Posts Tagged ‘Daz Studio’

Force Six, The Annihilators #48

Bunch of things going on.

New episode dropped that ends Force Six Season IV.

Force Six comic book cover- episode 48

Force Six 48 Look in the Eyes of the Dragon and Despair
The Dragon and Doll story arc reaches its exciting conclusion. What is the ultimate fate of Mr Jeopardy, Jean D’Pardoe? Is love destined to be star-crossed or will a passion cross stars and create a third chance? Find out in the fateful and final episode of Force Six Season IV. The Dragon and The Doll Part VII, Episode 48 Look in the Eyes of the Dragon and Despair. Drawn and Drafted by Drew Spence.

Force Six comic page
Force Six comic page sample

Force Six, The Annihilators

They were a team of specialists assembled to bring order to a chaotic universe. Something went wrong when right became their final choice. See the transformation from Renegade outcasts to Legends. They are Force Six, The Annihilators. Drew Spence writes and illustrates a graphic comic, mixing science fiction with science fantasy. It’s a superhero space saga as a group of renegades, gifted with special abilities and artificial enhancements, charge and change the fate of all those they come across. They are the Force Six, The Annihilators and this is the story of their rise, fall and ultimate redemption.

Iray Lighting Solutions Tutorial Set

Daz Studio Product Release


Lighting your indoor or outdoor set in Daz Studio can be one of the most time consuming activities when setting up a scene for render. Most artists will have lighting as a pain point during their workflow and it is not always easy to get to the root cause of why lighting may not work on a set.

In this tutorial set, Drew Spence shows you how to set up lights from scratch for both indoor and outdoor environments. He also picks his top ten recommended resources from the Daz store and demonstrates how these work, saving you time in your workflow.

Drew has designed lighting for hundreds of sets for the production of his Force Six, The Annihilators and comic series and he is pleased to share his lighting experience and adventures in creativity.

This product includes

Search transcription integrated inside the videos. Find search results on the video timeline. Every word spoken is indexed. Maximise the use of your tutorial’s content. Tutorial videos include subtitles

About the Presenter Drew Spence

Drew Spence is a graphic comic writer and illustrator from the United States. He creates under the title of The Dynamic Universe . He has combined his music and video into several works- including Mark of the Griffin , which is both a graphic novel and web series. He is part of the instrumental group Fallout Shelter which provides the soundtrack. The other band members are Domino Grey , Dynamics Plus and Xodus Phoenix.

What’s Included and Features

  • Iray Lighting Solutions Tutorial Set
    • Four MP4 videos
    • Searchable integrated transcripts
    • Subtitles included
  • Part 1 : Indoor Lighting for Iray
  • Total running time : 35 minutes (introduction) + 1 hour and 16 minutes (main session)
  • Section 1 : Creating lights from scratch
  • Case study used : Medieval chamber set with fireplace and candle lights; designing lighting for a fantasy set
    • Why monitor calibration can be essential for your art
    • Composition focus : ensuring the main subject(s) are well lit and highlighted
    • Point lights
      • How point lights work
      • Types of paint light
      • The advantage of linear point lights
      • Point light geometry
      • Recommended Luminous Flux Settings
    • Spotlights
      • Lighting a specific area
      • Positioning
      • Beam length
      • Applying to the main subject
      • Using a spot light to creating leading lines
    • Emissive Lighting
      • Adding an emissive.
      • Flame props
  • Section 2 : Product Recommendations
  • Case study used : Dramatic medieval keep set with three characters
    • Consistency in lighting for sequential art
    • How to use IRay light probes
      • Selecting colours and intensities
      • Keeping light levels low for light probes
    • Demonstration of flaming torch products
    • How to use a Ghost Light Kit
      • Selecting light colours
      • Placing ghost lights underneath characters.
      • Test of an Iray ghost light kit 3 (God Rays) through a window
    • Epic props : Godrays and volumetric light for Iray
      • Particle spread in god rays
      • Volumetric light through a window, great for dramatic atmospheres.
    • Recommended Learning Task Included
  • Part 2 : Outdoor Lighting for Iray
  • Total running time :30 minutes (introduction) + 1 hour and& 20 minutes (main session)
  • Section 1 : Using DAZ Studio’s Built in Lighting
  • Case study used : Using an island beach set with a single character
    • Picking the render frame size
    • The Sun
    • Default HDRI background : The default lighting conditions for a set.
    • Sky dome mode options
    • Dome rotation
    • Using Iray Sky 36
    • The headlamp off
    • Iray settings : About tone Mapping
    • Iray settings : Camera properties
    • Checking the sun in an environment
    • Duplicating the sun and using this as an additional lighting source
    • Blend renders in postwork (same scene lit differently) for final lighting options.
    • Using instances of DAZ Studio in your workflow for rendering
  • Case study used : Medieval Melee action fight scene
    • Solving blown out lighting problems
    • Tone mapping
    • Fix lighting in the scene rather than in postwork
    • Environment mode, lighting resolution,
    • Turning off the HDRI default dome: lighting from scratch
    • Environment Sun node (special effect)
    • Latitude and longitude
    • Environment sun settings
    • Altering the sky backgrounds
    • Rendering night scenes
  • Section 2 : Recommended Resources Demonstrated
    • Longitude and Latitude Lighting and Render presetsfor DS Iray
    • Dreamlight : Quick Iray Outdoor presets

OPTIMIZE: Render Engine and Scene Optimizations Tutorial

February 11, 2021 Leave a comment


Take the OPTIMIZE: Render Engine and Scene Optimizations Tutorial.

If you are running DAZ Studio on an older machine or one that doesn’t have many resources (CPU processor speed, RAM, and graphics card memory), then it becomes crucial to learn how to quicken your render times!

Two approaches to this problem are to optimize your render settings and be efficient with setting up your 3D scene in the first place.

This 2-hour tutorial has two artists discuss both of these approaches. Slater Lewis (Tugpsx) and Drew Spence (Griffin Avid).

Various render engines are examined by Slater including iRay, 3Delight, Reality, and Octane. Slater has been heavily involved with render engine beta testing in the past, so he has a good understanding of what works for render settings. He includes a PDF document of tips and tricks for Iray. The irony is that Slater uses quite an old machine for his DAZ Studio artwork (8 years old), so he is motivated to find optimizations for his own work!

Drew Spence talks about the question “Should art be limited by hardware?” and addresses how we can get around those confinements with several direct tips, as well as recommended DAZ Store products. Drew uses a variety of these suggested products on a mass basis for his graphic novel “Force 6 Annihilators”, where he creates hundreds of scenes to render for the artwork.

About the Presenter: Drew Spence

Drew Spence is a graphic comic writer and illustrator from the United States. He creates under the title of The Dynamic Universe. He has combined his music and video into several works, including Mark of the Griffin, which is both a graphic novel and web series. He is part of the instrumental group Fallout Shelter, which provides the soundtrack. The other band members are Domino Grey, Dynamics Plus, and Xodus Phoenix.

Drew Spence is a graduate of Stony Brook University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Art and holds various certificates from graphic arts to web design. Drew Spence was the CEO and Editor-in-chief of Producer’s Edge magazine, a quarterly publication dedicated to all aspects of music production. The magazine was packaged with a DVD which included sound samples, instructional videos, and software. He currently lives on Long Island, New York and produces his work from the aptly named Fallout Shelter Studios, where he creates crafty and clever comics using CGI and photorealistic image manipulation.

What’s Included and Features

  • This Bundle Includes:
    • OPTIMIZE: Render Engine and Scene Optimizations Tutorial
    • Optimize video : 2 hours in length.
    • Slater’s Iray tips : PDF document
    • Video Content : Time Index
    • Part 1 : Slater Lewis
      • 00:01 Using Face Transfer to create a custom character based on
      • Willem Dafoe!
      • 00:02 Slater is working on an older 8 year old machine, with just a 3Gb RAM graphics card
      • 00:03 Recommendations if you have an i7 processor
      • 00:03 About textures
      • 00:04 Know your Iray sections
      • 00:06 Using a wet/moist skin shader for a character’s skin.
      • 00:09 3rd party software recommendations to tweak shader maps and generate bump maps
  • 00:12 Hunting down the cause of Firefly problems
  • 00:14 About tone mapping with film ISO settings and aperture shutter speeds
  • 00:15 The tone mapping gamma setting.
  • 00:18 About the Reality plugin
  • 00:19 Between 3DL and Iray : how to choose which render engine as an artist
  • 00:20 Render Settings : render engines available.
  • 00:22 Octane render engine : large materials library
  • 00:24 Preset shaders for skin in Octane
  • 00:31 A reminder that you can still use Iray with just your CPU.
  • 00:34 Using two GPUs
  • 00:36 Use a main and an auxiliary viewpoint
  • 00:37 Draw settings on the Viewport
  • 00:41 Top three Iray settings for optimisation
  • 00:43 Remember to render to a new window
  • 00:45 The number of iterations for Iray – where to set
  • 00:50 The Environment map and replace the default HDR lighting for your project
  • 00:53 IRay render engine sections
  • Objects
  • 01:19 Billboards
  • 01:20 Composite rendering
  • 01:21 Billboard products overview
  • 01:24 A DAZ scene with several ideas to optimise the scene.
  • 01:26 Past hardware limitations for creating your storyworlds
  • 01:28 Canvases
  • 01:30 Resource Saver Shaders Collection product : cuts down the render time of shaders
  • 01:32 Tools for convert Iray shaders to 3Delight or vice-versa
  • 01:34 The Scene Optimiser product
  • 01:38 Settings in Scene Optimiser
  • 01:43 Example of using Scene Optimiser
  • 01:47 Fractal generator for creating backgrounds
  • 01:57 Capture the information of how long a render takes
  • 01:59 The DAZ Studio log file

3D Print for Odion and Kuse

February 1, 2021 Leave a comment

Killer Butterfly gets a killer set of figures.

The Killer Butterfly comic book series has the title characters 3D printed.

If you remember my earlier blog post about getting some of the characters from my various comic series printed by – this is a second set that I submitted. Quick Recap: there is a plug-in for Daz Studio (3D software for composing 3D assets) that converts your scene into a printable format and can also upload your project to their site as a job. The cost ranges depending on what you submit and your chosen dimensions.

Currently, the available sizes are 4″,5″,6″, 7″ 9″ and 12″. We may offer additional sizes and scales in the future. Stay tuned!

I wasn’t sure how the different sizes would translate so I printed several of the figures at different scales. The Odion and Kuse from the Killer Butterfly comic are 9″ figures. I love the attention to detail. They even got his tatts right! The figures come on a real wooden base and have pegs under their feet to attach them to the base. Very sturdy and the best purchase so far. This will be the selected scale for my display figures. It’s very inspiring to see figures of your original characters as collectibles.

Very cool details.

Also arriving last week, was Beta One from Force Six, The Annihilators. I added him next to the Jackie-5 figure to complete that iconic cover from Season I, episode 02.

More figures to follow.

Curious to what the hype is about? Read a free book and see for yourself.

Force Six The Annihilators by Drew Spence- The Destruction of Redder Coltrane 50Th Celebration Redux Version. (still free to read since this free-thing is working so well)

The full series is available on comiXology. Individual episodes, collections (like a graphic novel or trade) and full seasons.

Want a physical copy to hold in your hands? Our books are available in print. -with high-quality, deluxe format printing by Ka-Blam.

Like what we do and want to see The Dynamic Universe expand?

Share, like, comment and engage! Join the Patreon and get all the comics free and more, like wallpapers and such.

Force Six figures configured.

Beta Two from the Force Six comic book series.

The Daz Store/ Daz Studio is the creative source and environment where most of our comic book assets originate from. Mixed Dimensions is a company that created a GamePrint Plug-in that translates the Daz item into a 3D Printable version. Mixed Dimensions now includes a system that computer prints the color directly on the model, where they used to be hand-painted. You can check their site and get a relative estimate on size and cost- since it differs per job submitted.

Jackie-5 standing on the Season I Collection.

I made Force Six and Killer Butterfly characters and some of the packages arrived this week. Beta Two was rejected for being too fragile and not having any substantial connecting points for his joints. I redesigned the asset and was still warned that he was too fragile to meet their quality standards. I asked them to make the figure anyway. I ended up making a few modifications to the collectible once I received it to increase its durability. I was worried about quality and detail versus weight and was pleasantly surprised at how light the figures were. That means I can order larger pieces without worry.

Beta Two. Pins added for additional support.

Once I submitted the figures I did need to submit additional texture files that were not captured in the original submission. It was basically a process of opening the Daz scene and using the surfaces tab to navigate to the texture maps, and sending them in a zip file. Daz does NOT allow their geometry to be resold without a license and that is determined on a case-by-case basis. So no, you will not be selling collectibles or toys of Daz-store sourced items-just like that. You will need to contact their support and open a dialogue.

Um, what else? What’s most impressive is the attention to detail and how they can add wires and cables and other finishing touches. The customer support was really good. I expect to be ordering more products from Mixed Dimensions in the future.

My random FAQ.

How does it work?

Aside from watching all the videos or reading the instructions, you make a scene and parent all the items together that you want to consider one item. The plug-in, once installed and serial-number activated, takes several images and scans of your item and uploads it to their site. You decide on size and are given an estimate. Place your order and that’s really it, unless there is an issue.

How long does it take to get your model?

Depends. Current world-situation aside, it should depend on the number of orders and all the other normal factors. I ordered my goodies during the holiday season so it was suggested to be six to eight weeks and arrived in the eighth week or two months.

What makes the Game Print plug in so special?
They have a process that closes the geometry and fixes a lot of the normal 3D print scanning deficiencies.

Can I print it on my own 3D printer?

Yes, there is an option to only order the STL file and for a small processing fee (I think, like 2-3 dollars, don’t quote me) you can download just the printable file. My original orders were only for the STL files, but the fantasy of printing at home- at a high quality $orta evaporated.

A lot of detail for such a small figure. Wow, well done. Game Print

Thank you Game Print!

You can read a full story arc for free of the Force Six comic series.

Force Six comics are available on comiXology in digital format

We are The Dynamic Universe. We create graphic comics. They sit between traditional strips and a 3-D style of photorealistic drama. Enjoy the science-fantasy action adventure with terrific tints, great graphics and compelling story-telling. Read the comic and enjoy the soundtrack. Story and art by Drew Spence.

Daz Studio start up Course Part I Saturday July 18 2020


Start: PART I Saturday July 18 @ 8:00 pm BST

PART II Saturday July 25 @ 8:00 pm BST

3:00 PM EST (New York, East Coast)

each part runs approx hour and a half

Cost: Free (introductory course) – $67 (Full course + Material)

This course explores the learning of DAZ Studio for new users, with the objective of visual storytelling.

If you’ve had a story in your head for years (perhaps decades) and have always wanted to illustrate it, you may have considered using DAZ Studio.

This virtual studio has everything at your disposal to illustrate your characters – in any scene you can imagine. With tens of thousands of supporting assets, there’s an unlimited set of possibilities to create your visual stories.

But there is a learning curve to go through. Have you had these types of questions when beginning to learn with DAZ Studio?

  • Where do I start?
  • How do I create dynamic poses for storytelling?
  • How do I apply clothing and props?
  • How to avoid the most common 3D artistic mistakes?
  • How do I use my virtual camera effectively?
  • How can I improve lighting in a scene?
  • What render settings should I use?
  • How do you organise so many assets?

Drew Spence has logged hundreds of hours using DAZ Studio to illustrate volumes of comics, including “Force Six The Annihilators”.  All of the questions above and more were experienced by him during his DAZ Studio learning journey.

In this two part webinar series, Drew provides his insights and learning journey in overcoming the most frequent hurdles in using DAZ Studio for storytelling. Save time and money by utilising a more efficient workflow and getting more out of your DAZ store purchases.

This course explores the learning of DAZ Studio, looking through the lens of an artist that tells dynamic stories.

In this webinar class you will learn:-

  • The beginning of Drew’s journey with DAZ Studio
  • Drew’s first struggles with DAZ Studio : only know what you need to know
  • Drew’s first (disastrous) renders and what he’s learned since
  • Winning with the virtual camera
  • Lighting tips and shortcuts
  • Render settings that work
  • Creating a learning diary
  • Posing – Drew’s two greatest mistakes to learn from.
  • Applying clothing
  • Characters interacting with props
  • Scene optimisation tips
  • Mindset : Overcoming the artist’s hurdle of perfectionism
Force Six artwork

Who is this Course for?

You can find other series that Drew Spence has created with Digital Art Live for purchase in the Daz Store. You can take classes, watch tutorials and attend webinars and much more

Daz Store Visual Story Writing

December 9, 2019 Leave a comment

Visual Story Writing : From Inception to Production

Drew Spence, comic creator shares his experience on story writing for your 3D art using Daz Studio. This two part tutorial set runs for 3 hours and 24 minutes in total.

Every road trip requires a map to prevent the driver getting lost along the way. Similarly the crafting of any well told story for a visual narrative is potentially a long road trip!

On the way you may find some diverting stops and detours. You might even change your mind about the final destination.

But if you are wandering aimlessly without a plan, your passengers (or readers) will eventually get tired, hungry and grumpy. They’ll think again before going on a road trip with you.

Without a proper map there is no answer to the question, “Are we there yet?”

High quality stories tell you plainly when you have arrived at the destination. Don’t leave your passengers guessing about whether you’re getting close.

Stories have deliverable payoff points- just like like the signs along a highway counting down the miles until you’ve reached your destination. They give you a sense of scale and a growing anticipation that the end is nearing.

Part I Creating Your Story from Inception to Production (tutorial 1)

  • Nailing down the “Big Idea” and inspiration behind your work as you create a vision worth investing your time and resources and being worthy of reading and supporting.
  • Pro Tips and the necessary elements that you should have in place BEFORE you start creating your story.
  • Breaking your story into deliverable chunks and creating incentives for support and the emotional investment from your readership.

Part II Caring for your story (tutorial 2)

  • Crafting characters and creating a curve. We’ll go beyond the heroes’ journey and focus on the ‘lost art’ of storytelling through images and well, more images.
  • We will tackle maintaining a production schedule along with time management and the intersection between inspiration and technical skill.
  • We will provide tools to address writer’s block, lulls, dry spells, rough spots and even avoiding dead ends.

Part III Closing out your story, taking breaks and exit points. (tutorial 2)

  • We will address buffer zones and creating natural gaps, a hiatus and premature endings.
  • We cover the techniques to ramp the entire series towards a satisfying climax.
  • We finish with the finale -After the story is done and the open-ended ending.

You can find other series that Drew Spence has created with Digital Art Live for purchase in the Daz Store. You can take classes, watch tutorials and attend webinars and much more

Force Six comics are available on comiXology in digital format

Review Fix Exclusive: Drew Spence Talks ‘Force Six

October 17, 2019 Leave a comment
Force Six – Blades and all…

Review Fix chats with “Force Six, The Annihilators” creator Drew Spence, to find out what inspired the comic. Revealing what else he’s working on, Spence lets us know his career in comics is just beginning.

Review Fix: What inspired the look and feel of Force Six, The Annihilators?

Drew Spence: I started creating comics as a kid and was influenced by, well everything! I loved Sci-fi, fantasy and martial arts. I watched movies, read comics, played D&D [the Dungeons and Dragons tabletop game], video games and adventure books. The Annihilators switched genres for almost every story so, as an adult revisiting this comic, I needed a universe that could accommodate all those settings and angles and still make some kind of sense.

Review Fix: What about using CGI over traditional media? Where did that come from?

Spence: I would see these robots and figures in overseas catalogues, the toys and models and wanted that exact look for my art so I started scanning the pictures and turning them into comics. That started my experiments in photo manipulation. I did a good number of comics, but I still needed more control. I filmed a season of Mark of the Griffin (a live action web series) and used the still frames to make a comic.  I came across John Byrne’s Star Trek New Visions and realized the overall potential.

Read The REST:

2D Postwork Assets: Planets Vol I

September 23, 2019 Leave a comment

Daz Store Product Release

Postwork: The process of taking an image, like a digital photo or render, and performing additional edits and adjustments to bring the work to competition.  These edits may include adding and subtracting elements and post-process filtering.

Want to take total control of your backdrops and outer space scenes? Have you hit the wall or run out of skydomes and HDRI environments? Rendering with the dome off leaves your main scene intact, but leaves the backdrop transparent. Once your render is done, it can be dropped into any program that supports layers and these 2D assets can be added to finish off your scene.

It can be a chore to find royalty free and useable images of alien and interesting planets. Here is where the 2D postwork series shines as it supplies numerous PNG images and plates of various planets, planetscapes and space backdrops. Quickly drag and drop these 2D assets onto your digital canvas and have total control of your space scenes or any art that requires high quality heavenly bodies.

Multi-shot planets: Single planets created at different points of rotation. This series of images represent different phases as they add a different look to any planet that might be shown more than once and needs to look fresh. These are presented as PSD files with all the different angles combined as multiple layers.

Planet Plates Planetoids: Incredible Images of planets ready to be dropped behind your renders. Available as PSD layered files AND separate PNG images for browsing ease. These are fully realized planetary images in space, great as backdrops and desktop wallpapers.

Planet Plates Surface: That “space” just above the planet gets special attention as we present 20 different images (of three planets) from near orbit and close to the surface. These are complete images that are ready to be dropped behind your Daz render as an instant epic backdrop. Can be used ‘as is’ or tweaked to your heart’s content.

Space Motion Plates: Its 23 images of that space ‘far in the distance’. These are finished backdrops that make a colorful canvas for your main subject. These are beautiful enough to be used as desktop wallpapers, but functional enough to send your art – off to the far reaches of the galaxy.

Spectrum Planets: Isolated images of planets organized by color. Of course you can alter the color, but we’ve supplied an assortment of planets that are ready to mix and match against any backdrop. Sometimes, all that’s needed is a small blue marble…or a yellow marble or…

Colorful Near-orbit surface shots: Partial planet images that would be good for orbiting space stations or events occurring just beyond the planet’s atmosphere. Enjoy a colorful patch of pretty planet parts. These are the partial arcs of a planet’s surface, place them on the edges of your scene to hint at the larger world beyond.

Ringed Planets:  A thin field of asteroids and pulverized space dust creates a beautiful band around these planets. We present entire planets and their rings. Additional media is also found in the planet plates directory.

– Includes instructional video on the various products in this series and lighting tricks for beautiful deep space renders.

Bonus Images of the 2D spaceships (used in the promotional art) provide quick-start content for your own space scenes.

You can find other series that Drew Spence has created with Digital Art Live for purchase in the Daz Store. You can take classes, watch tutorials and attend webinars and much more

Force Six Ace Nuckolls review

Comic writer and blogger Ace Nuckolls shares his reaction to Force Six Season I. Follow him on twitter adnd support his Magnus the Brave comic on kickstarter!… Thanks for the look! Force Six is available on comiXology.… Support through Patreon/…