How to Make 3D Wallpapers with DAZ Studio
Step 1: Build your Scene
If you’re not familiar with how to build and render 3D art, then you can reference my beginner’s guide to 3D art and DAZ Studio. The scene you build doesn’t have to be elaborate; it just has to look good, which is the fundamental rule for any good wallpaper. However there are some things you should know when you set out to render a wallpaper, rather than a regular image.
In most cases your desktop resolution will be larger than your DAZ viewing window. (The viewing window is the box where you see your scene. By default, when you render, it only renders that window.) But you want to create a final image that is the same size as your desktop. (You can find your desktop’s resolution by right clicking anywhere on your wallpaper and going to ‘properties’ or ‘personalize’ and checking your display settings.) Once you have your resolution, write it down, because we will use it in the next step.
But before I go on, I want to stress that this render you create will be larger than your viewing window. So you want to make sure that your characters and scenes extend beyond the regular border of the viewing window. Otherwise the larger render will pick up the edges of props or white space that you didn’t intend to put in there. You may have to do some test renders to get it just right.
Step 2: Change Render Settings
Once you’ve built your scene you want to change your render settings. From the menu at the top of the program, go to “render” then “render settings”. A window will pop up with all of the default preferences. Under the ‘dimensions’ section you will see a box called ‘presets’. Click on the arrow pointing down in the box and select ‘custom’. Here is where we’re going to change the size of the image we render. For my desktop I’m using a 1440x900 resolution, so I’m going to type in these into the pixel dimensions below.
Next you want to change where the image will be saved. By default it renders the image right there in the window and you can save the image from the file menu. Instead of doing that we’re going to save it as a specific file, to ensure that it renders exactly at the pixel ratio we wanted. Under the ‘Render to’ section of the settings window, select ‘image file’ instead of ‘active viewport’. From here click on the little box to the right with the ‘…’ inside of it. This will open a save window, just like you would use if you were saving the render normally. Give the render a name and hit save. This will not create a file until you tell the program to render. (Note that you will have to change this file name for later renders so you don’t end up over-writing the old one.)
From here you can select render and it will automatically render the image and save it as the file you specified. You will need to physically locate the image and open it to see how you did. You can render more test images like this without having to re-enter these settings, except for file name.
Once you have the render the way you like it, the file is ready to be put on your desktop.
For windows vista, you can right click on the image and set it as the background, or for earlier versions of windows you can right click on your desktop (like we did to find our screen resolution) and assign the wallpaper from the desktop settings.
Step 3: Touch ups and Enhancements
While technically your render is ready for use, you can always adjust it with various photo editing programs. Things like brightness and contrast, color balance, and even certain paint brushes can really bring your render to life. You can also combine it with other renders for custom collages. The possibilities are limitless, and with you in control of your own scenes, you can make many different kinds of personalized wallpapers.
Some Additional Tips:
- If you have saved scenes in your 3D program, you can re-open them and render them with new settings to make them into wallpapers.
- Remember to put your settings back to their defaults when you’re done, otherwise you might end up over-writing old files.
Some More Examples of 3D Wallpapers
More in this Series
New to 3D rendering? New to DAZ Studio? Start here to learn how to install content, morph objects and improve your render quality!
I examine even more tips and settings to take your 3D renders to the next level. Includes backdrop, lighting, diffuse, glossiness, ambient, reflections and more!