I ran across this on a forum that I visit regularly, and I felt like this was worth sharing. DAZ 3D, a 3D software company, is offering three of their commercial products ABSOLUTELY FREE The three products include

  • Hexagon 3D, a 3D modeling program
  • Bryce 7, a 3D terrain generation and rendering program
  • DAZ Studio 4, an animation and rendering program
You’re probably thinking “There’s some catch to this”. Well there is. You have to sign up for the DAZ 3D e-mail newsletter. Oh the horrors! I’ve done it myself, and you literally don’t even have to submit a credit card number! Just make an account, and you can have nearly $900 USD of programs for free! I don’t know when this expires, so jump on it soon!
You’re probably wondering what these are capable of. I’ve played with both Bryce 7 and DAZ Studio and with a little bit of work and tutorial-watching, I’ve made some cool stuff with the presets. I’m not a great modeler unless its something I really want to do, so I don’t have anything for Hexagon, but it does offer a good environment to model in.

 

Bryce 7
Bryce includes the capabilities to generate random height maps, black and white images that tell the computer how high a part on the terrain is. From this height map, Bryce creates a 3D model of the terrain. You can edit the sky, fog, and sun positions (among other things). Here’s something I whipped up in about half an hour with the height map generator set to “Mordor”
Snowy Mountains rendered in Bryce
Pretty cool, eh?
DAZ Studio 4 
DAZ Studio comes with many models and scenes already set up if you just want to mess with the camera and render cool things. Thats exactly what I did after I failed to figure out how to do really cool stuff on my own. Here’s the result, I imported the “Dragon Slayer” scene (something messed up with the guy)
I did add a yellow light inside the dragon’s mouth to make it appear like he was about to breathe fire on the poor knight trying to slay him.
DAZ Studio has some other interesting features, if you import one of their human models, you can modify it with sliders on the left hand side of the screen like you were creating a character in some RPG. Its pretty cool stuff, and allows for nice results with very little work. If you’re like me, and organic modeling isn’t your forte (at all), I would recommend DAZ Studio highly.

 

Anyway, DAZ’s products are pretty cool, though the navigation does take some time to get used to. In their store, you can also find many free models that you can easily use in DAZ scenes. There are also higher quality models that you can buy if you need to. DAZ’s products provide an easy environment to make some pretty awesome stuff.