Leandra Dawn

User Stories

Freelance Art & Design

LeAndra Dawn

I'm a digital freelance artist specializing in 3D rendered images, website creation and graphic design. My primary software tools include DAZ Studio Advanced, Adobe Photoshop CS4 and Adobe Dreamweaver.

Early on, my program of choice was Poser, but it wasn't until I found Bryce that my first artworks were created. I continued to work with Bryce until I re-discovered Poser in its fourth version. For many years I worked to improve my skills in this application, practicing composition and lighting. I produced a lot of art with Poser 4 and continued to do so until I stumbled upon DAZ Studio in its beta stage. Since 2004, DAZ Studio has been my program of choice; up to and including DAZ Studio 4 Advanced.

I think I first found DAZ 3D back when it was a division of the 3D custom modeling company known as Zygote. I can't recall the exact means of discovery, but I had to have been searching for objects, like for Bryce or Poser. I continued to return to the marketplace for their free products and objects in general. DAZ 3D was the best source even back then.


DAZ Studio, Bryce, Adobe® Photoshop, Adobe® Dreamweaver


Victoria, Apteromata Flight

How LeAndra Dawn uses DAZ 3D Products

Generally, I use DAZ Studio 4 Advanced and DAZ 3D's catalog of models as the initial basis for a piece of art. Scene setup, customization of materials and lighting are all done within DAZ Studio as well. My time spent in DAZ Studio varies from image to image, but it is always used as the starting point for my projects. After I'm satisfied with the scene, I render it large to then bring into Photoshop CS4 for postwork. Depending on the image, postwork can be either very extensive or as little as color correction.

I get a great deal of personal satisfaction creating these images. To be able to create your own worlds and your own characters is not something to underestimate. The tools that DAZ 3D provides allow artists to let their imaginations be their guide in creating whatever they want. This is very powerful especially for those who feel they can't create art. Believe me, if I can create art, anyone can do it.

I think that anyone looking to break into the 3D field should definitely have a look at the free version of DAZ Studio and the starter packs that are available. It is definitely the easiest way to explore the possibilities to see if it interests you. I would encourage you to just play around. You don't know how fun it is to create your own scenes and characters however you want to, until you try it. Anyone can jump right in and play with the numerous free items out there and create something. There's really no reason not to give it a try.

After you've run through the basic tutorials and are getting comfortable with creating your own scenes in DAZ Studio, then I encourage you to experiment. Here are a couple of my techniques and secrets in the world of 3D.

Try plugging in a texture into the "Diffuse Strength" channel for a darker and different look to your material. You'll be amazed at the variety you can achieve doing this.

Don't be afraid to remove the limits from settings to increase or decrease past the limit. This can be especially useful for brightening a texture or increasing the occlusion on UberEnvironment. (DS4: Click the gear, Parameter Settings, Respect Limits: No).

Be creative with your stuff! Use a shoe as a hat or use a neckpiece as a setting object. Play with scale and rotation to make the most out of all of your objects and clothing!

My advice to those starting out, do your art for yourself - everything else will fall into place.

Rocket Fuel