I should be writing blogposts about other things (such as how to run a 4e D&D game using Mutants & Masterminds and how to build a mega-dungeon using nothing but Delves), but DAZ Studio 4 has eaten up a frankly shocking amount of my free time over the last few days. Sorry ’bout that.
Quite simply, it’s brilliant. The interface improves upon DS3′s in small but pleasurable ways. For example, the Parameters tab lets me see just the values which have changed, and looking through my Content Library is orders of magnitude faster than it is with DS3 – and that was no slouch!
Most of all though, I’m loving the Genesis figure. It is much more memory efficient than Victoria/Michael 4 with the Morphs++ pack loaded, and even the base figure with the default morphs is surprisingly flexible. Here’s a few examples and test renders I’ve thrown together while messing around with it.
Genesis looking big and unhappy. I think it’s that sweater his mom made him wear. This is Male and Bodybuilder set to 1, Heavy to around 0.6 and a few more spins of the dials. Which leads us to…..
The default Genesis female morph (Basic Female set to 1) isn’t what you would call curvy. Tell DAZ Studio 4 to ignore limits though, and you can make her as curvy as you want. Left click the little cog next to the Parameter setting (ie, to the right of the Basic Female dial) and go into Parameter Settings. Turn off Respect Limits then hit Accept. Now you’re not limited to just choosing a value between 0 and 1 for that dial. The render above is Genesis set to Basic Female 1.5 with just a touch of Child (0.2 or thereabouts) and Pear Figure (0.1, if memory serves).
… and here’s the same Genesis figure set to Male and Bodybuilder = 1.5. Any higher than that and we’re heading into Freak territory! With the limits turned off you can also set the dials to negative values – set Male to 1 and Basic Female to around -0.3 and you make Genesis even more male!
Just to show that DS4 is good for regular fantasy-themed renders too, this small scene uses only content included with DAZ Studio 4 Standard. It took about 15 minutes to put together, and 30 minutes to render. Loving’ this!
From fantasy, it’s on to superheroes. The Genesis figure is pretty challenged in the wardrobe department; the only clothes out right now come with DAZ Studio 4 Standard itself, but the Auto-Fit plugin (which I don’t have – I’m waiting for the Advanced version of DS4 which should include it by default) will allow you to use clothes made for Victoria and Michael 4 on the new figure automatically. In the meantime, it’s time to get creative with Shaders. These are special textures that you can apply to object surfaces to mimic certain materials or effects. For example, I could apply a blue spandex-style weave Shader to the Genesis figure’s chest, abdomen, hips and legs to get this:
Likewise, apply the Shader to the arms as well, use the K4 Basic pants with a red Shader and a quick dial of the morphs and we end up with…………
It’s worth repeating: this is directly from one figure to the other with just a spin of the dials and applying a few Shaders. If this was DAZ Studio 3 I would have had to start a new scene, load up Michael 4, re-apply the Shaders and start again from scratch. This was a change in under a minute that would have taken 10 or more in DS3.
Can’t have a Superman-alike without a Batman-alike, can we?
Another spin of the dials, another character. He’s young Bruce Wayne, still working on his ninja training.
A quick jump from DC to Marvel and a few more dial spins and Shader twiddles later, and we get young Mystique from the X-Men.
That’s four quick superhero renders, with not a single New Scene between them. Love being able to dial spin like this. I’ve not even begun to scratch the surface of what Genesis is capable of yet. Awesomesauce.
I’ll end with just one more. Here’s Genesis after a spin of those dials and the Last Gladiator for Michael 4 texture applied.
Till next time!