DAZ Studio is a great piece of kit, there’s no denying it. After all, who wouldn’t want a free, simple to use, program which lets you create publication-quality 3D images? Add that to the digital ton of content, models, props and backgrounds available on the ‘net and Daz Studio makes it possible for literally anyone to get into 3D imaging at no cost other than needing access to a moderate spec computer.
I think DAZ have dropped the ball bigtime with the latest release. Daz Studio 1.8, the previous version, runs like a dream on my laptop, which is yer typical consumer-grade machine. The new release, however, doesn’t. And what it doesn’t do, it does spectacularly.
Y’see, Daz Studio 2.0 needs a higher spec graphics card than the one on my laptop; fair enough. Except I’d say that this is exactly the spec which Daz Studio should be aiming for. Daz Studio is a great entry-level product, so that means it should be spec’d to consumer-grade levels. If the bug bites then the consumers will buy computers to suit their needs. That’s Ball Drop number one, but it’s easily fixed – DAZ Studio 1.8 is still available here for lower spec machines, but it’s not widely advertised. Whereas Daz Studio 2.0 needs an Nvidia Geoforce FX, ATI Radeon or equivalent card as a minimum, Daz Studio 1.8 should work with damned near anything. And that’s good.
Ball drop number two is the biggie though. Daz Studio doesn’t 2.0 just “not work”, it crashes with a big horrendous brainfart. I tried to import a model, and it crashed. I upgraded my graphics drivers like a good little geek bunny, and it crashed. I set the preferences to absolute minimum and it crashed. Heck, most of the time I just move my mouse and it crashes.
That’s not good, but it is sloppy coding, “minimum graphics requirments” be damned. Apps. Shouldn’t. Crash. Creedo one. It dents consumer confidence, harms the brand and does nothing to persuade the eager computer user that he or she has a future in the 3D industry.
Instead, Daz Studio 2.0 should, as a minimum, warn during installation. It should auto-set the preferences according to the card spec, and possibly allow the user to try out higher performance settings if they’re feeling lucky. It should fail cleanly if things don’t work, and adjust the settings accordingly for future use.
One thing is shouldn’t do though, is crash.