In this article we are going to try to make a comparison Daz3d vs Blender. The purpose behind the analysis is to understand strengths and weaknesses from each of them. In this way, we want to provide all the information so you can make smart choices and use up the resources from these softwares in your upcoming projects.
Daz and Blender, they are both powerful products and the choice of either will certainly be a good one. However, we want to go further and dedicate a more substantial analysis to understand in which ways each of them excel in performance.
In the first place, it’s necessary to point out that although they both share common features there are some big differences. Daz is focused on delivering high quality animations and rendering without worrying much about technicalities (modeling, sculpting face features, rigging and bone structures). Daz Studio itself comes with a system of posing presets and smart parameters to achieve professional shots in no time. The result is a realistic and visually compelling image.
Blender, on the other hand, is more custom-made. The software enables you to create anything you can imagine (naturally more time-consuming). Not only can you think of posing and animating your characters, you can also create a surrounding environment, model and place architecture assets and all sorts of other objects. This is the main difference, since in Daz Studio you can import items previously purchased in the marketplace but you make mostly only smaller changes. These smaller adjustments often refer to rotation, size, position, surface changes etc., thus the feeling of working with predetermined values.
User Interfaces Daz vs Blender
Let’s compare the user interface of both 3d tools.
Daz Studio Interface
Daz Studio has a very intuitive interface. Most likely you will get a notion of the workspace as soon as you open it for the first time. This is highly recommendable for beginners to have a first approach in the 3D world. In some way, you will be skipping the most annoying stuff which is modeling, sculpting and rigging and will head straight to posing, animating and rendering.
- Content Tab: In this area you will view your purchases and content available for your figure, such as poses, wearables (clothing, hair, accessories), environments, shaders, etc.
- 3D Viewport: Your content will be displayed here
- Toolbar and shortcuts: Icons that give access to common features from Daz Studio such as: Render Settings, Add New Camera, Add a New Light Source, Import/Export a File, Save/Load a File, Undo/Redo and many more.
- Scene Tab: This tab displays all the objects included in our scene (figure model, clothing, hair, props, etc.). We can choose which objects we want to edit and also hide/show with one click.
- Parameters Area: Here you will find presets and parameters from a specific object. You will also be able to easily change its position, scale, rotate, and apply different materials and shaders. One quick example, you can change the color of the hair of your character.
- Animation Timeline: You can see the transition, duration and movement of the object in a specific time.
- Tutorial Dropdown box: You can access interactive tutorials to learn more about Daz functions.
As we can see, the workspace from Daz is pretty much it. Although there are many more sections and tabs, in general, it does not go further from those boxes.
The content area displaying all available wearables for our model inside the option “Wardrobe”.
In the Poses option, I picked the one most suitable for the purpose in just a click. My scene is ready. See also our complete How to Use Daz3d step by step tutorial.
The Blender interface has been recently refreshed with a new look. Let me tell you, it now seems a lot less uncluttered. However, as we start working towards a specific goal, we will start opening tabs, windows, panes and changing viewports. The thing with Blender is that since it’s so dynamic at creating, it also gets easily messy. But nothing to worry about, you just need some time to get to know where things are. The key fact here is that you can have multiple workspaces in a single platform, as we can see in the following examples:
Animation in Daz3d vs Blender
When it comes to animation, well, they both perform stunningly. Some users agree that it is convenient to use Daz Characters. The models already incorporate the rigging and the layers of materials which work together to create realistic motion.
Also, not to forget that the process is pretty intuitive, you pose as you go along the timeline, then press play and all done. And whether you missed a frame or some poses seem disruptive, the engine itself completes the missing parts to create a flawless movement.
Daz user M-C summaries this as “Posing – as mentioned – could take ages I think. I have quite a big library of predefined DAZ poses that I use very frequently. Doing every pose and expression by myself in Blender would not help speeding up things at all”.
Similar to the user Pezo “And it is easy to make a scene in 15 minutes. in Blender, more than hours…“
Another great idea is to import to the scene the rest of the objects custom-made in Blender. There is this Daz to Blender tutorial you can check on how to import and export different file formats between these two softwares.
For Blender, the process is similar, you pose as you move on in the timeline. But the possibilities are actually more because the software is flexible. Of course, it is more difficult and takes more time. So while posing is a downside even for expert users, there are really good advantages. One of them is the possibility to mix and create rich texture maps and materials that will be part of the scene visuals. There is also a huge library out there on the web where you can get fantastic PBR materials, normal maps, HDRI maps, etc.
Free PBR materials for Blender – source CGTricks
When comparing Daz3d vs Blender, another amazing feature from Blender’s side is the physics simulations. They cover a lot and very well done, water flow and streams, wind, hair movements, collisions and many more.
Daz Studios – Exclusive Features
The follow show a small subset of exclusive features you can find in Daz Studio.
One of the exclusive features from Daz Studio is called the PowerPose plugin. It comes by default with Daz so no purchase required. The plugin consists of a set of facial adjustable points to create custom expressions. Simply click and drag to make both symmetrical or asymmetrical facial expressions effortless and organic.
The FaceTransfer plugin is an additional feature you can purchase from the marketplace here. By simply uploading a profile picture as a reference, instantly the new model is created to match the facial features and later be used as a character in your animation. From the multiple examples found in the web, we give proof that there is stunning resemblance. In the demo edition you get 3 free transfers.
Another amazing add-on is Anilip 2, with it you can make your characters whisper, mutter, speak, recite, sing or scream. The extension helps achieve even more realistic scenes very easily from speech recognition from audio files.
Daz Plugin for lip syncing – source Anilip 2
Content Marketplace Blender vs Daz
DAZ Marketplace has an extensive 3D library. Daz Studio has invested years in developing a broad marketplace where to download a huge collection of models. They serve as assets to the projects, clothing, even settings such as natural landscapes.
As user Pezo summaries “Yeah,I looked at the Daz shop, and you’re right, there is a huge archive.“
There are also third-party websites like Renderosity that sell content from the community as well as give away freebies.
Blender also has its content marketplaces, although they are not exclusive to Blender. These markets sell for various platforms and reach out to the 3D community as a whole. You can make individual purchases, subscribe to paid plans or even get some free content depending on the sites availability. Overall, there are tons of offers and top-notch quality items. You can check these sites for yourself here:
Content Marketplace CGTrager
Rendering in Daz3d vs Blender
Each software comes with their predetermined rendering engine. On the one hand, Daz Studio comes with Iray GPU rendering which we covered with some examples behind the scene in our Daz3d Iray Lightning Tutorial and Daz3d Render Settings article.
Both engines, Iray and Cycles, are similar since they both deliver unbiased renders. In other words, they both work to interpret the lighting as it is in the real world, with no room for “faking”. For that reason, they usually render at similar speed.
Nonetheless, Iray is considered much slower than other rendering engines including Cycles. This is partially right, and the statement is actually a consensus from the community. If you have both engines installed in your computer you will notice the difference. But it also depends on the hardware and your computer components, how much time the render takes. We know that depending on the graphic card, if it’s Nvidia, then Iray will deliver with faster and better results. However, the performance could be seriously affected if it’s from another manufacturer.
Some samples on the quality of the renders from each engine:
- Intel Core i7-3820 CPU @ 3.60GHz
- 8GB DDR3 RAM
- EVGA GTX 760 4GB Superclocked
Source reddit user post comparing different blender renderings
The user KiaAzad says “The big advantage to using iray is all of the ready to render assets you get on daz. it speeds up your creating time and lets you start rendering way sooner than if you want to make or convert the same assets in blender.“
A render farm usually refers to a group of computers that divide the task of rendering your project to get the job done in a fraction of a time. There are several render farms that offer their service through the web. The price will mostly depend on the quality and duration of the project. In most of the cases, render farms are a very good deal. Forget about waiting stressfully in front of the screen hoping that the computer will not die in the process.
Blender has a wide range of providers that will be happy to render your projects. As for Daz, well, it seems that it is not so popular among 3D softwares but still Nvidia provides support in the Iray Render Server. Before you render to connect to the server directly from Daz Studios.
Support & Online Community
We know how important it is for all kinds of users to be able to resort to a community. Whether it is a tutorial or a problem that needs to be solved, it is always better if we have accessible channels. In that sense, the community can play a crucial role when determining what software we will pick to work with.
Both Daz and Blender have their communities. Daz has a strong consistent community in forums but not so much in Youtube as we would see from Blender. Also true, since Daz keeps evolving so fast, some threads rapidly become old and useless.
In that way, there is a lot of work that needs to be done from Daz to reach the same level of content. Luckily, we have seen a lot of improvements in the social channels and the community is starting to expand slowly but surely, so even then there will be a community to give support in the upcoming versions. Here we are pal!
Scripting Daz3d vs Blender
Blender works with Python, which is a very popular object-oriented programming language with clean syntax. As referred in the Blender website:
Python scripts are a versatile way to extend Blender functionality. Most areas of Blender can be scripted, including animation, rendering, import and export, object creation and automating repetitive tasks.
Pricing Daz3d vs Blender
Both softwares are distributed free of charge.
You can use Blender for educational, commercial or personal purposes. However, its software provider, Blender Foundation, does offer enterprise pricing services and subscriptions for those who want to use their open production Blender Cloud service. What is it exactly? Blender Cloud is an online platform with various training courses, as well as exclusive downloadable assets to broaden your content library.
Subscription plans from €9.90 per month.
source Blender Cloud
The company has decided to give away the software for free. Both Daz Studio and Hexagon can be downloaded from here after a quick registration. They do offer license-based pricing on items from the marketplace, such as models for Genesis 8, plugins, utilities, tutorials and many more. We wrote a couple of article about some of their top assets for example:
Top Bar 3d Models for Daz
Top Swimming Pool 3d Models for Daz
Daz3d Female 3d Model – source Aiya
Car 3d Models for Daz3d
Daz3d Male 3d Model – source Underbelly Bundle
You can also join the Platinum Club. Plans range from $24 USD for a quarterly membership to $70 USD annual membership. The benefits are:
- Get an extra 30% OFF from all Daz Original Items
- Access to thousands of PC+ Items over 70% OFF
- Weekly Freebies and Exclusive Coupons
You can join the program here.
To Wrap Up – Daz3d vs Blender
And the winner is…
None! Just kidding. My recommendation is to take advantage of the strengths from each software and work side by side with both platforms to maximize the quality of your projects. Whereas Daz Studio focuses more on achieving realistic renders without sacrificing time, Blender does well its job creating without restrictions and for all sorts of needs. Hopefully you know now more about daz3d vs blender. In case you look for some good daz resources have a look at our other articles here.