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The Render Settings Window

The Render Settings window appears when you select Render > Render Settings. Once you have made your selections, you have the following options:

  • To render an image using your current settings, click the Render button.
  • To save your settings without rendering an image, click the Accept button.
  • To exit the window, click the Cancel button.

By default, this window contains two tabs: General and Advanced.

General Tab

The General tab is where you set the following basic rendering options:


  • Speed: The slider at the top of this tab allows you to select Fast-Time Render (fast render with lower quality), Software Render (slow render with high-quality) or anywhere in between. Click and drag the slider to your selected value. You can also use the arrows at either end of the slider to nudge the value up or down as desired.
  • Style: The Style drop-down list allows you to choose between normal render and cartoon-style render.
  • Dimensions: The Dimensions section is where you select both the desired rendering resolution in pixels and the desired aspect ratio (ratio of render width to height). You have the following options:
    • Presets: The Presets pull-down menu allows you to select your desired aspect ratio from the following list of commonly used options:
      • Active Viewport: Render dimensions are the same as the viewport dimensions/ aspect ratio.
      • Custom: Select this if you want to come up with your own Aspect Ratio and Pixel Dimensions.
      • Display Standard: 4:3 aspect ratio. This is the standard used by most TV sets.
      • Display Wide: 5:4 aspect ratio.
      • Widescreen: 16:9 aspect ratio. This is the standard used by most cinematic releases.
      • Square: 1:1 aspect ratio.
      • Academy Flat: 1.85:1 aspect ratio.
      • Anamorphic Scope: 2.35:1. This is used by some high-end cinematic releases.
      • Panorama/Cinemascope: 8:3 aspect ratio
      • QTVR Panorama: 13:4 aspect ratio
      • Letter (17:22)
      • Legal (17:28)
      • ISO Paper - Portrait (1:1.4142)
      • ISO Paper - Landscape (1.4142:1)
      • Photo/35mm Slide/VistaVision (3:2)
      • Super 8 mm (27:20)
      • 16 mm (18:13)
      • Super 16 mm (5:3)
      • 65mm (11:4)
      • IMAX (10:7)
      • 70mm (46:21)
      • Techniscope (47:20)
    • Pixel Dimensions: Enter your desired render size (in pixels) in the text fields in width x height format. If you have selected a preset or have Constrain Proportions checked, entering one value will adjust the other value to preserve the selected aspect ratio.
    • Aspect Ratio: Enter your desired aspect ratio in the fields in width:height format. For example, if you select 4:3, the render will be 4 pixels wide for every 3 pixels high.
    • Constrain Proportions: Checking the Constrain Proportions checkbox forces the selected aspect ratio to remain identical. Values will automatically adjust to preserve your selected setting. Clearing this checkbox allows you to set any dimensions/aspect ratio you desire.
  • Timeline: Options in the Timeline section determine whether you are going to render a still image or an animation.
    • To render a still image, choose the frame you want to render and check the Still Image (Current Frame) option.
    • To render an animation, check the Make Movie option, and enter the range of frames that you want to render. The Start Frame field should display the first frame you want to render, and the End Frame field should display the number of the last frame you want to render.
  • Render To: The Render To options allow you to specify where to output renders. Your available options are:
    • Active Viewport: Checking the Active Viewport checkbox renders images to the active viewport. Images rendered to the viewport will occupy the height and width of the viewport. If you have an orthogonal camera selected, you will get an orthogonal render. Rendered images will be the same size as the currently active viewport.
    • New Window: Checking the New Window checkbox will make your renders appear in a separate window.
    • File: Checking the File checkbox saves rendered images directly to an image file on your hard drive instead of to your screen. If this option is selected, you must also select a filename or render to the currently displayed filename. To select a new filename, click the ”…” button to open a standard Browse dialog, which allows you to select your desired folder and filename to save the new rendering. Clearing this checkbox disables this option. You can also specify your desired image format. DAZ Studio supports TIF, PNG, and JPG images.

Advanced Tab

The Advanced tab allows you to specify the following render options:


  • Preview Render - OpenGL Single Pass (No Shadows): This option uses your the capabilities of your OpenGL video card to quickly render the image without visual cues, such as highlight and shadow. This option is essentially identical to a screen capture of the active viewport. Rendering in this way is much faster but not as realistic. If you experience any issues with OpenGL, try updating your video card drivers with those provided by the manufacturer. Please refer to your video card’s documentation for instructions on how to update the drivers.
  • Hardware Assisted Render - OpenGL Multi-Pass: This option also utilizes your video card’s OpenGL capabilities to create the final render. OpenGL uses dedicated rendering hardware on your video card to render images. The central processor on a 3D accelerated video card (often known as a Graphics Processing Unit, or “GPU”) is specially designed to render polygons, textures, etc. In other words, it is specifically designed to create images based on everything in your DAZ Studio scenes. This level of specialization plus your video card’s on-board high-speed RAM (up to 256MB and beyond for the high-end professional cards) makes OpenGL much faster than standard software renders.
    • Use OpenGL Shader (GLSL): A software render uses an application that instructs your computer’s main CPU how to perform the calculations needed for rendering. This combined with system bottlenecks such as virtual memory and RAM speeds can greatly lengthen the time require to render any given scene. There are two ways to achieve this: With or without DAZ Studio’s internal OpenGL shader. Without it, you will get a render that runs 8 passes (calculations) per light, and a general render quality. With the OpenGL Shader, you have finer control over how your render is accomplished by specifying how many passes occur per light by adjusting the Passes per Light slider.
  • Use Software (3Delight): This option bypasses OpenGL (and the acceleration on your video card) and calculates the render entirely by your computer’s CPU. This type of rendering takes more time, but has the most accuracy and the best results. It is also the only option open to those who are running DAZ Studio on a card that does not have sufficient OpenGL capabilities. There are three options in this menu:
    • Bucket Order: Allows you to select the order in which pixels are rendered. Your available options are Horizontal (top to bottom), Vertical (left to right), Spiral (center to corners), Circle (center outwards), and Zig-Zag.
    • Bucket Size: This allows you to select how much information the renderer will tackle at any one time. You can set the bucket size higher if you have a higher-performance machine with a lot of RAM, which speeds up your renders. If you have less RAM than recommended or want to make DAZ Studio appear more responsive during a render, lower the bucket size.
    • Maximum Ray Trace Depth: Lets you determine how many times you want a “ray” being traced to bounce off reflective/refractive surfaces before being discarded for calculation by the render engine. Setting it low will speed up the render time, but lowers the overall accuracy of the results. Raising it above default will increase the accuracy, but will slow down the renderer.
    • Pixel Samples: Determines how detailed the edges of objects are and how the soft blur for depth of field is rendered on the X and Y-axes.
    • Shadow Samples: Determines quality of the depth lookup estimate. The higher the setting, the smoother the edge of the shadow.
    • Gain / Gamma: Gain and Gamma are executed on every pixel in the formula: finalPixel = (curentPixel * Gain)^(1/Gamma). Users who wish to understand this feature should read about the RiExposure call in the Renderman spec.
    • Shading Rate: Determines the quality of and speed control during the render process. The lower the value, the higher the quality and the slower the render. Default setting is 1.0.
    • Pixel Filter: These are the filter types used on the pixels in the final render. Read more about the specific ones in the Renderman Spec. Sinc is the default in Studio and gives a nice sharp image.
    • Pixel Filter Width X,Y: The number of pixels for X,Y that the pixel filter should use. The defaults for Sinc should be 6,6.
    • Render to RIB: When selected, activates the controls to save the current shaders, etc. to a RenderMan v6 compliant RIB file. Once this option is activated, you can click on the Browse button to navigate to where the file is to be saved and to name the file.

      • Keep Shadows: When selected, will save the shadow map files to the DAZ Studio temp folder.
      • Collect and Localize: When selected, will create a sub-folder in the same folder the RIB file is being saved to, then collect the necessary files into the sub-folder. This will also add a copy of the RIB file into the sub-folder with localized pathnames while the RIB file in the main folder will not be localized.
      • Shading rate - Determines the quality of and speed control during the render process. The lower the value, the higher the quality and the slower the render. Default setting is 1.0.