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Figures, Characters and Avatars: The Official Guide to Using DAZ Studio(TM) to Create Beautiful Art Paperback – May 1, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1435461208 ISBN-10: 1435461207 Edition: 2nd

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Figures, Characters and Avatars: The Official Guide to Using DAZ Studio(TM) to Create Beautiful Art + The Complete Guide to DAZ Studio 4
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning PTR; 2 edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1435461207
  • ISBN-13: 978-1435461208
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #248,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


1. What can be created in DAZ Studio(TM) . 2. The basics. 3. The scene and camera. 4. The figure. 5. Morphs and how they work. 6. Dressing the figure. 7. Posing the figure. 8. Props, backgrounds. 9. figures to look natural. 10. Lighting the mode. 11. Using models for drawing. 12. Basic animation, key-frames. 13. Lip-synch. 14. Adding emotion to animation. Appendix: Art gallery.

About the Author

Les Pardew is a recognized leader in the world of interactive entertainment. He is a video game and entertainment industry veteran with more 20 years of industry experience. His artwork credits encompass film and video production, magazine and book illustration, and more than 100 video game titles, including numerous market-leading choices. Les has also authored or co-authored 13 books on game art and game design for teens, digital art and 2D and 3D animation, drawing, and virtual models. Les started his career in video games doing animation for Magic Johnson Fast Break Basketball for the Commodore 64, He went on to help create several major games, including Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Star Wars, Wrestle Mania, NCAA Basketball, Stanley Cup Hockey, Jack Nicklaus Golf, Where in the World/USA is Carmen Sandiego?, StarCraft Brood Wars, Rainbow Six, Cyber Tiger Woods Golf, and many others. An accomplished instructor, Les has taught numerous art and business courses, including teaching as an adjunct faculty member at Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management. As a business leader, Les has founded two separate game development studios. He is also a favorite speaker at video game conferences and events.

Customer Reviews

First, this book deals with Daz Studio 4.
I really wish it wasn't so, but that's the way that I see it after spending a few days working with this book.
W. Watson
Then I saw this book on here, and decided to buy it.
J. Brown

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By W. Watson on May 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really wanted to write a favorable review of this book. Let me rephrase that. I really wanted this book to have the useful information and real world examples necessary to be useful enough to make me want to write a favorable review of this book. However, that information just isn't there. Reading this book, I feel like I'm watching an infomercial on DAZ Studio on late night TV. It's a half hour of talking and presenting, but nothing really useful to know.

I've owned Daz Studio --both the free version and the professional version for about two and a half years. During that time, the people at Daz have failed time and again to produce adequate documentation in a followable format for people to learn how to properly use their product. So it was my hope that this book would have bridged some of the knowledge gap. But this book doesn't really come through in doing that. I felt like I was reading a lot of information that's already in the DAZ Wiki. The examples that they do use are the standard examples that come with the software for the most part, which really doesn't help someone. It only touches the surface of its capabilities, without really going into detail about how to apply them to anything other than importing the examples.

For instance:

How do you make a sky in an outdoor Daz scene? How do you light it? How is it different from lighting an indoor room? If you're in an indoor room, how do you get the view from the window to look realistic?

Or how about this? How do you rig a model you created?

What format is best for importing a custom model?

How do you make static objects for your scenes, or how do you import static objects you get from somewhere else?
Read more ›
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. Brown on May 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
I've been creating digital art with Daz Studio for just over three years now, and there was always something missing from my renders. Although there are many tutorials online, none of them ever seemed to cover the basics of the program, instead jumping to the advanced parts while assuming you actually know what you're doing. Then I saw this book on here, and decided to buy it. That was possibly the best investment I ever made. Not only does the book help new and experienced Daz users create better art, but it also includes full versions of other commercial Daz programs, as well as model and content packs for the Victoria 4 model. I can't recommend this book enough, and I can't wait for the new Carrara guide book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Steve on June 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
The biggest problem with this book is the title. When you see " The Official Guide to Using DAZ Studio" you may expect an in depth guide to using the software... But that is not what this book is. This book gives a basic overview of the software and a basic overview of art principles relating to 3d art. Neither subject is dealt with in much depth and the content is limited.
The book is nicely formated, the instructions are clear and the images are full color glossy images.
The only other problem with this book is that it is very obviously written as a promotion for the software. There are to many adjectives throughout the book telling how wonderful the software is.
The most amazing thing is the content provided on the CD. If a person was to pay full price for all this software it would easily reach thousands of dollars. Of course as anyone familiar to Daz can tell you they have constant specials for their content so if you waited long enough you may pick up most of this for free or at a low price but as a bundle it is an extremely good deal. Be aware that the publisher neglected to include the serial numbers for the software so you will have to contact Daz with your invoice. And installing all the content can be mind numbingly dull.
So if a person has a desire to start creating 3d "poser" style art this is a very good place to start. An intermediate user would find some value and pickup some content not already in the library. Any one experienced in 3d art would not have much use for this book.
A very good book... if it fits your needs.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By scorpivs on July 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As of July, 2011, the software included as part of this guide is indeed valid.
Activation requires a phone call to DAZ3D support, and the Product Key is posted
to the user's DAZ3D account, just as any other Keys purchesd through DAZ3D.
This means you must already have an account with DAZ3D to use the software.
It doesn't cost anything to create a DAZ3D account.
These are full versions of the software, not trial.

Carrara 6 Pro (included) is an affordable alternative to such high-end 3D creation and animation programs as Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya. The current version of Carrara is Carrara 8 Pro, which retails for $549. The upgrade from 6 Pro to 8 Pro is $149, so the savings there is almost $300. The learning curve is moderate-advanced.

Hexagon 2.5 (included) is a simpler 3D creation program, often used to create custom
3D objects for use in SecondLife, an internet-based virtual world and social tool.
Hexagon 2.5 allows for creation of more complex 3D constructs than do the tools
offered by SecondLife, and according to SecondLife, uploading 3D mesh will soon be
supported, meaning Hexagon 2.5 will then be able to be used to create custom
characters for upload to SecondLife. Currently, Hexagon 2.5 retails for $149.
It is the current version of this software. The learning curve is average-moderate.

Figures, Characters and Avatars is a good, detailed guide, not a manual. About ½" thick. Worth every penny, except maybe to Autodesk salesmen.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

I started writing books as a request from a publisher after a presentation I gave on game art at a game developer's conference. My first book, "Game Art for Teens" was a great success so several other books soon followed. I love sharing my experience of over 3 decades in the video game and animation field. I've also branched out and wrote a few books about fine art and business.

I am a creative person at heart and love developing great interactive experiences. I started working in video games in 1987 after a short career as an animator and portrait artist. I found the industry fascinating and fell in love with creating art on a computer. Over the years, I've founded 2 development companies and have worked on more than 150 published game titles including StarCraft Brood Wars, Tiger Woods Golf, Guitar Hero Mobile, Super Star Wars, NCAA Basketball, Rainbow Six, Top Gear Rally II, Abe's Oddworld Adventures, Dance Sensation, James Bond 007, The Bible Game, Family Village and many many more.

I am an avid reader and tend to always have a book with me at any time. Now days my books are all on my cell phone.

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