DAZ Studio Archives

3D manipulation tool for rendering people.

How to move the pivot point of an object in DAZ Studio

The pivot point is the location at which the universal manipulator gizmo is shown on a 3D object. From this point you can usually move the object, or rotate it around this very point. Blender calls this the “origin point”, while Carrara calls it the “hot point”. I’m not sure if DAZ Studio refers to it as anything in particular.

The location of the pivot point is of strategic importance, and it may not always be where you want it to be. New primitives and figures usually have it at the centre bottom, which works well for positioning the whole figure.

It can however be undesirable when you’re trying to rotate an object (like the cube below) around its centre. We’d need the pivot point to be at a different position to pull this off.

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 16.19.50

But how do we change its location in DAZ Studio? Let’s find out.

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How to reset surface materials in DAZ Studio

When texturing an existing model, I find it helpful to start from scratch and apply a simple basic material to an object. The same is true if I’ve been modifying something so much that I forgot where things went awry, and a “reset surfaces” button would be handy. The good news is that there is …

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How to reload image textures in DAZ Studio

When you edit textures outside of DAZ Studio and save them, they won’t show up on your models until you reload them. In DAZ Studio, the command to do this can be found on the Surfaces Tab. Find the context menu at the top right corner of the tab (three lines and a triangle). Select it …

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How to change Node Selection Highlighting in DAZ Studio

When you hover over any object in your DAZ Studio scene, surfaces highlight orange by default. This is a nice feature, but it can get annoying when all you see is bright orange and you can’t see any other objects anymore.   DAZ Studio 4.7 and earlier In DAZ Studio 4.7 and prior, this behaviour …

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How to change the background colour in DAZ Studio 4.7

Contrary to what the documentation wants you to believe, and unlike DAZ Studio 4.6, the background colour can no longer be changed from the Viewport Properties menu at the top right. In DAZ Studio 4.7 and 4.8 the option has moved to Window – Style – Customize Colors. There’s a whole lot we can amend here, …

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How to setup shortcuts to load figures in DAZ Studio

Even with Smart Content it can be tough to find a single figure from your library. If you find yourself loading a particular character a lot, you’ll be pleased to hear that there’s an easy to way to setup shortcuts on the menu bar for such things. In this article I’ll show you how to …

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How to apply a Shader in DAZ Studio

Shaders are an important component in many 3D applications, but I never knew that DAZ Studio understood that concept too. I was under the impression that the relatively simple Surfaces Tab would be how to tweak what an object looks like. Turns out, DAZ Studio has Shaders! And here’s how to apply them. Pay attention …

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Getting started with UberEnvironment in DAZ Studio

UberEnvironment is a shader based light, available exclusively in DAZ Studio. It brings image based lighting to DAZ Studio when using the 3Delight render engine. It has been around for a while, but it has been a bit of a mystery to me for the last 6 years. I think I’ve finally grasped some of its basics – time to write them down before I forget.

Unlike traditional lights in DAZ Studio, UberEnvirnoment creates a sphere in the scene onto which a HDR image is projected. The sphere itself then emits light, creating some very realistic looking ambient light. UberEnvironment can be used on its own or in combination with other lights for nicely balanced results.

Historically, the UberEnvirnoment product had to be purchased through DAZ by a vendor named omnifreaker. It has since been updated to UberEnvironment2 and is now included for free in DAZ Studio 4.x (as part of the “Default Light and Shaders” – make sure this installed).

The product itself is difficult to find in the Smart Content tab because it appears mixed in with some other scary items. It’s much easier to access it via the Content Library tab: navigate to

  • DAZ Studio Formats – My DAZ 3D Library
  • Light Presets (not Lights!)
  • omnifreaker – UberEnvironment2

You’ll find the following icons:

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 16.00.47

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How to speed up rendering times (or improve quality) with 3Delight in DAZ Studio

It’s easy to reduce rendering times in DAZ Studio with 3Delight at the expense of quality. Likewise, it’s possible to greatly improve the rendering quality with the same setting: the secret lies in the Shading Rate Slider.

On the Render Tab, under Render Settings, take a look at a lone slider called Shading Rate. The default is 1 and it produces a good compromise between speed and quality.

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The higher the Shading Rate is set, the lower the quality of the image is – but at the same time, render times speed up. This is great to get an impression of the overall scene without having to wait ages.

Conversely, the lower the Shading Rate is set, the higher the render quality is as a result – which increases render times, but gives a very nice quality boost. It’s easy to overlook this setting!

Here are some example renders. Click on the images to see the full resolution at 1920×1080. No postwork was applied. The scene is Stonemason’s Tin Pan Alley with the Genesis Troll.

Shading Rate 1 (Default) – Render Time: 1 minute

Troll-SR1-1minThe default setting gives a good compromise between quality and speed. I always wondered how to make such a render look better.

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How to render with Depth of Field in DAZ Studio

Depth of Field is a photographic term that describes how much of a scene is in focus. In the 3D world this has to be calculated and switched on – because otherwise everything in a rendered scene is in focus. A real world photographic lens doesn’t work that way: take a portrait with a long lens, …

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Comparison: 3Delight vs NVIDIA Iray for Animations

For this animation I’ve rendered the same scene twice in DAZ Studio 4.8: once with 3Delight and once with the new NVIDIA Iray engine. It’s interesting to compare the results in an animation rather than a still image due to the different challenges involved.

One thing is that the subject is illuminated differently depending on how far away it is from the camera. Another is that it’s difficult to get matching end results when mixing faster and slower hardware: Iray can take a long time to finish a render if no GPU acceleration is around.

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How to render Iray with transparency in DAZ Studio

DAZ Studio Splash

DAZ Studio 4.8 comes with a new render engine called NVIDIA Iray. From what I understand it’s similar to the Mental Ray engine and – from what I hear – is supposed to become the new default render engine in DAZ Studio. It’s not a replacement for 3Delight, just an addition – selectable on the Render Tab (under Engine).

Unlike 3Delight, Iray renders images without transparency (or alpha channel) by default, which isn’t desirable. There is of course a way to change this, and here’s how to do it.

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Skeleton at the Graveyard

Yesterday I’ve animated this skeleton. The steps involved were rather complex, so I thought I’d better write down how I did it.

In principle, there are four parts to this animation:

  • the animation of the skeleton (using DAZ Studio and aniMate)
  • the cloth draping (using Marvelous Designer)
  • a moving fog layer (using Carrara)
  • a graveyard picture (from Graphic Stock)
  • and finally, blending it all together (in Premiere Pro)

Here’s how I did it step by step.

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How to export garment animations from Marvelous Designer for use in DAZ Studio

In my previous article I’ve explained how to export an animation from DAZ Studio and import it into Marvelous Designer, where we’ve created and animated our garment. In this article I’ll show you the reverse: exporting the garment with animation and import it into DAZ Studio for rendering.

Here’s how this works in principle:

  • export your garment animation from Marvelous Designer as OBJ Sequence
  • import the sequence in DAZ Studio using Morph Loader Pro
  • turn all those morphs into an animation

I’ve explained the whole process step by step in this video:

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How to export animations from DAZ Studio for use in Marvelous Designer

Exporting character animations from DAZ Studio for use in Marvelous Designer is a trifle complicated. In this article I will explain what works for me.

I’m using an animation created in DAZ Studio 4.7 using Michael 6, a Genesis 2 character. I will then create some clothing in Marvelous Designer 4.5, drape and animate it, and eventually export it back to DAZ Studio for rendering.

Here’s how to do it in principle:

  • bake aniMate blocks into DAZ Studio timeline
  • export OBJ file of your first animation frame
  • export the whole animation as MDD cache
  • import OBJ into Marvelous Designer
  • import MDD cache in Marvelous Designer
  • drape and animate cloth

I’ve explained the whole process step by step in this video:

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How to display the camera frame in DAZ Studio

By default DAZ Studio will render everything in the current viewport, whose size depends on now much space the viewport occupies on your computer screen. That’s not necessarily the size or aspect ratio you’d like to render. To frame the camera accurately, we need to be able to see what the camera sees. There are two …

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How to transition from a static pose to aniBlocks in DAZ Studio

The way aniMate works is that we can either animate characters with a traditional keyframe approach, using the standard timeline, or we can use aniBlocks. There’s no easy way to mix and match both approaches. But sometimes it’s necessary to transition from a static pose to an aniBlock to get a smooth transition. The best way to …

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How to import DAZ characters into Marvelous Designer

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 09.24.00Marvelous Designer comes with 7 default avatars, but it’s very easy to use your own 3D figure and create custom clothing for it.

Simply export your desired character as OBJ, including full body morphs, then import it into Marvellous Designer.

Here’s how to do with with the Genesis 2 Male character from the free essentials pack.


Exporting from DAZ Studio

Load your character into an empty scene and select it in the scene tab. It’s typically located on the right hand side in DAZ Studio.

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 09.31.21

Head over to File – Export and pick a location for your files: DAZ Studio will create a .OBJ and a .MTL file. It will also bring up an export dialogue in which you can specify the scale and size for your export. Those need to match the import dialogue of your other app.

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Navigating 3D Space in DAZ Studio

Nothing is more frustrating that not knowing how to accomplish basic tasks. Navigating 3D space in different apps using different devices in the same day is one such thing. Before I forget, here’s how to navigate your scene in DAZ Studio 4.7. Dolly You can dolly the camera in several ways: by dragging the cube icon in …

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How to group objects in DAZ Studio

Groups are helpful to keep the many items in your scene organised and grouped together. They’re like a “folder”, even though you’re not really moving items to another place. They just appear together with a heading and a disclosure triangle. For example, rather than having a character and five independent clothing items, it’ll be much …

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How to render DAZ Studio scenes without DAZ Studio

DAZ Studio has one drastic drawback: while you’re rendering a scene you can’t use the app until it’s finished rendering. In fact, DAZ Studio makes use of every available CPU cycle, turning even the fastest computer into something you can’t even check your emails with while you wait for that render to finish.

That’s great for efficiency – but it also sucks because you need a second computer to keep working with, or alternatively use a second computer for rendering while you work with your main machine. Wouldn’t it be great if you could do something akin to Poser’s background rendering, something that lets you setup the next scene in DAZ Studio while it’s rendering at the same time?

I have good news: you can – thanks to something called RIB files. I didn’t know this until recently, and it works a treat. Let me explain how to use this feature.

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The old Empty Smart Content Tab ploy – and how to fix it

One morning I woke up and my entire Smart Content tab in DAZ Studio was empty. Nothing had happened since the day before when it was working perfectly fine. It just stopped working overnight.

What I had done shortly before going to bed was to install the latest service release of Poser Game Dev (SR5). If this was the cause of the problem or not will forever remain a mystery. In this article I’ll explain how I fixed this issue on my Mac.

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 15.06.54

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How to navigate DAZ Studio on your Surface Pro

DAZ Studio Pro 4.6 runs perfectly fine on the Microsoft Surface Pro, however by default the stylus navigation isn’t working well: the pen is so sensitive that it has your scene spinning into al kinds of directions at the slightest touch on the navigation cube at the top right. Other 3D applications are working fine …

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