DAZ Studio 3 is here!

Yeah! Just released a few days ago! Open-mouthed So, I was quick to download and install it, to see what was new.

And I’m here to report that… it is… SHIT! And here’s why:

It didn’t start well, because after I loaded it up… the tutorial scene failed to load. Great start… especially if you’ve never used the software before… Sarcastic
Fortunately, I know how to use it… so I loaded up a previous scene (the one with the dragons swordfighting), and tested the new, updated rendering engine, rendering the same image at the same size with the same aspect ratio at the same angle. I expected great things to happen, and I had hoped the lighting would more accurate and the render would complete much faster!

But the render took AGES to do NOTHING! It CRASHED on me! Angry

So… I closed it, and restarted the program. Opened up the same scene, and tried to render again, leaving it for what felt like about 10 minutes… even though (when it HAD finished) it claimed it had taken two minutes. Sarcastic Hehe… no… no, it didn’t.

Let me demonstrate the size of the rendering problem. I’m going to close down every other application on my taskbar (excluding Firefox, of course) and render an 840×525 scene in DAZ Studio 3, whilst timing it with my trusty stopwatch. I’m rendering with no raytracing, no background, and with the same complicated refraction texture in Whirlwind’s sword… so let’s see how long this takes…

Okay, it did it…
Hot
…in 6:28.23. Which is pretty appalling, to be frank… Tongue out

Right, I’m now going to load up DAZ Studio 2.3, and see how that gets on with the exact same render.
Okay, it loaded faster than DAZ Studio 3, and loaded the file faster, too. I’m just gonna start rendering now, let’s see how it does…

And it’s done…
Hot
…in 1:38.56! That rendered nearly 400% faster… and it’s an EARLIER VERSION! Surprised

I’ve just noticed… have you SEEN what DAZ Studio 3 has done to the image?! It’s smoothed out all the bumpmaps, so the objects look smoother, more blurry, and less realistic, and it’s even effed up Shadow’s armour, particularly his head armour, which has stretched way beyond the end of his muzzle! And, in my opinion, it’s completely SCREWED UP Whirlwind’s sword… it looks crap compared to what DAZ Studio 2.3 could do!

Also, after I rendered, closed the current scene and started a new scene, I noticed that DAZ Studio 3 had COMPLETELY fecked up my content directories, so I couldn’t find where anything was. Just what I need… some update to screw up my content directories which took ages to make… Sarcastic

It’s not just the render engine or content directories that DAZ Studio 3 has failed at. I want to be able to see where my keyframes are, like in 3DS Max, because that’s kinda important in an animation package… but they’ve failed to add that. Instead, they’ve added this USELESS animation plugin called aniMate Lite which uses stupid "aniBlocks" to "help" with animation. They have supplied some preset aniBlocks… which is a nice thought… but they don’t work with any non-human figure, such as… say… the Millenium SubDragon, which I have used more than human figures. Tongue out The preset aniBlocks are crap, anyway… the only useful ones are the walking ones. If you want to make new aniBlocks (which you do), you’ve got to manually create keyframes to create the animation… which is hard, because I can’t freaking see where my keyframes are, which is the feature I wanted (and probably many other animators wanted) in the first place! After that, you can save the animation to use later as an aniBlock… but why would I want to do that? Nine times out of ten, if you’re serious about animating (which you would be if you bought a £150 animation package with the slogan "It’s time to get serious!")… you’re not going to use the exact same animation sequence again and again, are you? You’d vary it to make it interesting… and to do that, you’d edit the keyframes.

They’ve added a bunch more useless features, too… there’s the Render Editor which lets you preview your previous renders and compare them, and also change some settings such as brightness. Fine… but if I were going to compare two renders, I’d use something called "Windows Photo Viewer", which is free, and can flick back and forth between many images… and if I wanted to change some settings, I’d use the same program… or I’d use Photoshop, which, if you can afford DAZ Studio Advanced… you should have anyway, otherwise you’re a complete idiot. Tongue out

There’s also the "Shader Mixer" and "Shader Builder", which I can’t use because they’re so blindingly overcomplicated. I suspect that they’re also useless, because when I try to apply one of the preset shaders to an object… I get an error saying that something’s missing. When I tell it to "recompile", it works… but when I render… it looks nothing like it does in the thumbnail. I applied the "plastic" shader to one of my objects… and it came out as pure black instead of… plastic. Useless!

There’s a "shader baker", as well… which gets all the bump maps, displacement maps, basically every texture map on an object, and, in an incredibly long and tedious process, the "shader baker" combines them together into one map. This lets you see your object with more detail in the viewport. One question… why in the name of CRAP would I want to do that?! That’s what RENDERING is for! Besides, adding extra detail onto a viewport object is only going to slow everything down!

They also claim that DS3 has all the features of DS2… but they LIE! There’s this "pin/unpin" button on the title bar of every window in DS2. When you click it when the window is docked, it slides over to the nearest side of the screen, and adds a tab to that side of the screen with the window’s name in it. When you click this tab, the window appears as a floating window, which stays there until you stop hovering over it. If you click the "pin/unpin" button again while the floating window is visible, it becomes a full window again, and docks where you last left it! This saves a lot of space, because you may want the window to be there, but you may not need it all the time. For example, I want lip-sync to be within arm’s reach when I need it, but I don’t need it all the time. It also saves time, because if you closed the window and needed it back, you’d have to go into a menu, go into a submenu, find the window you want, click on it, and dock it into position. In DS3, they removed this unbelievably handy button… which REALLY pissed me off! I either have to sacrifice A LOT of viewport space just so I can have all the toolbars there at the same time, or I have to have a bunch of annoying floating windows all over the place!

So, to sum up, DS3 is slower than DS2… takes 400% longer to render than DS2… renders less accurately than DS2… and has a lot of pointless extra features which do nothing but make the program bigger and harder to download. If, for some reason, you find any part of DS3 better than DS2… you need to go to a mental asylum and/or shoot yourself, because you’re a complete idiot. Tongue out And so… for the first time EVER, I’m going to be uninstalling a newer version of a program, and sticking with the old version!

Right, I think that’s all. Smile Methinks I shall finish this bit of college work off. Only five days left… Confused

Anyhoo, I’ll see y’all later! Open-mouthed

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