Dude you are a genius! I have been looking for this exact solution!!
Green for you my good man
Hi all, just wanted to share this with those people who, like me, would have trouble visualizing certain poses and angles that you can clearly see in your head but for the life of you cannot translate it on to paper. Well, an elegant and free solution that I've found works very well is using DAZ Studio 3D. It's free to use and there are several different models you can download from here
The models are good quality and the anatomy is pretty darn accurate (though this is not meant as a substitute to learning real anatomy). I use this as an alternative to those little wooden mannequins most artists use and it works great whenever I need to visualize an angle that I know I can't do from imagination. I try not to rely on this tool too much but when I absolutely can't draw the angle I want then it's a huge help.
Another good tool for referencing inanimate objects such as vehicles, guns, and famous landmarks, etc is Google's Sketchup. It's also free and there are thousands of 3D models you can download. Here's a link to it,
In addition you can easily create a crude version of the environment for you story and use it as a basis to build upon when you draw. I just create simple blocks to represent buildings, or a bedroom, or dinner table, or what have you. I still plot out the perspective lines when I draw so that I get used to the process.
Just my two cents, these tools are meant as aids and not crutches. Those of us who aren't quite as good should use them to learn to get better, and on the rare occasion that a pro might get stumped, they're also quite useful I think.
My only problem with Daz is that I can't seem to get the new models I download to actually go into the program. Grrrr. Otherwise it's great, especially if you can afford content.
During installation, when it asks you where you want to save, best practice is the content folder itself located in the Daz Studio folder. Make sure everything goes in there.
The next step is to make sure Daz is looking for content in that folder. I use a mac so I just go into preferences and select the directories tab, then click on Add and select the folder in question. Not sure how this is done on the pc (perhaps under the tools menu option).
This is probably not very helpful so I'll try and do a visual tutorial (mac version), later today or tomorrow, whenever time permits.
For one, yeah, install everything into the DAZ content folder. I can't remember how to do it on an Apple, but for the PC version, all of their installers, I think, will default to this? Maybe? But that's where you want to do it. Even still, I have a hard time making sense of how they organize the installations (and have stupidly installed the first few materials to subfolders on my own), so a lot of the stuff, I just had to memorize the paths to get to what I need.
The bottom line, though, is, if you want it to show up in the little Daz file explorer thingy, it needs to be installed to the content folder.
I never got Daz studio working right but I've used Poser a bit. It has benefits and drawbacks. I've more than once spent hours trying to get a pose, camera angle, and character just right, and then realized I'd have been better off just sketching it from my head in the first place. It eats time and sometimes turns out stiff or weird. Other times it's very helpful.
I definitely have mixed feelings on it. Overall, I prefer using action figures for quick pose reference.
Middleweight ►ω:10 λ:9 κο:6◄
I have a plethora of reference sources, yes, including action figures and some decently articulating little mannequins (though... they could be better) along with the 3d stuff.
There's certainly a learning curve, like anything else. It took me some time to get quick and good at posing in DAZ (well good enough to get me drawing anyway), but I found once I did, the benefits to be pretty good.
Particularly for myself, I find it useful for getting really interesting camera angles. Also for shots that include 2 or more figures, it REALLY helps me judge the relationships between them/perspective/etc. Especially when using those nifty camera angles.
It also just helps me figure out a scene in 3D-- storytelling wise, the same way a floor plan would, it helps me visually think things out.
I'm not making an arguement for or against it. Just sharing the points where I find it useful.
I actually find it easier to figure things out on paper (or use a mirror) than to use Daz or Poser to pose anything. I guess part of the problem is the fact that my pc is slow, so both eat too many resources, so at times it's *click* *wait a minute* *click* *wait another minute* and so on. Really, that's NOT a way to work on comics, haha.
But I have to thank poser. At some point I had trouble finding artists for my scripts, so I thought "hey, I'll set this up in 3d, then go and trace it all in Photoshop and it'll look great!"
I think I managed to set up three or four pages before I gave up. I just couldn't stand looking at these damned 3d figures, heh. While setting up single characters was easy, trying to do a scene involving a group of characters in close physical contact. Argh.
ANyway, this is turning into a rant... I dumped 3d and decided to return to simply drawing stuff on paper.
Aurora, I get what you're saying. It can be tedious and cumbersome (and much more so if you've a slow machine), but to re-iterate my reasons for using it, it's good for poses you simply can't put on paper without a visual aid.
Case in point, an artist named Jeffrey Cruz (Chamba) who I admire greatly has this amazing ability to capture the most action packed poses from these incredible angles. I've tried in vain to mimic that, and found DAZ Studio to be a great aid.
The key is also to use it sparingly, unless absolutely necessary. And the worst thing you can do is trace directly from the 3D models. That only leads to stiff drawings and obvious tracing.
The ultimate goal is to ween yourself off of referencing entirely, or at least minimizing it as much as possible. Once you've drawn one pose, you can do it over and over again without using reference.