Daz Studio is a powerful tool with an incredibly steep learning curve. The trick for working with Daz is finding inexpensive 3d models to use for learning and experimenting. The Daz store along with other third-party 3d sites (Render Hub and Renderosity, among others) will frequently slash prices on older content. I’ve managed to grab plenty of content costing under a dollar. The models used in this render were all acquired for no more than $10 US (on sale) in total.
When purchasing, be sure to read everything about the model carefully. Some items may be texture add-ons for a specific product. Many of the older models are compatible only with Poser, a popular 3d rendering package requiring a paid license. Daz is able to use some Poser models and textures. But from my understanding, many Poser lights and cameras are not compatible with Daz. Navigating the many different versions of figures, clothing, hair, and props can also be a bit of a challenge to understand for a newcomer.
Lately, I’ve been tinkering around with cameras, lighting, and depth of field effects to learn my way around the software. My advice is to take advantage of all the great video tutorials made for Daz. Those have saved a ton of time and answered a lot of questions. It’s been about three months for me since starting at zero with Daz. I’ve been making simple scenes to experiment with settings. I’ll post more as I become better proficient with the software.
In the render shown below, some minimal post-processing was done to the raw render in GIMP. This probably still needs some sharpness and contrast adjustment, but not bad for two hours of work.
Edit: After continuing to work on this same Daz scene, I came up with a variation of this same theme. The military truck was removed and replaced with ruined buildings. Vegetation was added to fill in some of the gaps. The HDRI lights were tweaked a bit to add a more dramatic feel. Post-processing is still a “work in progress”. I imagine this soldier might be on patrol somewhere in the ruins of a fallen city. Maybe somewhere in the “Muv-Luv” universe? Will she encounter BETA and survive this patrol? Let me know what you think!
Another Edit: Looks like the patrol has gone well. I’ll probably have her head back to the compound before she runs into any trouble. I may have to name her and see where her story goes.