth Canvas in Photoshop – check it out here. Thanks to Capra Media for bringing this to my attention.

There’s also Nabesaka’s article on Depth Canvases here.

Christina was kind enough to make a video about how to deal with depth maps in Photoshop (she’s my Photoshop Wiki). Thanks, Christina!

Animating Numbers with Blender and DAZ Studio – 3D Shenanigans #12

In this live event I’ll show you how to create 3D Text Objects in Blender 2.8, then bring them in to DAZ Studio to animate and render. We’ll animate a single number first, then apply the same animation to the other numbers and add small variations using aniMate.

Other than that, I’m happy to answer any questions you have – join the chat and see if we can solve that DAZ puzzle you’ve been having for a while.

DAZ Studio Test Scene – share your Iray Render Speeds

I’d love to see a decent Iray render speed comparison between the current NVIDIA graphics Cards, specifically for DAZ Studio performance. All we need is some data from a static test scene, render it on a variety of systems and compare the results.

Well here’s such a scene! Please download it and render it on your system, then leave a comment below with your GPU configuration and how long it took for the scene to finish.

To take a time reading, head over to Help – Troubleshooting – View Log File. Scroll to the end of that file and you’ll see a line that reads something like this:

Total Rendering Time: 17 minutes 20.70 seconds

Paste that line in the comments below, and let me know which Graphics Card you’re using. If you don’t have a GPU, let me know your computer specs (including processor speed and RAM). If you’re game, you can render twice – once with your GPU and once with your GPU, even using both together. I’ll compile a list of the results in an upcoming post.

Thank you for your participation!