So you’ve got the free Base Figures. Now what?

Just in case you didn’t get the memo, the generous people at DAZ3D have released all of their Base Figures (yes, all of them) for free. That has put the 3D rendering community into feeding frenzy mode with all and sundry stuffing their hard drives to the gills with everything from the very first Aiko to the latest and greatest FREAK 4 figure.

Then they’ve scratched their heads wondering what to do with all these terrific figures. After all, these are just the figures – there’s next to no hair, no clothes and many don’t even include a set of morphs or textures worth writing home about. So, just what can you do with a runtime folder full of just the base figures?

Use them, of course!

The Girl, bare. Cute as a button she is too.

The easiest way to use the figures straight out of the body is as figure studies. Get to know how the models pose and the strengths of each one. Every model is different. Michael 3, for example, is far more chiseled than Michael 4’s more rounded features, and the original Aiko is much more toon-like than the later Aiko 3 and Aiko 4 models. The Reduced Resolution figures are well worth the price of download (free!) as they’re ideally suited if you want to add a crowd scene or bunch o’folks in the background.

Ten Michael 3 RR figures in one scene and my little netbook didn’t even break into a sweat.

The Reduced Resolution figures also come with equally reduced resolution textures, and they work with any figure of the same Generation – so you can use the Michael 3 RR texture on FREAK or Michael 3 himself too. It’s not a great texture, but it’s good enough to get started.

Michael 4 base. A surprisingly great texture, by default.

The newer Fourth Generation figures (Michael 4, FREAK 4, Hiro 4, Victoria 4, Aiko 4, Girl 4 and She-Freak 4) are the current, and best, models out there but that quality comes at a price. These are all memory intensive figures to use. The earlier generation figures are much lighter to use, both in terms of loading and render time. For complex renders, I sometimes use Victoria 2 and Michael 2 as stand-in figures while I set up the scene, then replace them with their Fourth Generation counterparts when I’m ready to roll.

Stephanie 3, sunset and Gold Shader. Done.

The huge advantage of using an earlier figure is that there’s a wealth of free (and paid) content out there for them. I’d guess V3 has fifty times the number off outfits than V4, and Aiko 3 is easily the best supported Anime figure on the market. I’ll be looking at free resources for the older figures another time. Until then, I suggest taking a look at using Shaders to colour and texture the Base Figure directly. This is something I’ve already covered (here and here) – why not give it a try?

She-Freak 4. As deadly as she is beautiful.

Thanks to DAZ Studio’s Morph Follower, it shouldn’t be too difficult to make your existing clothing fit (provided it’s of the same Generation), and solutions exist to convert any clothing or hair to any figure. FREAK 4 sure looks funny in a dress.

But that’s not all. DAZ3D have also issued a $5 voucher for everyone. It’s valid until 1st February so be quick! The code is SPREADTHEWORD5 – just add it in the My Account page and it’s yours. You can read more about this offer over on the DAZ Forums. Until the end of the month there’s a huge dicount on 2nd, 3rd and 4th Generation clothing bundles so you could even use it to pick up a whole load of clothes for free!

A pair of Victoria 3s all set for a disco face-off thanks to the V3 SP Clothing Pack. Oh yeah.

The David Clothing Bundle, Hiro Clothing Bundle, Chic Boutique, v3 SP Clothing Pack, David Clothing Pack, V3 High Fantasy Character Clothing Bundle, M3 High Fantasy Character Clothing Bundle and 4 in1 Hair Bundle are all currently only $3.48 each – that $5 more than covers any one of them. Heck, the Modern Desert Soldier Bundle is only $5.23 so you could pick up a full set of army dress for David, Michael 3 & FREAK for just 23 cents! Bargain? Oh yes! Grab all the links to these packs and more on the Generation 3 Bundles page – but be quick!

Next time, let’s take a look at just one of the figures – Hiro 3. Till then!

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