Reader Questions Archives

From time to time I get questions about many aspects of what I do, ranging from 3D tips to cancer survival strategies. I often type long emails for someone, but what is said is often useful for others. Sometimes I turn such information into an article and post them here.

Why do DAZ Characters take so long to load?

I’ve had this question twice recently, and it’s another interesting nugget of information I thought I’d share with you: why do DAZ figures take so long to load? Especially the no-frills base figures? And why does this only happen for some users, and not for others? The two guys who contacted me about this (Richard …

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How to completely reset DAZ Studio and Install Manager

I was talking to a viewer recently about how he had made some changes in his DAZ Studio installation by manually moving folders, and as a result, nothing appeared to be working anymore: Install Manager didn’t show any content, DAZ Studio didn’t either, and a complete reset was in order. I mentioned briefly how this could all be reset during a Stardew Valley stream, and the information was so helpful that I thought I’d share it as a stand-alone clip.

When I was done editing, I thought perhaps some written instructions on this process might be a good idea, so here they are. This is all I know about how to completely reset your DAZ Studio Installation. Use it as a last resort if nothing seems to be working anymore and you’d like to start with a clean slate.

Note that these steps will remove ALL traces of ALL versions of DAZ Studio and Install Manager from your system!

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My Animation Workflow in DAZ Studio – The Basics

I often get questions in regards to Animations in DAZ Studio. It’s a complex topic, because it combines “animating in general”, and “using the animation tools in DAZ Studio”. I recently described my animation workflow to a reader/viewer (Nkem) and thought this information might be useful to others too, so here’s what I said.

Most new users have an issue with the time it takes to both build the animation itself, but also the enormous time it takes to render an animation out. Something relatively short and simple like this is a good example:

Aside from the setup, rendering an animation frame should be treated differently to a still image. We need to live with compromises, because we’re rendering quite a few images (30 frames per second, on a 10 second animation, that’s 300 images). If each of them would take 6 hours to render, the whole thing would take about 75 days, or nearly 3 months. And that’s a very short animation.

Let’ see how we can trim that down to a few hours or less instead.

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Using non-native 3D content in DAZ Studio

I get a question every now and then that goes something like this:

I bought content from (non-DAZ store), but I don’t know how to use it in DAZ Studio. Can you help?

It’s a complex situation, so perhaps I can shed some light on it. Let me explain the basics of what’s happening here, then we’ll move on to the process of making a compromise work.

First of all, transferring content between multiple 3D applications is a pain. You’d think for an advanced society like us there would be a “universal format” of all things 3D, but sadly that’s not the case. Every 3D professional is struggling with this fact. If you’ve ever tried formats like FBX, Collada, OBJ or Alembic, and have been disappointed with how they transfer content, then you’re not alone. They all work to a certain extent, but usually not perfectly.

Most 3D applications (DAZ Studio included) can import 3D objects from other applications and display them somewhat. The trouble lies not in the 3D shape of an object, but mostly in the material descriptions. These are very much dependent on the render engine for which the source object was intended. Hence, while the diffuse texture map is usually imported correctly, none of the other parameters are (such as bump, transparency, normal, etc). Furthermore, the material properties (like shiny, rough, translucent, emissive etc) are not working, because each render engine has different ways of describing such properties.

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