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The Complete Guide to DAZ Studio 4 Paperback – 3 Sep 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (3 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849694087
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849694087
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 162,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Paolo Ciccone

Paolo Ciccone is a software engineer and photographer who lives in Santa Cruz, California. He has been developing software for more than 20 years in a large series of disciplines, including IDEs (JBuilder) and 3D modeling and rendering. His field of expertise is developing multiplatform applications (Mac OS and Windows) that help computer graphics artists achieve photorealistic results.

In 2010, he founded Prêt-à-3D (www.preta3d.com), a company dedicated to bringing high-end computer graphics tools to the masses. His Reality software for Poser and DAZ Studio has been used for video game illustration and for the preproduction of Hollywood large budget movies such as Jurassic Park IV and Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

For more than two decades, Paolo has taught all kinds of classes, from training for large corporations to live workshops about 3D graphics.

Paolo's experience with 3D software started in 1999, with the first public version of Blender, and then evolved to include other programs, including DAZ Studio, which he has used since version 1.0. Paolo is very active in the online community and he publishes a weekly blog covering topics about 3D graphics.


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Niall on 26 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There seems to be heavy concentration on the Mac version of the software. The proofreading could have been better. It does, however, give some insight into making reasonably attractive pictures with DAZ, and I'd have loved to have had something like this 5 or so years ago when I first started using it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Peter Holgate on 24 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback
I've not read the book yet, just glanced through it. I purchased it from the publisher and obtained a free copy in eBook format (Kindle in my case). The eBook illustrations are in full colour, but the printed illustrations are all in (heavy) black & white - not very useful when trying to see any highlighted references, and the paper is not as good quality as one would expect. Thus the one star rating even before reading.

Now that I've read the book, I am unable to change the star rating - it is still only worth the one star.
It seems to be that the images were intended to be printed in B&W only as there are several referrals to the colour image that can be downloaded. Whilst this is useful, it is not practical whilst trying to follow the book's suggested steps within DAZ to hunt for the correct image as well.
The author uses Mac and does a reasonable conversion for Windows users, except at the point that it's most needed, that of installing New Content where he ONLY handles the Mac folder structures.
The title is totally misleading - The Complete Guide to DAZ Studio 4 - as it should be titled "An Overview (Plus) to DAZ Studio 4". The content reasonably covers the basics for beginners but there are so many areas that have not been covered, yet the author deigns to cover (at length 10% of the pages) explaining how to find content on web-sites, another whole chapter on external renderers (including his own DAZ plug-in (£25 average cost)) and yet another major chapter (another 10% by page count) on modo (a 3D creation tool) which is not the reason I purchased the book.

To summarise, usable as a beginner, but "Figures, Characters and Avatars: The Official Guide to Using DAZ Studio to Create Beautiful Art" by Les Pardew is a better choice for beginners (I've read that one too and it's in colour), but NOT useful for others trying to go further.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 17 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A step in the right direction... 28 Oct. 2013
By W. Watson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At first glance, I have to say that this book is definitely a step in the right direction, but I wouldn’t call this a complete guide. In the areas of Daz Studio that Mr. Ciccone does cover, he does a good job of going over the material. However, Chapters 10 and 11 are devoted entirely to the Reality Plugin(Not a part of Daz studio, but a plugin that you can purchase –the key point being it’s not Daz Studio.) and Modo(A 3D modeling /animation package in its own right –also not a part of Daz Studio.) That’s sixty six pages out of 316 pages total of text that’s devoted to other programs and not Daz Studio. While in the meantime, there were parts of the program that were not covered at all, like D-Formers and ERC –which are key elements of working within Daz Studio if you’re ever going to go beyond simply posing and hitting the render button.

The only other negative thing I observed that he works in the Apple operating environment and was very good at showing the Apple commands and working out what to do on an Apple computer. However, if you don’t own a Mac, that makes all of that effort pretty much useless.

With that being said –I don’t look at this as a negative review. There is a lot of useful information contained in this book. If you’re brand new to Daz Studio, reading this book will give you a lot more knowledge than you had when you started. I like the fact that Mr. Ciccone took the time to explain Specular, Diffuse and other material types. A lot of books don’t cover that in a lot of detail –they just expect everyone to know it. I liked the fact that he also takes you to the Major sites for finding Daz Studio content like Runtime DNA, Renderosity and Sharecg. There are some great pointers for workflow that would have helped me out a lot in the beginning if I’d known that to begin with. He discusses setting up cameras and gives a little bit of insight into lighting and using cameras vs. the perspective view to setup your renders, and why it’s important. He discusses the genesis platform in detail, including a bit on using the dials to create a morph of the genesis character, which I think was long overdue. Beyond that, he uses an example that is not based on the much overused –Firey Genesis (I can’t tell you how much I hate that scene. People use it to death when they talk about teaching Daz Studio…).

I’m still going over the book in detail, but a couple of final thoughts come to mind. The pictures need to be in color. You can only illustrate so much about the application with grey scale, and it makes it impossible to see the accents he’s trying to point out on certain parts of Daz Studio because the lines are so fine. In order for me to call it a complete guide –there would have needed to be a chapter devoted to 3delight render –which is the native render of Daz Studio. This book is a good start, but there are several omissions of key components that prevent me from personally calling it a "Complete Guide". It would have been far better to name this volume “The Beginner’s Guide to Daz Studio.”
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Almost Complete Beginners Guide to DAZ Studio 4 30 Dec. 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I remember the first time I installed DAZ Studio. Amazing that it was only two years ago. The program is incredibly user friendly but there are still so many questions, and at that time there was no choice but to head into the forums and hope that someone could help out. Things have changed a little since then. DAZ now have their own user guide, but the document is still very light at around 100 pages. Huge gaps are left.

Enter Paolo's Complete Guide. It is clear and concise and I'd love to say this is the answer to all our questions but even this reasonably weighty 350+ page book does not cover everything. Like others have said in their reviews, the book is anything but "Complete", and fills more of a role as a beginners guide. Even in this role there are some gaps, for instance, it does not cover "advanced" render settings and offers only the most cursory examination of DAZ Studio's default shaders. This stuff is essential and fundamental to the Studio experience, but neither Paolo or DAZ give enough weight to these subjects.

However, I would highly recommend the book for all new users. Paolo takes us from the very first baby steps in Studio, right through to the creation of basic additional content. We are shown how to configure the interface for a much more fluid experience, and organise content (which is a nightmare under default conditions). We are shown how to create basic and more complex scenes complete with characters.

One of the biggest hurdles for new users is lighting. In most render engines lights just don't work how lights do out here in real space, and for most it takes a huge amount of trial and error to get a grip on the situation. Paolo takes us through the work flow of lighting a scene that results in a reasonably impressive image. Not only does he provide a scene and steps that are easy to replicate he explain the whole process and the reasons for the choices he makes. This one section of the book alone is worth a good deal of the book's price.

One of the more contentious inclusions in this book is the chapter on Reality (created by the author of the book) and LuxRender. For the bulk of DAZ Studio users this is irrelevant. Undeniably Reality is popular, but there is already plenty of material out there on this DAZ Studio plugin. The time here would have been better spent on discussing 3Delight and how to work with it. 3Delight is DAZ Studio's default render engine, reasonably popular in the industry and based on and compatible with Pixar's Renderman. This section is however a good introduction to LuxRender and Reality and hopefully a fair portion of readers will find it a useful inclusion.

So, as someone who is obsessed with 3D arts and a relatively advanced Studio user I highly recommend Paolo's book to anyone just starting out with the program, and those who have been struggling away with it and looking for quick answers.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Like that it's easy to follow. Don't like that the author wastes a lot of pages for not-free products. 7 Feb. 2014
By Pro Beginner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's quite easy to have chit-chat style (although some paragraphs are redundant such as "As described in Chapter 3..." and repeat the procedures again)
In Chapter 4, instead of going into the details of morphs, the author ask his readers to buy a product and wastes many pages to illustrate it.
In Chapter 11, instead of introducing free stuff like Sculptris, the author ask his readers to buy Modo.

I don't know. I give 4 stars because I recommend this book to my fellow beginners. But I don't like the way the author has done his way. He expresses his opinion how he dislikes DAZ UI. I wish he would listen to what I don't like, too.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Great Book For Daz Beginners 29 Jan. 2014
By Keith Young - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Complete Guide to Daz Studio is a great resource for people who want to learn how to use Daz Studio to create awesome 3D graphics.

Being a longtime user of Daz Studio I was a little skeptical as to just how much I could learn from “The Complete Guide to Daz Studio” by Paolo Ciccone.

I was very pleasantly surprised that I learned some new things about the program in the very first chapter! I found this book to be a fun and easy to grasp guide, in that the author is very clear and concise with his descriptions and exercises. Like all expert instructors, he not only tells you what to do, or how to do it, but he also tells you why, which is very important when you’re trying to venture off on your own with what you’ve learned in the book.

Guide to Daz Studio Revies-01

I really like the way this book gets right down to business. Right in the first chapter, you learn how to use the Daz interface and even modify it if you want to. In the same chapter, but after being guided through the Daz set up, the author walks you through how to add characters, and how to add and conform clothing and hair. Before the chapter is over you have created a complete scene and your very first render.

Each chapter is jam packed with great instructions and tips for getting the best out of Daz Studio.

Guide to Daz Studio Revies-02

If you’re looking for a no-nonsense guide that is going to help you to master the awesome power of Daz Studio, then “The Complete Guide to Daz Studio” is the book for you.

I highly recommend this book for both beginners and seasoned users of Daz Studio.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
You cannot ask for a better guide. 10 Mar. 2014
By C. Knight - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I started using DAZ Studio a little over a year ago. I found the software difficult, mostly because I'm not really technologically minded, and the controls didn't seem intuitive, especially for someone like myself who had never done anything like this before.

I became familiar with the author, Paolo Ciccone, when I purchased his Reality 2 software (a plugin for use with LuxRender via DS). I noticed that he was very responsive and knowledgeable on his website to questions from users. I admire that so, when I saw the book, even though I've become more comfortable with DS and I wasn't sure he'd cover new ground for me, I decided it would be good to have anyway so I purchased it. I'm really glad I did. If you want to use DAZ Studio to it's full potential, this book is a must have reference and tutorial.

It was written in a clear and concise manner and I wish I'd had this book when first starting out, it would have saved me so much frustration. Even those who are familiar with the software won't regret the purchase. It's well worth it.
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