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Finding Your Content In DAZ Studio 4.6 {FREE Online Version}

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This tutorial, herein referred to as the “product”, is provided as-is with no warranties either expressed or implied.  The publisher retains all copyright ownership and reserves all rights to this product.  The "online" version of this product is only available directly from the publisher.  An updated document version (PDF) with accompanying video media (WMV/MP4) is available from the publisher website Tutorials section.  If you obtained a copy from any other source, please visit the publisher's website to notify us and register for your own authorized copy.
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Table of Contents

Introduction. 4

DAZ Studio Setup. 5

Window Layout & Style. 6

DAZ Install Manager 8

DIM Overview.. 9

Starter Essentials. 11


Smart Content 15

Object-Based. 17

Searching Smart Content 22

Content Library. 26

Indexed or Categorized. 27

Searching Content Library. 28

Finding Folder Location. 30

DAZ Locations. 32

Updating Content 34

Content Creator Preference. 36

Missing Thumbnails. 37

My DAZ Library. 38

DAZ Studio Formats. 38

Poser Formats. 38

Content Directory Manager 39

Recover Lost Content 42

File Searching. 43

Conclusion. 44


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You may be asking yourself, "Why can’t I find anything I have installed?"  Don’t let that get you down, because once you know where to look for your 3D content and why it is there, you will be able to find it faster.  For those of you tempted to respond with "anyone can perform a search", we say you are absolutely correct.  However, once the search results are returned, many DS users become a slave to the search engine because they do not know how to analyze/interpret the results.

DAZ Studio has been updated through the years to offer more features and a professional looking user interface to keep pace with technology.  With version 4, the Smart Content tab was added to DAZ Studio which means just another place to look for your content.  But it’s not all that bad, and once you are accustomed to using it, you will find it quite nice.

DAZ Studio Setup

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Throughout this tutorial we will be using the abbreviations “DS4” and “DS” interchangeably for the term "DAZ Studio".  Our demonstrations will be using the Layout “Hollywood Blvd” and the Style “Mainstreet”.  If you are comfortable enough with DS to follow along with your own settings, you can skip this chapter.  For those who wish to change settings to match, we have provided instructions.


DAZ Studio v4.6.3.50 Pro was used to develop the procedures in this tutorial.


Window Layout & Style

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On the main menu, select Window / Workspace / Select Layout.



In the popup, if the Layout shown is not “Hollywood Blvd” then click the bar to open the drop-down menu so that you can change it.  If you need to change the Layout, simply click on the “Hollywood Blvd” selection then click the “Accept” button at the bottom.



On the main menu, select Window / Style / Select Style.



In the popup, if the Style shown is not “Main Street” then click the bar to open the drop-down menu so that you can change it. If you need to change the Style, simply click on the “Main Street” selection then click the “Accept” button at the bottom.



DAZ Install Manager

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The DAZ 3D Install Manager allows you to easily browse, view and download products you have purchased from DAZ 3D.  When you install the Install Manager on your computer system, you may need to know which folders/directories to use for saving applications and content.  You can read all about it at this link:




If you have not installed the Install Manager, there are 3 methods by which you can download the Install Manager.


1) Use the download button from the product page above.



2) Use the get Install Manager button from the download page in your Product Library for any of the products that you have purchased.



3) Download directly by typing this URL into your web browser.





DIM Overview

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Once you have the DIM installed, it is very easy to use.  You can download content you have purchased from DAZ3D without installing it.  This way your content sections remain less cluttered.  When you need it, you can go back to DIM and install immediately.  We prefer to download and install our content all at once using the "Install After Download" option, but each user must decide what works best for them.  There are three tabs in DIM to manage your content.


1. The "Ready to Download" tab shows the products you have purchased from DAZ that can be Downloaded.



2. The "Ready to Install" tab shows products you have downloaded but have yet to install..



3. The "Installed" tab shows all the products you have installed for DAZ Applications like DAZ Studio.






As the number of products you have purchased from DAZ3D grows, you may find that it takes a little longer to process the list of content for each tab when first opening DIM for use.




Starter Essentials

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Once you have DAZ Studio and DIM installed, we highly encourage you to install the Genesis Starter Essentials, the Genesis 2 Female Starter Essentials and the Genesis 2 Male Starter Essentials.  You won't be disappointed with all the fabulous content provided by DAZ3D in these three bundles.



To see if you have installed the Starter Essentials, go to the "Installed" tab and type "Starter Essentials" into the filter box on the top-right where you can see the magnifying glass and hit the enter key.  If you see six files showing the Starter Essentials for both Genesis, Genesis 2 Female and Genesis 2 Male along with each one's Poser Companion File (PoserCF), then you have all of the Starter Essentials installed and ready to use for DAZ Studio.



If you have not installed the Starter Essentials, look for them in the same manner on the "Ready to Download" and "Ready to Install" tabs.  If you do not see them in either place, either you haven't requested and received a registered copy of DAZ Studio 4.6 Pro, or there is a problem with your DAZ Account.



If you cannot resolve the problem yourself, then please visit the DAZ3D homepage and click either the "Help Center" or "Contact Us" links located near the bottom of the page to get some assistance with your problem.




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Without getting into the technical reasons for separating content into the two tabs “Smart Content” and “Content Library”, suffice it to say that if you are installing content with metadata it will appear in the Smart Content tab.  Additionally, digital artists creating “works for hire” can significantly increase the efficiency of their production pipeline by learning to use both tabs in unison.



In previous versions of DAZ Studio, the Smart Content tab was referred to as “My Stuff”.  Generally speaking, only products like the Genesis figure and newer products will appear in the Smart Content tab.  So if you don’t find your installed content there, be sure to check in the Content Library before reinstalling.  In the next two sections we will discuss both tabs and how to use them in depth.





We recommend (especially for new users)
using the DAZ Install Manager (DIM)
to install content for use in DAZ Studio.


Smart Content

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Presenting on your left, the amazing and wonderful Smart Content tab (panel).  Whether you are new to DAZ Studio or an old pro, the Smart Content tab is a very nice feature. 



The Smart Content tab was known in some previous versions of DAZ Studio as MyStuff, but has been streamlined to improve your project's workflow.  This section will show you how easy it is to use content that is part of Smart Content.



The content you can expect to find in the Smart Content tab must have been accompanied with metadata specifically designed for it which makes it appear there (don't worry if you don't know what that means).  If you haven't installed any smart content yet, you will see nothing in the Smart Content tab.


No Smart Content Installed


If this is the case for you, be sure to download and install one of the Starter Essentials packages for Genesis, Genesis2 Female or Genesis 2 Male.



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Smart Content is object-based which means that it is designed so that it can be directly associated with particular objects like Figures and Props.  The selection button appears just below the Files / Products selectors and shows the name of the object currently selected in your scene.  "No Selection" will appear if nothing is selected.  When an object is loaded into your scene and selected, the Smart Content tab will display its name in the drop list so you can choose to  view only what is directly associated with that object.



               Nothing selected                                          Genesis selected                                The Kids4 selected


Once you purchase or acquire items that have been designed to be used as smart content (clothing, morphs, props, etc.) and install these in DS4, they will be available for use in the Smart Content tab.  Any content that is shown in the Smart Content tab is categorized by function and/or type such as Figures, Hair, or Wardrobe (clothing).  This allows you to only see the category of items you want to work with.

Categories of Smart Content


If sub-categories exist, you can expand the list under each category by clicking the small right facing arrow.  If you have already expanded a category, you can use the downward facing arrow to collapse it.



                                                   Not Expanded                                                          Expanded


You can see all of the Smart Content you have installed by making sure nothing is selected in the scene and choosing the All category.  If you don't see everything you expected, there may be a vertical scroll bar on the right-side you can use to pan the view further down if there are too many items to display in the panel.


All Smart Content


After you install much content (like shown above), you can narrow what is displayed in the Smart Content tab by selecting one category and any sub-categories to make it easier to find what you need.



You can see in the screenshot below that we have selected the Genesis character in the Scene tab on the right.  In the Smart Content tab, Genesis shows as the selected object and we have narrowed our view down to the category Hair and the sub-category of Short Hair.



To add or apply an item in the Smart Content tab to your scene, you can double-click its thumbnail or right-click its thumbnail and select "Merge into Scene" from the dropdown menu.



Before merging Smart Content, be sure the item
you have selected in the scene is the object
you want the Smart Content item applied to.


Adding the Duke Hair to Genesis as shown below was quick and easy.



The Smart Content tab makes using DAZ Studio even easier.  Many older products are being updated to include metadata so that they can be used from the Smart Content tab.  Hopefully most (if not all) of the popular products are updated soon.


One of the most exciting things we like about the Smart Content tab is the Animation category.  We are not able to show you in this document, but we can however describe it for you so that you can try it yourself.  Whenever you move the mouse cursor over an Animation thumb, the selected object in the scene will “move” to that animation so you can preview it before actually applying it.



These screenshots show you screen captures of the Jump animation in action while the mouse cursor was hovering over its icon.


                      1               2


                      3               4


Searching Smart Content

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While DS is performing a search for Smart Content, the word “Searching” will be displayed and the DAZ icon will be turning around.  This is important because just changing to the Smart Content tab may begin a search and these two things are your visual indicators as to why DS may be “thinking”.


You may have noticed the “Files” and “Products” depress buttons.  The Files option is more for advanced users who may know the specific filename used for the desired content.  Search results using this button will be displayed in filename order.  You can narrow down the list of items displayed by changing from “All” to a specific category like “Animals” or “Lights”.



The Files and Products buttons work independently of each other and will display the number of items matching your criteria to the right side of the search field.


Files = 6,987 Results


Products = 1,007 Results


To find a specific piece of content and all items designed to work with it, simply type the name or a portion of the product title in the search field.  The more specific your search text is, the more refined (smaller) your list will be.  If you are having problems finding your desired content, try using less and more general words.  You can see below how we are searching for “gorilla” which returned three (3) results in the Products category.


Search Results for “gorilla”



If the Product you are searching for appears, you can double-click its icon or right-click its icon and select Explore Product Content from the singular popup menu.



Products for “Gorilla for Genesis”


Content Library

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Presenting on your right, the Content Library tab (panel).




The Content Library can look very intimidating and cumbersome because it is a massive indexing system with thumbnail images (in many cases) of your installed content.  This includes both DAZ and 3rd Party content including DAZ Studio and Poser versions (if installed).  You can configure DAZ Studio to even include non-DAZ and older content you may have installed on your computer.


Indexed or Categorized

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If you know what the name of the product you wish to load into your scene is named, you can find it quickly in the Products section where everything is listed alphanumerically.  If you know what type of product it is by category, you can look in the Categories section.





Searching Content Library

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Not unlike the Smart Content tab, the Content Library displays a wide variety of content types.  Each type is usually annotated with headers like Actor, Material(s), Pose, Scene and more to indicate what its intended purpose is.  To load the Gorilla figure into your scene, you would simply double-click it or you could right-click and select Merge Into Scene.  The real trick is being able to find desired content.



If you have no general idea of where to find the content for a product you have purchase and installed, the fastest way to get started is to type at least one word from that item's title in the Content Library's search bar located near the top.  Go to the Content Library tab, click in the box, type your search word(s) and press the enter/return key.


We will be searching for items related to the DAZ Gorilla so we performed our search using the word "gorilla".



As you can see above, our search returned many results of different types.  Don't be fooled by how it appears that all these items are together in your Library.  All of the items displayed may not be located in the same folder location in the hierarchy for your own library of DAZ contents.


Finding Folder Location

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Sure, the search results look nice and all, but what if you need to know exactly where the content files are located on your computer system.  Another advantage to knowing where files are stored, is that the organization of your content in the Content Library is almost certainly the same, Wow!  So by knowing this you can quickly locate the content being used for your current project when you reopen a scene for further development.  You have several ways in which to discover the exact place where your desired content has been stored on your system:


1) mouse hover

2) right-click browse to

3) perform O/S file search

4) use software like File Finder DS


We will be looking for the location of the pose file "G00".  If you use the mouse "hover over icon" method to get the file information popup, you can see various details about the content file associated with the icon.  The File Name and File Path sections tell you exactly what you need to know.  The actual filename is "G00.duf" and the location on your computer system is:


C:\Users\Public\Documents\My DAZ 3D Library\People\Genesis\Poses\GorillaPoses


Mouse Hover Over Icon Popup


If you use the right-click "Browse to file location" method, you O/S file explorer window should open in the folder containing the content file associated with the icon


Mouse Right-Click Browse To


Here is actual screenshot of the Windows of file explorer browsing to the location.


Windows File Explorer


DAZ Locations

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In the Content Library, you will find content designed specifically for DAZ Studio in the "DAZ Studio Formats" section.  This content is usually located in designated folders found directly under the "My DAZ 3D Library" folder location.


C:\Users\Public\Documents\My DAZ 3D Library\     <---   {Folders with DAZ Content}


You will find that there is a direct correlation between where your DAZ content is stored on your computer and the folder hierarchy within the Content Library.



Here is a full blown example with mouse hover over the Gorilla character.



Updating Content

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If you have installed new content the old-fashioned way (manually) or even using the DIM, you may not see an appearance of it in your Smart Content or Content Library.  To add content to DAZ Studio, click on the active pane options button.




In the drop-down menu, you have several options to choose from.  For the most part, you should always use the “Scan Known Directories” (Option 2 below).  Here are some of the reasons why you may choose to use each option:


Option 1 – You have just installed DAZ Studio and want it to find any content you have previously installed.

Option 2 – You have just installed a new item (figure, accessory, prop) and want it added to your content tabs.

Option 3 – You upgraded DAZ Studio from a previous version and wish to move all of old content to My DAZ 3D Library.



                   Option 1                                        Option 2                                    Option 3


Content Creator Preference

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Even though DAZ has an organizational plan for DS specific content, in most cases they allow the content creator to decide where content is to be located in the hierarchy.  The reason for this is most likely because when content is created, many of the files have dependencies on other files and have links to the location where they were originally placed by the content creator.


Here is where you might expect to find content designed specifically for Genesis:


                                           CONTENT LIBRARY

                                           |............. DAZ Studio Formats

                                           |............. My DAZ 3D Library

                                           |............. People

                                           |............. Genesis



Don’t be alarmed if your 3D content

IS NOT located exactly where you expected.




Missing Thumbnails

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Once DAZ Studio has completed any update, you may need to refresh the thumbnail view in the Content Library.  To refresh the view, right-click in the open space (not on an icon) and select “Refresh” from the popup.




My DAZ Library

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As with almost anything that you install on your computer, your content has to be stored in some place that Apps and Users can find it.  If you need to know exactly where DAZ Studio has located the My DAZ 3D Library, you can find out where in the Content Directory Manager.



DAZ Studio Formats

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By default, DAZ Studio usually creates a folder named “My DAZ 3D Library” under the User or Public folders to store your content.  DAZ Studio specific content is usually stored directly under this folder.  If you change these by specifying a different location, you probably won’t have any problems unless the content you install uses hard coded paths expecting items to be somewhere in particular.  Please use the default content paths provided by DAZ Studio unless you very experienced in this area.



Poser Formats

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DAZ Studio maintains legacy Poser “Runtime” formatted content in the Runtime folder beneath the default My DAZ 3D Library folder.  Other than its location, the Runtime structures remain as originally designed for use in Poser.




Content Directory Manager

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To view all of the paths assigned for storing your content on the main menu click Edit / Preferences or press F2 on your keyboard.




Along the options bar at the top of the popup menu, select Content Library then click on the long button (bar) titled Content Directory Manager.




The location for both DAZ Studio Formats and Poser Formats will be shown.




Recover Lost Content

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If you search everywhere in the Smart Content and Content Library tabs, but cannot find a product that the DAZ Install Manager (DIM) shows as Installed, then you may have to do the following to restore it properly:


          1. Exit DAZ Studio


          2. Run DIM and Uninstall product


          3. Exit DIM and Run DIM again {optional, to clear all buffers/caches}


          4. Install product


          5. Exit DIM


          6. Run DAZ Studio and search for new content




File Searching

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You may find the File Finder DS for Windows application to be the perfect companion to this guide.  File Finder DS will help locate DAZ Studio related files on your Windows-based computer system.  This utility can be used by anyone but will probably prove most useful to more experienced users of DS and content creators.  It allows you to search by filename or filetype.





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We hope that you found this online tutorial covering content for DAZ Studio 4.6 helpful.  The updated version of this tutorial in standard PDF format and accompanying Videos in WMV & MP4 formats can be reviewed here.

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