View Full Version : Should I use Daz3d models or not?

07-28-2006, 12:54 PM
I downloaded my LW9 upgrade the other day and am getting familiar with Lightwave again after about a year. I'm not in the animation industry, so I can only play with it in my free time.

I've been looking at some character modeling tutorials. However, since my modeling skills are pretty basic, I was wondering what is the overall opinion of using Daz3d models.

My long term goal is to be able to make some short animations which would include some human models. I've modeled most of an orc from my own art work. He's not complete, but I'm pretty happy with the results. However, its taken me quite a few hours to get the model to the point it is now.

I was thinking that the Daz models might help speed up the process. So...

Has anyone used Daz models for animation?

If so, how easy are they to import?

Do I need any 3rd party tools?

Is there an easier way to produce several different humanoid models?

Would I be better off making a low detail male and female model and then modifying them?

Remember, I'm just now getting back into modeling. So you might as well treat me as a newbie.

Thanks for the help,


07-28-2006, 01:10 PM
If you can make an ork in a few hours you're not a newby :D

Basicaly you are better off creating your own sub'd characters for animation rather than importing the poly heavy Daz models. Your own will be easily modifiable with endomorphs etc.

A few years ago you could buy poser pro for poser 4 which would output youre entire animation into LW 7. Unfortunately this broke with LW 8 and curious labs haven't been bothered to upgrade it.

There is a plugin by greenbrier? that can bring in Daz models with bones etc, I've never used it, I'm sure others here could tell you if it can do the job.

At the end of the day, Daz make great models but they're poly heavy, If you can build your own, do so. Your life in animation, cloth dynamics etc will be a whole lot easier :)

07-28-2006, 01:23 PM
Thanks T-Light,

The poly count of the Daz models was my main concern. Oh well, I guess I'll get back in practice. By the way, that orc was several hours, probably at least 30+, and he's probably less than half finished. If I get a chance, I'll post a pic.

Lord Snarebotto
07-28-2006, 02:23 PM
If you use DAZ models for your animation, be prepared to have them look similar to anyone else who uses the same models. Good for quick and dirty, achitectural vis, and storyboard/animatics, and surely some applications I'm not thinking about.

If you're going to do art, I would avoid things like DAZ models like the plague. All IMO, of course.

07-28-2006, 02:57 PM
a good compromise for you might be to use poser's lo poly versions of their characters as these with only minor edits can be subpatched up and rigged/posed/animated in lightwave.
not sure if their is any lo poly daz3d characters but you could also go here for lightwave spacific characters as well

07-28-2006, 05:14 PM
Daz does make a lo poly Mike and Vicki, I beleive they come with Daz studio or an add on for studio, I don't recall at the moment.
They do come in handy when you have a tight deadline or you are just learning, etc. If you have them use them, do dismiss resources like this. You never know when they come in handy. But if you can model from scratch, you end up with a one of a kind piece of work. Which can be way more valuable, both personally and finacially.

07-28-2006, 05:36 PM
I'm going back a bit but I think the low poly vic and mike are still about 30,000+ poly's. You can make a far more detailed model with subpatches and they'll weigh in about a third of that. As silk says, use them if you need them, otherwise model your own :)

07-28-2006, 06:21 PM
IMO, if you do not HAVE to have the models for a professional deadline, it is better to make your own and pay the blood sweat and tears now rather than depend on others to do the hard part for you... When you do get one to look the way you want, you will feel a much greater accomplishment over it and it will me truly yours!

07-28-2006, 07:55 PM
Thanks for the advice everyone. I'll go with my own stuff. I can draw fairly well, but, I'm going to have to practice alot to get good at human faces. I model fine with a backdrop, but getting something on paper that I like is sometimes as much trouble as modeling it.



07-29-2006, 04:08 PM
If you believe the daz3d models are anatomically suitable enough for your purpose then there is no harm in loading the model into a background layer and using it as modeling reference.

You could then copy points from the daz model, paste them into your new layer and make new efficient polys from these points.

07-29-2006, 04:35 PM
Bliz, that is a great solution. I'll have to keep it in mind in case I ever run into a similar situation. Man, the stuff you learn here.

07-29-2006, 05:58 PM
Yeah, I have a Daz model and it is around 30,000 polygons. I have made a few feet and a few hands from it in the way that Blix mentioned, but I find it better to create the rest of the model myself with traditional methods.

07-29-2006, 08:03 PM
If you can make an ork in a few hours you're not a newby :D

Basicaly you are better off creating your own sub'd characters for animation rather than importing the poly heavy Daz models. Your own will be easily modifiable with endomorphs etc.

A few years ago you could buy poser pro for poser 4 which would output youre entire animation into LW 7. Unfortunately this broke with LW 8 and curious labs haven't been bothered to upgrade it.

There is a plugin by greenbrier? that can bring in Daz models with bones etc, I've never used it, I'm sure others here could tell you if it can do the job.

At the end of the day, Daz make great models but they're poly heavy, If you can build your own, do so. Your life in animation, cloth dynamics etc will be a whole lot easier :)

You're not going to believe this T-Light, but the Propack plugin works perfectly on 8.X AND 9.0. I tried it just this week for fun. The method is to rerun the propack .exe, not just copy the plugin to your 9 directory. The plugin requester will list the various installed LW exe's and ask you to choose the specific version of LW you want to add the ppack plugin to. Then add the plug through the normal add plugins interface. I believe that it writes an exe "location" file on install that would explain the error you're seeing.I was surprised too. No argument from me about the value of pursuing the merit of modeling your own characters however, but that instant .bvh gratification can be fun....:thumbsup:

07-30-2006, 12:17 AM
U really have to consider what your goal it. You say it's short animations
with human forms in it.

Some say if you don't have a time constraint, make your own models.
It seems to me if you are more interested in conveying the motion, the action, and telling a good story, opposed to focusing on unique, original characters, then go with pre-made models. Focus on rigging, animating, lighting, surfacing, staging, etc.

Want to >maybeee< pursue a career in 3d? First learn the part of it that you enjoy best! Many incredible animators are discouraged by the
modeling side. Also there's great modelers who think they have to make it move to be successful. Not true.

Eventually, you can focus on being more well-rounded.
In a team environment, we focus on strengths.
By yourself, I feel you should do what it takes to get your ideas and
creativity out. You can always swap models, fine tune, what ever.
But do whatever it takes to get it out of your head, and in the computer!
Then take the time to refine your vision.

Also, there are plug-ins to reduce the poly count and turn tris into quads.
Check out flay.com.
(Is qemloss2 or 3 not included in LW?!?)

07-30-2006, 12:59 AM
It's qemLOSS 3 at http://amber.rc.arizona.edu/lw/qemloss3.html

07-30-2006, 03:40 AM
As far as I know qemLOSS is part of LW since ... LW 7.0!?

R Haseltine
07-30-2006, 04:39 AM
The DAZ models are (mostly) quads anyway - I'm not sure if it's still entirely true, but they used to do their internal modelling in LW (and sold a couple of plugins to NewTek - if you have DAZ|Studio, compare the names on the credit screen to those in the LW manual). (Declaration of partiality: I'm a mod on the DAZ forumns.)

07-30-2006, 04:05 PM
I have to disagree with mainstream opinion here...

Model your own is simply not an option for me, I don't have the skill or the time to learn it. The main problems are all easily dealt with.

1. Quads. There's a triple button! Doh!

2. Looking the same... The main human figures can have all sorts of morphs applied to them. For build, ethnicity Yes, if you use vanilla V3 or M3, it will show to a graphics person, and will be rather bland.

3. In amongst a lot of junk there are some very good and unusual figures and textures available for silly prices on Renderosity. I use these a lot - actually if you search here on "Poser" you will find all sorts of things people have done.

Having said that, if you are good enough to do your own, go for it. But in my opinion many people are far too quick to knock the stuff you can do with poser figures.

Two very important tips if you are new to it:

1. Avoid the eyes pointing straightforward all the time - it's a really strong way to make the figure look like a doll.

2. Avoid 100% left / right symetry, real people are not like that.

See this active thread for what I have been working on with a V3 based figure...


07-30-2006, 07:31 PM
As far as I know qemLOSS is part of LW since ... LW 7.0!?You are right, but ver 8.0 of lightwave has ver. 2 of qemLoss. I haven't checked 9 yet.

07-30-2006, 10:09 PM
I uses Daz Models and designed my Rigging tools around rigging them in Lightwave ( Victora comes with Version 3 )

Afew things that may help if your using my plugins or not

blur weight map Get it from flay MUST HAVE when rigging these models
Use BIG weight maps I normally have sym on and create a hips, Upper body ,neck, head weight maps and just create one Upper arms and low arms weight maps for both left and right arms and do the same for hands and fingers. ( saves time :) )

I only do left and right weight maps for the legs
Also pose you model with the feet directly under the hips and have alittle bend at the knee to help with LW's IK. and have the feet Flat on the ground.
a good pose in Daz or Poser before you export is much better then trying to re position things in LW after.

Qemloss 3 is Good But Buy the low polygon version from Daz if you can ( only few product have that option. ( the texture maps work the same )
I personally uses the XSI to lower the polygon level when needed.

Sub-d the model only if you get render issues when animating

Hope it help :thumbsup:
Daz/poser model are not that hard to Bring into LW to animate the only thing you have to keep in mind is the high polygon level slows down LW, I haven't done it yet but if i had a BIG job using poser models I would have 2 models- one VERY low polygon one for animation and another to render with.

QuickTime VR with Victorahttp://www.thomas4d.info/T4D_Vic_QtVR.mov


07-31-2006, 10:20 AM
krimpr -

You're not going to believe this T-Light, but the Propack plugin works perfectly on 8.X AND 9.0
You're having me on :D , I don't know how many times I tried reinstalling propack to try getting it working with 8 to no avail, maybe it was a more recent update (8.3 etc). Anyway, cheers, I'll give it another go. Now where on earth did I put all my old poser disks :question:

07-31-2006, 10:36 AM
I uses Daz Models and designed my Rigging tools around rigging them in Lightwave ( Victora comes with Version 3 )

Hmm. Victoria seems to have major issues with the geometry around her hips though. Even in Daz Studio, you can see this - they have applied rotation stops after about 12 degrees to her upper legs. Remove the stops and try to make her legs rotate as though she is sitting down - it looks like someone has taken a machete to her, poor girl. Once I realised this, I abandoned all hope and looked for alternative meshes. I'm not sure how you got yours to look so good. You can see what I get from the stock T4D Victoria after biped (T4D v3.1) in the attachment. Nowhere near as good, with the thigh-hip distortion problems I always found with this. The same is true with Maestro 2, so it's not rigging tool dependent.

The Vicki model seems related to Victoria, but deforms a great deal better. The unfortunate thing is that getting the crotch to deform is still really difficult. All that heavy geometry would have lead me to expect better deformation, but that isn't the case. I need to revisit this with the blurred weightmap approach, though.

R Haseltine
08-01-2006, 08:18 AM
You're meant to use a combination of the butock and thigh parts to move the upper legs. Trying to move the leg with only the buttock part (or only the thigh) will always produce distortion. However, even then the bend on siting is one of the things users often complain about in V3 - later figures are better in that respect.

08-01-2006, 08:39 AM
Except this is the content object as it ships in T4D 3.1 :) The geometry seems to have something wrong with it in general - the deformation in LW is just as bad as in Daz Studio. That's all :)

08-01-2006, 04:01 PM
I strong upper leg weight map and and nice blur in the weight maps between the hip and the Leg will correct the issue
maybe send me the model and I'll do and update =)

08-08-2006, 01:40 AM

Victoria is included in the shipping T4D package, so you should already have it to hand :b

What I did notice, after exporting various free meshes to LWO from Daz Studio (including Victoria, etc.) is that the exported geometry is separated. I had always thought it was a continuous mesh. Sadly, the UV map is a mess when you import, with all UVs overlapping.

This does make the job potentially much easier because you can select a polygon in the hip region, hit ] and have the associated polygons selected. You can then apply a 'hip' weightmap, as well as copy the relevant section of the UV map over to a new 'hip' UV map as well. It takes a while, but I think it works quite well although I have yet to test the rigging impact.

Regarding blur, what number of iterations do you use (assuming you use fi's wmap blur plugin)?

08-08-2006, 06:48 AM
Ok, this is sort of related to the topic.

Have any of you people tried MakeHuman? It is a character generator, and is open source, and free.


R Haseltine
08-08-2006, 08:09 AM
The UVs overlap as the figures are intended to use multiple maps - one for the body, one for the head, one for the eyes, one for the teeth and one with the alpha channels for the brows and pubic hair. If you are exporting as FBX from D|S then at some point (and since it doesn't happen in other applications the prime susupect is the FBX importer) the uv seams get welded, which is a pain.

08-08-2006, 12:23 PM
manholoz : Yep. Very impressive, but the exported geometry is a little rough. The limits are also not quite right, but they have quite an app in the making.

R Haseltine : Yep. I figured as much, but hoped the exporter might do something more intelligent, assuming .obj supports more than one UV map in the file. It's no big issue, but would be a nice improvement. FBX export seems to be missing from DazStudio insofar as I could tell. I'm probably missing something, but .obj is good enough.

R Haseltine
08-10-2006, 02:06 PM
There is an FBX exporter ($99), and it even has a custom preset for LW, but it has a number of issues even so: uv map seems get welded 9this seems to be LW rather than the exporter), with the result that one row of ploygons along the seam gets a compresses version of the full width of the texture; and every other level of the hierarchy needs to have Use weightmaps only switched on in the joint properties (I suggested writing an LScript to do this, but was told by the LW user who looked at it that the LScript interface won't return the state of the setting, so it would have to be taken on faith that it was every other level of the tree that needed flipping).

08-10-2006, 02:19 PM
If you just want a mesh and texture in, take a look at accutrans, more in this thread...


08-11-2006, 05:31 AM
Anyone used Quidam and the LW plug?


08-16-2006, 07:34 AM
One thing may be of interest - the current issue of 3d world magazine includes the V3 and M3 skeleton models on the content disk. These are rather good (Though I am not qualified to say if they are good enough for serious medical work. The skulls look rather good to my untrained eye).

They do not come with the fancy textures, but a basic bone texture is not hard!

First time I have found something worth having on a magazine cover disk for a LONG time!
Shame I had already paid for the models though.

08-16-2006, 08:26 AM
Actually, the bone textures available fo rthe daz skeletons are quite nice, and they hav eboth "new" and "old" textures available.

The bones are named anatomically, and the spine even bens with the individual bones. The forearm bones even twist as they should, when you twist the arm, and even better, the skeletons can conform and follow the V3 and M3 chararacters.

There is also a good muscle map available from Daz for V3 and M3, but it's like muscle anatomy "painted on" skin.

The Daz Skeleton working with the V3 or M3 characters is one of the best poser products out there.

I also added some morphs to them in my BONEZ morph set for them over at Daz.

08-16-2006, 10:19 AM
Yes, I actually have those skeleton textures - they are VERY nice. Also the muscle maps, which are wonderfully creepy. (Much more so than any of the cheap and nasty horror zombie type figures I have seen...)

Anything medical normally costs an arm and a leg, and these are great value.

(Which is rather why I thought it worth highlighting the free base models!)

:D :D :D

08-16-2006, 10:25 AM
There's anothe rcompany that is actually doing medical poser content, but as you mentioned, they are also priced unbelievably high.

09-01-2006, 02:00 PM
Not a real good reason NOT to now, since E-frontier is giving away poser 5 for FREE for a few days!


09-01-2006, 03:45 PM
their server is currently jammed due to the ultra high traffic they're under right now...

09-01-2006, 04:05 PM
Yup.. as long as you buy it during th epromo, they'll honor the download later. I'd recommend just getting through the store free purchase, and then just grabbing it next week.

I'm getting another copy to renderfarm with, and also for testing purposes.
Many people are doing the same, OR upgrading their old Poser 4 or pro pack versions.

And of course many OTHER people are grabbing it just for the included rigged human and animal characters.

Ya really can't beat the price, though!

09-01-2006, 05:16 PM
yup, got thru the store so i'll visit back on monday to d/l with some luck
will be intersting to see what 5 has over my poser 4 i bought a few yrs back

also picked up bryve 5 last week...was free too...for those on a nil buget it's a great time to get into 3d and test the water so to speak...

bryce 5
poser 5
wings 3d
daz studio

then there's the ultra cheap 3d apps as well such as silo and hexagon

09-01-2006, 07:12 PM
I just went there the site is up, could not download it, but it says that my download link will be open indefinitely, so the few days is to order it, and then at a more leisurely rate everybody can download it

09-02-2006, 06:42 AM
I've got it coming down now, after a few clicks - if you persevere, it will start the transfer...


12-12-2006, 11:11 PM
Anyone know where I can find the "blur weight maps" plugin T4d talks about in this thread?

Flay isn't linking it when I do searches (and google searches yield nada).


12-13-2006, 04:01 PM
hmm site down =/

am i allowed to do this ?

12-13-2006, 11:16 PM
You da man!

Thanks, and your rigging plugins and tutorials are awesome!