Daz Bytes: Intro to Posing Tools in Daz Studio

Daz Bytes are quick videos that cover helpful tips to improve your time with Daz Studio. In this clip, Jay explains a variety of Posing Tools and how to get started with them. We’ll take a look at rotation with the manipulator, slider values, the trackball tool, and the Power Pose tab. With practice and patience, you’ll have your characters posing just the right way in no time. Have fun!

Follow along with Jay by watching the full video clip!

Daz Studio Posing Tools

Daz Studio offers several useful tools for posing characters and fine-tuning actions in a scene. Below is a great example of where those will come in handy. In this scenario, the character’s arm is intersecting with her body and there are a few different ways that can be fixed. This quick guide will introduce you to a few favorites!

Universal Manipulator – Bend and Twist

The most straightforward method involves the Universal Manipulator and the Bend and Twist sliders. To make quick adjustments, simply left-click the limb you want to tweak and you can rotate it any way you see fit.

Another option is to select the limb in the same way, but instead, navigate to the Parameters tab while that limb is selected. There you can adjust numeric parameters on the Bend and Twist sliders to change the position of the selected bone.

These will be called different things depending on what limb you select since not everything can bend and twist. For example, the shoulder can bend and twist but it can also go forward and back. 

Then we have the Trackball:

Daz Studio trackball posing tool

Posing With the Trackball

This is a different display of the same red, green, and blue sliders that you see in the tab. Even cooler, you can also use this little trackball icon here to make adjustments a bit more freeform. The Trackball takes some getting used to because with one left click, and depending on where you move your mouse, it’ll affect all three axes of your arm. But you’ll quickly see how powerful that is with a bit of practice.

Start with slow adjustments and remember what happens in which direction. It takes some time to get used to the movements, but you can move the arms, hands, limbs, and all kinds of things this way. 


One of our favorite posing tools, PowerPose, is opened in a different pane. This robust posing tool combines the other methods and adds an intuitive twist. You can open PowerPose by clicking Window > Panes > PowerPose.

PowerPose is a fantastic tool because it has control points for the whole body. Jay zooms in here to give you a closer look.  

Daz Studio PowerPose panel

Control Points

Each of these blue control points is paired with a part of your character’s body. Left-click on any control point and you’ll see that part of the character is selected in the viewport. This is something to have serious amounts of fun with because not only can you quickly select things like limbs and joints, but you can also easily adjust them. 

For example, if you select your character’s shoulder, you can left-click and drag it from front to back quite effortlessly. You can use this method to move the chosen point in a similar method to the Trackball. Use a combination of movements to move your character around however you see fit!

Jay uses this tool all the time to make quick posing adjustments. Start by loading in a pose preset that gets the character partway there and make finer adjustments with PowerPose. 

Movement and Rotation

You’ll notice all three sliders change values even when you adjust a single point. Now, why would that happen?

The way the manipulator is currently facing, no matter which part of the body you select, you’ll see that green always points up, red always points to the side, and blue always points forward. This is specific to 3D applications and here it’s called World Orientation: up is Y, to the right is X, and forward is Z.

But if you look at this from the object’s point of view, it may have been rotated in 3D space. So it has your pitch and roll applied, and for the object, forward might not be forward because you’ve moved the object around. Or worse, the object may be kind of twisted so the Y-axis is now half-forward, partially to the side, and partially to the top. And that’s why all three values move there.

Tool Settings

If you’d like to avoid that there’s another tab you need to know about called the Tool Settings tab. This is a very important tab you can grab from Window > Panes > Tool Settings. It’s context-sensitive and allows you to adjust the properties of the tool you’re using.

tool settings panel

Currently, that’s the 3D manipulator. You can make the Tool Settings into a floating tab and you’ll see that World Coordinates are displayed.

World Coordinates and Local Coordinates

You can change this between World Coordinates and Local Coordinates at any time, and you may be switching between those pretty frequently to set up objects properly. This is important to remember because if I you at the 3D manipulator now and switch over to Local Coordinates, it changes position.

When displaying World Coordinates, green always points up. However, if you switch to Local Coordinates, green will now be pointing a completely different way. This is crucial to remember because every single bone of the figure will have its own transformations applied.

This was World and no matter where I put this, green always points up. But now when I go and switch this to Local Coordinates, green is now pointing a completely different way and this is important because every single bone of the body will have its own Transformations applied. 

Keep this in mind whenever you’re trying to shift something into a different position and it doesn’t quite work. Use the Tool Settings tab and switch from one to the other to dial in your adjustments properly.

There are also object coordinates, screen coordinates, and all coordinates with local rotation. If the manipulator doesn’t behave the way you feel it should then this is probably something you should look into!

Learn More on the Daz 3D YouTube Channel

Want more Daz Studio info and tutorials? Check out the Daz 3D YouTube channel for quick tips and livestream tutorials, or go even more in-depth with Jay’s Daz Studio Masterclass!

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