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User Stories

 
Just make me look like a Greek god...

Shannon Maer

One day when my business partner was photographing me for a reference shot, I actually said, "Just make me look like a Greek god." Prior to DAZ Studio, photographic reference was my primary source of reference material, and my business partner and I would take turns behind the camera. As you can imagine, the process did have its limitations!

Before I discovered DAZ Studio, reference material could sometimes take days of work on its own, prior to even beginning the painting process. I would often construct models or use store bought toys for photographic reference. One time, I hand-sculpted a clay horse, and was then faced with the grueling task of transforming it into a Pegasus for a photo-shoot. A spark of genius (or so I thought at the time) came over me, and I found myself at the local pet store inquiring if they had any recently deceased birds.

On that day I became the managers strangest customer in over 20 years. After a good laugh, and a couple of weeks waiting period, I found myself drying out a set a parakeet wings with my hair dryer. It was at this point that I thought to myself, there must be a better way!

 
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} Shannon Maer in action

How Shannon Maer uses DAZ 3D Products

by Blaine Furner

 

As kids we all remember the age old question: "Did you trace?" Today, I proudly say that I used anything and everything that I could find!

I first 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. "Someone must have found a better way already," I thought to myself. Before I knew it I was on Google, typing in the criteria I was looking for. DAZ Studio popped up as the very first listing. 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, and the rest was history.

When using DAZ Studio, I always feel as if I'm buying outfits to dress up my Barbie® doll. There is such a wide array to choose from that I can usually find something that fits with the character. I like to render straight out of DAZ Studio using the default lighting. The lights are already set for form lighting, which creates the most 3-dimensional look you can get. 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.

I primarily approach DAZ Studio from an illustrators perspective. This means that my focus

is on setting up images that can be utilized as reference for digital paintings. Sometimes I will work with nude models and create the wardrobe entirely out of my imagination, but whenever I have the opportunity, the more detail that I can get out of the DAZ content catalog the better.

For me, DAZ Studio has become synonymous with Photoshop. The software has not only greatly improved the final results of my work, but drastically increased the volume of work that I can handle. Human proportions and dramatic perspectives have always been a short coming of mine. I can now attain both of these results with a simple tilt of the camera. 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 3D 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.

For me, the preset poses are a resource that I would not want to live without. This can save you hours of work, and allows you to focus on what's most important... your art! Even if the pose only gets you 80 percent of the way, you now have all that extra time to make the image truly something special.

Our clients at Balance GFX have ranged from broadcast media to casino slot game design. In recent years, casino gaming has become our primary focus, and DAZ Studio has played a large role in our visual development. These ever evolving games have high demands on diverse imagery, ranging from Greek Gods to fast cars, and thankfully DAZ 3D is always just a few clicks away!

 
 
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