This Daz3D Composition Tips article we will cover many topics that will help you to improve your render. We’ll cover lighting, environments, framing and more. Composition is about an interaction between the observer and the art. In our case the art is the end result of our scene – our final render. Composition is about what the render says, what is the most important there and what you, an artist, want to show as the focal point of the scene.
You can say that everything about your render is the definition of composition. Starting with the objects that you choose for your scene and ending with the post-production that you use. Each element of the render together makes a composition.
Some elements are quite understandable and are only for you to choose, such as characters, objects, props. But what about other details that can be finicky? Let’s look closer into those ones.
Daz3D Composition – Lighting
Lighting is obviously one of the most important parts of the scene. It will decide how your scene is perceived and what parts draw attention. So it is really important to understand what to do with your lighting.
In the Daz3D Indoor Lighting Tutorial we already looked about lighting this exact environment, so I did just recreate something similar.
Though there is a lot more to just lighting up the environment. For example in the main Daz3d Iray Lighting Tutorial we look into lighting things overall and three-point lighting in particular. In my scene – the character looks really dark right now.
So i have added a three-point lighting setup to compensate for that:
Though there is much more to lighting than that. Especially if you consider things like Night Renders or different techniques such as God Rays. Thankfully you can find products that will help you with your lighting on the scene.
Or the Night Renders that were mentioned earlier. To help you with them there are such products as SY Starry Sky Lights and HDRIs for Iray by Sickleyield. It allows for easier night scenes and renders by giving you tools, in this case – a bunch of HDRIs.
Daz3D Composition – Environment
As part of our Daz3D Composition Tips – Environment is also very important. It defines your scene. In some cases the environment IS the scene on itself.
One way of adding environment is just like I did – use a pre-made environment that fits your scene. Advantage of doing it like that is that there would be props and parts of the environment that you can interact with. Just like I added lights into my environment. And you can find such a ready-made environment on the Daz3D Shop. For example the Artist Hideout by JDA HDRI
Alternative to that is using HDRI as your environment. This method is especially good, because not only you can use it as your scene background, like we showed in our Daz3D How to Make the Dome Visible Tutorial, but also will provide lighting to your scene. Besides it renders much faster.
And if you want to learn how you can use HDRIs as your environmental lighting, what settings are there and how to find a proper image – check the Daz3d HDRI Tutorial: What It Is and How to Use.
The one major con in using HDRI is that it seems that your characters can’t interact with the scene. There are no proper shadows or reflection. Or is there? The Iray HDRI Toolkit by KindredArts allows you to do exactly that. With it you can place shadow catchers, reflectors and occluders, so that your characters could interact with the HDRI.
Daz3D Composition – Framing
Daz3D Composition Tips about Framing: The first thing that probably comes to mind after people think about composition is framing. Framing is about positioning your camera and characters in a way that they would look good together.
To help you with framing Daz Studio has two functions. First one is the “View:Frame” that is located on the right side of the viewport.
You need to first select the object or a part of it and then press on this button and it will be framed, so the selected object would be right at the center of your screen.
Above is the result of me framing the head of my character. If i zoom in – it would be more noticeable. And to check that it is indeed did frame on the face, I will use the other framing function – thirds guide.
As it is clearly seen – the face is exactly on the center square, which means that it is around the center of the whole frame. Thirds guides are overall really important and useful and it is a good idea to use them.
Let’s return to my previous Camera View and look how it looks with the thirds guide and how we can improve.
The framing here is not good. You can see that there are 4 intersecting parts on the thirds guide. They are the parts, where the most attention is – focal points. Which means that it is the best idea to position your character in a way, so that they would be on these intersections.
Something like this is already a better framed image, but it still has one mistake.
The mistake is that when a character is looking somewhere – it generally is a good idea to leave some place there, so it would feel like the character looks at something and not just stares into the void. So I need to move my figure to the other intersecting points.
The upper intersection is exactly on the eye level. The vertical line goes right through the middle of the character and there is space in the direction where she is looking. These all are points of a good framed scene.
Thirds guide is only one of the many useful guides that there are. For example a golden ratio is a very popular one and is quite good. Sadly, they are not built-in to the Daz Studio. But gladly you can find them online – Canary’s Composition Helpers by Canary3d. It includes a lot of different composition helpers.
There is more to the Camera, than just framing. There are a log of Camera Settings such as Depth Of Field that basically must be included in the good render at least in some form. And for you to learn about all these camera settings we made a Daz3d Camera Settings Tutorial
That’s it for this Daz3D Composition Tips article. Composition is difficult and there is a lot to it. Each type of composition needs practice to master it. And it is okay to struggle with all this, each person learns at its pace. That is why we have a bunch of articles and tutorials made for you. Additionally to those, there are a lot of products on the Daz3D Shop that will help you. See also our other Top 3D Model Reviews and Daz Tutorials.