User Stories

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Student Art

Alexandru Banuta

I'm a full-time student who's going to graduate high school in 2012. I plan on going to college in a 3D animation program so that I can make video games. Oh, and I'm 17 years old, which seems to shock most people.

I've been drawing ever since I could hold a pencil and I can't even count the number of times as a child I fell asleep with a box of crayons next to me and a paper under my head because I just HAD to draw something. This, for me, is just the next evolution of my creativity. I went from traditional to digital because it allows me to express my creativity even more than before, because I can create things I could sometimes only dream about. Some may think that's silly but when you're doing something you like, something you enjoy, who cares?

I read several tutorials that helped me grasp the program even more. After several months of playing with it, I decided to see what else DAZ 3D had to offer. I found myself learning about the base figures like Victoria and Michael. At first I didn't understand DAZ Studio as the interface was nothing like Bryce's so I continued doing most of my final image processing, or rendering, inside of Bryce by importing DAZ 3D models into it. When DAZ Studio 2.0 came out, I began to use the program more and more, eventually giving up on Bryce and it's longer render times in favor of DAZ Studio.


DAZ Studio, Adobe® Photoshop


Genesis, Victoria 5, Epic Wings, Victoria 4, Michael 4, Michael

How Alexandru Banuta uses DAZ 3D Products

I started working in Photoshop about seven years ago, mainly creating space-scapes. It was a nice change of pace from traditional painting and drawing and I really enjoyed it. I had much more freedom than I ever did with traditional mediums. I found out about DAZ 3D through deviantART. I must have seen a render or two done in Bryce, which led to my discovery of the program and eventually DAZ Studio, which is now my main rendering application.

In the beginning I couldn't afford much from the DAZ 3D store so I worked exclusively with the freebies I could find. It was only on my birthday one year, that I ended up buying a large amount of content and I immediately noticed the difference in quality and variety and was instantly hooked.

I eventually learned how to use UberEnvironment, with its inclusion in DAZ Studio 3Advanced and from then on I started making my own personal light sets. However, people in the community began to ask me how come my renders looked so good and asked me to release a few light sets for them to use.

That's when the thought occurred to me - why not sell them? After several months, I became a Published Artist at DAZ 3D and ever since that's been "where I work". Since I go to school most of the time, I work on my products and any renders during my spare time. I eventually hope to make props and clothes to sell on the DAZ 3D store.

What I like about DAZ 3D products is how easy they are to use. I never had any major problems getting used to DAZ Studio, Bryce and Hexagon interfaces. I'm also extremely impressed with Genesis. I'd probably still be using DAZ Studio 3 if it wasn't for the Epic Wings (which requires DAZ Studio 4) and I'd probably still be using V4 if it wasn't for V5. Both those products showed me the true power of Genesis and the new technology that came with DAZ Studio 4 so I got on-board quickly with the new products.

I'm also doing work for my school right now. There are several posters I'm working on: one for the school play, three for the chemistry symposium, as well as a website for the Robotics competition my school's participating in. All are being created using DAZ Studio and content I have either bought or made.

If you're at all interested in this, then I say, give it a shot! It's no more expensive than any other hobby out there. It's a great way to meet some really nice people out there that you might otherwise never meet. If you're a creative person, this type of hobby really lets you go full-out.

There's so much you can do and sometimes I feel there aren't enough hours in the day to do it, but DAZ Studio really helps me calm down and express my creativity in ways I never thought possible.

Don't give up. I know, it sounds cheesy, but it's true! Also, don't expect to render amazing things from the first time you open the program. It's like going to the gym - you're not going to see results after the first week, you're just going to have to stick with it and work on it until you get better. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I STILL have trouble getting an image to look just right, or how many times I open DAZ Studio knowing EXACTLY what I want to do but end up going in the complete opposite direction. It's all part of the learning process.

I also suggest learning about material settings and lighting as a top priority. I can tell you that the moment I started paying attention to how my material settings were set up and how my lights worked, the quality of my renders went up exponentially. Many of my early works I wouldn't show to anyone, but at the time, I thought they were amazing. It just proves you learn if you stick with it.