November 2023 - Daz 3D New User Challenge - Materials and next level Kitbashing

ElliandraElliandra Posts: 490

New User's Challenge – November, 2023

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 a while and would like to help other members start their creative journey? Well then come and join the fun as we host our newest challenge.

We continue 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 be sure to list in your post which Challenge level you are participating in*


Closing date for both is November 30, 2023

For a list of the current challenge rules, please see this thread: Challenge Rules

They apply for both versions of the challenge.

Post edited by Elliandra on


  • ElliandraElliandra Posts: 490
    edited October 2023

    Beginner Challenge - Materials!

    From shiny polished gems to rough bark, and from silk to leather! This month's focus will be on Materials and Surfaces. One of the most important aspects of a great render is the effective use of materials. Effective surface settings can add realism, style, and visual interest to an image. This month we will be concentrating on how to create and manipulate the surfaces on the objects in your scene.

    Also, keep in mind all the various items covered over the past several months. They will affect the way your materials look in your final rendered scene.

    Previous Challenges on this topic:

    November 2017

    November 2018

    November 2019

    November 2020

    November 2021

    November 2022

    Helpful Links:

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

    Daz Studio Tutorials:

    Daz 101: Surfaces by Daz 3D (video)
    Iray Surfaces and What They Mean by Sickleyield
    The Iray Uber Base Shader by Daz 3D (video)
    Daz 3D Tutorial: Make anything a light source by Daz 3D (video)
    Daz 3D Tutorial: Using bump and displacement maps by Daz 3D (video)

    A more recent recording of a stream by Jay Versluis:

    In the Studio with DAZ3d - Shaders and Materials

    In case you want to work with filament:

    Daz3d Animation Series: animation_filament


    Bryce Tutorials:

    A compilation of tutorials for Bryce, there is a lot about materials to find there as well by Daz 3D

    Other helpful places:

    3Delight - Uberenvironment made easy!

    This is more in depth and experimental for the 3delight renderer: 3Delight Laboratory Thread: tips, questions, experiments

    Post edited by Elliandra on
  • ElliandraElliandra Posts: 490
    edited October 2023

    Intermediate Challenge - Next Level kitbashing!

    Create something new from clothing and/or props you already own, re-texture, and make it look as one again!  

    So you already know how to change shader presets, and give your character a sweat sheen but you want to combine different outfits and make them look as one? You want this tag on the shirt or a hole in that door or create a whole new building from your Library? Then this challenge is for you.

    Some parts of this challenge are easier when using an image manipulation program like (free software) Paint Net, KritaGimp or (paid software) Photoshop to prepare the new texture(s).

    The tools you might want to use are Geometry Editor and Layered Image Editor (LIE). Understanding UV maps will help you with the more advanced use of materials and surfaces.

    Geometry Editor Tutorial

    Beginners guide to Daz Studio Layered Image Editor

    DAZ : LIE Quick How To

    DAZ Studio Tutorial - Layered Image Editor - Make your own Tattoos (nudity)

    Tutorial: Adding Surfaces and Striped Texture to a T-Shirt

    Daz Studio UV Maps

    Fixing UV maps in DAZ Studio (got to say it's not happening in DAZ Studio, it's just used in DAZ Studio)

    Painting on Uv Maps for Daz, Different ways to add texture/color to figures

    Daz 3D Tutorial: Use "cut and paste" functions for Textures in Iray

    Post edited by Elliandra on
  • hilbertvanderstaalhilbertvanderstaal Posts: 22
    edited November 2023

    Intermediate Challenge: Next Level kitbashing

    Title:  "Faith's Hymn - Anne Askew"


    Dear Anne, 

    I seem to have lost my faith. In this lonesome, quiet, deep of the night, I question everything and I fear shadows brought to life by flame. These black days are the backdrop to a void in which I find myself suspended. How much longer am I to endure this uncertainty? I long to find relief from pain. 

    You did not have time to heal. You were not nurtured by loved ones after your torment. You were not held by kind gazes nor enveloped by soothing balms. You were not carried home by a show of human kindness. 

    I take solace in your ridiculous strength and in your stubborn, relentless perseverance. I find myself mesmerised by your restless search for freedom fueled by phenomenal faith. I recognise in you this innocent love for honesty parleyed with calculated frailty. I am enamoured by your enactment of free will.

    What if there is an elemental chamber in our hearts through which the soul gifts its journey back to something less fragmented than itself; a larger consciousness where misconceptions coincide to make one truth?

    Oh Anne, my words are full of me and my experiences. There is no other way for me to thank you for your path and your courage but by way of being myself. I have no other senses but my own and that is both comforting and challenging to say the least. That is why I am remain hopeful there is a door in my heart I can always walk through, which takes me to a place where whatever I have lost I can find again.  

    Somehow I know you are there. 

    Yours truly,

    A friend


    Letter in collaboration with and written by my wive. She's been reading and studying about Anne.


    This portrait is based on one of very few known - but debated - paintings of Anne Askew, by Hans Eworth. I started this composition by sculpting her face and body as close as I could to the original painting, with the morphing tools listed below. Then, when I had the pose right - her 'clasping' hands were very important for me to get accurate - I began with the basic first round in picking out her clothing. And when I had the first 'sketch' in that, I made sure to focus on the lighting first, since it was still a small file to render. Two of the main things to accomplish were the shadow on the backdrop behind the figure and the darker shadow on the left cheek. The colour tone of the render is pretty clean and not as warm as the original, to bring more realism and because paintings yellow over time. Then it was time to work on the clothing again. Especially the French hood took a long time. It is constructed out of multiple items - as with the gown, which has sleeves from a different vest and ruffs, cuffs and a fur collar are added too. Some jewelry is also combined to make new pieces out of it. On the French hood and the ruff collar I made use of the 'Geometry Editor' a lot, and to get the desired shape I used the built-in 'D-Former' tool and the 'Mesh Grabber' tool. The latter one is especially very convenient when objects are intersecting. Almost everything is re-textured, this was done with the help of a study I found online, which described a lot of materials of her outfit. There is no 'post-editing' done on this render, besides her famous quote, my initials and a corresponding date.

    Products used:

    Ensley HD & Expressions HD for Genesis 8 Female

    Genesis 8 Female Body Morphs
    Genesis 8 Female Head Morphs
    EJ Face Morphs And Details for Genesis 8 Female(s) Not available in Daz store anymore.
    200 Plus Head and Face Morphs for Genesis 8 Female(s)
    Breast Control Genesis 8 Female(s)

    The Victorian Gown for Genesis 2 Female(s)
    dForce Steampunk Outfit for Genesis 8 Female(s)
    Puffer Coat with dForce Fur Trim for Genesis 8 and 8.1 Females
    dForce Dark Wave Fantasy French Hood for Genesis 8.1 Female
    Irregular Ruff 2 Not from Daz store.
    Hydron Suit for Genesis 8 Female(s)

    2021-12 Hair for Genesis 8 and 8.1
    dforce Fringe Benefits Hair for Genesis 3 and 8.1 Female
    Rhogue HD for Genesis 8 Female
    Evangeliya HD For Genesis 8 Female

    Egyptian - Or Not for Genesis 8 Female
    Bejeweled Bundle 2: Arm Cuffs, Bangles, Rings and Toe Rings Not available in Daz store anymore.
    Body Chains 3 for Genesis 3 and 8.1 Females
    Royal Jewels for Genesis 8 Female(s)
    Noir Accessories for Genesis 8 and 8.1 Females 

    Lighting + props:
    Infinity HDRI Lighting Volume 2
    BOSS Pro Light Set for Portraits & Promos

    Post edited by hilbertvanderstaal on
  • @hilbertvanderstaal_1918b8a3d1
    Gorgeous render I'd say you hit it spot on with the look and posing!!

  • hilbertvanderstaal_1918b8a3d1 said:


    Very impressive piece of work!

  • f.boschanski said:

    hilbertvanderstaal_1918b8a3d1 said:


    Very impressive piece of work!

    thank you so much!

  • Elliandra said:

    Gorgeous render I'd say you hit it spot on with the look and posing!!

    Thanks! ✨

  • I for some reason cannot view the image :(  

    Screenshot 2023-11-05 052937.png
    826 x 314 - 11K
  • dreamcatcherphoto said:

    I for some reason cannot view the image :(  

    how about now? It was the same for me, i refreshed the image link

  • hilbertvanderstaal said:

    dreamcatcherphoto said:

    I for some reason cannot view the image :(  

    how about now? It was the same for me, i refreshed the image link

    There we go now I can see it....Very nice work! 

  • Shinji Ikari 9thShinji Ikari 9th Posts: 1,169
    edited November 2023

    Here's my start for this month.  I haven't decided on a location yet, so while I did a bit of kitbashing on my characters outfit, I'll more then likely be aiming at working on materials this month as the locations I'm thinking of using were from before Iray was added to Daz Studio and thus will have to be converted to look good.

    500 x 500 - 144K
    Post edited by Shinji Ikari 9th on
  • @Shinji Ikari 9th
    Very cool outfit! I would suggest shrinking down the Fire Effect a little as it looks like there's blowback hitting your MC ;)

  • @Elliandra, thanks for your feedback, I'll have to take a look after I get home from work though.

  • Shinji Ikari 9thShinji Ikari 9th Posts: 1,169
    edited November 2023

    Got version B here.  I chose the environment and did some texture work like with the glass we're looking through and making the overhead lights emissive light sources.  I also tried messing with the morphs on the fireball prop a little.

    Edit - I also changed the size of the image to help give a scale of the fireball.

    1000 x 563 - 416K
    Post edited by Shinji Ikari 9th on
  • @Shinji Ikari 9th
    ooo very cool I love the looking through the glass effect! The slight rotation on the camera and extended view also make the flames really pop!

  • Got Version C here fresh from off the render engine.  I did some retexturing of parts of the hallway that my character is in on this one.

    1000 x 562 - 438K
  • @Shinji Ikari 9th
    The new background really gives the scene more depth!! Great job!

  • Title: Say Cheese

    Challenge: Beginner


    When I saw this challenge, I had just bought, thinking it might be a good dress for a child character if I could make it look cute instead of creepy by changing the materials. I wished to make the doll less creepy too.  I never intended to make it into a full scene, but it reminded me of the photos my parents took of me back in the sixties. So I added some props and a random sky HDRI and this image was born.

    Yes, she’s standing right smack dab in the middle of the picture, the lighting is meh (but looks like the sunny days in Florida I remember so well), and the camera angle is uninspiring, It looks exactly like what it is: a noob render. But there is a method to my madness. It resembles those old pictures from my childhood, though this render would never be mistaken for an actual photograph.

    The shaders on the doll, the stockings, and the shoes come from, which I am finding invaluable for changing materials on all sorts of things. The shaders on the dress were purchased elsewhere, as were the props. Other Daz products I used are:




    hair flower:




    This is the first render I have ever posted anywhere. Though far from perfect, it is a start. Constructive criticism is always welcome.


    Say Cheese 01.jpg
    989 x 921 - 331K
  • @StarKittee
    Welcome to the party!!
    I love the retro feel you have going on in the image! It does remind me of the photos my folks used to make me and my brother take as well!!
    I have to say for a first shared render this is really really good! The pose looks natural but still has that "yea mom I'm smiling" feel to it lol
    As far as things I'd suggest changing up a little I would drop the Opacity/Transparency on the rose petals to around 98% (via the Surface Tab) this will give them a softer, more natural look (it may however increase render times).

  • Hellkitty742Hellkitty742 Posts: 47
    edited November 2023

    Starkittee at the intial glance it didn't pop as in grab my attention...but as I look at it longer i find so many things i like about it, I am only a beginner myself in rendering but as a proffesional photographer I looked at it in a few different ways. I love the framing of the subject with the archway of the gazebo. I very much like the retro feel of an old photograph..though more colorful than those. I love the rembrant feel of the light actoss the subjects face and the light that falls through the open slots of the gazebo. So at first glance it didn't hit me...but as i looked further it really started to grab my attention. I for what it's worth Love it and it actually has a haunting effect as I can't get it out of my head lol. Nice work!


    Post edited by Hellkitty742 on
  • @Elliandra

    Thanks for the welcome, the compliments, and the advice. The roses do look a lot better with the opacity reduced as you can see in my second render. It only increased my render time by about thirty seconds, and I don’t have the most powerful computer out there. As for the expression, that is the exact look I was going for, which was how I felt all those years ago, and probably how my own kids felt when I took pictures of them a couple of decades later.



    Thank you, too, for the compliments. I’m glad you like it. You have a definite advantage being a professional photographer when it comes to rendering. I’m a rather poor photographer myself. Lighting is likely going to be the bane of my existence. The lighting here is just a HDRI. I haven’t yet tried to make my own lights.

    Say Cheese 02 jpg.jpg
    989 x 921 - 326K
  • Intermediate Challenge

    Title: Spaceship full of Robots

    This was just a quick idea I had for this month (couldn't do much more, this was a very busy month). The spaceship is made up of thirty IBOT D2 Robots. I made the exhausts by opening up the bottom of the robot, duplicating the robot (multiple times), and rotating them to get this effect. I wish I had time to do more, because I think I could make this much better. Background HDRI is Sci-Fi HDRI. The floating rocks are from Solar System Planets.

    Robot Spaceship 1.png
    5000 x 3750 - 8M
  • @marconft6
    Ok now that is a serious kitbash there I had no clue looking at the image that the entire ship was made up of copies of the IBOT D2!! Awesome job hun!!!

  • Hellkitty742Hellkitty742 Posts: 47
    edited November 2023

    My Submission for Beginner.

    I have been working on this image for a couple weeks it is still not where i want it as far a seperating and joining to the background but I am running out of time for this month to get this in. It's been a busy month for me so I have not been able to spend the time I wish on this challenge. The Render is named "Sable's Charge" 

    Sable 717rz 2400 revamped.jpg
    1800 x 2400 - 4M
    Post edited by Hellkitty742 on
  • Hellkitty742Hellkitty742 Posts: 47
    edited November 2023

    I have been trying to combine her with her enviroment better ...i have to be careful with lighting as i used volumetrics and it can really cause a lot of issues with some light. 

    Post edited by Hellkitty742 on
  • @dreamcatcherphoto
    Very cool render! I really like the outfit and the fx you have going on between the horse's glow and the trail behind it!
    Only thing I could suggest for lighting is to use spot and/or point lights to get the lighting/coloring where you want it and then adjust strengths from there!

  • Hellkitty742Hellkitty742 Posts: 47
    edited November 2023

    Elliandra said:

    Very cool render! I really like the outfit and the fx you have going on between the horse's glow and the trail behind it!
    Only thing I could suggest for lighting is to use spot and/or point lights to get the lighting/coloring where you want it and then adjust strengths from there!

    I set up an 8 point set up i learned from a tutorial video I bought and i loved how it brought the background up a notch, My biggest problem it the emissives as I can't really duck any light into them without getting a serious amount of grain from the particles. So all my lighting structures are high only. I think i'm pinned between the two back lights one for the walls and one for the subject's siloutte. and the foreground spot light . So basically i have been playing with intesities up and down to see which gives the best result so i know what direction i should go in. Everytime i think i get it and it looks good rendering the final product still comes out making the subject look like a cutout if you know what i mean. It's hard for me to explain clearly as I am new only a month into rendering or even using this program and I don't know all the correct terminology...for that i appologise. I am rendering large format at 5000px  so i can get the most out of the emmisives and be able to quell any rough spoting easier in the post processing. I kinda feel like I am caught between a rock and a hard place in this one i have been toying with it for a week or two. I am still at it...but think it may all come down to changing the angle to bring it altogether...i'm not sure. I agree with you 100% i feel this is just a playing with the different light intensities in the end 


    Post edited by Hellkitty742 on
  • I haven't given up just yet lol Just wanted to get it in so i could get some critiques or even help with this particular issue i am way late to this party and for that I appologise


  • Have you tried coloring some point lights to match the colors you need in the scene? Example would be the green from the horses glowies not that it needs more it's just easier to visualize lol

  • Elliandra said:

    Have you tried coloring some point lights to match the colors you need in the scene? Example would be the green from the horses glowies not that it needs more it's just easier to visualize lol

    it's more her upper body seems like its cut out against the background but you did give me a very solid idea...i think if i change the Kelvin Temprature of those two backlights  it might  just not be so harsh...then blend a little better i'm going to try that. Now we are cooking with fire :) it may not be the intesity but the color aka the temperature balance.


Sign In or Register to comment.