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DAZ Studio 4.x

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QuickStart Guide

Barefoot Dancer

Introduction

Thank you for downloading and installing DAZ Studio. This QuickStart Guide is designed to provide step by step instructions for recreating the Barefoot Dancer scene. The hope is that the steps presented in this tutorial will provide you with foundational knowledge that can be built upon later. As the name indicates this is a QuickStart Guide that serves as a launching point for your exploration into DAZ Studio. It will not provide an in depth explanation for the processes involved. For this, you can consult the DAZ Studio User Guide.

Watch the video: Quickstart Guide - Barefoot Dancer

Requirements

In order to follow along with this QuickStart Guide you will need to make sure that you have the following installed:

  • DAZ Studio 4.6 or higher
  • Genesis 2 Female Starter Essentials
  • Default Lights and Shaders for DAZ Studio

Please see the online article “Downloading with Install Manager” for information on how to download and install these products using the DAZ Install Manager.

Setting Up Your Interface

Step 1 - Use the Hollywood Blvd Interface Layout

DAZ Studio comes with several “Interface Layouts.” We will be using the “Hollywood Blvd” layout. Hollywood Blvd is the default layout for DAZ Studio. If this is your first time launching DAZ Studio, or you have never changed your layout then no further action is needed.

If you have previously changed your interface layout then you will need to change it to Hollywood Blvd. To do this, go to Window > Workspace > Select Layout…

The 'Select Layout…' action will launch the Select a Layout dialog. Choose 'Hollywood Blvd' from the drop down menu and click 'Accept.'

Step 2 - Open the Actors, Wardrobe & Props Activity

The Hollywood Blvd layout is separated into several “Activities.” You can switch between activities by clicking one of the “Activity Tabs”, near the top of the “Main Window.” Start by entering the Actors, Wardrobe & Props activity. To do this click the Actors, Wardrobe & Props activity tab.

Loading Your Content

Step 1 - Open the Smart Content Pane

To open the Smart Content “Pane” click on the tab labeled 'Smart Content' on the left hand side of the interface. We will be using the 'Files' “Page” of the Smart Content pane, so make sure that 'Files' at the top of the pane is highlighted.

Step 2 - Load an Actor

The first thing we will load into our scene is our “Actor.” Expand the 'Figures' category by clicking the arrow to the left of the “Category.” You will find the categories in the Smart Content pane in the left hand column of the pane. Expanding the 'Figures' category will reveal subcategories. Expand the 'People' subcategory. Within the 'People' category is a 'Female' subcategory. Click on this category to select it.

If you've followed along properly you should see icons appear in the right column of the Smart Content pane. Each of these icons represents a content file. Double-click the icon named 'FIGURE - Barefoot Dancer.' This will load the figure into the scene and you should see her appear in the “Viewport.” Note that the “Bounding Box” around the figure indicates that she is currently selected.

Step 3 - Load Clothing

Clothing can be found in the 'Wardrobe' category of the Smart Content pane. Just like you expanded the 'Figures' category, expand the 'Wardrobe' category by clicking the arrow to the left. Click on the 'Full-Body' category to select it. Once again you will see icons appear in the right column of the Smart Content pane. You can double-click the icon named 'CLOTHING - Barefoot Dancer' to load the clothing in the scene. You can also drag and drop the icon onto the Barefoot Dancer figure in the scene.

Step 4 - Load Hair

Loading hair is just like loading clothing. Hair is found in the 'Hair' category of the Smart Content pane. Expand the 'Hair' category and select the 'Short' subcategory by clicking on it. Load the 'HAIR - Toulouse Hair' by either double clicking the icon or dragging and dropping the hair onto the Barefoot Dancer figure.

Step 5 - Load an Environment

Up until this point we've had the Barefoot Dancer figure selected in the scene. However, we will need to deselect her before we load an environment. To deselect, click anywhere within the viewport that isn't on the figure or her clothing.

Once you have deselected expand the 'Ready to Render' category and select the 'Architecture' subcategory. Double-click the 'ENVIRONMENT - Barefoot Dancer' icon to load the environment into the scene.

Shaping the Hair

Step 1 - Select the Hair

Your current scene selection in DAZ Studio is very important. Whenever you want to modify an object you must select it first. To select the hair right click on the hair in the viewport and choose the 'Select 'ToulouseHR'' action from the “Context Menu.” When the hair is selected you will see the bounding box around the hair.

Step 2 - Open the Shaping Pane Presets Page

To open the Shaping pane click the tab labeled 'Shaping' on the left side of the interface. The Shaping pane should be docked next to the Smart Content pane. Once the pane is open click 'Presets' at the top of the page to open the Presets page.

Step 3 - Load a Shaping Preset

The Presets page of the Shaping pane is similar to the Smart Content pane. Click on the 'Apply' category on the left. On the right you will see an icon called 'HAIR SHAPE - Toulouse Hair.' Double-click the icon to load it.

Posing the Barefoot Dancer

Step 1 - Open the Pose & Animate Activity

Our actor, wardrobe, hair, and environment are all loaded. It is now time to move to a new activity. To pose the Barefoot Dancer we will use the 'Pose & Animate' activity. Open this activity by clicking the activity tab labeled 'Pose & Animate', near the top of the DAZ Studio interface.

Step 2 - Select the Barefoot Dancer

Since we are going to pose the Barefoot Dancer we need to make sure she is selected. To do this move your cursor over the Barefoot Dancer until at least part of her is highlighted and double-click. You can also right click on the Barefoot Dancer and choose 'Select 'Genesis 2 Female' - Dbl Click' from the context menu.

Step 3 - Open the Posing Pane Presets Page

If the Posing pane isn't open you can open it by clicking the tab labeled 'Posing' on the left hand side of the interface. Once the Posing pane is open click the 'Presets' label at the top of the pane to open the Presets page.

Step 4 - Load a Pose Preset

Expand the 'By Function' category on the left hand side of the Presets page, in the Posing pane. Select the 'Running' subcategory. Double click the 'Pose - Genesis 2 Barefoot Dancer' icon to load the Pose Preset. If the Barefoot Dancer is selected you should see her move to a new pose.

Lighting Your Scene

Step 1 - Open the Lights & Cameras Activity

Now that the Barefoot Dancer is posed we can move on to a new activity. Open the 'Lights & Cameras' activity by clicking on the 'Lights & Cameras' activity tab, in the activity bar near the top of the DAZ Studio interface.

Step 2 - Open the Lights Pane Presets Page

To open the Lights pane click on the tab labeled 'Lights' on the left hand side of the DAZ Studio interface. Once the Lights pane is open, click the 'Presets' label at the top of the pane. This will open the Presets page of the Lights pane.

Step 3 - Load a Light(s) Preset

Expand the 'Lights' category in the left hand column of the Lights pane Presets page and select the 'Other' subcategory. Look for the icon named 'LIGHTS - Barefoot Dancer' in the right hand column. Double click this icon to load the Light(s) Preset.

Setting up Cameras

Step 1 - Open the Cameras Pane Presets Page

The Cameras pane is docked with the Lights pane, on the left hand side of the DAZ Studio interface. To open the Cameras pane click the tab labeled 'Cameras'. Once the pane is open click the 'Presets' label at the top of the pane to open the Cameras pane Presets page.

Step 2 - Load a Camera(s) Preset

Once the Presets page of the Cameras pane is open, click the 'Barefoot Dancer' category in the left column. You will see two icons each representing a Camera(s) Preset. Double-click 'CAMERA 1 - Barefoot Dancer' to load the camera into the scene.

When the camera loads you will notice that your view changes. The Camera(s) Preset loaded a camera into your scene and you are now viewing through this camera.

Loading a Backdrop Image

Step 1 - Launch the Backdrop Options Dialog

The final piece to your scene will be a “Backdrop Image.” This image will fill in any blank space in the background that may have been left by your environment. (You may notice some blue in the top left corner of the interface). To launch the 'Backdrop Options' dialog go to Edit > Backdrop…

Step 2 - Browse for a Backdrop Image

In the 'Backdrop Options' dialog click the button next to the 'Image:' label to open the Image dropdown menu. Inside the drop down menu choose the 'Browse…' action. This will launch the 'Open Image' dialog where you will be prompted to select an image file.

Browse to where you've installed the Genesis 2 Female Starter Essentials product to. By default this should be C:/Users/Public/Documents/My DAZ 3D Library on Windows, or /Users/ Public/Documents/My DAZ 3D Library on a Mac. Open the 'Runtime' folder, then the 'Textures' folder. Inside the 'Textures' folder you will see a folder labeled 'DAZ' open this folder and then the 'Backdrops' folder. In the 'Backdrops' folder you will see the 'dusk sky' file. Double click this file.

Step 3 - Accept the Backdrop Options

Once you've selected an image for a backdrop click 'Accept' to close the 'Backdrop Options' dialog and load the backdrop image.

Render your Image

Step 1 - Open the Render Activity

Now that the scene is set up with lights and cameras, you are ready to render your scene. Rendering is done in the Render activity. To open the Render activity click on the Render activity tab.

Step 2 - Load a Render Settings Preset

To load the Render Settings Preset we will introduce a new location to load your content. Open the Content Library pane on the right hand side of the interface by clicking on the tab labeled 'Content Library'. Any content you see in the Smart Content pane can also be loaded from the Content Library pane. You can learn more about this pane in the DAZ Studio User Guide.

In the “Container View” at the top of the Content Library pane go to DAZ Studio Formats > My DAZ 3D Library > DAZ Studio Tutorials > Genesis 2 Barefoot Dancer. You will see several icons below the containers. Many of these icons may look familiar as we've loaded them from the Smart Content pane, Shaping pane, Posing pane, Lights pane and Cameras pane. You should see three render settings icons. Double click the 'Render Settings Low - barefoot Dancer' icon to load the lower render settings. You can also use the medium or the high presets but the render time will increase.

Step 3 - Open the Render Settings General Page

The Render Settings pane is on the left hand side of the interface. To open the pane click on the tab labeled 'Render Settings'. Once the pane is open click the 'General' label at the top of the pane to open the General page of the Render Settings pane.

Step 4 - Set the Image Size

The Render Settings Preset we just loaded set the image size at 700 x 910 pixels. You can increase or decrease the size of the image by adjusting the number of pixels in the 'Dimensions' fields.

Step 5 - Render the Image

You are now ready to render your image. Click the green Render button in the top right corner of the Render Settings pane to begin your render. You can also use the Ctrl/Cmd + R keyboard shortcut.

Step 6 - Wait

Rendering is a lengthy process. Depending on the speed of your machine and the render settings you chose the render could take as long as an hour, sometimes more. Be patient as your computer renders your image. You can watch the progress of your render in the “Render Window.”

Save and Share Your Render

Step 1 - Name and Save Your Render

When your render is complete you can save and name the render. Name the render in the 'Name' field. When you are satisfied with the name click the 'Save' button. You will be able to find your render in your Render Library.

Step 2 - Open the Render Library Pane

You can open your saved renders through the Render Library. Open the Render Library pane by clicking on the tab labeled 'Render Library' on the left hand side of the interface. Remember, we are still in the Render activity.

Step 3 - Open your Render

In the Render Library pane you will see an icon that looks like your render. The icon will have the same name as your render. Double click the icon to open it. The rendered image will open in whatever program you have set to open that type of file. If that software has editing capabilities you can edit and save your image.

Step 4 - Share your Render

If you've edited your rendered image make sure you save it. Browse to the location that you have saved your render to. Your Render Library can be found in /Users/[your user name]/Documents/DAZ 3D/Studio/Render Library. You can upload your render to Facebook, Twitter, or email it to your friends.