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This article shows how to install and use content in DAZ Studio. It focuses on the basic steps necessary to install and load content for new users in DAZ Studio. This article is designed for new users and users who may want to refresh their understanding of basic content configuration in DAZ Studio.
This article does not cover all the details of customization, such as the Content Manager feature (VIEW CATEGORIES). Customization and Content Manager are *not* recommended for new users until they have become familiar with the correct, basic way of installing and using content in DAZ Studio 3. The method for DAZ Studio 2.x is nearly identical, but this article is for DAZ Studio 3 users.
There are three basic parts of installing and using content in DAZ Studio:
Two of these steps usually only need to be set up right the first time and then they can be done over and over again with little or no effort. All three of these steps are important, including the readme which is unfortunately often skipped.
DAZ 3D content is provided as one or more installers. These installers are basically self-extracting files with a license agreement and the ability to choose the target folder for installation. They contain all the files necessary to a specific product. File hierarchy can seem confusing, especially to new users. Installers make it easy to choose the same, correct target folder again and again without having to worry about whether the files are written to the correct sub-directories. Bit Rock installers will default to the same path over and over until you change it. So, choose the correct path the first time you install content and you shouldn't have to search or worry about it for future installers.
NOTE: Installers must be run as applications. Placing the installer file itself into the content or runtime folder does not install the content.
This article shows how to install into the recommended default paths. It's possible to choose a custom path, but this is not recommended for new users, until you understand how it works correctly. You'll notice that all the recommended install paths for content end in 'content.'
TIP:Many content products consist of several installers. As a rule of thumb, run all of the installers provided, regardless of whether they are designated for DS (_ds_) or for Poser (_dpc_). There are some exceptions, but more often than not, you'll need both the files from the DS installers and the DPC installers. Installers for Carrara (_ca_) are obviously not needed in DAZ Studio.
Check for your Platform below to see what is the recommended install path for content in DAZ Studio 3:
Users\[Your User account]\Documents\DAZ 3D\Studio3\Content
PC USERS (WINDOWS VISTA, WINDOWS 7)
C:\users\[your user account]\My Documents\DAZ 3D\DAZStudio3\content
PC USERS (WINDOWS XP)
C:\Documents and Settings\[your user account]\My Documents\DAZ3D\Studio3\Content
The screen shot below shows the destination directory step in content installation. The path shown below is correct for the system on which the content is being installed. Your path as shown above may be different. You can use the 'browse' button to browse to the correct path. The next time you use the Bit Rock installer it will probably default to that path, so you won't have to browse to that same path each time.
TIP: Write down your install path or keep it in a text document until you are familiar with it. Most installers will default with it, but older installers and DS vs DPC content installers may keep the configuration information separate, until you establish the correct path for all of them. So, it's a good idea to keep the path easily available for your reference in the near future.
TIP: Use the same install path consistently. Avoid using lots of different paths. This can be very confusing, even for experienced users.
When done correctly, you only need to configure preferences once. You won't have to configure it or 'search' every time you install content. In fact, it is recommended that you not use the search function in FOLDER VIEW. More information will be given about this later on in this article.
Configuration tells DAZ Studio where to look for the content. You can potentially configure Studio to look at a dozen different places. However, for new users, we recommend keeping the configuration as simple as possible.
The key idea is that the install path and the configuration paths should match up exactly. So, if your content install path is C:\users\[your user account]\My Documents\DAZ 3D\DAZStudio3\content, then your configuration path in preferences –> Directories in Studio will also be exactly the same, that is, C:\users\[your user account]\My Documents\DAZ 3D\DAZStudio3\content. It's that simple.
Here's how to configure the paths for content. In DAZ Studio, go to EDIT –> Preferences –> Directories. On the Mac, Go to DAZSTudio –> Preferences –> Directories.
PC: How to Open Preferences –> Directories in DAZ Studio
Mac: How to Open Preferences –> Directories in DAZ Studio
Now you should be able to see preferences. Choose the second tab for Directories.
There are three kinds of content that DAZ Studio can be configured to display in the content tab: DAZ Studio Format (Native), Poser Format (Import), and Other. The drop-down allows you to toggle between the three types. All three can be active in the content tab at the same time. Merely changing from one to the other in the Directories window is for your convenience when configuring and doesn't cause one to have priority over the other.
Make sure your install path is indicated for both DAZ Studio and POSER Formats. That's the most important thing. By default DAZ Studio will have some paths for the shader options. You should leave these if you do not want to use this feature at this time. You can always add the paths later.
NOTE: Adding or removing a path in directories does not actually add or remove it from your hard drive.
TIP: Each path you have in directories creates a new top-level folder in the content tab. If you have invalid paths, then you'll have invalid folders in the content tab. This clutter will make finding content much more difficult and frustrating. Remove invalid paths. Keep it simple.
TIP: Any path that ends in 'Runtime' is inherently invalid. Remove all paths that end in 'Runtime' as they will not work correctly.
When you're done configuring the directories, click on 'Accept' below. DAZ Studio will keep your settings and change the folders in the Content Tab in accordance with those changes.
The Content Tab is essential for loading and using content in DAZ Studio. If you're familiar with Poser, the Content Tab is analogous to the Library Panel.
By default, the content tab will be on the left side of DAZ Studio. If you don't see it, you can open it by going to VIEW –> Tabs –> Content.
TIP: New users are strongly advised to have the content tab in VIEW FOLDERS as TREE. Use the Active Tab Options button to make the change as shown below:
TIP: If you have the content tab set to FOLDER VIEW, Don't use the search for content feature. This function in practice adds many invalid paths and will cause much more trouble than help. This article explains how to configure your content correctly and makes the search for content feature unnecessary. This tip does not apply to the search function for the content tab when it is in CATEGORY VIEW which requires the search function.
Search for Content Feature: Just say no
New Users and some experienced users often forget this step. The readme is a very simple document that tells you where to find the content when your Tab is in FOLDER VIEW. Some readme's will have additional information on product use.
If you don't use the readme, you will have to hunt and peck for the content in the content tab. Users with a large content library will have a lot of work to do indeed without using the readme.
Here's a screen shot of the readme for Victoria 4.2 base. Notice the text underlined in red. These tell you where to find the components of the product. Instead of hunting and pecking through the folders, you can see that the first place to look is in the Poser half of the content tab in FIGURES –> DAZ People where you'll find the Victoria 4.2 base. That's a lot easier than looking in the People folder or searching through every folder in FIGURES.
If you would like to learn more about content in DAZ Studio, please see these resources below:
Installing Content in DAZ Studio
DAZ Studio: Organizing Content
Jakiblue's Tutorial on Organizing Content
Dave Fromader’s video tutorials at Cellar Studio
Understanding Content Installation in DAZ Studio
This article explains in more detail for curious users and includes information for the hybrid nature of content in DAZ Studio.