Creating a Character in Daz 3D - Viking Visual Art Tutorial

in hive-158694 •  8 days ago 

This is how I'm creating a new character for Daz 3D Studio. She may be used for a future cover - or not... I haven't decided yet. If nothing else, she will be put onto one of my character profiles for use in one of my stories. (I need another "generic" cover for a collection of short stories which don't fall into my Erotica series.)

Anyway, here is my character as she is finished...

07_finished_characterA.jpg

Now, I will show you, step-by-step, how I got here. This is a tutorial for absolute beginners on Daz 3D Studio, so if you've never encountered this amazing piece of FREE software, now is a good time to give it a try.

Note: Daz 3D does need a modern, good computer like an i7 or better with at least 8 MB of RAM. More would be better. Older may work, but it will be slower - which could become a problem when it comes time to render a picture. While it does run on Macintosh, Windows is your best bet and Linux (thus far) is completely incompatible with the software. (Please prove me wrong.)

(BTW, all images are larger than they appear here, so go ahead and open them in a new tab or whatever and take a better look - you should be able to see what's going on better there.)


Step 1 - How to select your figures

Today, I'm using only content that I've picked up at Daz (mostly for free, though there are a couple of pieces I've paid money for now.) It's straight forward to show you where to find your Daz content this way. (I'll go into third-party content another day.)

Your official Daz library is called "DAZ3D Content Library."
Mine got changed to "My DAZ3D Content" at some point when I was reorganizing everything. (Maybe I'll explain that further another day.)

Anyway, take a look at the next picture here...
In the lefthand column (unless you change things) is where your content library is. You want to select (for now):

  • "DAZ Studio Formats", then
  • "DAZ3D Content Library", then
  • "People", then
    the character you want - in this case, I've chosen Genesis 2 Male (though I'm actually going to be working with Genesis this time.

With "Genesis 2 Male" selected, you should see the preview as a picture (and helpfully designated "actor" in blue). Double-click on the picture preview to add him to your scene.

01_how_to_select_figures.jpg

Yes, your characters spawn nude (I added the stars in Photoscape to avoid an NSFW tag.) How "anatomically-correct" they are depends on the actor that you use. Some are very plain, like the gender-neutral Genesis (1) models and others are very detailed and/or have "plug-in" genitalia.

I also have Genesis 3 and Genesis 8 actors (they skipped 4-7 to bring their numbers in line with Victoria and Michael), but as I have tons more clothing/hair for Genesis 1 and 2, that's what I'm using today.

As I loaded my actors, I also moved them a little so that I can see them all at the same time. I put the men on one side, the ladies on the other. I used these (Translate) settings (lower right box):

  • Genesis 1 female x= -100
  • Genesis 1 male x= 100
  • Genesis 2 female x= -50, z= -100
  • Genesis 2 male x= 50, z= -100

(Note, each grid line equals increments of 100. x= right/left from the "front" perspective. y= up/down, z= forward/backward.)

So, now I have four characters with stars covering any offensive bits (aren't we humans silly?)

The next thing I'm going to do is assign one of my Genesis 1 actors a gender...


Step 2 - Apply desired morphs to your character

The morphs, as they come from DAZ 3D are found in the "characters" folder within the "genesis" (or "genesis 2," etc) folder.

I chose my Genesis 1 female to start with. You won't have so many options to begin with, but if you keep an eye on the bi-weekly freebies off the DAZ 3D website, you will quickly accumulate a collection of pieces to work with - all for free!

Applying a morph on Genesis 1 is extremely useful since it comes gender-neutral and with no skin color, just a boring piece of gray. (I mean, if you wanted a Gray, you would probably want it better than this anyway!)

Turns out, I had two female morphs easily available for my Genesis 1, so I used Surreality's Tamesis morph, which gave her a definite feminine shape and nice coloring. I also have a more African type, "Candice" which I'm likely to use at some point.

02_how_to_apply_morph.jpg

Next, we're going to get rid of the ugly stars and put some clothes on her...


Step 3 - Adding clothing

The clothing is in the (surprisingly) "clothing" folder within the "genesis" (or "genesis 2," etc) folder.

This time, I'm testing out the Roxana Yaroslavna set. I selected my Genesis actor, then double-clicked each piece of clothing, one at a time, and added it to her.

(Note: with a set like this, it shouldn't matter which pieces go on first, but generally speaking, you do want to start with the items that are closer to the skin first... layers should be layers like you were actually dressing a physical doll.)

03_how_to_apply_clothing.jpg

This particular outfit didn't have any extra "materials" to change the color or pattern of the clothing, but I'll show you on the hair - the process is the same. (Another time, I'll show you how to be more creative with the materials.)

Next is the hair.


Step 4 - Adding Hair

Just below the "clothing" folder is the "hair" folder where you will find (surprised?) the hair for your character.

Just as before, you will need to have the Genesis 1 actor selected, then double-click on your desired hairpiece. In this case, I've chosen "Sultry" hair as her outfit seemed to match this type of hair the best.

(I bought a bunch of hairpieces this spring when they were on sale for 1.99 each, so I bought ten of them for Genesis 1 and 2. I've spent more money on hair than anything else because it's unusual to find good hair for free.)

04_how_to_apply_hair.jpg

So, now you've got the hair on, we want to quickly take a look at the other colors available. (I will show you how to edit them another time.)

When I click open the folder for Sultry Hair, I see another folder called "Materials." I click on that and see the various colors in the preview box.

With the hair selected in the main screen (look at the top-right scene panel to make sure it's selected. If in doubt, click onto something else, then click the hair again), double-click on the material you're choosing. In this case, I clicked on the blonde option - mostly so you can see the difference.

05_how_to_change_haircolor.jpg

For my purposes, I returned to the more gingery color because that is the predominant hair color for the A'mara - as a genetic marker for this sub-race.

Anyway, now your character is built. You might want to add other things, like jewelry if you have any, but I am going to leave it alone for now. I also haven't added any make-up (though there were some options in the "materials" part of the character morph I chose today... I might add them later.)

Next, we're going to save our character for future use.


Step 5 - Saving the Character as a preset

I have found that creating characters and adding them into a set later saves a lot of time/hassle. So, you want to save your freshly made character so that you can play with her more later.

Strangely, you don't want to save it as a "character preset" - and I can't really tell you why as I have probably only done it once before I took other people's advice to save it as a "scene subset" instead. (I think it's more to do with the fact that I want to save the clothing and hair as well. "character preset" would be more to save any morphs you might have added to your person.)

So, go to "file" like in any other program, choose "save as" and "scene subset."

06_how_to_save_character.jpg

Next, it asks you to save it.
The default is to put it into "My Library" - but I added a "characters" folder to that, so I can keep them all in one place. If you have a name, go ahead and use that name, otherwise, I just said 00unnamed01. The first 00 is to force it to alphabetize at the top. The final 01 is the count so I can have 99 characters that are unnamed before I run into trouble. (Later, when I name them, I can go to the folder and change the name...)

AFTER you name the file, then it asks you which parts of the scene you want to save.

Make sure you have marked:

  • the actor you are using
  • all the pieces you added to it (and want to save to this character)

Make sure you do not have marked:

  • any other actors
  • any pieces for any other actors
  • any props for any other actors
  • any scene props

(Lights/cameras are optional - though there is a limit to how many cameras you will need - or lights. If you've put something very specific there, then go ahead and save it, but you probably don't need to. You'll add lights/cameras later anyway, if/when you need.)

In this case, I decided to hang onto the two sheaths I loaded when clothing her. I may or may not use them in the future, but at least I have them handy if I decide I like the idea.

06_how_to_save_characterB.jpg

So, here we are. One designed character. I don't know when she'll be used, but she probably will be at some point.

07_finished_characterA.jpg

Would you like to see another character? I probably won't go into quite as massive detail, but I can still go through it quickly if you think it would be helpful.


All work done by myself on: Photoscape, Gimp, Krita, and/or Daz 3D Studio

Crossposted on Uptrennd.

Past A'mara Books tutorials:

DAZ 3D tutorials (not A'mara Books related):

Organizing Daz 3D Studio content , Creating New Clothing Textures for Daz 3D , Testing 3rd Party Content in Daz 3D

Photo salvages:

Droplet, Bellis Daisy, Baby Blue Flowers, version 1, version 2, 2-Spot Ladybug, version 1, version 2, Bridge Over River Kennet

Coloring Tutorials & Mini-tutorials:

Zen colouring #43, Zen colouring #39, Zen colouring #38, Zen colouring #37, Zen colouring #36, Zen colouring #35, Zen colouring #34, Zen colouring #33,

Butterfly Colouring #11, Butterfly Colouring #10

Destruction Island Night Magic, Birds Over Sunset Waves , Starry Happy Little Rock , Winter Baker

Halloween Artwork:

2018 - Pumpkin Patch Harvest
2019 - Haunted Pumpkin House, Jack-o-Lantern Forest Cemetery, Shadow in a Misty Forest

Miscellaneous Artwork:

Painting Wooded Easter Eggs



Lori Svensen
author/designer at A'mara Books
photographer/graphic artist for Viking Visual
(Buy my work at RedBubble, TeePublic, PicFair and DeviantArt.)
verified author on Goodreads
(Buy my books at Books2Read and at LBRY)
find me on Twitter
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