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All Gloss and no Substance,
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This review is from: Figures, Characters and Avatars: The Official Guide to Using DAZ StudioTM to Create Beautiful Art (Paperback)
Before buying this book I read the three reviews and was intrigued by the markedly different appraisals from experienced users versus new users. I am a complete novice, having clocked up only about 9 hours using the software, in which time I could see that DAZ Studio Pro 4 is an amazingly powerful program with a daunting learning curve - which is like looking up from the foot of a glass cliff. So...I decided to take the plunge and invest my money this book and this is what I found: the book is a glossy introduction to the product with very little nitty-gritty to help a novice accomplish tasks that are outside the main premise, which is that the user should purchase as many commercial pre-set products as possible (figures, clothes, hair, props and scenes) and use them in standard poses. DAZ do not make money out of people wanting to import their own stuff into the program or use the software to do anything that is genuinely creative. For example, of the 24 different file formats that can be imported into DAZ Studio Pro 4, the book only mentions only one, the ".obj" file format, in passing, (in the section which describes how to make one's own 3D scene in Bryce, one of the most interesting passages in the book). The description of UV Sets provides a good example of how limited the scope of the book is: "UVs are the coordinates of the textures and other surface attributes on a model. By changing the UVs you can change the position of surface qualities on a model. Usually the artist sets up the UVs and there is very little call to change them. Some models will have multiple UV sets. You can change a UV set with this feature" - that's it that's ALL there is on UV sets. I still don't even know what "UV" stands for, but I get that it is something that "the artists" have fixed to the optimum parameters and they think it is best that I should leave it alone, in case I break it. I think this section on UV sums up the stance of the book as a whole. I imagine Mattel don't much like the kids who make their own little clothes for their Barbie dolls and likewise DAZ would prefer it if you just brought all the goodies from them. I have decided to use the book as a file, so that I can add in my own hand-written pages, as I learn how to use this incredible software.