September 2022 - Daz 3D New User Challenge - Depth of Field and Canvases

L'AdairL'Adair Posts: 9,479

New User's Challenge - September, 2022

Sponsored by DAZ 3D

Are you new to the 3D World? Are you at the beginning stages of learning 3D rendering? Have you been around for a little bit but feel you could benefit from some feedback or instruction? Have you been around awhile and would like to help other members start their creative journey? Well then come and join the fun as we host our newest render challenge!

New this year, we are breaking down each month into 2 different challenges. A Beginner Challenge and then also an Intermediate Challenge.

So which "Challenge" should you choose?

Follow the Beginner Challenge if you are:

  • New to the New User Challenges
  • New to Daz Studio
  • Newer to 3D Rendering in General
  • Or if you have not participated in the September Depth of Field Challenge in a previous year

Follow the Intermediate Challenge if you have:

  • Participated in the New User Challenge for awhile
  • Know the basics of Daz Studio and would like to learn more in depth topics
  • Been using 3D Rendering Applications for awhile and feel comfortable with learning Intermediate Topics
  • Or if you have all ready participated in the September Depth of Field Challenge in a previous year

*Please be sure to list in your post which Challenge you are participating in*

Closing date for both is September 30, 2022

If you would like to review the previous topics and information you can find the topics/threads here:

Beginner/IntermediateComposition/Instancing, & Duplication
Beginner/IntermediateLighting/Light Effects
Beginner/IntermediatePosing/Posing II
Beginner/IntermediateUsing Props/Push Modifiers/Deformers
Beginner/IntermediateScenes and Landscapes/Working Modularly
Beginner/IntermediatePortrait Rendering/LIE

I will be checking in as will the rest of the Community Volunteers to try and help with anything you all may need.
For a list of the current challenge rules, please see this thread: Challenge Rules

Post edited by L'Adair on


  • L'AdairL'Adair Posts: 9,479
    edited August 2022

    Beginner Challenge - September 2022


    "Focus/Depth of Field"

    This month's focus will be on Depth of Field/Focus.

    Depth of Field is basically controlling what part of the image is in sharp focus. A couple of explanations, from the world of photography (so not everything is applicable, but the definitions and basics do apply when rendering).


    Tips and Examples, Studio: (Depth Of Field In Daz Studio 4 10) (Daz Studio Depth of Field)

    Tips and Examples, Poser:

    Tips and Examples, Bryce:

    Tips and Examples, Carrara:


    Other Helpful Links


    When following tutorials, be cognizant of the different applications (Bryce, Daz Studio, Poser, Carrara Blender, etc.) and different render engines (3Delight, Iray, Reality, etc). Techniques for one may not apply directly to another. If you have some favorite portrait lighting and composition tips, please share them in this WIP thread.

    Composition Golden Ratio helpers:
    DAZ Studio (Also, DS has a built in Rule of Thirds guide; just select Show Thirds Guide in the Viewport context menu)

    Don't forget to look at previous themed contests where information and hints are available. Here is the depth of field challenge from last September.

    Post edited by L'Adair on
  • L'AdairL'Adair Posts: 9,479

    Intermediate Challenge - September 2022



    This is a general render challenge with the focus on rendering separate layers, or canvases, for compositing in an image editor, such as Photoshop or Gimp. Daz Studio supports Canvases natively via the Iray render engine, found in Render Settings > Advanced > Canvases. Creating separate layers in 3Delight is also possible with the use of premium vendor products.

    Iray Canvases are very powerful, allowing a lot of control over your final image. They can also be very confusing until you understand how to create a canvas and how to use the resulting image. Like any tool, the more experience you get with it, the more the necessary details will become second nature.

    A quick Overview of Iray Canvases:

    Using the tools provided in the Canvases settings, you can "tell" Daz Studio to create multiple layers of image information with a single render. There are options to specify Type, (beauty, diffuse, specular, depth, etc.,) and options to specify Nodes, (aka objects.) An option to use Alpha exists for most types and will create an alpha layer for the EXR file, which can be loaded as transparency or an alpha channel.

    Once you've enabled Canvases, a new section will show in the Render Settings for Canvases, where you can select which canvas will be rendered to the render window. Tone Mapping is on by default and will be applied to the image in the Render Window. This give you a good reference image if your Beauty canvas is selected.

    When the render completes and you save the image, Daz Studio will save a folder for the Canvases in the same folder as the saved image, with the same name and "_canvases" added. The canvases in that folder are all 32-bit color images in the EXR format. These EXR images will need to be processed to use. They are very much like a "camera raw" image from a Digital SLR camera.

    The "magic" of using canvases is in how you process the various 32-bit files into layers and composite them to create a final image.

    Information on Using Iray Canvases in Daz Studio:

    It's important to remember Iray was introduced to DS over five years ago and some details about Canvases have changed during that time. Most of the information from older tutorials linked here will be accurate and worth the time to view. Occasionally, you may find something that is no longer the case. Feel free to let us know what those are. For that reason, the upload date of videos is included with the link. (Forum Member names are included, where known.)


    Forum Threads


    3Delight Options

    We normally do not include store products as options in these challenges. However, it only seems fair to mention these products as DS does not have a native canvas feature for 3Delight, so those working with 3Delight—who may well already own one or both of these products—can also enter the intermediate challenge.


  • That's unfortunate - I completed a render that would qualify for this only last week. Not got round to posting it yet but I guess it still fails the rule to say it must be made specifically for the challenge. Also, may technically fall foul of another rule too so perhaps best if I try and think up a different one anyway :)

  • Daedalus-7Daedalus-7 Posts: 198
    edited September 2022

    As usual (?) I am going to start the Month with my entry...

    I have rendered this with a beauty pass for the main render, and another one for the leaves only (since I wanted to delete some of them but they were all lumped into one object).

    In the final composite I used the PNG of the leaves @ 8bit / channel instead of the EXR, since the EXR was unusually bright and the colors were strange, while the PNG looked much better. The rest of the image was processed in EXR (but at 16 bit / channel for processing in Photoshop) and finally saved as a JPG @ 8bit / channel (to be able to upload here).

    Question: Is it possible to render PNGs @ 16bits / channel instead of the standard 8 bits / channel? is my entry, rendered in Daz Studio 4.20 with Iray. First entry for the Intermediate Challenge "Canvases". 

    Modern Samurai




    Future Samurai JPG (Medium-crop).jpg
    2115 x 1413 - 2M
    Post edited by Daedalus-7 on
  • SofaCitizenSofaCitizen Posts: 1,592
    edited September 2022

    Awesome image Daedalus-7 :)

    Thanks for kicking off this challenge - I still haven't come up with a good idea for this yet.

    Post edited by SofaCitizen on
  • @SofaCitizen Thanks! The idea came slowly by trying to do something else. I usually get inspired while doing rather than waiting for inspirtion to come :)

  • @Daedalus, I am not experienced enought to give feedback, I will only say WOW, I love it!

  • sueyasueya Posts: 826

    This is my entry for the Beginner DOF challenge

    I would like to get more blur in the background and better lighting on the girl's face.

  • @isis4444merlin Thanks for the appreciation, it's always welcome. :)

  • Alewis478Alewis478 Posts: 78
    edited September 2022

    @sueya I've had good success moving the focal distance. In this screenshot, that box the arrow is pointing at is what will be in focus. 
    Screen captured from The WP Guru on YouTube


    Screenshot 2022-09-11 114807.png
    832 x 283 - 256K
    Post edited by Alewis478 on
  • Entry for the Beginner Challenge Depth of Field/Focus. Been making renders for 4 months now and im in love, I really want to up my game with all the little details. So im looking for some constructive criticism. I did a bit of postwork in lightroom to bring out the red colours as im really obsessed with red and black


    Mylouistopheles in west park2.jpg
    3077 x 4000 - 7M
  • Title: The Visit

    DOF Beginner Challenge

    Feedback and critique always welcome :- ) Thanks!

    Treehouse-Starry Sky 12.jpg
    2100 x 1500 - 3M
  • Daedalus-7Daedalus-7 Posts: 198
    edited September 2022

    @isis4444merlin Overall, I like the idea of your render. So, here are some ideas to consider:

    1) Illumination: It seems to be very even which, as a side effect, makes the image look flat. You might want to have more balance of light/shadows on everything to create the illusion of depth. 

    2) Depth of Feld: I think that, at this particular angle, it might be difficult to see. A different idea would be to have the girl with the flower to be the "center of focus" (which might require you to rotate the image and zoom in) and everything else to be a bit more blurry. 

    I hope that helps! :)

    Post edited by Daedalus-7 on
  • @jako101182 Well done! Here are my tips/ideas:

    1) The hands: the pose seems a bit too closed.

    2) The expression: It looks...vague. Try to imagine her having a personality, and show it to us via her expression

    Hope this helps! :)

  • @Daedalus-7 Thank you soooo much for the feedback and the suggestions! 

    I worked with a Sun-Sky setting and felt that it may have been too bright. Now that you mention the image being flat, I can see that too. I am going to go back in and play with some different lighting and see if I can acheive something with more depth and visual interest.

    I wasn't happy with the depth of feild yet and didn't quite know what to try next. Right now the red/green DOF cross hairs are at the feet of the girl that has to flowers and it had occured to me to lift the crosshairs more to her face. My intention was to have her as the center of focus but I need to redefine how I do that. I am looking forward to playing around with your suggestions. Thanks again!

  • Title: The Visit

    DOF Beginner Challenge

    Here is my second go at it...


    Treehouse 7-Treehouse 11.jpg
    1865 x 1500 - 2M
  • sueyasueya Posts: 826

    This is my second version I have improved the lighting and I'm still working on the DOF

  • LimunLimun Posts: 182
    edited September 2022

    Gold digger's 

    Intermediate Challenge DOF Final entry

    What does it mean  "Canvases" in this contest ? I mean I know what it mean when i translate with google , but is it here something specific that I don't understand?

    1800 x 1200 - 3M
    Post edited by Limun on
  • Daedalus-7Daedalus-7 Posts: 198
    edited September 2022

    @isis4444merlin Wow, big improvement! Thanks for taking my tips into consideration :)

    @Limun Read carefully the first posts. They describe in-depth what it's been talking about. Canvases means to render 2 or more layers and using the "Canvases" option in Daz Studio. 

    Post edited by Daedalus-7 on
  • @Daedalus-7 Thanks again! I learned so much and had so much fun as I explored your suggestions :- )

  • Title: What? I'm just doing me...

    DOF Beginner Challenge - 2nd Entry

    Feedback and critique always appreciated :- )

    What I'm just doing me.jpg
    2700 x 3300 - 1M
  • LimunLimun Posts: 182

    Daedalus-7 said:

    @Limun Read carefully the first posts. They describe in-depth what it's been talking about. Canvases means to render 2 or more layers and using the "Canvases" option in Daz Studio. 

    Thanks for the clarification, it's true, I skipped the part describing what the canvases are for. 

  • katywhitekatywhite Posts: 414
    edited September 2022

    Title: Colourful Dance with a Pup

    Software: Daz 3D

    Challenge: Intermediate

    So here is my entry for the canvases. Decided to do a depth canvas, used it to make the party lights more intense further back you go. Feedback is welcome!

    With depth canvas:


    The depth canvas (converted to png):




    Colourful Dance with a Pup_edited.png
    2000 x 2000 - 7M
    Colourful Dance with a Pup.png
    2000 x 2000 - 7M
    Colourful Dance with a Pup_depthcanvas.png
    2000 x 2000 - 1M
    Post edited by katywhite on
  • katywhitekatywhite Posts: 414
    edited September 2022

    Title: Escaping From a Hell

    Software: Daz 3D

    Challenge: Intermediate

    So here is my second entry for the canvases. Decided to do a depth canvas, used it to make smoke more intense further back you go. Feedback is welcome!

    With depth canvas:


    The depth canvas (converted to png):

    Escaping a Hell_edited.png
    2000 x 2000 - 8M
    Escaping a Hell.png
    2000 x 2000 - 5M
    Escaping a Hell_depthimage.png
    2000 x 2000 - 3M
    Post edited by katywhite on
  • An entry for the Beginner - Depth of Field Challenge

    Title: Boop!

  • DAZ_ann0314DAZ_ann0314 Posts: 2,814

    September 2022

    Showcased Participants for the September Depth of Field Challenge

    Composition by jako101182


    Composition by SofaCitizen


    Composition by isis4444merlin

    Showcased Participants for the September Canvases Challenge

    Composition by Daedalus-7


    Composition by Limun


    Composition by katywhite

  • DAZ_ann0314DAZ_ann0314 Posts: 2,814

    Congratulations to all those showcased and wonderful job to everyone who participated this month heart

  • Congrats everyone! :)  

    Time to jump for the next's always a good opportunity to learn something new...

  • So much fun! Congratulations everyone!

  • LimunLimun Posts: 182

    Congratulations to all :) 

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