How to Create Digital Christmas Cards this Holiday Season with Daz 3D

Christmas Models in Daz 3D Featured

We all know the families, couples, or individuals who year after year deliver impeccable Christmas and holiday cards. If that describes you, good on you! For the rest of us who can never bring ourselves to get out into the freezing weather with a professional camera or photographer, this is for you. With Daz Studio, you can make your very own family Christmas card using unique 3D modeling, clothing, props, and environments. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, Daz Studio is a quick and easy way to design something fun with Christmas-themed 3D models.

Step One: Pick Your Characters

The first thing you will need to set up your Christmas scene in Daz Studio is the characters. If you are making a Christmas card for your family, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding characters that match fairly closely with each person. Our collection of 3D models includes hundreds of custom characters.

Here are some tips and suggestions to help you find a character if you are new to Daz Studio. For adult males and females, look at Genesis 8 and 8.1 Males and Females. These are the newest iterations of our Genesis characters and feature the most detail. When you go to the shop, use the filter controls on the left to limit your search to Genesis 8.1 Male or Female, then look for a character that could closely fit yourself or members of your family and friends you want to include in the card.

Of course, you probably won’t find an exact doppelganger, but don’t worry. Every character in Daz Studio can be customized with simple controls which will allow you to adjust physical aspects of the 3D model from body shape, muscle mass, and even face shape!

For younger members of the family, you can also find several younger base models such as Teen Josie, Mia HD, Kayden, and London. There are plenty more to choose from if these don’t suit your needs.

For more information on how to customize your characters for your Christmas scene, check out our video tutorials on character setup and shaping.

A Lonora Holiday by midgard229 in the Daz Gallery
“A Lonora Holiday” by midgard229 in the Daz Gallery

Step Two: Pick Clothing, Hair, and Accessories

This is where things start to get really fun. Christmas outfits and holiday accessories are quick and easy to apply within Daz Studio. In many instances, dressing your character is as easy as a few clicks. If you encounter problems where a piece of clothing doesn’t fit perfectly, you can use adjustment dials to correct the shape.

As you browse the peoples and wearables section of the store, you can dial in your search to holiday-specific items, or simply look for winter-themed items as well. There are so many fun combinations you could choose from. Will you create a more traditional scene where everyone wears matching winter sweaters like the Irish Aran Sweater? Or, if you are feeling extra creative and daring, you could recreate a traditional Christmas scene from the Nutcracker ballet with the Nutcracker Princess Bundle.

Any items you choose to add to your collection will easily be accessible within Daz Studio once you start setting up your scene! Make sure every character has an outfit, a hairstyle, and any other accessories they would need like glasses, jewelry, etc.

Step Three: Pick a Scene or Environment

Unless you want to render your 3D family in front of a blank canvas, you probably want them to occupy a wintery or holiday-themed scene. We have you covered with thousands of options to choose from. In the shop, you can find these under Places and Things. Most holiday and Christmas-themed environments in Daz Studio are fully designed, and the entire scene can often be loaded all at once.

Do you want your family to smile for the camera in front of an epic frozen lake? Or maybe standing in front of the Christmas tree or gathered around the dinner table with the Christmas Home Bundle? If you chose a more classical or traditional scene, you may enjoy this Victorian Christmas Tree prop.

If you are nervous about using Daz Studio for the first time, consider using HDRIs for your background. These are large images that contain lighting information. They are most commonly outdoor scenes, but will make things a lot easier for you if you are a beginner, since you may avoid having to set up any lighting in your scene at all!

Snow for Christmas by clcny20 in the Daz Gallery
“Snow for Christmas” by clcny20 in the Daz Gallery

Step Four: Assemble Your Christmas Scene in Daz Studio

Once you have everything selected for your scene, you can open up a new scene in Daz Studio and start putting everything together. The quickest way to find your chosen items is to navigate via the Smart Content Panel found on the left of the screen. Start by loading your scene or HDRI, then add the base characters. Next, with the character selected, navigate to the outfit and accessories you chose and double click on it in the Smart Content Pane to automatically apply it to that character. Repeat these steps as needed to apply hair, clothing, and accessories to each member of the family.

Step Five: Pose Everyone for the Final Image

Now that you have everyone dressed and ready for the final image, you may be wondering how to change the fact that everyone is probably standing in a T-pose! Daz Studio offers a massive number of Pose Controls that you can use to pose your characters, but don’t worry about those just yet. Just like everything else in Daz Studio, you can use pre-designed poses which will automatically adjust a character to that pose. There are a few poses included for free with every download of Studio, or you can find thousands of great poses in our store.

For more traditional family scenes, you can use pose packs like Family of Three, or Family Photo Time Poses. Couples will enjoy Lookbook for Two Poses as well. If you opted for a Christmas ballet scene, check out the Finest Classical Ballet Poses Set. The possibilities are almost endless!

Curiosity by RevidNav in the Daz Gallery
“Curiosity” by RevidNav in the Daz Gallery

Step Six: Lighting and Capturing the Final Render

 If you aren’t using an HDRI, chances are the default lighting won’t cut it for your scene. Lighting and rendering are easily the most difficult aspect you will face while creating your Christmas scene. Fortunately, we have some in-depth video tutorials that will help you learn the basics of lighting and rendering in Daz Studio.

Take the time to learn and master the basics of lighting and rendering and you will be well on your way to creating amazing scenes in Daz Studio! With a little dedication, we know you can create an awesome 3D Christmas card that your family and friends will love for years to come!

Featured image “Lets Christmas Shopping” by Coliaz in the Daz Gallery

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