Creating 3D animations may not be a skill that is ever fully mastered. I was working on a project for an international customer where I had to combine 3D graphics with the story for a video. It sounded easy but I realized shortly not all animations could be created with my minimalistic freeware software.
At this point, I started researching various products. I looked at Autodesk Maya, ZBrush, Blender, etc. They were all good, or at least this is what most users were saying. But for some reason, Daz 3D resonated with me a bit more. There’s a 3D character library you can buy artwork from. Maybe this is what I liked most.
But the software itself is a combination of Genesis 8, Hexagon and, of course, Daz Studio. I didn’t take any formal training and this is why I was a bit intimidated at the beginning. But without a doubt, I'm glad I chose this route to recreate a historic building and to add 3D characters to it.
Daz 3d Studio Features
Building upon the Genesis 3 platform, Genesis 8 is arguably the most realistic platform for creating figures. You can now add automatic reactions and muscles which move a bit more fluidly.
I like this platform when it comes to creating realistic characters. My work normally involves making these characters as human-like as possible. But on occasion, I play with the characters I create from scratch. You can even import your characters from Genesis 3.
My projects were mainly developed in Genesis 3. This is one of the motives which led me to this software platform instead of others. It simply would take too long to recreate my old projects, which are often the base of my work today.
Another major advantage Genesis 8 has is its popularity. If you need a bit of help, there are many forums you can ask for help at. I’ve even worked with a couple of people from these forums on a common project that we’re now trying to integrate on the web.
Together, we’ve built solid promos and introductions to historic cities around the world. They would be the types of virtual tours you would take around these cities, but in Medieval times which makes the project both unique and challenging.
Nvidia Iray Render
One of the technologies which help our project look better is Nvidia’S Iray render engine. It simulates natural light on various objects. Nvidia develops some of the most interesting technologies in the space and there’s no exception here.
Light needs to hit outbuildings and characters from different angles. We’re trying to recreate natural sunrise and sunsets to make these virtual tours a bit more realistic.
Of course, there’s a lot of work which has to go into these projects. We often find ourselves stuck in an area of modeling where the objects are not sufficiently-realistic. There’s always going to be that element of cartoon-like features in the software, but we want to limit them as much as possible.
This is not a set of features that I’m interested in at the moment, but you might be the one working with it. Morph capabilities make your characters change their aspect more realistically.
For example, you can create human characters which can then morph into various creators. If you’re thinking The Hulk, yes, it’s exactly this type of technology.
When it comes to how this technology looks, you need to expect it to look a bit more cartoon-like. But the characters still look realistic. The overall animations portfolio has improved as well with the latest software update.
This feature allows you to create an entire series of characters. A friend of mine who’s good at 3D modeling uses this feature to 3D print characters alongside comics he then sells online. Most of his stories are good and he’s already making a living out of it.
But these morph capabilities are often requested by clients. If you’re a freelancer, you can use this technology to meet various needs. For example, your virtual tour project could have a future where this tool can be used.
If we decide to create present tours to our Medieval tours, we could morph an old tour guide to a more modern tour guide easily. It would also make sense to have such a transition to lead our customers to more palpable tours they could eventually replicate in real life.
Another strong benefit the software has comes with its online library. You will find all types of characters, objects, and buildings here. Prices vary on them depending on what the artist is asking.
But if you don’t have too much time to create something from scratch, this could be a shortcut worth considering. A 3D dragon costs $134 while a modern apartment plan can cost around $30. But other characters can cost as little as $11. It can be a good starting point for the average project.
One of the areas where the library feels a bit of a let-down is with vehicles. Sure, you can find all types of sci-fi vehicles to purchase. But if you want a vehicle that looks a bit more realistic, you would struggle to find anything usable. Many vehicles are not even made after how they look in reality, but rather as modified versions.
I’m guessing it might be a licensing issue on why many artists prefer not to create as many realistic cars as they create characters. However, there are ways around this inconvenient and you may still use the current vehicles as a starting point to save some time when creating your project.
The software is free but it has a few add-ons which are paid. However, even with all add-ons, you should not pay more than $29.99 per month on a licensing fee.
Pablo is also free but this is also what you’d pay for a full Adobe InDesign CC license. There’s a free trial you can test on the software. However, this free trial doesn’t cover the paid artifacts, characters and other objects in the library.
My advice is not to buy as many characters as possible. You can simply buy them as needed. After working for a few months on the software, you might not need access to this library at all if you want to save on every project.
The software is increasing in popularity and it may be among the best options with included libraries of characters. It has a free license that you can test on your own today. You’ll only start paying when you want to try out various tools or items from the library.
The software is better and integrates technologies from Nvidia to make it even better. It’s a natural progression that doesn’t eliminate older creates from Genesis 3, which is not always the case with modern 3D software upgrades.