Stonemason To Retire Old Content

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Old Stonemason products retired here?

In a recent post on the DAZ 3D forums the hugely popular content creator, Stonemason (Stefan Morrell), indicated he was having several older items culled from his catalog (at D3D). The items are: The Whispering Wall, The Whispering Wall (amplified), The Display Room, and SkyBike. Stefan claims these items don’t reflect the quality of his current work and are due to be retired “in about a month”. Given the post was made on the 15th of October there is plenty of time for anyone wanting to pick up these ‘mason relics. Stefan stressed that he was not telling people to buy them now before they disappear, but that he was just offering a warning to customers.

The products have been priced down to DAZ 3D’s lowest price for PA items ($5.95). Stefan also indicated that there would be a second round of culling which would include the original “Urban Sprawl” environment. An unspecified number of older Stonemason Platinum Club items are also to have his name removed from them.

DAZ 3D Halloween – 500 Items 50% Off

As is often the case, there are some fantastic sales going on over at DAZ 3D. At the moment there are 500 items in the Halloween sale. There is a bit of everything in there, and while some have a very Halloween feel to them, there are many more that have a general sci-fi, fantasy or even modern contemporary feel to them. So, there’s lots of character/texture packages, morph sets, hair, outfits, monster figures, IBL sets, shaders, environment props etc – a bit of everything.

I’ve picked out a selection of some of my favourites as well as some that have been sitting on my wishlist.

I won’t talk much about the products, they speak for themselves, but I do have a bit to say about a couple of these. Right at the top of the list is Age of Armour’s Atmosphere Effects Camera (DAZ Studio only). This handy tool is great for rendering volumetric lighting effects, depth masks (great for adding depth related post work effects like DOF and haze), haz and fog.One reason I always hung back on buying this one was because DS comes with Ubervolume, which does volumetric effects, but I have found the Uber plugin somewhat buggy nad lacking in features.

Next we have Skeleton Dungeon. This bundle is pure value right now at 70% off. In this bundle you get the M4 skeleton, the M/V4 skeleton textures, and Dreamlight’s environment prop, The Dark Corner of the Dungeon. This package is shipping for less than the standalone M4 skeleton, which is itself on special for 40% off.

Here’s one of my own early Reality 2/Lux experiments done with M4 Skeleton.

 

The Super-Physicality Bundle is another great value package. If you are just starting out with DAZ Studio or Poser or just looking for some good character content, but aren’t interested in Genesis 1/2 then this is for you. It’s even great for those that have a few of the included products in their inventory as the saving are still significant. This bundle includes the base Michael and Victoria 4 figures as well as their morphs++, muscle morphs, elite body morphs, and creature morphs packages. Also included is She Freak 4 and Freak 4 base figures.

And the others

Click image to visit item store page at DAZ 3D.

 

Other Happenings in DAZ 3D’s Store

Stonemason’s Sci-Fi Corridor 2013

There have been many notable releases of the last few weeks. Stonemason’s Sci-Fi Corridor 2013 is, as usual for a Stonemason product, highly detailed with great attention taken in the construction of materials and texturing. Included are movable walls, stairs, doors, med beds, and all manner of fixed details we have come to expect from one of DAZ 3D’s most trusted and well known content creators.

Age of Armour’s Advanced Ambient Light

The last item I will mention is Age Of Armour’s Advanced Ambient Light. This particular product has been causing a lot of excitement among the DAZ Studio crowd. Here’s part of the product blurb:

“This custom coded light casts pleasing, super-soft ambient light and occlusion based shadows. Use the light by itself to produce a fashion shoot style lighting or even overcast skies. The Advanced Ambient light also works great as a soft-box fill light used in conjunction with spotlights, and it also provides a beautiful bounce light look when used with distant lights.”

The light set is highly customisable with features like radius and falloff control, and light only certain objects. The product also comes with an in-depth user guide, something that is very much appreciated and something that Age of Armour’s products are known for. This is one item I have been intending to do a full review of since I picked it up, so hopefully that will be up very… ermmm… soon (hopefully soon, soon).

Oh, and Carrara 8.5 Sales Chugging Along

So I lied, I have another item I want to talk about – just quickly draw you’re attention to Carrara 8.5 (Pro and standard). There is no doubt about it Carrara has been selling well. Ever since I started paying attention to the top 30 sellers at DAZ 3D, Carrara has held in there at position 25 – 30. Right now, standard is sitting at position 18, and Pro at 19. The current positions are no doubt related to the recent 8.5 release promotions, but Carrara is and has been doing rather well.

I’ve been saying it for some time now, but I’ll say it again, hopefully Carrara’s sales performance will spur DAZ 3D on to giving the budget 3D suit some TLC. Maybe they have been? With Carrara 9 due in the first quarter of 2014 let’s hope DAZ give us all a nice big surprise. With no feature list out in public we’ll just have to wait and watch and hope that Carrara 9 will be a big fat, juicy update.

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DAZ Studio and Poser Sci-fi Content Roundup

Looking for more sci-fi content articles?
Ok, so I’m biased. I know no content theme has been the topic of more of my posts here, but this is the stuff that gets the grey matter infused with that delightful creative juice (in my case anyway). Maybe it also has something to do with seeing Elysium today. Not a bad movie, thought the plot was somewhat disappointing and predictable (especially last half). Good CGI, reasonable to good acting with Sharlto Copley playing a seriously vile character very well.

But, I’m not here to talk movies. I’m here to talk content. I know just about all the content I post about here comes from DAZ 3D, but I hope to change that in the future. I am but one man. Maybe I’ll even branch out and post about content that isn’t sci-fi. Maybe.

DAZ 3D Premium Sci-fi Content For Your Runtime

So, a lot of good stuff released over at DAZ 3D to create and fill those sci-fi themed renders. I don’t own most of these, but those that I don’t are on my wishlist. Let’s start with a D3D favourite, Stonemason.

Featured content

The inspiration for Desert Outpost is blindingly clear to any Star Wars fan, but as if there was any doubt you only need to read the opening sentence from the product description: “You will never find a more deplorable colony of trash and knavery than the Desert Outpost. Home to thieves, smugglers, and anyone who has ventured south of the law”. Stonemason not only know how to put a spectacular environment together, but he also knows how to sell it. His promo images always inspire awe and tempt the imagination to find a home for his creations.

DZFire’s Tenshi immediately grabbed my attention when I first saw a prerelease image posted on the artist’s Facebook page. Tenshi is a texture and prop expansion set for the artist’s Cyborg Version 4, which I am quite fond of. I have been a big fan of Dz’s cyborg/android creations, and am very happy that there is another similar, but suitably different product that should be released in the near future.

Sci-fi clutter

Technological clutter is always in need for those workshop, lab and construction scenes that are so often the setting for sci-fi renders. Empty scenes don’t look convincing and we all know it.

Thanks to artists like Nightshift3D, we need for nothing. His latest offering, aptly titled Sci Fi Gear Bundle (beneath left) brings together 3 sets of medical instruments and industrial tools that will fit many situations. Lazarus Containment Cell Crates (beneath right) is another great addition to the DAZ store.

Future fashion and battle wear

Midnight_Stories is another favourite of mine his Sky Chaser for Genesis (beneath right) is simply  beautiful. Sky Chaser also has an expansion pack that adds a helmet, jetpack, and weapon. On the left we have The3dwizard’s sexy Vinyl Jumpsuit for Genesis and V5 will find itself put to use in many sci-fi settings, and perhaps even edge into more “contemporary” renders. Heroine, fashion portrait, cyberpunk street fashion – got you covered.

 

 

 

 

 






This is another one that immediately grabbed my attention. Great anime sci-fi outfit, that has many possibilities if you are the retexturing type. Tech Soldier: Special Forces for Genesis, V5, and M5 was a an instant grab with the use of the monthly PC coupon.

techsoldierspecialforces

Need something different? Design Anvil’s Black Dragon Clothing set for Genesis and V5 might just be it. “Just because danger lies around every corner, doesn’t mean you don’t need to look sexy! This futuristic Sci-fi suit blends sleek looks with practical armor…”

As a warm blooded male I’d buy that – well all except that nonsense about practicality :)

Scenes and environmental props

Why, oh why did I not buy Shantara City when it was first released with 75% off? While this majestic city does not fit into my typical sci-fi ideas, there are undoubtedly situations where this would be perfect. Sci-fantasy scenes come to mind, but with many of the large building being free to move at will, the possibilities to mix and match with other sci-fi city sets explodes open the possibilities. Throw in DAZ’s instancing abilities and the potential for huge and varied cityscapes is limitless – depending, of course, on how much geometry you can stack onto your graphics card.















Sometimes you need to blow things up, have an apocalypse or an earthquake. Thankfully there are a lot of good props on DAZ 3D’s store that fit this role. Stonemason has many good props in this category as does the DigiVault. Many of this items can be found in the previous sci-fi content articles.This one in particular is the work of Dreamlight, who is well known for his environmental props, light sets, and training material. In The City: Destroyed Bridge will fit the needs of just about any city in chaos.

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.

Cyberpunk


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.