November 12, 2021 Allison

How To Achieve Realism In Daz Studio?

Daz Studio is a software application developed and offered for free by Daz 3D. Daz Studio is a 3D scene creation and rendering application used to produce images as well as video. Renders can be done by leveraging either the 3Delight render engine, or the Iray render engine, both of which ship for free along with Daz Studio, or with a variety of purchasable add-on render engine plugins for Daz Studio from various vendors and companies.

Daz Studio also supports the import and export of various file formats for 3D objects and animations to allow for the use of other 3D content within Daz Studio, as well as to get content out of Daz Studio for use in other 3D applications.

There are a lot of factors that go into creating a realistic render, this article will point you in the right direction as you learn to balance rendering vs. reality to achieve realism in Daz Studio!

Giullara by BlueFingers – Achieve Realism In Daz Studio


Lighting is very important to achieve the best results in your render. When you first load Daz Studio, every scene is going to contain some light by default. This can be very helpful at first, since you are able to see exactly what you are working on without adding a single light. That said, these default lights most likely won’t be satisfactory, and will need to be removed.

Removing Default Lighting

Removing the default lighting in Daz Studio is simple. If you are rendering with NVIDIA IRAY, there is a default Environment Map that loads, which is a source of light information within the scene. We can start by removing this, so you can add custom lights.

  1. Select Render Settings from the top menu toolbar
  2. Select the Editor The Environment option will become available at the bottom of the menu list.
  3. Choose the picture under Environment Map. A drop-down menu will appear.
  4. Select “None.” This will remove the default map and lighting information associated with it.

Finally, there is a light in the scene wherever you look, and that is referred to as a Headlamp. Think of it like this: everything you see in Daz Studio is through the lens of a camera, and that camera has a small light strapped to the top of it. It shines everywhere you look. Not only does this light help you see while you are designing, but it will also render into the scene if you don’t remove it. To do that:

  1. Go back to the Editor tab and select General.
  2. Within the Auto Headlamp section, you can select Never to completely remove the scene, or you can experiment with the When No Scene Lights feature, which should only have the headlamp on when you have placed no other lights into the scene

For Starters, Use A High-Quality HDRI

Now that you have removed the defaults, you can add in your own lights. This will take a lot of practice and experimentation. A great way to start is by using a high-quality HDRI, or High Dynamic Range Imaging. You can find plenty of awesome HDRI images in Daz shop, or you can import your own. Not only do HDRIs give you a realistic background to work with, they also generally provide very good lighting information that will help your renders look more realistic. You will load the HDRI in the same spot where the default Environment Map is removed. Combined with normal scene lights, you should be able to create breathtaking lighting and realism in your renders.

If you want to improve quality and aren’t worried about longer render times, look for 4K or higher HDRIs. Keep in mind that if you aren’t rendering in 4K, using a 4K HDRI is only going to make it take longer and use more resources on your computer, without actually bringing better results in the end.

Shaders, Materials, And Textures

These are major factors in how something appears when rendered in 3D. When working with materials, limitations you will encounter can arise from how the asset was created by the original artist. Not all assets are created equally, so as a beginner, play it safe and invest in a few premium assets. The Genesis 8 and 8.1 figures are overall excellent. Many of the skin textures are being created carefully from high-quality human reference photos, thus allowing for the highest levels of realism when viewed with the right lighting and render settings.

Make sure that all the materials you are using are configured properly for the render engine you are using, either Iray or 3Delight.

“Full of grace” by Saidge42 – Achieve Realism In Daz Studio

Posing And Placement

All of the previous tips focus on very subtle aspects of realism, aspects that must be present, yet when done right are easily overlooked and taken for granted. Posing and placement is crucial to getting your renders more realistic for more obvious reasons. 3D models have rigs, but those rigs don’t behave the same limitations as your bones do! So, make sure you pose your subjects in natural ways. Spend time getting the facial expressions to look natural, rather than forced, rigid, or empty. Make sure everything is resting on the ground that is supposed to be, such as figures and objects.

Render Settings And Iterations

Finally, comes the actual rendering. Finding the right settings is crucial in order to get the best results. The trick with render settings, however, is that one size does not fit all. Every image is going to call for something a little different, and different artists have different tolerances. Sure, you could turn every quality setting to maximum and get amazing results, if you don’t mind letting your computer run for 4 days!

Some settings that can help improve realism are found in the Filtering section of Render Settings Editor. Turn on the Firefly Filter. You can also use the Pixel Filter to help smooth out your final render. These tools can help remove grainy defects or the appearance of fireflies, the small dots of colors that can appear while rendering. Keep in mind that using these can increase render times.

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Source & pictures: Daz 3D blog


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