DAZ Studio 4.12 is broken and so is DAZ 3D support
Published on 2019/12/10 by Igor Levicki
I am writing this article with a heavy heart after exhausting all legitimate channels for complaints.
Let's start with the forum. Approximately every two days or less it logs me out. Other users have complained as well so I am not the only one with this issue. I submitted a ticket and after going through a lengthy troubleshooting back and forth involving testing with several different browsers, three different computers with different operating systems, accessing from different locations which have different IP addresses and different routers/firewalls the issue was closed without resolution with the Cloudflare DDoS protection given as a possible explanation without a way to investigate further and fix.
On to DAZ Studio. Even the final release versions have serious bugs. When I say serious I mean bugs ranging from not being able to render using Iray to those that cause you to lose work.
1. dForce cloth physics simulation engine often causes the simulated clothing item to "explode", and if you don't react fast enough and cancel it right away, the results may vary from simply stopping with an error message and being unable to simulate anything until you restart the application, to outright crashing and losing unsaved work.
2. Iray rendering is a mess, current release version (184.108.40.206) as well as public beta (220.127.116.11) have serious issues with R440 NVIDIA drivers. How serious? Well switching to Iray preview in release version with 44x.xx drivers when you first launch the application with an empty scene will cause immediate CPU fallback. Furthermore, once you get a working Iray preview it can also happen that you get an error message saying that the renderer is in use once you hit the Render button. In beta version CPU fallback for empty scene seems to have been worked around, but you may get a CPU fallback by switching figure materials (for example changing eye color or clothing textures or even just tweaking the geometry a bit). I have two tickets open for two weeks and still not a word about a fix.
3. Application seems to use considerably more video memory than previous release (4.11), and as a result you will often have CPU fallback because memory allocation has failed.
4. When loading morphs with duplicate formulas, DAZ Studio does so extremely slowly -- figure which otherwise loads in 30 seconds takes more than 4 minutes to load when there are duplicate formulas. Yes, the product in question should be fixed, but this is also a parser issue which could be handled better so I opened a ticket. However, since it was a third party product (i.e. not sold on daz3d.com) they didn't even want to try to reproduce it, let alone consider making a performance improvement.
5. Once you face a problem and quit the application, which is something you will be doing very often, its process will remain active for dozens of seconds, apparently freeing memory and thus preventing you from launching it again immediately to continue working.
So what is DAZ Studio exactly then? Is it a professional application? I'd say that even though its output can look professional provided that you use high-quality assets and you know 3D, the way it is being developed and tested is far from professional -- in its current state it is no more than a toy 3D application given out for free to entice people to spend on 3D assets in the DAZ Store.
The store itself has a huge amount of 3D assets -- some of them very well done, and many others with various flaws such as bad clothing fits (some of which you can't fix yourself), and misaligned skin textures to name just a few. The prices for most items are outrageous, even if they are lower quality. For example, a Pro character bundle can go as high as $135 -- you get a base character, and one or two variations, you get a few clothing items, maybe a matching hair and that's it while just the character itself can cost you $45.
On top of it, there are a lot of characters which are not 3D sculpted, but are instead done by tweaking bog standard base body and head morph dials which you must own as well, and which you could have tweaked yourself and saved some money.
Finally, there is a matter of interactive licensing for every product -- you must pay additional $10-$50 per item for the right to use it outside of DAZ Studio, say in your 3D game.
DAZ Studio was supposedly used in creation of some popular movies, although to what extent it is not clear. In its current state I wouldn't recommend it if you are doing anything more serious than hobby 3D rendering.
Of course, NVIDIA has it's own share of blame for this, but more about that in my next article. Stay tuned.