Turntable animations show an object or a collection of objects from all sides. They’re usually rendered as a loopable image sequence. The above is such an example of Michael 7, assembled as a GIF image. He’ll keep spinning forever!
Sometimes you experiment with keyframe animations, but frequently things can go wrong and you want to start afresh. Like clearing the sheet of paper you were sketching on. How do we do that to a timeline?
Easy: even though there’s no magic button for it, it can be done using the same technique in both Poser and DAZ Studio. Let’s take a look how.
At the bottom of the interface, you’ll find your timeline controls. Notice the frame counter in the middle there.
This means we’re on frame 1 of a 30 frame animation. To clear all keyframes of all objects, set the second number to 1. This will shorten the animation and thereby remove all keyframes from the timeline.
When you’re finished, set the animation duration to the correct length again and keep working.
In DAZ Studio we can do the same thing as in Poser: shorten the animation to become only one frame long. This is done in the timeline pane, in the field that reads Total (at the bottom left usually):
Set the total field to 1, then save your scene and close DAZ Studio. When you re-open it and load your scene again, all keyframes will be gone.
I know it’s a hack, and there’s probably a script out there somewhere. If I find it I’ll post a link to it here.
I’ve been playing with Windows Azure the other day, specifically to hire rendering machines. My idea was very simple: if I have a long animation to render, why not pay a nominal amount of cash, but have the result back within hours rather than days?
So I created a Windows VM, logged in from my Mac via RDP (Remote Desktop Connection), installed DAZ Studio and some content… but sadly I couldn’t start DAZ Studio. I remember having had this problem before on my home network, where I have a similar setup.
This happens because DAZ Studio needs OpenGL 1.3 or higher, and with an RDP connection, only OpenGL 1.1 is supported. Quite rightly so, DAZ Studio throws an error message and quits. However, the app works just fine via RDP, so how can we circumvent it closing prematurely? Continue reading How to run DAZ Studio on a remote machine via RDP→
I was setting up an animation on one system, then transferred the scene over to a more powerful rendering machine. Usually DAZ Studio 4.9 does a good job at installing required content automatically (thanks to DAZ Connect), but this time my scene showed up with several scary grey blocks instead of content.
In addition, I received a long list of missing files, all of which should have been in a folder called /data/auto_adapted.
What’s stored in that folder I was wondering? Of course this phenomenon – like most features of DAZ Studio – are completely undocumented and you have to hunt around like a detective on forums where other puzzled minds speculate.
Turns out that the auto_adapted folder is something in which DAZ Studio stores converted items, like anything that’s not installed as a native .dsf file. Specifically content made for Poser will be converted and stored here. This includes content sold before 2014, including prestigious Stonemason scenes like Urban Sprawl 2.
Should you come across a problem similar to mine, simply copy/merge the contents of the auto-adapted folder and paste it into that of your rendering machine. Should your second system not have such a folder, simply create one inside the data directory (within your DAZ Studio Library).
When you’re done, open the same scene again and everything should look spiffingly fantastic again.
Sadly I have not found a way to ask DAZ Studio to simply recreate the contents of this folder. This appears to happen only when old content is opened for the first time. Should I ever find a way to do this, I will update this article.
When DAZ Studio is finished rendering an image into a new window, we have the option to save it. But if we don’t do that, and there happens to be a power cut (and your computer is accidentally not connected to a UPS), where does that render go? Is it lost forever? Or is it saved somewhere secret?
Lucky for us, the render is indeed saved in a temporary location. By default, on Windows systems, the full path to temporary renders is
The Library can be reached when holding down CMD and selecting Go from the Finder menu.
Each temporary render is saved as a random letter or number. Note that as soon as you restart DAZ Studio, this folder is cleared! So the procedure upon DAZ Studio crashes or power cuts is to rescue those renders first, then restart DAZ Studio.
You can change the location of this folder under Preferences – General.
I was playing around with Reality for DAZ Studio the other day, and the above phenomenon occurred. It’s a Michael 6 render that should have worked out of the box – especially because Reality is clever enough to convert his skin shaders to automatically. The render worked fine on one of my machines, but not on another.
Strangely enough though, I could see the textures fine in the viewport. And a quick test render in both 3Delight and Iray showed the textures fine too. But Reality and LuxRender wanted to render the skin tone as some scary metal.
So what’s going on?
The culprit is DAZ Connect. On this second machine, Michael 6 was installed not via the DAZ Install Manager, but from within DAZ Studio via DAZ Connect. This has happened because I loaded the scene (from Dropbox), and DAZ Studio recognised that Michael 6 was not installed, and hence offered to install him for me. I accepted the generous offer, but Reality and LuxRender can’t handle textures installed via DAZ Connect. Continue reading How to avoid missing textures in Reality for DAZ Studio→
As with real life objects, lights in the Iray Render Engine are by default not invisible. They’re like a lamp in a film studio: if it wasn’t there, it wouldn’t emit light. But now that it’s there, it can sometimes get in the way, even though we want it to emit light.
Turns out there’s an easy way to make those physical objects invisible, so that we’re able to film/shoot/render/see right through them. Turning them invisible isn’t going to work, because once they’re gone, they won’t emit light anymore.
So head over to Light – Render Emitter and switch it off.
On means your light will be rendered as visible object, while off means it will still emit light, but the actual light object is no longer rendered.
The NVIDIA Iray render engine can be a bit of a mysterious box sometimes. Especially when it comes to lighting. But it doesn’t have to be. Let’s see how we can add a standard spotlight to our scene and set it up so we can use it properly with Iray.
Let’s take this simple scene as as demo and a staring point. It’s a there and a plane, both of which have Iray shaders applied (it’s Walnut on the floor, and orange car paint on the sphere).
Iray Default Light (IBL)
The default lighting for a new DAZ Studio Iray scene comes with a small HDRI image applied by default, and when we render our scene, we can see the effects of that light source.
Notice that there’s a small specular highlight on the sphere, on the left hand side (a small shots spot). This is the sun’s hotspot from the HDRI image map. As you turn the camera around, the hotspot moves. Alternatively you can move the Iray Dome to move that hotspot (under Render Settings – Environment – Dome – Dome Rotation).
Not every HDRI image has a sun though, and depending on which map you use, you may not even see such a hotspot in your renders.
Adding a Spotlight
The left hand side of our sphere is a little darker, and if this was a character’s face, we may want to brighten it up a bit. In 3Delight we’d just add a standard spotlight, tweak the intensity and shadows until we’re happy, and then we’re done with it. With Iray we’ll do the same thing – but the settings are just a little different. Continue reading How to use Spotlights with NVIDIA Iray in DAZ Studio→
In this video I’ll show you how to render an image in DAZ Studio and compose it onto a background image in Photoshop.
We’ll use the Shader Mixer and a Shadow Catcher in DAZ Studio to make the figure cast a shadow but be otherwise transparent. In Photoshop we’ll add artificial depth of field to an arbitrary background picture using Smart Objects, and I’ll introduce some techniques to blend both images together for extra realism (all non-destructively).
The final picture is going to look like this (featuring the 3D Universe Toon Crab and a new lifeguard tower in my neighbourhood).
The whole video is nearly 40mins long, so grab a cup of tea and enjoy.