Thanks Daz 3d!!!

Finding Daz 3d in my early years of all of this was a real godsend! Not only have they always had content of the highest quality, but also the most amazing prices - an odd, but welcome combination!

I've been a Platinum Club member right from the start and, it wasn't until I decided to let that membership lapse before I realized how much that saved me in building my library. Wow, what a difference! They already have very competitive pricing, but the PC+ really changes the game in a Big way!

This little beauty, by Kara Pitat, and available as a Daz Original is one incredible little Sci Fi ride!

Multiple texture options and all the morph dials we need to allow our 3D characters the full experience, it also includes poses and helmets!

While I understand the importance and reasoning behind building not including interiors, I love it when they do - especially when done like this!

By Enterables, and available as a Daz Original, this kit comes with a variety of constructs for building up scenes in unique ways, and they can all be entered! 

Doors open and close, walls can be moved and/or hidden and these beautifully detailed models are surprisingly light in weight!

I love this sort of thing, and also plan on using it with DzFire's Forsaken Village kits (see below)

This amazing piece comes as a preset as well as a library of many, many props for building custom scenes - just what the Doctor ordered!

This Daz Original kit follows the Forsaken Village below.

DzFire makes amazing stuff! I have a small collection of his incredible vehicles - and they are of my favorite to work with!

DzFire built the above Keep to work perfectly with this Village set. 

The details of both kits are truly breathtaking!

I picked up this one to go along with the Keep kit above as well as other fantasy interior needs.

I have a decent collection of these Daz Original kits and really appreciate them for their detail as well as how light and efficient they are as scenery sets.

Many of these sorts of scene kits are available at really good discounts to PC+ members, making PC+ worth its weight in gold to me.

Easy to load, easy to light up and fun to render!

Also to go along with the Forsaken and Timber Framed series above, I added this one as well.

Not only do we need a tavern, an all too necessary place to acquire our next quest, but this set also loads in individual elements, and I love the way this interior looks!

It's another one of those Daz Original kits, so I'm thinking that it'll be another one of those great-looking, but light on resources environments.

I already have the older Medieval Tavern, but this looks like it'll be a worthy addition for many practical sets.

Arki (maker of EYEdeas 3+) has build this thing in a manner that I think will work brilliantly with VWD Cloth and Hair for simulating the movements of the flames. We'll see.

If not, I still think it'll be cool to run this amazing sword in Carrara using animated flames textures!

Now I just have to decide whether I want to make the animated textures in Howler (likely) or HitFilm (equally likely)... hmmm... maybe I'll try both!

During the same sale when I bought the above Fantasy Room Interior, I grabbed this as well, which is another example of those really nice Daz Original kits I was talking about. 

Nice texture work is the star of these sorts of sets, combined with simple and efficient geometry that doesn't weigh down the system or the render engine.

This is one of those that comes with multiple props, so the room can look (and be) different every time we need it to be - with very little effort.

Not only that, they come complete with Iray shaders making use in Daz Studio as simple as a click, while giving us Carrara users all of the maps we need to really bring them to life!

Much like my Story example: What Happened at Odysseon Station, the promo pics (to me) are just oozing with story ideas and inspiration.

When I'm browsing the store, if I see these things that visually capture the story essence of something I'd like to write (and render) about, I immediately wish list it to inspire me further and further until it finally makes it's way out of the cart and into my product library.

In the Old Warehouse Room above, instead of a private eye looking for clues, I see Rosie reaching a dead end, being chased by antagonists!

Petipet is at it again! Also available as a Daz Original, this is much more than just a scenery prop, but rather an entire construction set with an amazing multi-level central scene!

Those who know me know that I am a huge fan of Petipet's work. This one has been on my list ever since it came out!

Another great Petipet / Daz Original that I've wanted since its release, this kit is a highly detailed lab interior that comes complete with an alien monster in stasis!

I'm thinking that we can easily exchange the monster for any figure from our libraries that fit, but this thing is So Cool!

Rounding out my most recent purchases from Petipet's Store, this unique piece of Sci-Fi machinery fits right in with some of my immediate plans, so its recent release was a real boon to my production. 

Faithful to his other work, this thing is bursting at the seems with every needed detail!

As you'll see below, I picked up the Dire Wolf for Daz Dog 8

Well, now I can put him into CG Sci-Fi space!!!

Thanks to Predatron, our 8th generation canines now have protection from the vacuum and emptiness of deep space!

Thanks to Daz Originals and Alessandro_AM, this gorgeous creature can now adorn our renders!

The morphs are amazing, and it also includes multiple texture options, two types of fur and a pile of poses. 

Simply Magnificent!

Acharya Polina is not a product but a Premier Artist at Daz 3d

I'm new to discovering this artist and am very glad to have purchased some of the wonders of Acharya's store. The Hammerhead was the first, and I was so happy with it the rest followed, and I'll undoubtedly be shopping more from this fun store! 

Now two of the three following kits are not Daz Originals or PC+ items, but they were offered at incredible discounts during a PC+ sale.  Even when not on sale, each of these things are a Great Deal!

Here's what I got:

So Cool!

This thing comes with an array of different, unique star ships with various material options, asteroids, debris, sparks, explosions and laser beams.

And as if that's not enough, it also includes three HDRI of space!

The explosions are primarily for cool still shots, but animators usually have their ideas for motion VFX anyway. 

I think this is a very cool kit and I'm glad to have it for my needs!

This thing has a menacing look to it. Probably the scariest ship I have, which is why I'm going to let my antagonist own this one.

Both this and the Hammerhead that follows come complete with a fully realized interior - the whole ship! Bridge, bunks, bathroom, engine room... completely fleshed out!

As a great CG artist would, Acharya includes several presets to facilitate this, like Interior or exterior only, or the whole complete ship. Perfect. Genius!

It also has Animatable Doors, Speed Shifters, Seats, and Exit Ramp

Incredibly beautiful ship, and it's really cool to me how truly wicked this thing looks! This one is a Daz Original

A real beauty, and an incredible deal!

The Hammerhead X7A Explorer comes with a fully detailed interior as described above, along with the all-terrain explorer rover and terrain. 

The rover fits perfectly into the loading ramp as well, and it comes with a fully detailed interior!

The terrain even comes with four material presets: dunes, ice, moon and lava

I finally got it!

This is Stonemason's truly incredible Sci-Fi Kit 2016!

Packed with everything we need to create any sort of Sci-Fi interior from simple vignettes to provide a backdrop to fully realized star ship or station interiors!

Doors, floors, ceilings, compartments... it's all here!

I have a lot of Sci-Fi interior content, so I put this one off when it first came out, and it's been pestering my psyche ever since...

Well now it's mine!!!

Again, story being driven by content!

These packs are so full of drama, suspense and action - they get my creative juices going even before I get the chance to bring them home, and become a cause for celebration when they finally arrive!

I really like the fully realized scene pieces that I can just load, optimize, light and render. But some of the construction kits are just So Good, like this Sci-Fi Kit 2016, and they allow us to really stretch out - making scenes that we might have in mind, but have a hard time finding as a complete set.

I have quite a few construction kit type of products. If we're using Poser or Daz Studio, we just load in the elements as we need them. Simple as that. 

For Carrara, I like to load all of the pieces of a particular kit into one main scene and optimize all of the shaders to work for my style, then save that as a Base Scene file.

Now I can open that Base Scene and build with pre-optimized elements - having the entirety of the kit at my fingertips! 

But Wait... There's More!

It's amazing to look back and see how much stuff we can get in a short time during these amazing sales and giveaways!

One cool tip I have is to have fun and browse the store for things that interest you, then Wish List them so they show as being wish listed when browsing sale items. It helps remind us that we had something in mind for this particular item, and gives us a nudge as we peruse endless thumbnails of great stuff!

In the CG Workshop - Story section I have a bit of an article: What Happened at Odysseon Station?

It's a showcase of the idea of using content availability to help drive a story. I used Nightshift3D's Odysseon Station series for the article after getting some of the kits (seeing a story in the product pages) and finding how wonderful they are to work with - especially in Carrara.

Here are two new additions that I got in the massive sale that Daz 3d had at the beginning of the month:

This product is really cool! 

It reminds me of my Carrara EnvironKit - Woodlands, on a much smaller, more detailed scale.

It comes with two preloaded complete sets, one during the day and one at night and, yes, it does come with three 360 degree render environments - one for day, one for night and one at night with fireflies! :)

It also includes loaders for each prop individually as well as six prop group preloads that come in already arranged in nice chunks of wilderness - much like I did in Woodlands.

Below are the five of the prop group preloads.

This way we can lay down the ground and add only what we need for our scene.

Also handy for adding even more to any of the larger preload scenes.

Highly detailed and fun to work with, Design Anvil gets an A+ for this work of art!

I'm friends with Philip and have followed all of his training videos for years. But that doesn't change the fact that I truly enjoy his style of showing us how to use this incredible art software!

Project Dogwaffle Howler is truly my go-to when it comes to editing textures, sketching a thought or a scene, painting a picture or even making changes to animated video clips I've rendered.

It never fails - as much as I've already learned from Philip, I always (Always!) learn something new when I watch one of his videos - and this is a full 2 hours + of excellent advice for working with animations in PD Howler! 

Highly recommended!!! 

Okay, using my Hybrid Animation techniques, sometimes it can be ultimately beneficial to have some cool poses to help with certain aspects of the animation.

In this example, I can set up arms, hands or even the whole upper (or lower) body for an action sequence.

Load in the aniBlock I want for the main motion, remove the portions I want to change, then go somewhere in that 30 frame workspace that I always save at the beginning, and apply the pose.

Then remove the joint data of the pose that I'm not going to use, if I need to. Since the animation will begin at frame 30, I can always leave them in, but I almost always remove what I'm not using.

Now let's say that we want a transition from the aniBlock data to the pose data.

Simply remove the keys where we want to override the aniBlock data with the pose data and, again - use those first 30 frames to apply the pose and drag the keys you need to where they need to go in the timeline. Bam!

Questions? Just scroll to the bottom of the page ;)

This kit comes with a nice selection of handgun poses that I could put to great use in an upcoming sequence - so the timing was spot on!

The kit also includes a nice little handgun with presets to load one to either hand.

Very cool!

Wow! May was a great month, and it's only just begun!

I've said it before, but feel compelled to say it again:

Thanks Daz 3d!!!

and support this site at the same time!!!  :)   Thanks!!!  :)

Have a Question? Just Ask!

I love to help others as best I can. This is a rather broad topic: CG Filmmaking, so my articles on any particular topic may not answer your specific question.

Most of the questions directed to me are regarding Carrara or How did I do this?

For these sorts of things, post your question at the Carrara Discussion Forum (or another appropriate category) at Daz forums, and if I don't see it right away, someone else might. They are such a friendly and helpful bunch! I've learned so much from that forum over the years!

For a more immediate question directed to me, log into those forums and Send me a PM!

Also check out:

What Happened at Odysseon Station? - Using Content to Drive a Story!

Platinum Club + Experience - It's amazing how much value we can get from this service if we check in often! Even with little internet time I've been able to really fill up my library over the years - and the yearly membership cost is tiny comparatively

Daz 3D Content - Mainly just a container/landing page, but will eventually be really cool!

Need some of the Industry's Best VFX Elements for your movies at exceptionally great deals?

Look No Further! 

I don't do subscription plans, but AVFX+ is much different - if you cancel, you keep what you got! But they also offer non-subscription sales as well - which is Brilliant! Check them out!