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Working with Props

Props are only conceptually different from figures, hair, or clothing, They can contain a hierarchy of bones such as figures do, have multiple surfaces, and may also have morph targets depending on the content creator or any add-ons made for it. Props add context, interest, and realism to your scenes.

The figure below shows all of the props in a scene in false color with their texture maps removed, all sitting on an artificial grid. In most cases, props add a sense of completeness to a scene. Every scene or need is however different, and there are exceptions to every rule.


Working with Objects

In DAZ Studio, when you add an object to a scene, that object will appear at its originally created size, at the global origin with the local origin and axes matching their global counterparts. That’s great for getting started, but your scenes would soon get pretty dull unless you could move and position your objects. In a real photo studio, moving, positioning, and aiming people, props, lights, etc. is a time-consuming chore. In DAZ Studio, you can do all this with a few mouse clicks.

There are several ways to position and aim objects in your scenes. Simply select the proper tool, then click and drag the object you want to move.

Global vs. Local Coordinates

In DAZ Studio, the center of the virtual universe is the global origin. Each object also has its own local origin. It’s important to remember that an object’s local origin and axes remain the same no matter where the object is located or oriented relative to the global origin and axes.

To explain how Global coordinates and Local coordinates differ, take a look at the figure below.


Person A is standing still on a sidewalk. Person B is walking down the same sidewalk, and eventually walks by Person A. Two situations are true, depending on the situation of who is viewing the scene:

  • Person A, who is standing still, sees Person B moving as he walks by her.
  • Person B, who is walking, sees Person A moving as he walks by her.

Now, let’s say that Person A and Person B are both six feet tall. Person A is looking at the head of Person B, which is 6 feet from the ground. From her perspective, she sees the head move from XYZ coordinates (-10,6,0) to (10,6,0).

But what she is seeing are a couple of different things in combination:

  • The feet of Person B are considered his local origin (his own personal 0,0,0 coordinate).
  • His feet take him where he wants to go, moving him from the left (-10,0,0) to the right (10,0,0) in the scene, making these the global coordinates.
  • His head is six feet above his local origin. This makes the local coordinates of his head (0,6,0).
  • As Person watches the head move by, what she is looking at is the combination of Person B’s global and local coordinates. The feet move from XYZ coordinates (-10,0,0) to (10,0,0), but the head (six feet above the global coordinates) moves at (-10,6,0) to (10,0,0).

Separating the global and local origins may seem complicated, but it actually makes life a lot easier when creating scenes for reasons we’ll explore in the next section. Best of all, DAZ Studio handles the local coordinate calculations for you, so there’s less work involved on your part.

Click on the links below for more on working with props: