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Using DAZ 3D figures to create super heroes

David Ridlen

Douglas Shuler has been a freelance artist for 25 years. Originally trained in classic art techniques such as pencils and oil paints, he was first exposed to computer art in the mid '90's. Over the next 15 years, what began as occasional dabbling and rare Photoshop fixes has become a full-time obsession with 3D art, rendering, compositing, photo-retouching, and digital over-paints. Embracing computer art, Doug has all but abandoned traditional methods and now makes extensive use of DAZ 3D figures for most of his creations.

  • DAZ Studio
  • Adobe®After Effects
  • Favorite DAZ 3D Products
  • Victoria
  • Michael

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How Douglas Shuler uses DAZ 3D Products


I am an independent film director, 3D artist and animator. I am originally from Uganda, but am currently based in the US. I attended Ohio Valley University, Montgomery College and George Mason University. I majored in Art and Visual Technology with an emphasis on 3D Environment Design and Modeling, Character Modeling and Animation, Vehicle Modeling and Simulation. I have been working in the defense industry since my graduation in 1999.

I resigned from my position in November of 2009, so I could dedicate more time to the wildlife conservation effort and my animated mountain gorilla film called, "Galiwango, Obulamu Bw'ekisodde" (The Life of a Mountain Gorilla). Currently I am working full time as an independent film director and 3D artist/visual effects artist. I am also working as a 3D consultant in the areas of concept design, architectural visualization, 3D modeling and animation, matte painting, music video and documentary direction and shooting.

To this date, no other 3D content website has been more helpful to me than DAZ3D.com.

The models that I purchase require little to no work in terms of preparing them for my projects. This saves me so much time, that I can focus on the rigging and animation of the characters and environments. In the cases where I have needed to customize the models, the effort has been very fast because of the availability of the texture templates and the quality of the assets available at DAZ 3D.

I'm a proud DAZ 3D Platinum Savings Club member. The discounts you get from becoming a member are so helpful especially to those working on a budget. You will find models for $1.99 which would have cost you anywhere from $10 to $30. The content is well modeled and the need for adjustments are minimal to none. Utilizing DAZ 3D's huge online catalog of 3D models, scenes, and accessories enables my productivity and creativity to skyrocket because I don't have to spend time creating content from scratch.

My general workflow is to start at the daz3d.com website and search for the right 3D model for my project. I then take the models into DAZ Studio to customize them to the specific shape and surface

texture details and then export via FBX. The next step is to use Motionbuilder for rigging and animation. Then off to 3DS Max, Maya and Vue xStream for the final composition and rendering. The final touches are made in Adobe After Effects for all the post work.

The above workflow is what I used to transform the Millennium Gorilla Character into my main mountain gorilla actor in the Galiwango film (http://www.sowl.com/african-film-festival/). I am still procuring additional funding for this wildlife conservation film. I am trying to show my fellow animators in Africa and Uganda in particular, that we can change the world and affect a change in the conservation of the last remaining mountain gorillas. The great news is we are going about it even with a small budget, and it wouldn't be possible without the awesome catalog from DAZ 3D.