Shannon Maer

User Stories


Shannon Maer is the owner of the successful design and animation studio, Balance GFX. Their clients range from anywhere from broadcast media to casino slot game design. In recent years, casino gaming space has become their primary focus and Daz Studio has played a large role in the visual development of their artwork. Balance GFX has helped create some of the most recognized games on the casino floors today. The ever-evolving casino games place high demands on diverse imagery, ranging from Greek Gods to fast cars.


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"Before I discovered Daz Studio, creating reference material could sometimes take days of work prior to even the beginning of the painting process. I would often construct models or use store bought toys for photographic reference. I often thought to myself, that there must be a better way. Finally, I found Daz Studio years ago when I was struggling with insane deadlines and project change-requests from clients. I needed to be able to streamline my process. Upon visiting the site I felt as though I had discovered Wonderland itself. It had resources beyond my wildest expectations. I quickly purchased an entire set of wings, retailing for just under ten bucks. The rest was history.

I primarily approach Daz Studio from an illustrator’s perspective. This means that my focus is on setting up images that can be utilized as reference for digital paintings. The more detail that I can get out of the Daz content catalog the better. There is such a wide array to choose from that I can usually find something that fits with the character. I also like to render straight out of Daz Studio using the default lighting, which creates the most 3-dimensional look you can get. The preset poses are a resource that I would not want to live without. They save me hours of work and allow me to focus on what's most important, my art! Even if the pose only gets me 80 percent of the way, it gives me extra time to make the image truly something special. From then on it's like painting a beautiful sunset for me: the inspiration is already before me and my task as an artist is to simply translate my feelings about it.

In my work, Daz Studio has become synonymous with Photoshop. Daz software has not only greatly improved the final results of my work but has drastically increased the volume of work that I can handle. Human proportions and dramatic perspectives have always been a shortcoming of mine. I can now attain both of these results with a simple tilt of the camera angle, a feature of Daz Studio. There seems to be no end to the magic that Daz 3D has introduced into my world.

I have also long admired Manga style artwork, but have had absolutely no experience with it myself. Daz offered a variety of characters to help me get started, and some very distinctive hairstyles to choose from. Within minutes, I was well on my way to creating my first Manga inspired action hero. The pose needed to be very dramatic. By now I have collected a sizable library of pose presets.

This is perhaps my favorite part of the process: with a simple click, the model changes position and I can rotate around the scene to view limitless angles in real time. I always begin with a mental image, but by the time I am done, the results are always much more interesting than my original thoughts. In this way, Daz Studio doubles as a sketch book for me. It allows me to play with ideas and see instantaneous results. I now use Daz 3D to create character concepts, to pose those characters, to create scene concepts and to create different instant lighting scenarios, all to be used as models for my artwork."

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