Why do YOU use DS instead of something else?

duckbombduckbomb Posts: 473
edited November 2020 in The Commons

Hello!  First off, this is NOT a troll post, but I'm looking to get some of your opinions and experiences with DAZ Studio. 

My basic question for those who don't want to read on is this:  Why do YOU use DAZ Studio when there are many other alternatives out there that many perceive to be "better"?  or:  Why do YOU find DS to be "better" in compairson to programs like Maya or Blender (aside from price)?

I know that's a loaded question, and "better" is subjective, so here's some context of both myself and the question.  I've been using DAZ Studio for a number of years, and I have a fairly substancial amount of people who support my work over on DA and Patreon (I'm not bragging, I just know my engagement in these forums is low and I wanted to give some context to where I'm at as an artist), however I've begun to get a little "dreamy-eyed" over a lot of what I see over on sites like ArtStation.  For example, I want to do giant, complex concept pieces, and I want to create deep and immersive scenes with personality and life.  Again, I know that's general, and I'm NOT saying that I don't think this is possible in DS, I'm just struggling to create unique (and professional) images that I see over on ArtStation.  Please don't pounce on me because I didn't define "better", the core of my question is to know why you all put your hard-earned time into DS and not something else.

I suppose the fair thing to do would be to answer the question, myself.  I started using DS and found it "better" because of how easy it was to quickly pull assets from my library, build up a scene, and easily conceptualize what was going on in my head.  Simplicity and quickness, I suppose, were the two biggest things.  I wouldn't count cost as one, when I consider what I've spent on hardware (I use a Quadro RTX 8000 so I wouldn't need to think about VRAM) and assets (like many of you, I've invested thousands on digital assets).  As you can see, I invested substancially into IRAY and DS, both in time and money.  Now, I'm struggling on one hand to keep up with what I've invested in, and on the other hand sometimes I feel like I'm trying to "supe" up a Pinto, if that makes sense.

Another question I could ask, instead, would be this:  Do you know of any (or are you) artists who uses DS to create cinematic concept art?  Somebody you look up to that inspires you to keep creating and move forward with your chosen toolset?

I'm not trying to get an industry job, but I want to move forward with the types of renders and scenes I create, and I'm struggling because I've invested so much time (and money) into DS and assets and now I'm at a place where I wonder if I need to consider where I want to be and how to get there.  If that means chucking everything I spent time on up until now to learn something like Blender, or Maya, or whatever then that's all there is.  I'm currently fratically watching tutorials for all of the different possible workflows out there to help myself settle on a direction, but since many of you have already happily committed to this workflow, I wanted to ask.


I'm sorry, I know that was a long question, but I'm extremely interested and I hope somebody feels like sharing...  Why do YOU use DS, right here, right now?  Time is scarce, so there's most likely a reason for everybody, because we've all thought about it at some point or another.

Post edited by duckbomb on


  • Quantity and quality of products for DAZ Studio.

    Beautiful Iray renders.

    Autofit for clothing that works really well, even across different characters.

    Straightforward UI.

    DAZ Install Manager for easy/mindless installation of assets.

    Online community support.

    Just a few thoughts from a hobbyist/enthusiast who has been using Poser and now DAZ Studio collectively for 25 years.


  • efron_24efron_24 Posts: 414

    The G8 and the products for her

    I loved V4 and POSER... but DAZ was smart and moved on

  • PerttiAPerttiA Posts: 842

    As a computer hobbyist, who is just exploring the possibilities that new technology opens, DS lets me jump over the steps needed to create the assets used in creating the scenes that I'm interested in.

    DS is "free", which is a huge advantage over the more expensive alternatives, not to mention the ones robbing your money over and over again...

    Blender is free, but the interface takes time to learn (too much time) and the frequent updates keep you on your toes in regards to plug-in support - How long is the plug-in you found usefull, going to work...
    Still using Blender for creating morphs for my characters though, but dumping DS in favour of Blender... It would take too long to get up to the same level in scene creation and quality of rendered images, maybe some day...  

  • GordigGordig Posts: 3,615

    I don't use DS instead of something else. DS is great for a lot of things, like character creation and posing, but it's missing a lot of functionality that other programs have. I love DS's ease of use, but I can't do everything I want to using DS alone.

  • duckbombduckbomb Posts: 473

    Thanks for all of the replies!  This is exactly what the spirit of my question was in, I find it fascinating why people choose what they do.

    Gordig, I am the same way... I started using DS first and foremost, but now I use ZBrush to actually create my props and assets, and I use Substance Painter to texture them.  I guess, one thing I could do is to take all of my custom characters and environments into DS and rig my own characters there, but I sometimes also wonder if it would be more worthwhile to set up my scenes in a different program for render.

    What other applications do you use (if you don't mind me asking)?

  • nonesuch00nonesuch00 Posts: 14,660

    Real simple: because I've bought models I can't model myself and even if I was the 'world's leading technical subject matter expert on 3D modeling' I could never of modeled so much in the relatively short time I've been earnestly collecting the DAZ 3D models I've wanted.

  • I actually prefer almost anything else cheeky

    but this past month thanks to newer features being added I am forcing myself to use DAZ studio

    have been swearing a lot too but I am stubborn and actively trying to create the sort of crowded animated scenes  I would normally do in Carrara and iClone,

    I will admit I am using V3 and M3 in it though as my computer simply cannot load that many genesis +

  • I liked how it was free and, at the time, I found it easier to pose the V4 figures in DAZ Studio than I did in Poser. Then after they ticked me off and I went back to Poser, I came back to DAZ again around the time of Genesis 3 because I heard IRAY had made all of the stuff I was trying to do with luxrender suddenly just work easily. I'd like to learn to use Blender but I feel like the interface changes too often, and was not very good the last time Iooked at it. I couldn't even get a book on Blender because the user interface changes made the book out of date.

    I need something fairly focused on realism and fairly stable. And I'm not paying $200 for an eyeball.

  • nicsttnicstt Posts: 10,887

    I use Blender for most, but I can transfer a Studio character to Blender simply enough, which saves me modelling - i can do that; i do, however, hate rigging!

  • SevrinSevrin Posts: 4,450

    I use it because I'm used to it now.  I'm less interested in learning to make objects than I am in learning to make pictures.  DS is fine for stills.

  • duckbombduckbomb Posts: 473

    It seems that many of the reasons you all chose DS (and stuck with it) is the same reasons I have.  I can't argue with it's useability, I think it's one of the primary benefits DS has over the "competition".  I watch things like The Clone Wars, though, and I wish for a cohesive art style and atmosphere that I'm currently unable to kitbash together.  BUt then I try something like blender and, almost like as mentioned above, one of the symptoms is that my eyes start bleeding as I get pulled out of "creative" mode and pushed into "technical" mode.  It's one of the reasons I love ZBrush, however that program is far from capable of building up entire modifiable environments, at least not with the simplicity of DAZ.

  • tsaristtsarist Posts: 1,433
    edited November 2020

    I use Daz for my still shots. Poster, etc I WAS a photographer until it just got too expensive to get & service clients. I picked up Poser, but couldn't make it work. Then Daz came out & I loved that I found it intuitive to use.

    I wasn't very happy with the quality of my renders, so I tried Carrara. I got renders right out of the box that I couldn't create even with days of postwork.

    I stuck with Carrara for years. I use it now for my animation work

    I came back to Daz when I saw the out of the box renders with Iray. I still can't make my renders look as good as they do in the promos, they are still better than I was getting with Carrara.

    So, now I use Carrara for animation & Daz for my posters. I love the ever growing library of props, buildings, cars, people, etc
    Post edited by tsarist on
  • DS is a logical place to play with all my wonderful Daz content. Although there are some legitimate causes for complaint w/DS, it's still a deep and competent program. I enjoy a lot about it.

  • It was free, looked good, had good recommendations, and was said to be easy to use (though hard to master).

    I wanted ot try 3D Art without having to spend a couple of years learning the basic controls of the programme first. Worked fine for me, therefore, here I am, completely hooked into it.cool

  • Honestly, I use it because I use Face Motion for facial mocap for my animation work and I can't get those keys to export to Blender through either the D2B bridge or diffeomorphic so I can continue animating with the rigs in Blender. I'd honestly prefer to use the Blender rig because the feet won't move around all willy nilly, but the face mocap outweighs that right now. I also do love using dForce and will say I get better results with Iray than anything else. So I guess in a perfect world, I could animate in Blender, transfer that through the D2B bridge back into Daz and be able to mocap the face and render in iray as I do love Daz's ease of use. 

  • j cadej cade Posts: 1,929

    Content and Speed. As someone who also uses blender, Yes there are quite a few things I can do there that I can't do in  DS, but I don't have an entire content library I can just click and load. The diffeomorphic plugin comes close, but setup is still enough slower that, especially for simpler scenes, it makes sense to stick in DS.


    Also there are certain elements that are legitimately great: the recent strand hair tools have some features I legitimately prefer to blender's. being able to automatically adjust the rig to a new morph even extreme ones. autofollowing for morphing + smoothing with collisions is also pretty nifty

    I like the current combo I have going. Primary setup in ds, but if at any point I realize I need something in blender I can pop it right over



  • So, let's set aside the whole "used DS ever since 2001, when it was a barely stable internal Alpha build that Taylor was still patching like mad" bit for a second. Also set aside that I've used Poser ever since Curious Labs still existed and everyone was going gaga over that newfangled ERC thing that had just come out. 

    So - why DS? Well...

    • Muscle Memory. I know where everything is, what it does, and how to use it. I have to admit that just to be fair.
    • Cost, Part I. I only buy the add-ons I want or need, and over the past few years, I only had to buy them once.
    • Cost, Part II. I don't have to shell out $200+ (and $150 for upgrades) just to get the base program like I do with Poser.
    • Flexibility in the UI (because Jarom is friggin' awesome, that's why): I can peel off tool panels and shove them onto a different monitor entirely. I can arrange them any way I want, and remove what I don't want/need, only to bring it back later if desired. Poser comes close these days, but it's still too clunky and in many ways, still subscribes to the 1990s-era Kai Krause School Of Craptastic Interfaces. 
    • Asset Longevity. I can drag in 2010-era NearMe figurines, or even 2003-era Aiko 3 stuff, no sweat... and I can give them SubD and soft-body collision, whip up decent morphs for them in-app, put on new shaders, and do lots of stuff that breathes new life into some seriously ancient stuff. Now, I'm fairly sure Poser can do some of that too, but I'm not going to shell out $200+ just to find out.
    • It's actually built with a somewhat gentle learning curve. CG is not an easy thing to grok - at all. Put this way: You're making your head do on-the-fly trigonometric calculations in non-Euclidian Cartesian space, just to put a bit of tease into some assembly of polygons with big boobs (the engine code for that is 100% nightmare fuel.) Doing that in any application is a raging PITA to get the hang of... but DS actually makes it fairly easy for newbies to grasp. 
    • The application is still very light on resources overall. The render engine will chow down on GPU cycles, sure. You can kiss 10GB+ of RAM goodbye sometimes. But - most of that memory is being eaten by the assets (esp. textures) being stashed in RAM, not by the application itself. 
    • The UI lets you focus on the artwork, and not on the controls. This way you can focus on making it pretty, and in telling that story. That's purely intentional. The recent addition of the Filament render engine only enhances this.
    • The open and free SDK lets anyone dig in to do more, if they want to do more. 


    Lots of other reasons as well, but honestly? DS is the one and only reason why I still use Windows, and why I skipped on a MacBook Pro and went with my just-bought MSI laptop (becasue an MBP with a decent RTX mobile GPU seems to be lacking entirely these days.) 



  • TBorNotTBorNot Posts: 178

    It runs (ran) on a Mac.


  • WolfwoodWolfwood Posts: 464

    Free + Genesis(any)

  • FSMCDesignsFSMCDesigns Posts: 9,495

    To the OP, I started with the high end apps and renderers working for a studio. I had access to Maya, Max, Rhino, Modo, etc, and rendered in Vray, Maxwell and others for several years. keep in mind this was before DAZ when you had to actually use a modeling app to create your own mesh assets and figures, much the way many of the artists at Artstation do. After that I started with Poser and went on to Daz Studio because i like the lighting solutions better. I still have access to Max and a few other renderers, but the cost, ease of use and complete workflow keeps me in Daz Studio instead ox trying to export itsms into other apps to create renders.

  • PerttiAPerttiA Posts: 842

    Lots of other reasons as well, but honestly? DS is the one and only reason why I still use Windows,


    The day new hardware I buy doesn't support Win7 any more, is the day I'm going over to the dark side... As in Linux. The only reason I haven't done it yet has been DS, everything else can already be found over there.

  • Well. I will try to give a thoughtful response. Will probably fail, but let's try.

    I started with Poser - MetaCreations' Poser 4. That I thought easy to use. But it was lacking a lot. Don't know what, it just felt like a toy. Then this beta version of DS came into my awareness, 0.7.something. I tried it in 2005, and found that even then it didn't feel like a toy. It had potential. Trouble was my home PC didn't, and it couldn't cope with the advances shown by V4, and I gave up in 2007. Only came back in 2019.

    So why the return to DS?

    Well. I cannot draw figures, much as I'd love to. DS allows an easy entry into figure images. Much easier learning curve than any other package I have seen. And you don't have to be a computer nerd to be able to do it. After 1.5 years back I'm still baffled by much of what is said to get around problems in DS. But that's nothing compared to what I see being discussed with Blender. I have a life and want 3d pictures to be part of it, not have my life being forced to revolve around the techniques of painfully extracting an image from software where image production seems a minor purpose compared with the exhibition of high end computer skills needed. The life-program balance is weighted more in favour of life with DS than almost any other program I'm aware of.

    And I can still use my 2005 purchased content to make me feel comfortable playing with my digital dollies.



  • MasterstrokeMasterstroke Posts: 1,061
    edited November 2020

    A cg female for Maya or 3ds Max costs you up to 900€, if you want some quality, but won't be as flexible as a G8female. The alternativ is to do it all from the scetch. You just get the best content for a reasonable prize here with DAZ Studio, and alot of it.


    Post edited by Masterstroke on
  • I really want to quit daz

    But daz binds me and pulled me to him I don’t know what to do .

    I have no alternative .


    400 x 400 - 18K
  • PenguinistoPenguinisto Posts: 80
    edited November 2020

    A cg female for Maya or 3ds Max costs you up to 900€, if you want some quality, but won't be as flexible as a G8female. The alternativ is to do it all from the scetch. You just get the best content for a reasonable prize here with DAZ Studio, and alot of it.


    To be fair, when you shell out that heavy expense for the female Maya-friendly figure, you're also buying commercial reproduction rights to it (that is, rights to make a commercial movie from it).Most CG houses are expected to rig and run such figures themselves.


    Post edited by Penguinisto on
  • Interesting thread!

    But... first some context: I'm a hobbyist at best, it's actually my gf who's much better with 3d modelleling/editing, my passion actually lies with (digital) sound design / synths. However, we share an interest in each others hobbies which is how I eventually discovered Daz Studio.

    Why I use DS instead of something else?

    First of all the price/quality balance. I truly believe that Daz3D runs a more than fair freemium setup with Daz Studio if you look at all the things you can do with the software itself. I mean, it's not just modelling and building sceneries; you can easily apply material settings, build your own shaders either by coding them yourself or by using a relatively easy interface ("Shader mixer" pane), and you can even add every freebie you want to the DS' CMS so that you can use it together with the smart contents pane. Which also brings me to DS' insane customization options which is actually the part I'm most impressed with: you can make DS look and behave like anything you want. And not just its looks...  the position of the panes, full screen / split screen, keyboard shortcuts, menu icons... [u]everything[/u]. Which I did ;)

    Next stop is the "additional software". I know its dated stuff (and I never bothered to check the Hexagon beta) but I've been a huge fan of Bryce & Hexagon ever since I started using it. I don't use Hexagon that often but Bryce otoh... and I love the ability to easily move contents between programs. For me it adds up to what I like to refer to as the "Daz3d experience". I can model stuff in Studio, I can edit stuff in Hexagon and I can complement my renders using Bryce. for example: Dragonport with a reddish sky rendered using Bryce as background? Priceless....

    Then we have ZBrush, one of the main reasons I'm no longer interested in the Hexagon beta. I'm very impressed with that software and its potential, and I was very pleasantly surprised to learn that GoZ works both ways. Not only can I sent characters from DS into ZBrush, but I can easily do this the other way around too; Daz Studio is natively supported! Win-win!

    And finally... I've been using Daz Studio for so long, why would I bother with anything else if this setup works for me in every possible way I can imagine? Heck, I managed to make sceneries back on my Win7 32bit PC (using 3Delight) which eventually became too big to load :P  But Daz never crashed on me during those "limited times".

    Another reason I'm not really interested is because the competition doesn't manage to excite me. Maya and such sound cool, but they also have "cool" prices attached to them. I think you can't even get that without a subscription and that's something I'll never do. Renting sofware? I think it's insane! Then there's Carrara which has often intruiged me, especially when I just started using DS but..  these days it's dated enough. Not something I'd want or need. Then we have Poser... I don't see a need to spend money on something while I can already use Poser material in DS. And I suppose there's also Blender. Let's just say that I tried, multiple times, but after having spend over 20 years working with open source software I've also come to be very hesitant when it comes to client based software. I'll take FreeBSD over Windows server any day of the week, but when it comes to desktop platforms I'll stick with Windows (or even Mac) over X powered by KDE, XFCE4 or any of those. Not because they're no good, they're all awesome projects. But because they're pretty much never reliable. "Backwards compatibility" is a term seldomly respected within open source projects and that can easily come to haunt you in the longer run. Because it's usually "their way, or the highway", and Blender is (or was?) a perfect example; insisting to switch the mouse buttons by default because it made more sense. Who cares if the rest of the world used the left button to select and the right for context menus? I respect their decision to do things in their own way, but I don't like it either. Which is my stance on Blender: I think the project is an amazing achievement and one which demands respect, especially from a tech point of view. But at the same time I also hate the program and steer clear from it best as I can; I basically ignore it.

    Which I suppose also answers why I think DS is better than the rest for me. Content Library pane anyone? Even though the smart contents has become the standard Daz still provides support for the "old ways", so if you don't want anything to do with "smart contents" then you don't have to. 


    I use DS because I like it a lot better than other software, I can easily use it together with software such as ZBrush and Bryce and because after at least 6 years of working with DS I can still set up my sceneries exactly like I always did and want to.


    I also admire the way Daz3d handled themselves when their site went awol, I got some very nice deals during that aftermath!

  • PraxisPraxis Posts: 164

    I moved to DAZ Studio after extreme frustration with Poser3 and Poser5.

    In addition to the many DS advantages already mentioned by others, I want to add this: easy, powerful Scripting.  I'll never have enough time to explore all the ideas that this opens up - luckily, there is mCasual and a number of DAZ PAs producing quality scripts so that I don't have to write that many! smiley


  • duckbombduckbomb Posts: 473
    edited November 2020

    So many great and thoughtfull replies!  I find myself nodding along to what all of you have said, even as I watch other videos demonstrating the "power" of other applications, such as Modo and Fusion 360. 

    It's interesting to me that on these forums, people are much more concerned with just getting their ideas out in a quick and efficient way, and in other forums there is a lot of talk about either the technical superiority or prowess of their respective platforms.  This isn't to say that those forums are bad, or that the people there are wrong, but DS seems to straddle a line of technical suite and "art creation toolkit" fairly well, which is why so many people here have stuck with it.

    I'm beginning to feel like I will still need to stretch my legs a bit as I continue to explore, but I should not rule DS out on the basis that it is lesser than the other applications, as there seems to be a very distinct advantage DS still holds over most other 3D suites.

    I woke up this morning thinking I had a set learning plan for how to move forward, but having asked you all and now reading the replies I can absoultely confirm that here I still stand staring into the seemingly endless abyss that is my 3D workflow options LOL

    EDITED to add that the only other forum I've been visiting that seems to focus so much on art creation instead of technical process is the Pixelogic ones (Zbrush).  Funnily enough, that program demands you really learn the technical intricacies, however once you do it (much like DAZ) allows you to just focus on creating.

    Post edited by duckbomb on
  • N_R ArtsN_R Arts Posts: 809

    Because it was easier than Poser, and, it (DS) was (and still is) free.

    I do some modelling with Blender now, but I have no interest in rendering with it.

    Plus, my machines are getting older, so they're getting picky about what they can run.

  • mwokeemwokee Posts: 806
    When I first became aware of "3D for sale" I didn't know there was anything else.
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