Daz Studio Sci-fi Content Feature Pt. 2

A quick note on Poser compatibility: Most if not all content sold at DAZ 3D has very good Poser compatibility, and often comes with Poser specific configurations.

The Artifact by DigiVault - DAZ 3D

DigiVault brings affordable sci-fi content to your DAZ Studio and Poser runtime

With the release of The Artifact by DigiVault it seems like a good time to do the follow up to our Daz Studio Sci-fi Content Feature Pt. 1. “The Artifact is a detailed, large scale set” that comes with the usual texture maps, including specular and bump which denote a product that is a cut or two above cheaper products and offer a greater sense of realism and detail. Anyone who has been rendering for any length of time will know that a good specular map, especially in combination with a bump map, can make all the difference to a still image or animated sequence. It is strange that they are still not stock and standard with every release, at least in ones where they would be useful.

DigiVault is a relatively new vendor to DAZ 3D, but since the release of his first product, The Bunker, back in the second half of 2011. With a number of war torn and sci-fi content releases since then, DigiVault has established a reputation for quality. For the curious in nature the following video will undoubtedly be of interest. It briefly shows how DigiVault’s most recent scene prop evolved from its first beginnings through to completion and final promo render.

In true DAZ style, they have decided to celebrate by throwing a massive sale. Buy any one of the three sci-fi releases and get 40% off Premiere Artist and 50% percent off DAZ Original sci-fi items. Great chance to pick up some of the more expensive items like Stonemason’s Urban Future Bundel, or just about any of the items mentioned in this article. Just remember that you won’t see the discount until you get to the final stage of the checkout process. But more about DigiVault’s releases!

Ruined City - DAZ 3DThe modular Destroyed City and WarZone will be of particular use to anyone looking to quickly make detailed and interesting war torn scenes and post-apocalyptic environments. The sets should work well with any time period from the past to the distant future. Being modular in nature users will be able to quickly arrange and instance partial/destroyed buildings, and rubble to build up believable environments with potential to mix and match with other sets, such as Stonemason’s highly detailed City Ruins sets to add a splash of variety or a focal point.

Team Dystopia

Team Dystopia are a well-recognised coalition of modellers and texture artist’s that have been hanging around DAZ 3D, and putting out a variety of props and Dystopia Drone Trooperfigures for quite a number of years. Their towering, monolithic Dystopia City Blocks, both the freebies and the full priced products have graced thousands of sci-fi renders since their release, as have other iconic models such as the Drone Trooper Another TD freebie you will see regularly gracing DAZ Studio and Poser renders is their Console Station.

Those looking for yet more dystopian flavoured free items should head over to the group’s website and join in on the forums. This was one of the first places I signed up to on my voyage to the 3D worlds. The forum was described to me, by one of the site owners, as being in a state of “slow burn”, which is of course to say, quite. So, it may not be the most happening place in CG land, but it is a friendly place and host to a wealth of information on everything from sci-fi tropes to advice on writing, modelling and much more.

There have been a number of recent releases to carry the Team Dystopia branding, my personal favourite of which is the Dystopia Worker Drone You can find more of the recent releases on Mobius87’s DAZ 3D store page, but do be sure to check out the other related members to find the rest of the booty.


Rogue for V4 - ElorOnceDark
As someone who loves a good dose of Cyberpunk it is a little disappointing that there is so little overtly cyberpunk inspired stuff getting released these days. It is there, but it is few and far between. So us cyberpunks make do with what we have, but in the true sense of cp we also “hack” and bend all the lovely sci-fi content to our needs.

So, what are some of the best examples of cyberpunk on the DAZ Store? Stonemason’s Urban Future series is one that jumps to mind, but we’ve already covered this in the previous sci-fi feature content. ElorOnceDark is another name that invariably pops up. His designs are innovative, unique and of the highest quality. It is just a shame that there have not been more recent Genesis releases, but with the release of a refitted version of ArtemisX for Genesis maybe we can hope to see the other classics follow. Of course, there are always the auto-fi tools, which will give a basic and usable Genesis fit. There is also the Sickle Rigging and Morphing System which will undoubtedly return an even better fit. Then, if you are a modeller you can always attempt a Genesis morph or full refit, something I have been meaning to try myself. Anyway, back to the punk. To the top and left is Rogue for V4, undoubtedly there are a hundred and one cyberpunk Cyberpunk for M4 - ElorOnceDarkapplications for this sexy outfit.

Perhaps my favourite of Elor’s releases is Cyberpunk for M4. It is a versatile set that comes with many props including retro analogue data ports, body armour, swords, firearms, cyborg arm implants (which fit to Genesis wonderfully if you hide the arms), and multiple texture sets. All this makes it easily one of the best value for money products available in the entire store. And if you want even more options there is Elor’s expansion as well as several third party expansions such as 26FAHRENHEIT’s PUNKED UrbaN Styles, which adds several gritty street sets of textures. There is also a post-apocalyptic version, and even a character by famed character creator and texture artist, Morris

Too many sci-fis!

There is still so much really great daz sci-fi content that I still haven’t even covered. I was hoping to fit it all in here, but time is ticking away and 1000 words is more than enough for what is essentially a store feature. So, Content Feature Pt.3? Well if you’re game I’m game too. Hope I’ve pointed at least some of you in the direction of something useful that you don’t already have.

Happy renderings and see you next time.


Luxus For Carrara Hits DAZ 3D

DAZ Studio 4 - Create 3D Art for Free

Eliane CK showing off the power of LuxRender and Luxus with one of her unmistakeable signature images

LuxRender comes to Carrara with GPU unbiased rendering power

For those of you that have been waiting for an easy way to configure and export your Carrara scenes to an unbiased render engine then your day has finally arrived. Not only do you finally have relatively quick and easy access to unbiased rendering, but it comes at just the price of one very affordable plugin. No hundreds of dollars for licensing fees and possible hardware upgrade to CUDA compliant technology, just Luxus for Carrara and LuxRender (free). funnily enough I’ve been working on a beginners guide to Luxus for DAZ Studio (which will be posted here and available as a PDF when done) and was about to set to work on completing it just as I stumbled upon this new Carrara version.

This is great news for Carrara users. I remember when I was just starting to use the software there was talk of Reality for Carrara, and that was very exciting, but whatever the reasons, it didn’t go ahead. I doubt I was the only one that was disappointed by this turn of events. There was a lot of talk about how developing content and plugins just wasn’t financially viable for Carrara, but more than a year later here we are. Recently I’ve been modelling a lot in LightWave and exporting these models to DAZ Studio to use Luxus and then onto LuxRender.

If my experience of Luxus for DS is anything to go by then Luxus for Carrara will be a very flexible and reliable tool indeed. It is very possible that I may even consider changing my workflow. Some grumble at the current speed with which it Lux renders, but with it being rapidly developed (huge speed increases and GPU breakthroughs in just the last year) the future is looking very bright, and then again there is price. At zero dollars you just can’t beat Lux.

Myth Busted

DAZ Studio 4 - Create 3D Art for Free

DP Carrara Master Collection Shaders

And then as if to put paid to the argument that content development for Carrara is not viable, on the very same day another (unrelated) product is released. DP Carrara Master Collection Shaders from well known Carrara vendor, RingoMonfort. This new set of shaders, according to the product’s description “will bring stunning realism to your Carrara scenes using the most powerful texture room features: Anisotropic, sub-surface scattering, transparency absorption, fresnel, translucency and much more. From Faux Finish paints, corrosion, beautiful woods, crystals, metals, paints and much more.” Of course the claim is backed up with simple but effective demonstration images.

Carrara Pro 69% off

Carrara 8 and Pro are once again on heavy discount For Platinum club members the current price for Pro is $171 (69% off), so if you’re not a PC club member it is worth signing up just for the saving, even if you didn’t want to fork out for an annual subscription. Carrara is the perfect tool for the upstart 3D artist that wants a taste of everything – modelling, animation, rigging, special effects, rigid and soft body dynamics, 3D render engine that punches well above its weight, landscapes and foliage, support for DAZ/Poser content and figures, and now access to cheap unbiased rendering – everything! With Carrara 8.5 and 9 just around the corner it is indeed, once again, exciting times to be a Carrara user.

iClone5 Sales and promotions

DAZ Studio 4 - Create 3D Art for Free

iClone still topping DAZ 3D top 30 sales chart.

Also on offer at the store is a bunch of training material for MyClone, currently 100% off with the purchase of iClone Animation Pipeline (3 in 1). Of course the material is free for PC club members – just one of those perks 😉 iClone5 Facial Pipeline Power Bundle is still placed high on the DAZ 3D top 30 chart since it was first released, and currently 50% off. I can’t say I know much about it but it is one of those things that seems to be on the wish list of every small/solo animation teams wish list, and with great integration for Genesis.

New Bryce Freebie by David Brinnen and Horo

…And of course there is a cool new freebie by David Brinnen and Horo, Golden Rules Composition Helpers for Bryce. Anyone who has done any elementary visual arts course has heard all about the golden rules, but with this neat little set of tools you can easily put them into practice. On top of this David and Horo’s stores are on special with handy training material like Bryce Mentoring DVD – Videos, Scenes and Resources currently 40% off. If you happened to miss the DigiSprawl series of Bryce Artist Features then you might be labouring under the false assumption that it is an out-dated and irrelevant program. Now is as good a time as any to find out about the quirky elegance of the program and witness some of the beautiful art being made with it on a daily basis.

Ok, back to work for me 😉 Happy renderings!

DAZ Studio 4.6 Upgrade and Huge Sales

DAZ Studio 4 - Create 3D Art for Free
Upgrade to DAZ Studio 4.5 today

I’ve let writing about the DAZ Studio 4.6 upgrade slip a bit longer than I would have liked. Instead of writing or working on any number of other relatively pressing projects I’ve been spending time getting my blog to play nice with Google and attempting to squeeze a little more speed out of my WordPress configuration while making as few drastic changes as possible (no one likes a slow site), but let me not get distracted with the technicalities of self hosted blogging.

So, back to the matter at hand. DAZ 3D have just launched DAZ Studio 4.6 (still free), and what a beauty of a point release it is. For sometime the team at DAZ has been working on implementing a host of new features into DAZ Studio, with features like Pixar’s game changing OpenSubdiv having kept beta testers entertained for some time now.

DAZ Studio 4.6 features Highlights

  1. Subsurface Shader base by Age of Armour (will take a bit of experimentation to get realistic human SSS)
  2. CMS updated to Valentina 5, apparently fixing crashes (esp for Mac users)
  3. Updated 3Delight render engine to 10.0.125 (not the most current, but lots of goodies since last update)
  4. Support for TriAx to TriAx AutoFit
  5. Support for OpenSubdiv subdivision algorithms; Catmark, Bilinear, Loop; adds support for edge and/or vertex weights/creasing
  6. Support for Ptex (no UV unwrapping/seams!)
  7. Support for independent UV set selection on Geometry Shells
  8. Support for Gamma Correction
  9. Support for Surface Selection Sets
  10. Spot Render to  new window (handy for fixing up those bits you don’t like in an otherwise good render)
  11. Support for Hierarchical Pose Presets
  12. Improvements to various CCT tools/actions.

Undoubtedly these are great advancements for Studio. Just taking a look at Ptex and OpenSubdiv in action, if you don’t already have a good idea of what they are, you can glimpse the huge possibilities for rapid and experimental content creation and customisation. The base for Studio 5 has been put down, and I really can’t wait to see what they have planned. DS has come a long, long way since its first release back in 2005. See the DAZ Studio 4.6 announcement thread for more details and all the gossip.

DAZ Studio 4.6 compatibility and plugins

I’ve heard some anecdotal accounts that 4.6 is having some issues with Windows 8, but is working well on many previous Windows versions, and is even reportedly working well on OSX, which is great news for users that have been having a streak of compatibility issues with DAZ 3D programs.

As there were no changes to the SDK all plugins should be working as normal, and I’ve heard of no major incompatibilities.

Sneak Peek Weekend – Platinum Club For Everyone

To keep the action going DAZ 3D have thrown open the Platinum Club to all who come to grace the store. The Sneak Peek Weekend sale has big savings in the continuing tradition of DAZ 3D’s Store.  So, that means $1.99 items for everyone, access to the value catalogue, 30% off DAZ Originals, and 30% discounts on annual Platinum Club memberships. For those of us that are already PC members the deal is rounded off with a 30% discount on Premier Artist products, on top of 46% off selected items such as:



Garibaldi Express Hair System For DAZ Studio

Garibaldi Express Hair System

Look At My Hair

Look At My Hair










Genesis Generation X2



Still don’t have DAZ Studio? Get it now.

Hopefully I’ll have some time to test out some of the new features and have something more substantial on the features specifically, but until then happy renderings.

Daz Studio Sci-fi Content Feature pt. 1

A quick note on Poser compatibility: Most if not all content sold at DAZ 3D has very good Poser compatibility, and often comes with Poser specific configurations.

Looking for part 2?

Affordable 3D Sci-fi content got me to DAZ Studio

Urban Future 4Undoubtedly one of the contributing factors in my decision to jump on into DAZ Studio was the huge and inspiring variety of 3D sci-fi content. Science fiction was one of the major focuses when it came to my short stories and for some time I had been toying with the idea of bringing some of those works into a visual dimension as serial web comics or graphic novels. Anyone who has read much of what I’ve written since finding DAZ Studio probably knows I hold DAZ 3D solely responsible for all but killing my drive to write fiction. Of course I could add a little smiley face there to show there are no hard feelings, but I’m hoping my writing skills haven’t dulled so much that a little light-hearted jest isn’t lost.

Anyway, the recent addition of some great 3D sci-fi content to the DAZ 3D store got me inspired to do a little feature on some of my favourite pieces. Some of these I own, others are on my wishlist (or should be). So, let me start with a name just about every DAZ Studio and card carrying Poserverse member will know.

Stonemason is the name in DAZ Studio and Poser sci-fi content

When you put DAZ and Sci-fi in the same sentence it is likely to conjure many images that incorporate one or more of Stonemason’s masterpieces. His meticulously modelled and textured environments and props have graced thousands – tens of thousands – of still renders and animations made with DAZ Studio, Poser and any number of other render engines. From cyberpunk inspired street environments to retro futuristic art deco spaceship interiors, and on to the post-apocalypse, there is something for every sci-fi genre. And then some.

Cryotube by StonemasonA few months back I wrote a short feature about Stonemason when he posted a time-lapse video to YouTube, showing his process of constructing a cryotube. I remember thinking that it wouldn’t be long before we saw that showing up in the store. Lo and behold… a cryotube! As an upstart modeller, I was very keen to pick it up and have a look over the model in greater detail. Stonemason’s work does not only inspire the production of beautiful art, but also the production of more models. His influence on the hobbyist and emerging/pro levels of 3D will be felt for a long time to come.

And no need to model somewhere to keep your characters in the freezer. Mr Stony has us covered with a place to stash our sleeping beauties and beasties (aptly named CryoEnvironment).With very similar design, undoubtedly intended to be at home alongside the Cryotube and environment,Sci-Fi Consoles 2013, is which come complete with slick screens and “holographic” effects. With these three you could products you could put together an entire short animation or comic.

For a glimpse at the possibilities check out this short test animation.

Mech 2012 Enforcer

Few other mechs released at DAZ 3D are as detailed or formidable, and downright cool as MECH 2012 Enforcer. See here in action saving the developed world from the evils infesting its near future streets.

DAZ Studio 4 - Create 3D Art for Free
One of Stonemason’s most famous collections would have to be his cyberpunk inspired Urban Future street environments, reaching its creative apex with the huge Urban Future 4: Street Level. Straight “out of the box” this place renders like. The package even comes with a custom camera to add a suitably polluted haze to your renders. At $35 – 40 a set they aren’t among the cheapest environment/scene props in the store, but you certainly get what you pay for. And then some.
Pick up the Urban Future bundle (all four sets) and save yourself over $10

Another stunning environment is the gritty decay of “The Ministry”. Sadly this is one of those on my wish list, but the beautiful images (and animations) I’ve seen rendered with this one leave me with no doubt that this is something I want to have in my runtime. I want to play with it, pull it apart, and to an extent emulate.

Planet Lava by StonemasonA recent hit at the DAZ 3D store is Stonemason’s Planet Lava. This baby is an environment in the true sense of the word. It comes complete with modelled terrain and image dome for distant terrain and sky. It also comes packed with lights and camera presets including atmospheric effects.

On the flipside we have Planet Alpine, for those that prefer ice and snow to the heat of a molten hell rock. All this is only a small part of Stonemason’s catalogue at D3D. There are a number of other sci-fi props, robots and environments I haven’t covered here, and then a lot more.

Cyborgs, androids and robots

DAZ Studio 4 - Create 3D Art for Free

As a bit of a posthumanist at heart these guys are one of my favourite sci-fi staples, whether entirely artificial, or a merging of flesh and synthetics. DAZ 3D has a number of great entries into this category. Right at the top of my list is the recent release, Bot Genesis. Before this it was the precursor, Aikobot 2. Bog Genesis is everything that Aikobot 2 was an a lot more. One of my complaints about AB2 was that it didn’t look right when rendered in dark environments. She seemed to be artificially lit due to the way her shaders were set up, particularly in relation to reflections. Thankfully this has been addressed with BG.

A great feature of the newer version is the reconfigured shaders that allow for a mix of raytrace and image mapped shadows. Perhaps best of all is that BG is no longer constrained to female varieties. As the character is designed for Genesis BG seamlessly morphs from male to female and anywhere in between. As far as flexible cyborg/android characters go Bot Genesis is on top of the pile, and cheaper than any of her predecessors (though depending on tastes and needs there might be reason to pick these up too). Win-win-win.

Cyborgs 4.0 by DZFireA good deal less cutesy and with a more utilitarian appeal DZFire’s Cyborgs 4.0 (though I’d suggest they are actually android/gynoids) are designed on the M4&V4 bases, but can and are primarily used as standalone figures. These “cyborgs” are hardy and reliable, at home on the frontlines, in emergency services and in heavy industry. They do come with texture/material options for an appearance acceptable to a wide range of other duties, and the “female” version even comes in a glam variety. They can be purchased as together for a small discount or separately as needed.

TechnoBorg by RawArtThe Technoborg’s origins should be quite apparent to anyone that has even a passing familiarity with Star Trek. Another Gen4 figure, but as the pack is mostly a texture set it can easily be applied to Genesis, and if you have the GenX plugin you should even be able to copy the character morphs to your genesis figures. The technoborg textures are beautifully detailed and come in pasty necrotic style and a more healthy variety (you pick which ones you need). The cyborg robotic details are simulated with displacement maps (not real geometry), so make the conversion to Genesis very nicely.

3D Spacecraft Models

This was where I was going to leave part one of the sci-fi feature, but as the store of a fantastic sci-fi modeller/artist has just gone on sale (40% off everything), I thought I might as well quickly mention DAZ 3D’s premier supplier of space craft models and their interiors for Daz Studio. While there are quite a number of amazing space craft models in the store most are for Bryce and Carrara. Kibarreto has valiantly sought to fix this imbalance with his impeccable designs and texturing, complete with glowing cockpit dashboards. See Kibarreto’s Shuttlestar doing its thing in this gorgeously rendered clip.

Read on to part to of our 3D sci-fi content tour