How to Create a 3D Impact Crater Scene in PD Howler

How to Create a 3D Impact Crater Scene in PD Howler

PD Howler is a fast digital painting and animation program, created by artist, Dan Ritchie and is available within the Daz store. It's a rich toolbox for 2D and 3D artists, now with GPU-based rendering of 3D landscapes and makes a great supplementary application for Daz Studio users.

In this tutorial learn from Philip Staiger, co-creator of PD Howler, who will show you how to create a 3D impact crater landscape by using a heightmap, then add erosion plus sediments. He'll take you through colorizing the scene and then will add detail with bump maps. He'll show you a few special effects, tune the water for realism and then animate the scene.

In the tutorial's second half, Tiffanie Gray who is an experienced landscape painter will show you the painterly features of PD Howler, creating an oil effect painted landscape, demonstrating the powerful and flexible brush tools.

No previous experience is required of PD Howler for this session.

PD Howler includes GPU-accelerated 3D landscape generation tools, rendering with path tracing, video-on-video painting, motion tracking, image stabilization, rotoscoping, artist guides, photo editing, realistic media painting with dryout, translucency and pigment lifting, tools for post work and special effects filters, time stretching with motion estimated interpolation, particle brushes, foliage brushes, bristle brushes, orbicle brushes, user-defined custom animated brushes, video brushes, an exposure sheet for lip-synched cartooning, animated frame painting, loopable and seamless video creation tools, lens flares and many more amazing tools and gadgets.

About Philip Staiger

Philip Staiger is the founder / owner of, and authorized reseller and partner/co-developer of Project Dogwaffle, including PD Artist, PD Particles and the top-of-the-line, PD Howler. He also likes to use and promote other 2D and 3D art creation tools. Long ago he was an Amapi Evangelist at Eovia, where he also became fond of Carrara.

Phil has partnered with Dan Ritchie on many aspects of developing, promoting and marketing Project Dogwaffle. He has worked for 35 years in the 3D industry, with graphics hardware (Megatek, Digital), and software (TGS, Eovia) for 3D modeling and animation. Phil also has several years experience in the security software (ESET) and machine translation software industry (SYSTRAN). He holds degree in Electrical Engineering from Swiss Federal Polytechnic Institute (EPFL) Switzerland, has programming and scripting experience, is fluent in several languages, but also has an insatiable admiration for the arts and the tools to create and communicate.

Phil loves to explore imaginary landscapes and foreign worlds through rendering and animation with PD Howler. He also enjoys playing Canasta while listening to music by Alan Walker, or a good game of Halo or Life is Strange. It's a trip!

About Tiffanie Gray

Tiffanie Gray wears too many hats. She is an author, an editor, a publisher, an artist, a crafter, a web designer, a legal assistant, a slush reader, a volunteer, an actress, a seamstress, a clothing designer, a Master Instructor of Cosmetology, an Army veteran, a musician, a paper RPGer/GM, a life coach and a teacher. She is also a wife and a keeper for her husband, three cats and a Pomeranian who thinks he’s either a cat or a child.

Tiffanie is known as Dakorillon and Immortal Moments Arts to the art world on the web. She has been using PD Howler (known as Project Dogwaffle), since version 1.1a in 2001. She originally started using PD Howler since it’s a natural fit for artists that have a traditional background - and so began learning it with glee! She now uses Howler for nearly everything to do with digital art and content creation. Since 3D artwork is becoming an indispensable tool in her box of tricks, she is happy that Howler still works so well with these new tools.

All of her art experience is self taught, she read books or took small workshops to learn traditional art. Howler, then Daz Studio, Poser, Hexagon and other art programs she added were by the the same method. She primarily focuses on fantasy and science fiction, but has added still lifes, landscapes and portraits. She also uses her images for book cover designs and web design.

What's Included and Features

  • How to Create a 3D Impact Crater Scene in PD Howler
  • Tutorial video : 1 hour and 40 minutes
  • Impact crater pack :
    • Height maps
    • Step by step build images
    • Rendered animations
    • Rendered images
  • Part I - PD Howler - Creating an Impact Landscape with Animation by Philip Staiger (53 minutes)
    • Quick intro: What's Project Dogwaffle's PD Howler?
    • Going lunar: create a sample heightmap for a landscape with an impact crater and then add erosion plus sediments.
    • Colorize it based on height, slope, and of course your vision: paint it!
    • Render it with extra bump maps, and water's natural effects: reflection, refraction, absorption, scattering, caustics and ground fog
    • Animate it: move camera, the Sun and other elements
    • Beyond the animation: make it slower with motion estimation
    • Composite something else into it, perhaps an astronaut from Carrara, a monster from DAZ Studio or Poser, or a space vehicle?
    • Additional post effects across the image sequences: lens flares and numerous FX filters.
    • Some of the NEW Howler 2020 features will be shown.
  • Part II - PD Howler Painting by Tiffanie Gray (47 minutes)
    • Concept and Matte Painting – Why?
    • Sketching your ideas – Paper or Pixels?
    • “Watercolor” and “oil” painting in landscapes – What’s the difference?
    • Choosing a palette - The Zen of Color.
    • Altering a Brush shape to make a Media Brush or Ani-brush – I can create brushes, too?
    • Using a png to make a Media Brush – Even more brushes!
    • 3 ways to make clouds – I see a Cumulo-Simba Cloud (Lion)!
    • Using paper textures to make mountains and rocks – Stone Origami.
    • 3 ways to make trees and bushes – Happy little trees!
    • 3 ways to make reflections in water – I got nothing clever.
    • Ground cover/textures, grass and flowers – Shadows make all the difference.
    • Putting it all together – Can I cheat? You bet!

Compatible Figures:


Compatible Software:


Install Types:

Install Manager Manual Install