August 2023 - Daz 3D New User Challenge - Open Render Challenge

ElliandraElliandra Posts: 490
edited August 2023 in New User Contests and Events

New User's Challenge - August 2023

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.

As with the previous months, 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

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

*Please don't forget to note in your post with your render, the name of the render, whether the image is for the beginner or intermediate challenge, and to also mention which of your new skill set(s) you used in creating your image!*

"Open Render Challenge"

The Open Render Challenge is also referred to as a "free" month, where you can concentrate on using and combining the skills you learned in the past few challenges.

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

We 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


Closing Date: August 31st, 2023

Post edited by Elliandra on


  • Here's my start for this month.  Not sure what I plan to do with it thou so we'll have to see what i end up with.

    1280 x 720 - 675K
  • ElliandraElliandra Posts: 490

    Ooo very cool Love the glowy specs on him!! Can't wait to see where you take him!

  • ShimrianShimrian Posts: 510

    It's been a while since I've joined one of these challenges and I'm excited to get back into making art in Daz! I've been working on my entry for a few days already and it's finally to a point to post.

    Title: Yumi and the art of stacking stones

    Girl Stacking Rocks

    This is for the Intermediate Open Render Challenge. I did several new things to create it as well as a few things I did in the past, but needed refreshers on. Things I did for the intermediate challenge:

    Instancing & Duplication: I duplicated stacks of rocks using the Edit - Duplicate option as well as trying out UltraScatterPro to create instances of the flowers floating in a cube.

    Using Props and Push Modifiers/Deformers / Posing II​: I used a deformer on the bow to help scrunch in under her arm. I also used d-force on the dress and fit the hair on G9 (from a G3 prop) using a tutorial on how to do this. It turned out much better than autofit!

    Lighting: I could probably improve things here. I used a red tented sky and changed the Environmental Intensity and also used a 3 point lighting setup on the character since it was too harsh with only the sky hdri. I rendered both and blended them together in Photoshop.

    Postwork was done in Photoshop. I used Ron's brushes to create the fireflies.

    Please let me know what turned out well and what can be improved on for the image. Thanks and happy rendering!

    Link to image in Gallery with more details on Yumi and why she is stacking stones.

  • CoryllonCoryllon Posts: 282

    I love that Kimono never thought of using teh bow in the front! that's awesome.

  • Alias52Alias52 Posts: 285

    Looking good so far, folks! Darn! I need some insapiration here!

  • ElliandraElliandra Posts: 490

    @Shimrian - Beautiful render! The lighting I feel is really consistant throughout and I love the fact that her hair is flowing in the same direction the flowers and plants are floating as well! The only thing I would recommend is to have her looking down at the stone she is placing (maybe some expression on her face if she is expressive in the books you are referring to).

    @Alias52 - When I'm stuck for something to do I do random google image searches or wander through my product catalog in my account! There are always products that I have gotten and forgotten about that tend to strike a spark lol

  • ShimrianShimrian Posts: 510

    Thanks for the feedback, @Elliandra. I thought the same thing with the eyes, but I thought I fixed them to look at the rock. I might have lost track of saves or didn't do enough. I think I can move her head a bit. I also tried to have her biting her bottom lip in concentration, but ended up scrapping that pose because it looked funny. I used one of the expression dials on her face, but I will see if I can do the more intense expression one for my next render. 

    Early feedback for @Shinji Ikari 9th, but feel free to disregard if you want since it might not be what your after in your image. :) 

    I sometimes like the effect of a silhouette in images, but I feel this one would look better if I could see the main character/subject in a better light. Maybe add a soft box to reflect the background light on their face and body? When I view it on my tablet (how I usually view the forums), it looks really dark to me. I want to see more details!

  • Hi all, is there any spesific theme for this chalnge? and can we use other softwere such as PS ?

  • @Shimrian, the silhouette came about due to the headlight settings on the camera I used for the render (it was off in version A).  I did a pair of renders with the headlight on using different intensity levels to see how it helps, though I seem to be having difficulties uploading them at this time.  I'll try again after a while.

  • Here's the 2 renders I mentioned in my last post. The first one is with the camera headlight at 3/8th the default intensity and the second one is with the headlight at it's default intensity.

    1280 x 720 - 684K
    1280 x 720 - 694K
  • ElliandraElliandra Posts: 490

    @habibsoufi Good Morning!
    The challenge this month is an open render challenge so you can choose your theme as well as use PS for Postworking as long as the main image is a render! Just remember to always keep it kid friendly!!

  • Alias52Alias52 Posts: 285

    @Elliandra Funnily enough I was perusing my product list before I went away for a few days. Apart from being horrified by the frightful fact that I own way too many products, I did make a start with a couple of things. Not sure they are anywhere near contest worthy, though!

  • habibsoufihabibsoufi Posts: 9
    edited August 2023

    I can't post the render, it keept say uplaoding but no thig happend.

    Post edited by habibsoufi on
  • ElliandraElliandra Posts: 490

    @habibsoufi - Have you checked the size and dimensions of the render? If the upload is not working for you then you can always upload it to your Daz Gallery and then link it from there!

  • Version C here, giving my character a teammate.  Still thinking of adding another on the other side of the main, and am going to have to do texture work on their outfits.

    1280 x 720 - 701K
  • ElliandraElliandra Posts: 490

    @Shinji Ikari 9th - Very cool! I like the brighter lighting on the MC's face, I would suggest making it a warmer red and moving it up a tad so it looks like its emitting from his specs! Also if you have some smaller ground rubble in your Library I'd suggest adding it to break up the flat feel of the ground where your figures are. There's the huge pile of rubble behind them but nothing but mud in front of them wink

  • @Elliandra, the light on the MC is the camera's headlight so I'm not sure about changing the color thou I could see about changing the offset at least.  Also the 'mud' is the road they're standing on.  I did another render with some texture work done but I can't seem to upload at this time.

  • marconft6marconft6 Posts: 56
    edited August 2023

    Intermediate Challenge - Posing

    Title:  Romantic Stroll through London

    About:  Amidst the enchanting mystique of Victorian-era London, a couple embraces the gentle chaos of rain-soaked cobblestone streets, their intertwined steps painting a vivid picture of devotion as they navigate the city's atmospheric charm.


    The most difficult part of this build was the posing of the characters. It was really the first time I have had two characters interacting so closely. For someone that likes to tinker around a lot, this took forever. If you change one character, you have to change the other, ugh. I used Hans 8.1 and Mae HD for the characters. Tried to make them seem very Victorian era and British with their outfits (dForce Romantic Gentleman and Mid Victorian Outfit). The scenery is Old Victorian Street, which is an awesome piece that I highly recommend. To add to the ambiance, I added Vintage Carriages 2, Daz Horse 2, and Iray Rain. The puddles near their feet were created using SY Rippling Water Iray. Overall, I tried to make the image seem old and dark. The first thing I did was to add dusty glass panes between the camera and the characters. There are several layers there. I messed around a ton with the rendering settings (I do not recommend). Adjusted the saturation, added vignette, etc. This massively increased render time. As of now, I won't be doing any more tinkering with this particular project ... 16 hour render times are killing me. I've got other things to make! As is per my usual, although I know photoshop, I did not do any post work on this image.

    As a side note, my wife wanted me to do something "romantic" for once. This is the result. I joked with her that I could change the entire scene by changing the title to Jack the Ripper. I won't do that for now, but it might give me ideas for future images.


    Romantic London Stroll 4 JPG.jpg
    4000 x 3000 - 6M
    Post edited by marconft6 on
  • ElliandraElliandra Posts: 490

    @Shinji Ikari 9th - ahh yea the headlight I haven't found a way to change color for it yet. What I do is create a new spotlight with the same settings as the camera and then turn off the headlight. That way I can customize the coloring etc of the light. I can't wait to see the updated texture work on the ground!!

    @marconft6 - Gorgeous render! Very fun and I love the aged effect you got using the glass panes!!! The time you spent on the posing really paid off it looks natural and fun!

  • ShimrianShimrian Posts: 510

    My updated version:

    Yumi stacking rocks

    Edits made: I had the eyes point at the top rock to make sure she was looking at it. I also made the stack higher and moved the camera around, so not everything is the same. Her face is also concentrating (if you look closely you'll see her eyes are scrunched up). Thanks!

    btw - nice posing @marconft6! If you're using photoshop, maybe try a different blending mode on the vintage speckling? Doing that might help it look more like a faded photo. You also don't need to do another render since it's just a layer change!

  • ElliandraElliandra Posts: 490

    @Shimrian - Love the updated image! The new expression is great and the new camera angle is really nice! Great job!

  • marconft6marconft6 Posts: 56
    edited August 2023

    Intermediate Submission 2 - Lighting Effects

    TITLE:  Eternal Chains

    ABOUT:  In the ruins of celestial splendor, an angel stands as a testament to both defiance and fallibility. His once resplendent wings, now cut and scorched, mirror the scars of choices made and battles fought. Bound by chains ablaze with the flames of his own regrets, he strives to break free, his determination a symphony of redemption amidst the embers of his past transgressions.



    This all started from a vague idea of a chained angel. I first started with Holm HD. This character is slightly older and thin in appearance. I chose him on purpose because I wanted the details of his physique to pop. I added the Auto Muscle Enhancer HD to help with this. Hair is Short Wet Hair (yay! something super easy!). The white veins near the wrist are from Superhero Body FX. I added the chains around the body and to the wrists (this took much longer than I would like to admit). I then wanted the chains to be squeezing the character. I exported only the chains to an OBJ, then imported them again to make them one single object. From there, I added a collision between the chains and the main character. Unfortunately, due to the smoke/flames I included later, this tiny detail is a bit lost. I'll have to do it again in another image soon and make it more noticeable. After the new chains were in place, I added several layers of geometry shells to include the additional effects, mostly using PTF Magic! Shaders and Wearables.

    The wings were quite difficult to do. These are Morning Star Wings. I had to use the Geometry Editor and clip the ends off of them. I didn't delete them permanently, just created a new layer for the removed sections and hid them. I then had to go in to the Layer Image Editor and add PTF Grungy Threads to the feathers (to make them seem cut and damaged). There are a ton of feathers on this product, and it was quite tedius to figure out which ones were where, and how much to clip them. The PTF Grungy Threads were also used to add rips to the pants. I added several geometry shell layers to the wings after that, with which I was able to include flames and smoke. Most of these came from PTF Magic! Shaders and Wearables.

    The overall "grunge" from the image was done using MDBD Blood 'n Dirt Geoshell Manager. The burns on the skin were from HD Body Burns 2 Add-On. To get the shirt under the chains, I had to use a ton of deformers. That was tricky, but it paid off, I think. I also trimmed off the top of the t-shirt and used dForce to make it fall down over the top chain.

    The lighting. The lighting was done with Halo Effects. I had never used this product, or something like it before, and it was fun to experiment with. I couldn't believe how well it made the image stand out. It took some tweaking and I had to include some primitives into the scene to adjust some light and reflection. The smoke, not on the wings, was placed by hand (I don't remember which product I used).

    Zero post work done.

    (I always have to convert these to JPG due to their size. The PNG for this particular file is 18MB.)

    Captured Angel 3 JPG.jpg
    4000 x 3000 - 7M
    Post edited by marconft6 on
  • Alias52Alias52 Posts: 285

    Great entries so far this month, folks. Particularly stunning angel image, Marcon.

  • Thanks, Alias52!

  • ElliandraElliandra Posts: 490

    @marconft6 - Beautiful Render! The trick with the shirt over the burning chains is awesome! The Halo effects are really nice too I totally missed that product and had to go check it out, totally wishlisted!! The only thing I might suggest changing would be to make the metal tatoo more aged less shiny as it draws the eye away from the rest of the details you've put so much effort into.

  • Thank you, Elliandra! I'll see what I can do about making that change. If you think it is distracting now, then you should have seen my ideas before I finished it this way. I wanted the sword tattoo to be glowing, but every change I made didn't feel right. Too might light and it was overpowering, too little light and it was just dull. I settled on the metal to make it interesting, but it might be too much still.

  • ElliandraElliandra Posts: 490

    @marconft6 - You could also postwork a bloom around the blade to give it the glow effect as it is now it would work well with it!

  • ElorElor Posts: 837
    edited August 2023


    It's a render for this month Beginner Challenge, called 'An afternoon at the park', which hopefully respect all the contest rules.

    I hosted it on the gallery provided by DAZ because attaching a file doesn't work for me (as it was my first picture hosted here, it was also a way to check if the picture was in line with DAZ general rules regarding user content).

    An Afternoon at the Park

    I listed all ressources used and part of the creation process here.

    Before writing about what skills I used the most, let's start with the one I use the less: lightning. It's still a subject I'm not confortable with: I am by no mean an expert with the other skills I'll write about later, but with them, I feel like I understand the principles governing them. With lightning, well, it could be magic for all I know and to date, among my renders, those I liked the most were done outdoor, using the good old sun as the sole light source. So for this project, I did the same.

    I played a bit with the date and time system, but the default setting got me what I wanted: a source of light behind Victoria, not blinding her while she's enjoying her book. It's of course not without downside, but more on that later too.

    To build the scene, I spend some time in simulation, in part because I had to learn to be really really thorough in checking that simulation freeze was ON on pieces of clothes I didn't want to simulate anymore blush (and saving before launching a simulation). I also built a fake bench with primitives, to make the simulation of the blanket easier: before using a primitive, I was kit bashing, using a duvet to have some volume, but the final result wasn’t worst the headache … a primitive still gets the idea of Victoria using something to make the bench more comfortable without all the clippings induced by the duvet.

    On posing, I didn’t do that much on Victoria herself: like I wrote in the gallery page, I’m using a G8F base pose, and I modified that pose here and there. I moved Victoria’s arms then her head to make sure she was looking at her book (it’s not visible, but her eyes are pointing at the book smiley). I spent some time posing her hairs, because they were clipping with the back of her top and I don’t have the skill set to solve that clipping in a different manner (I checked if the part that clipped with the hairs was on its own surface setting, to make that part disappear, but it was not the case). Not totally related to Victoria, but when I thought about using an invisible dev G9 with Victoria’s Body and Proportion, to pose the shoes on the floor, well, I know it’s not much, but I was happy! (I now know that there is a solution to use shoes as props).

    I jokingly wrote that I may have spent more time posing the bag (I do love that bag), but the truth is most of the time spent posing for that project is not visible on the final result because it’s time I spent posing other people or props due to the difficulty I had in composing the picture: due to my lightning choice (not helped by the posing of the hairs), Victoria’s face is not very well lighted, which mean hiding it, but which also mean that if I choose a landscape orientation for my camera, I had a lot of empty space, space I was trying to file with characters and props. In a way, the fact that Victoria was laying also played a role, because I thought landscape orientation was the more convenient way to render the scene. At one point, I had dinosaurs forgotten by a child in the bench near Victoria’s leg, a couple chatting in the bench opposite to her, a tree, and so on.

    What saved me and helped me send the whole circus of dinosaurs and props and characters back to their homes was adding the birds in the sky (with a primitive plane and how to only keep the birds and not the rest of the photo used), because suddenly, I could fill the sky with something in a cheap and fast way: almost no posing, not much impact on the performance of my computer (I’m rendering on CPU only) or my wallet laugh. It’s opened a space I didn’t think I could use, and, as an important bonus, in a way allowing me to keep the lovely bag fully visible (some ways of framing the picture were not so bad, but the bag’s legs were hidden crying).

    I have already written too much (and it’s a bit late too), so I’ll stop here: I hope you’ll like the render and I’m open to suggestions and advice.

    Post edited by Elor on
  • ElliandraElliandra Posts: 490

    The forums are having issues with images it seems.
    @Elor - I was able to see the image via your "here" link to the gallery page and it's really lovely!! The lighting actually reads really well as afternoon lighting and warms up the image nicely. Love the Rainy Koo bag!

  • ElorElor Posts: 837
    edited August 2023

    Thank you for your kind words and your edit smiley

    Regarding the picture not appearing, as much as I like to say that I'm innocent and the forum is at fault, I think it's a mistake on my part (I had the same problem with my message in the Llola Lane’s render a month challenge topic): yesterday, I spent a lot of time changing the main picture of the gallery page, because I saw some mistakes here and there (one didn't have the postwork, another I forgot the signature, etc.) and I had so many open tabs than I'm sure I got the link from one with an outdated main picture instead of the last version blush

    Hopefully, the picture should now be directly visible after my last edit blush

    Post edited by Elor on
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