How to Make 3D Art Compelling, but on a Budget

You may be frustrated wondering how to make 3D art that is not only compelling, but that sticks to a low budget, especially if you’re a beginner. No fear, Daz 3D has you covered. In this article, we present some case studies for examination and explain how each artist was able to convey a lot of detail and emotion to the audience, without going overboard on time and costs. 


How to Make a Lot from a Little

One of the most difficult things when learning how to make 3D art is that the tools you need can get pretty pricey, pretty quickly. Advanced processing and graphics cards aren’t cheap, and neither is a huge library of high-quality content. 

Fortunately, you don’t need those things to make amazing artwork. To prove it, here are three renders where having a great idea and a good focus paid off, while still being easy on the artist’s hardware and bank account.


1. Combine Two Small Models

In Cuppa Mouse by azoohouse, we can see that a render doesn’t have to be an extravagant or pricey HDRI, nor does it have to be full of detail. Here, only two small models were used—a teacup and a mouse. 

To make such a simple setup compelling, the artist employed these tricks:

  • Allowed the details to be the main focus of the image. This includes the mouse’s cute expression and little paws grasping the sides of the teacup. 
  • Made the background dynamic with colors from the teacup and a few post-work sparkles, but kept it only mildly interesting to serve as support for the main image. 
  • Used Daz Studio’s built-in cameras and lighting.

Doing these simple things will give you a cohesive image without taxing your wallet.


2. Choose Impeccable Models from Your Existing Library

For Dragon Cave by RawArt, each model was impeccably chosen. The female character and Herschel Hoffmeyer’s Wyvern dragon’s head are the central focus, both of which came from an existing library, rather than purchasing all new 3D models

Here are the tricks that were used to make this image so evocative and intimate:

  • Choosing an intriguing mix between human beauty and beast. 
  • Finding a tender pose that implies an unlikely friendship between the woman and the dragon. 
  • Using a single-layer outfit. 
  • Bringing in dramatic lighting that focuses on the female figure. 
  • Having a dark environment that hides the details of most of the plants, rocks, and other environment props.

In this piece, existing 3D assets were supplemented by Daz 3D Freebies and used creatively together to make this seamless render.


3. Carefully Tweak the Small Details

If His Gaze Could Meet My Eyes… by Lagaches 2080 is a wonderful example of capturing the close-up by working on the details of the character, hair, and outfit so they come together neatly and push realism as much as possible. Tweaking these things just right will enhance the quality of the work, regardless of how much is spent (or isn’t spent) on 3D models.

The tricks and tweaks that were used to make this such a successful image were:

  • Planning the angles and camera.
  • Giving an intriguing complexity to her facial expression using morphing.
  • Coordinating the color of her eyes with her outfit.
  • Contrasting neutral colors by infusing the lips and headpiece with color.
  • Using a portrait-style gray background.
  • Carefully placing light and shadows.

The artist created this render using Lyra HD for Genesis 8 Female, Zarah Hair for Genesis 3 & 8 Female(s), and DressUp Collection Outfits and Poses for Genesis 8 Female. However, any free image or an image you already have can look just as good through excellent planning, paying attention to the small details, and tweaking them to perfection.


How to Get Amazing Images When Learning How to Make 3D Art

To get amazing images when learning how to make 3D art, the best tip is to think about your scenes in advance. All you need to begin are three things:

  1. A great idea
  2. A focus
  3. A good plan

If you have these, all you need is a new 3D model that adds to your library, without breaking the bank or needing a super-advanced graphics system. Then, just follow the above tips to create an inspiring, unique image that you and everyone else will love.

As a refresher, the three tips are:

  1. Combine two small models.
  2. Choose impeccable models from your existing library.
  3. Carefully tweak the small details.

To get new 3D models, simply grab the main character, figure, or focus from the Daz Shop while it’s on sale, or better yet, when it’s free!


  • Tom Slofkosky says:

    Each of these are stunning and in their own ways too. The image used as the title scene is by aborsuk_94acbad1bc who often imports 3D objects from other websites that offer free 3D content such as sketchfab. This can be a great way to augment the tremendous Daz3D content when on a budget as well.

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