Digital Art Zone

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Anybody using daz for traditional art?
Posted: 28 December 2012 02:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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A bit of a history lesson, since it seems that most here forgot it…

“For the fine artist, Poser provides the reference models for sketching or drawing the human form, replacing reference photographs and books.”

That’s from the original ad copy for the first version.

A little more is revealed in this letter from Larry Weinberg…

Basically, what it boils down to, when cutting through the ad copy and hyperbole, Poser was written because Larry didn’t like the wooden mannequin and wanted something ‘better’.  In other words, his intention was to create a tool for traditional drawing, not an entirely new art form…


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Just because something costs a lot, doesn’t mean it’s the best…

It just means it’s expensive.

Posted: 28 December 2012 02:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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And now as part of the free content included with Poser is a wooden mannequin.  LOL.


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Posted: 28 December 2012 02:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Learning any new app can be difficult and time consuming even with proper documentation.  Though sadly DS4 has no decent documentation.

While it can be a bennefit to use digital models for drawing, it will not teach you proper human movement and posing.  If the poses you use on the digital model are not realistic then you are no better off then before.

As someone who grew up with doing art, icnluding drawing, I would recommend figure studies that teach you to observe so you can better learn and later know how the figure is posed.

This person make some very good points for drawing -

And really like this simple tut -


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Posted: 28 December 2012 03:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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I’m a designer, not an artist, so all of the “fine art” arguments, to me, are begging the question.

I am not the message. I am not hired to “express myself”. The audience does not give squat about what I “feel” about the subject. My purpose is to organize and present information in a manner in which it may be understood. Yes, I should try to make it look as attractive as is reasonable, so people will at least look at it to see what the information is. Yes, perhaps I should try to “set a mood” to provoke a favorable reaction. But, whether it is event signage, a map of proposed development for a public meeting, or a cover or illustration for someone else’s work—fiction or non-fiction, it all has its own content, and it all has its own purpose which have nothing to do with me.

That said, after several years of building signs, or maps, or modifying commercial clip art or photographs in both vector and raster graphics programs to produce said covers and illustrations, I added 3D rendering to my toolset for the sake of having a far higher degree of likelihood of being able to produce an image that showed precisely what I needed, as a starting point. Commercial clip art is all very well, but it is not the best source for producing specific illustrations.

My most recent addition to the toolset is AlienSkin’s SnapArt3, a Photoshop plugin (also will run in Photoshop Elements and Lightroom), which is a suite of filters designed to make an image (usually photographic, but can be applied to any raster art) to make it look as though it was produced by some method of traditional analog art. I’m sure that anyone who knows what to look for will not be fooled for a minute, but it will soften the look of a plain render and assist in setting a mood.

The example below was run through the Oil Painting filter. The original was a composite composed of several renders, layered in Photoshop and further enhances with some of Ron Deviney’s fog brushes.

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Posted: 28 December 2012 03:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Absolutely - I use Poser/DAZ3D models instead of live models or photo references for all my traditional art - painting and drawing - which I seem to be able to sell, which means I guess I’m a professional artist.

I also use the 3D models to make pictures (renders) which is a lot of fun in itself - and which I also seem to be able to sell as art.

The different software programs - DAZ Studio, Poser, Carrara, Vue, Blender, etc. all have different user interfaces - and different learning curves.  You pose the 3D models in a different way in each program.  I found it almost impossible to get the models to pose the way I want in Poser 9, but Carrara 7 Pro makes me feel like a genius.  That program, for me, makes it possible to pose the models *exactly* the way I want, and the poses are often very complicated fighting or dance poses using more than one model.

But don’t expect to be able to pose the 3D figures right away in any program.  Your hands and brain have to learn how to make them move - you have to play with it - there are no instructions for posing 3D figures.

For the cost of hiring a live model for one hour, you can buy everything you need to do it with 3D software and figures - which you can use for years.  Learning how to use the stuff is intimidating at first, but the time you put into it becomes fun.

Another big payoff from using 3D software is that you will be inspired by the talent and imagination of the artists who create the 3D content, the characters and clothes and environments - inspired to create something unexpected with it.

And, as I’ve said before in this forum, Leonardo DaVinci traced the Mona Lisa using a glass lens projecting the image of his model onto his canvas.  Many many legendary painters throughout history have used optical devices to project pictures onto their canvas which they traced - Caravagio and Vermeer being two that come to mind - all the way up to Andy Warhol, who didn’t even bother tracing the image, he just printed the image onto the canvas and colored it in.

The English artist David Hockney has written a book about it called Secret Knowledge, and there’s an 8 part BBC video of him explaining it on YouTube starting here:


Posted: 28 December 2012 04:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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My background is actually in traditional art. I was drawing long before I ever even new what a computer was. I have found that my traditional art skills benefit me greatly in doing 3D computer art. I can also see the reverse being true. I don’t do nearly as much traditional art as I used to, but I can definitely see using Poser to help block out a scene or pose a figure that i am drawing.

Use what ever tools you can get your hands on.

Posted: 28 December 2012 06:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Coming from a traditional art background i will say this., If you want to learn traditional art. Its probably best to learn it the traditional way.
I suppose you can technically use poser or DS as an artificial still life for hand drawing, but I wouldnt recomend it as means of learning for a number of reasons.

1) Unless you have a 3d printer, you would be drawing from a screen or 2d print, which is like drawing from a Book, - which is widely considered bad practice. Ask any art teacher and they will all say the same thing.
Unfortunatly The way your brain translates from 2d to 2d is nothing like the way it translates from 3d to 2d.
While Daz Studio is ‘3D’ in computing terms, its is not 3D in real world terms. To the human eye, its a still just representation of 3d on a FLAT 2d screen.

2) While Its a good representation of 3d and perspective, its by no means a perfect one.

3) Poser Daz characters can and do look rather good - and quite real a face value, but they are still ‘not real’,  And compared side by side to real people they look and behave in a very VERY limited way.

4) Posing a Das / Poser character is quite easy, but posing them well (or naturally) really is not, I suppose you could buy pose presets, but even then….

5) The biggest problem of them all - LIGHTING! arrgggghhhh!! :D and this is really a big deal.
3d lighting is hard to master and even when you do, it doesnt behave the way lighting does in the real world, the biggest problem is simply that the 3d universe cannot easily replicate our solar system!
There is no way to tell a 3d program to recreate some global illumination that accurately represents a 1400000 km wide ball of burning hydrogen sitting at about 150 million Km from your scene :D (and lord know i wish there was smile)
So you have to have to coble together many multiple lights to try and fake it! You can be a master of 3d lighting fakery, but its still not the same as the real thing.

Learning art is pretty much (in most cases) learning how to take something from the ‘real’ world around you and put in to some kind of visual interpretation of your own.
Daz Studio is one such interpretation, hand drawing is another, both are valid in that sense.
But If you are making an interpretation of an interpretation, you are well… effectively cheating yourself out of an important (even critical) part of the learning process.

My advice, get yourself signed up to a life drawing class instead if you can.


Posted: 28 December 2012 06:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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I like DAZ models because they are a little more posable and decorative than the wooden mannikin.  But it was not easy to pose them initially because my then computer wasn’t powerful enough. Art supplies always cost money.  My new computer was purchased with digital art in mind so it can easily handle posing.

One can buy ready-made poses fairly inexpensively and then tweak them to suit a particular goal without having to wrassle the model a lot.
There are romantic, yogic, dance, battle, sport, and other types of poses available. I’d recommend trying that, if the computer is not powerful enough to move the model’s limbs individually. There are even hand-grips or the fingers can be bent twisted separately. Objects like balls, swords, flowers, pets, etc can be positioned exactly so you can see the light fall where you want.

As for the argument by “fine art” purists regarding pure vision to hand art, let’s not forget the “cameral obscura” which helped even the venerable old ones perform landscape paintings. They probably used them with models, too as well as “magic lanterns”. Oh, I seen some amazing drawings by artists who have the knack of seeing and drawing. In my art class of 20 there are 2 that do that effortlessly while the rest of us cannot even see the paper for all the erasures and redos, LOL! Turns out they spend over 45 years in the illustration fields related to advertising and magazines. They just come to class for socializing and help out. None of them can wrap their heads around 3d digital art. They can do it faster by hand, while I can get my results more satisfying and faster by Daz. Yay for “Undo”.

I can also use a camera, blend “real” and “created objects” and add filters, like another poster suggested. That is a lot of fun, I have the early Snap Art version 1. It certainly got more expensive, and I don’t have Photoshop. But there are less expensive digital art supplies, like the free DAZ which can get you on the path to some satisfying creations even if the path diverts somewhat from original plan.


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Posted: 28 December 2012 06:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Joined  2008-02-14

I’m a professional full time traditional artist and I use Daz for my references. I write about it occasionally on my blog. but I find it the most useful thing in the world for an artist. especially one who specializes in nudes and likes to work at 1am!

I create the render then paint from it in oils. you can check them out on my website or facebook page (I don’t want to annoy the censors here!) I had an opportunity to meet a friend from these forums at an exhibition and he said how cool and surreal it was to know the models I had used and to see them painted.

a few tips to get you started.
* do look at live people, look at how they move, look at how gravity affects them. this will help with posing and filling in the realism gaps.
* draw your hands and feet. if you have a few minutes or are bored, just take your shoes off or hold your other hand up and draw it. this was advice I was given when I was a kid and it has helped constantly. if you are feeling adventurous you can always sit at a cafe or food court and draw the faces you see as well. the key here is to learn to see and to draw what you see, not what you think you see.
* read up on anatomy, it can be a dry subject but it helps to understand how muscles move under the skin and how bones and tendons work. again it’s about filling in the gaps.
* draw, draw and draw again. do as much as you can. keep trying different media, keep improving and challenging yourself smile
* keep a sketchbook and jot down ideas for poses and concepts. you never know when inspiration will hit!

I wrote about why Virtual models are better than live ones and also why live ones are better than virtual ones. this may help a bit smile


Posted: 30 December 2012 06:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Wow - thanks everybody for your feedback, ideas and suggestions. You’ve given me a lot to think about…

There’s a good chance I’ll be back with more questions. smile

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