Daz to Blender Workflow Tutorial 198

Tutorial

Export your Babies from Daz and render with Blender EEVEE!

Here is my manual workflow on how to import Daz models into Blender and render with EEVEE. Please tell me if something is confusing or unclear and feel free to ask me anything.

Main steps:

  1. Export from Daz
  2. Import into Blender 2.79b
  3. Set up materials
  4. Render in Blender 2.80 EEVEE

1. Export from Daz as .obj with these settings

My OBJ Export Options

My OBJ Export Options

2. Import in Blender with default settings

The baby has been successfully imported!

Our baby has been successfully imported!

3. Set up materials in Blender 2.79b

Since 2.80 is still in Alpha and therefore is unreliable and unpredictable, it is highly recommended to work and save our files in 2.79b. Really, don’t save your file with 2.80, you can easily loose all your work 🙂

Let’s begin setting up the materials

Select your figure mesh and open Node Editor (Shift +F3).

We are going to walk through all these 17 materials. Select the first one Ears and delete all this useless mess of nodes. This mess is selected by default, so just hit (X).

Delete this mess

Delete this mess

Let’s first add Material Output node and Principled BSDF node and connect those buddies together.

Our first Nodes

Our first Nodes

We gonna use only two types of textures: Base Color and Bump Map. I found it pretty enough for good-looking results. So let’s now add Bump node and bring our textures.

To easily find the path to the textures location navigate at Surfaces tab in Daz Studio, choose any of used texture and click Browse. You now get the path to the textures folder. Copy it, open in explorer or even create a shortcut on your desktop for easier access in the future.

An easy way to find our Daz textures

An easy way to find our Daz textures

Here is the path

Here is the path

Add Image Texture nodes and choose your face textures (color and bump maps). You can just drag and drop the images from the folder into Blender, that will create Texture Node automatically. Connect all the nodes and let’s do some tweakings.

Drag and Drop is very handful

Drag and Drop is very handful

Set Subsurface and Subsurface Radius to something like values on the screenshot below

Basic values which I find handsome

Basic values which I find handsome

Roughness is about 0.35. And for Bump, I found these numbers work pretty cool. So, instead of lowering Strength value, leave it as 1 and set Distance to something very low, about 0.0005. That will create a really nice skin. Also, it looks like bump should be inverted, so check the Invert option. Don’t forget to set color data to Non-Color for our Bump map and that is pretty much it, our first material seems to be ready!

Now let’s select all these nodes and copy them (Ctrl + C). Go to the next material, delete that mess (X) and paste our copied nodes (Ctrl + V). Repeat that process for all the materials. Then we need to change the textures for all the materials.

Ears, Lips, EyeSocket, Face all use the same face texture so we don’t actually need to change them. For Mouth, Teeth, Fingernails, Nails we can just remove textures and feel good with just a color. So, we actually need to change our Legs, Arms, Torso textures and then let’s talk about eyes and lashes.

For Irises, Pupil, Cornea, Sclera change textures to eyes maps and set the Roughness all the way to 0 and maybe do some other tweaking as you wish. You can do it just for one of these material and then copy-paste to rest ones.

For EyeMoisture we can use just Transparent BSDF node

Let's just do this guy invisible

Let’s just do this guy invisible

And finally Eyelashes.

Find the greyscale texture of lashes and put it as the Factor to blend between our main Principled BSDF and transparent BSDF shaders. The node setup is below:

Node setup for EyeLashes

Node setup for EyeLashes

Hair

Switch to your hair mesh and go through all materials which it has. We can use nodes from Eyelashes, it’s basically the same setup. In order to figure out which texture we need for opacity, we can again navigate to the Surface tab in Daz and see which texture it use. Also, add a color texture. The crucial textures for hair are Color and Opacity maps and probably Bump do the job, but you can, of course, transfer all the textures or none. You are the boss after all 🙂

That's the opacity map we looking for

This is opacity map we looking for our Base material

Various hairs have more or fewer materials and maps, so ones are more complicated than others.

Clothes

I went ahead and set up materials for items of clothing. This cloth only has Color and Bump maps, but in most cases, you also want Roughness (aka inverted Glossiness) map. Not necessary step, really, but I also added some random roughness with procedural noise texture, just to remind you, that it is Blender, it is freedom, it is power! You are unlimited here, you can do whatever you want.

Setup for cloth

Node setup for cloth

I also split the window and switched to Material Shading view to be able to approximately see what I’m doing.

Render in Blender EEVEE

Now let’s get into Blender 2.80, do some tweaks there, and see how it looks in real-time rendering engine EEVEE.

Switch render engine to Eevee and go to Rendered Shading view.

For all light sources enable Contact Shadows.

Contact Shadows option drastically improves the looking

Contact Shadows option drastically improves the looking

For all transparent materials in the Options section, we need to change Blend Mode from Opaque to Alpha Hashed. In our case, it is Hair materials, Eyelashes, and EyeMoisture.

Blend Mode to Alpha Hashed

Blend Mode to Alpha Hashed

In order to see Subsurface Scattering effect, we need to enable it in Render settings and also enable Subsurface Translucency in material Options for each material which has SSS. In our case, it is Ears, Lips, Legs, Face, EyeSocket, Torso, Arms.

Subsurface is delicious

Subsurface is delicious

We also want to enable Screen Space Reflections and Ambient Occlusion in Render settings and maybe all the other sweetnesses as you wish. And next, it’s all about tweaking, lighting, and compositing.

Oh, and what you really want to do as well is set Color Management to Filmic.

And yet, at this stage, we actually want to save our scene with 2.80, let’s do it now but as a separate file just in case.

I did some tweakings and a little bit of compositing.

My simple compositing nodes setup

My simple compositing nodes setup

And here is my final result after some color correction in Photoshop

Render time: 40 seconds

Render time: 40 seconds

That’s workflow definitely has some drawbacks, one of which is manual labor. But on the other hand, you get the full control and wider grasping of what’s happening. Anyway, if you know any better ways, tips and tricks, or have any questions, please let me know.

And once you ready with material setup, you can now make a new pose in Daz and import it again and then easily replace duplicated materials with Materials Utils Specials addon (you don’t need to repeat this setup process for each import). So, this method is more worth for rendering a set of images rather than one single shot.

And for a new scene with a new character you can use Append function for appending your already created materials and use them as a billet.

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