How to Craft and Populate and Detail Big Cities in Daz Studio

How to Craft and Populate and Detail Big Cities in Daz Studio

With so many urban assets available at the Daz 3D store, a natural inclination is to build an urban environment or to even create a whole city! But where do you start to generate such a sophisticated environment?

With 3.5 hours of tutorials, Richard Schafermeyer (rgcincy) takes you through the steps of crafting, populating and detailing a big city for Daz Studio. He’ll show you techniques, scripts and the best assets to construct a busy metropolis!

He'll be creating from a bird’s eye view as well as down at street level, having a particular emphasise on realism and making a “used” look for the buildings and streets.


•Build a road network
•Adding buildings
•Main tools: movement methods, instances, various scripts, scene subsets and layer compositing


•Populate your streets with people and vehicles
•Main tools: instances, scattering, billboards and use of low-resolution figures


•Adding dirt, weathering and a used look to buildings
•Adding and scattering debris elements in a street for realism

The tutorials will take a close look at:-

Issues to Overcome

• Memory limitations (RAM, VRAM)
• Moving around a large scene
• Creating variety (buildings, people, vehicles)
• Lack of sufficient models for specific era or locale
• Positioning numerous objects
• Making it look lived-in
• Showing infrastructure
• Street elements and visual clutter (e.g., mailboxes, benches, light poles, etc.)

General Techniques to Use

• Instances
• Scene subsets
• PNG layers, Iray Canvases
• Billboards
• Foreground vs background resolution
• Scripts
• Kitbashing

Viewing a Big City

• Bird’s eye view – see full scope of a city
• Drive through
• Street scene with big city showing in background
• Vignettes – Implied City

About the presenter : Richard Schafermeyer (rgcincy)

Rich Schafermeyer is a long-time 3D artist and programmer. He got his start with the original Poser and Bryce 3D. In 2001, he wrote his first 3D modeler that evolved into the still available Shape Magic. He began to use Daz Studio in 2012. With a research and engineering background, the physics of dForce grabbed his attention! He decided it would be helpful to others if he shared his learnings and has frequently done so in the Daz forums. He's also dived deep into the topic of creating big city environments in Daz and again has posted some of his learning points in the forums.

What's Included and Features

  • How to Craft and Populate and Detail Big Cities in Daz Studio:
  • Presentation outline document - includes all product resources used to create our big city
  • Big City Powerpoint slide deck
  • Session 1 tutorial : 1 hour and 43 minutes:
    • 00:02 Introduction
    • 00:07 Definition of a big city
    • 00:07 Issues to overcome in building a big city
    • 00:10 City products available and commentary on each
    • 00:13 Urban Sprawl 2 and 3
    • 00:17 Products where some assembly required
    • 00:19 Generate a city automatically by software tools
    • 00:21 Different eras and geographies
    • 00:23 Medina city generator
    • 00:24 Plan your city
    • 00:25 Select era, region and economic status
    • 00:30 Daz Studio demo : River Front (Poser product)
    • 00:32 Alter the nudge value on transforms
    • 00:34 Use ambient light to improve the city set
    • 00:35 Low poly products
    • 00:37 Creating the city a block at a time and moving city blocks
    • 00:40 Demo of Daz product : streets
    • 00:42 Make your own city grid
    • 00:48 Building our city : 65 products used!
    • 00:51 Daz Studio : How to load buildings
    • 00:55 Moving the buildings
    • 00:57 Scripts by MCasual for moving buildings to different blocks.
    • 01:02 Scene subsets to help memory limitations
    • 01:08 Dealing with anomalies when compositing city components
    • 01:11 Saving a scene subset
    • 01:13 Combining scene subsets using Gimp
    • 01:24 Converting models from other sources for Daz Studio
    • 01:26 Daz Studio demo: making a city park
    • 01:29 Daz Studio demo : creating a city construction
    • 01:33 The Ultrascatter Pro script
  • Session 2 tutorial : 1 hour and 36 minutes:
    • 00:04 Introduction
    • 00:06 Birds eye view - showing the details including people and vehicle
    • 00:08 Night scene
    • 00:10 Highway scene
    • 00:10 Birdman vehicles
    • 00:12 Adding details : scaffolding
    • 00:13 Residential area using bill boards
    • 00:14 Daz Studio Demo : Construction site (completed with better lighting)
    • 00:18 Three ways to add people
    • 00:20 Script to assist with billboards facing the camera
    • 00:21 Script to drop billboards to the floor
    • 00:25 Now-crowd product - billboard products
    • 00:31 Crowd resources - low poly 3D figures that you can repose
    • 00:34 Place billboards at random script
    • 00:39 Have billboard characters face different directions
    • 00:41 Problems of instances
    • 00:48 Adding vehicles
    • 00:50 Instancing optimisation
    • 00:54 Use scripts to drop the cars to the road surface plane
    • 00:56 Use the timeline to alter the spacing between cars
    • 01:07 Detailing a city
    • 01:12 Placing and scattering rubbish : Ultrascatter Pro
    • 01:23 Dirt geometry shells for buildings and modifying them
    • 01:40 Conclusion

Compatible Software:

DAZ Studio 4.11

Install Types:

Install Manager Manual Install