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The Complete Guide to DAZ Studio 4 Paperback – October 14, 2013
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About the Author
Paolo Ciccone is a software engineer and photographer who lives in Santa Cruz, California. He has been developing software for more than 20 years in a large series of disciplines, including IDEs (JBuilder) and 3D modeling and rendering. His field of expertise is developing multiplatform applications (Mac OS and Windows) that help computer graphics artists achieve photorealistic results.
In 2010, he founded Prêt-à-3D (www.preta3d.com), a company dedicated to bringing high-end computer graphics tools to the masses. His Reality software for Poser and DAZ Studio has been used for video game illustration and for the preproduction of Hollywood large budget movies such as Jurassic Park IV and Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
For more than two decades, Paolo has taught all kinds of classes, from training for large corporations to live workshops about 3D graphics.
Paolo's experience with 3D software started in 1999, with the first public version of Blender, and then evolved to include other programs, including DAZ Studio, which he has used since version 1.0. Paolo is very active in the online community and he publishes a weekly blog covering topics about 3D graphics.
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Top Customer Reviews
The only other negative thing I observed that he works in the Apple operating environment and was very good at showing the Apple commands and working out what to do on an Apple computer. However, if you don’t own a Mac, that makes all of that effort pretty much useless.
With that being said –I don’t look at this as a negative review. There is a lot of useful information contained in this book. If you’re brand new to Daz Studio, reading this book will give you a lot more knowledge than you had when you started. I like the fact that Mr. Ciccone took the time to explain Specular, Diffuse and other material types. A lot of books don’t cover that in a lot of detail –they just expect everyone to know it. I liked the fact that he also takes you to the Major sites for finding Daz Studio content like Runtime DNA, Renderosity and Sharecg. There are some great pointers for workflow that would have helped me out a lot in the beginning if I’d known that to begin with. He discusses setting up cameras and gives a little bit of insight into lighting and using cameras vs. the perspective view to setup your renders, and why it’s important. He discusses the genesis platform in detail, including a bit on using the dials to create a morph of the genesis character, which I think was long overdue. Beyond that, he uses an example that is not based on the much overused –Firey Genesis (I can’t tell you how much I hate that scene. People use it to death when they talk about teaching Daz Studio…).
I’m still going over the book in detail, but a couple of final thoughts come to mind. The pictures need to be in color. You can only illustrate so much about the application with grey scale, and it makes it impossible to see the accents he’s trying to point out on certain parts of Daz Studio because the lines are so fine. In order for me to call it a complete guide –there would have needed to be a chapter devoted to 3delight render –which is the native render of Daz Studio. This book is a good start, but there are several omissions of key components that prevent me from personally calling it a "Complete Guide". It would have been far better to name this volume “The Beginner’s Guide to Daz Studio.”
In Chapter 4, instead of going into the details of morphs, the author ask his readers to buy a product and wastes many pages to illustrate it.
In Chapter 11, instead of introducing free stuff like Sculptris, the author ask his readers to buy Modo.
I don't know. I give 4 stars because I recommend this book to my fellow beginners. But I don't like the way the author has done his way. He expresses his opinion how he dislikes DAZ UI. I wish he would listen to what I don't like, too.
I became familiar with the author, Paolo Ciccone, when I purchased his Reality 2 software (a plugin for use with LuxRender via DS). I noticed that he was very responsive and knowledgeable on his website to questions from users. I admire that so, when I saw the book, even though I've become more comfortable with DS and I wasn't sure he'd cover new ground for me, I decided it would be good to have anyway so I purchased it. I'm really glad I did. If you want to use DAZ Studio to it's full potential, this book is a must have reference and tutorial.
It was written in a clear and concise manner and I wish I'd had this book when first starting out, it would have saved me so much frustration. Even those who are familiar with the software won't regret the purchase. It's well worth it.
Which is why this book is invaluable, Paolo does a wonderful job of guiding the Naïve user through getting the most out of this often user hostile program; For Naïve users, the use of the Rotation tool is often much easier than the use of the "Universal Tool" with its inverse kinematics; which can guide the model into a more natural pose, or make it look like the mangled final panel of a Beatle Baily cartoon; but the Universal tool is the programs default tool; again would you expect the lighting of the initial loading environment to be inadequate for rendering; I doubt it; but again the Dev's cannot resist the opportunity to set the user up for failure.
I could have saved a good many man hours futilely searching for Genesis content on the web if I had read his discussion of why it is much better to search for Victoria 4 content first. Paolo also recommends some good free sources for content; for while DAZ Studio is free, the initial content provided is purposefully nerfed; the flesh tones provided are awful, the only hair available is way to short, and the wardrobe provided is very limited; and the user could soon find themselves paying hundreds of dollars on content if they are unaware of the free resources on the web; this book will more than pay for itself right just for resources presented in the content chapter alone; which will guide you to quickly turn Genesis into a more useful visually acceptable model.
As a traditional Artist my major interest is in using the Genesis/Victoria figures that come with DAZ as Virtual artist models; and IMHO for that purpose the DAZ figures and environment are the best of a bad lot; Anyone who has tried to Draw with a traditional artists model can appreciate the idea behind the original poser program; a Virtual model can hold any pose indefinitely, and be juxtaposed with any number of other models; can be viewed from any angle and any virtual distance. Of course artists soon realized they need not draw at all, but could use the image created directly in Photoshop, or any other program as the basis a fully rendered work. This book is a well organized, well presented, user friendly guide to a program that often is not any of these things.
IMHO This is guide is the manual that should have come with DAZ studio, If you own DAZ, or are interested in getting started in 3D art, you want this guide at your finger tips; the time and money it will save you; this manual will pay for itself time and time again.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In the chapter on creating a full scene the author suggests using a free model from RDNA (platez) - which isn't available anymore. Great!Read more
bought this book to help me learn DAZ Studio 4.Read more