The 3D Art Direct Podcast: 3D Digital Art | Artist Interviews | Digital Art Conferences | Sci-fi and Fantasy Genres

Paolo Ciccone is the author of Reality, a plugin for Poser and DAZ Studio that introduced Physically Based Rendering (PBR) around 2010, when PBR was not that familiar for Poser and DAZ Studio artists. PBR provides more photorealistic or natural looking renders than previous render techniques. The Reality plugin continues to takes advantage of the LuxRender rendering engine.

In this interview session we learn:-

1. How can the reality plugin help with gaining realism with skin materials in a render?

2. There are a number of SSS parameters, such as surface thickness, abortion scale and scattering scale. What settings tend to work best for which circumstances?

3. There’s a thread on Runtime DNA that talks about how you spent weeks of development testing thousands of combinations, was that with getting the automatic SSS function correct?

4. Is it possible to make the skin “glow” using Reality? I know there is a “light emission” modifier that might be used since this can be tweaked in any material.

5. You could use a procedural texture to get some interesting patterns on the skin using Reality, without having to use Photoshop. Firstly what’s a procedural texture and how might you apply that in Reality?

6. Since we last spoke in January, you’ve released Reality 4.3. What are the main changes to see in 4.3?

7. You had a surprise phone call this year from a manager at Apple computers. Tell us about that story.

8. You’ve introduced a new Reality Facebook Group. Tell us about this and some of the good things that have come out of this for Reality users.

9. What’s next for Reality?

See for more podcasts, magazines and webinars on digital art

Direct download: Session41.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 6:29pm EST

3D Art Direct Podcast Inteview with Chuck Carter Creative Director, Founder of Eagre Games

Once upon a time Carter helped create Myst and 26 other video games including the Command and Conquer and Red Alert franchises, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, Nox, Pacman World Rally, Kyrandia and many others  – Carter worked on TV shows like Babylon5 (as a digital Matte Painter) as well as having contributed work on Star Trek the Experience and Disney’s Mission to Mars motion rides.  His illustration and animation work has been seen on the BBC, National Geographic, US Dept. of Defense, Homeland Security, Scientific American, NASA, Caltech and JPL as well dozens of additional publications and organizations.

The new game of Zed has these elements:-

Exploration, depth, no time limits, curiosity, imagination, meditative,

The background for the game

Players must explore a bizarre world and solve strange puzzles as they help “an aging and dying dreamer leave behind a lasting legacy for his granddaughter.”

“The dreamer is confused by your presence. He can help or hinder your progress by putting challenging obstacles in your path—he needs your help but at times doesn’t understand why you are there,” the Kickstarter pitch states. “As you learn his story, the truth about his past and his final masterpiece is revealed in the dreams you explore; a personal creation of one man’s disintegrating mind. Help the dreamer fulfill his final task and unleash Zed to the world.”

Mission Statement for Eagre games

“developing non-violent, beautifully immersive, story-driven games”.

Direct download: Session40.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 6:30pm EST

3DAD 039 : Behind the scenes of the Renderosity art community with Tommy Lemon and Tim Haaksma

This is a special session of the podcast where we go in depth in learning about behind the scenes of Renderosity, one of the most well known digital artist communities and digital products stores on the web. I speak with Tommy Lemon, vice president of Renderosity and also Tim Haskasma manager of business development and marketing.

In this session we learn

- The original vision for Renderosity back when it started in 1999

- The deep history of Renderosity.

- The challenge of selling digital content in the stone age of the internet.

- All about the mission statement for Renderosity.

- Initiatives that highlight community members, artists, vendors. 

- Dig into some of the demographics of the Renderosity community

- Who are some of the longest serving staff members and what they’ve brought to Renderosity.

- The Renderosity community on Facebook?

 - How regular feedback from the community helps improve the services and website.

 - What tools are offered to vendors at Renderosity

 - Video tutorials are an important part of the Renderosity marketplace.

Just remember you can sign up for our free digital artists magazine at, where you can also discover live webinar events and our store containing recordings of those events. You’ll find tutorials on Poser, DAZ Studio, Vue, Terragen, Hexagon and ZBrush.

Direct download: Session39.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 4:40pm EST

in this session, we’re focussing on a subject to do with the exploration and colonisation of Mars, which is part of our overall theme for our forthcoming Digital Art Live magazine, where we will feature artwork on the colonisation of space. We will have at least three artists with some stunning sci-fi artwork and in-depth interviews with the artists on their work and you can get this magazine for free, which will include the PDF at and click on the “Get Started Now” button on the home page. You can also check out our live webinar events we host for training on software such as Poser, DAZ Studio, ZBrush, Vue and more.

So I was very privileged to talk to Nicol Willett the education director of the mars society and to see her enthusiasm for teaching about the opportunities for us on Mars.

In this session we learn:- 

- What is the Mars society and why it was formed

- How concept illustrations have helped in some of the Mars society projects

- What are the two most significant barriers in getting humans to Mars.

- Is it easier to colonise the moon rather than Mars?

- The new "160 mission" organised by the Mars Society.

- Nicole's view on the top two achievements of the society since it's been formed.

- How you can help the Mars Society.




Direct download: Session38.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 6:01pm EST

I am very pleased to introduce Oshyan Greene, the business manager of Planetside Software, which produces the well regarded Terragen 3, a great solution for rendering and animating realistic natural environments. In this session we’re going to talk about the anticipated Terragen 4

In this session we discover:-


- Terragen's capabilities. What can you control as you create your realistic environment? Can you create an entire planet?

- Importing real world terrain datasets. Some of the more notable projects that Terragen has been using this capability.

- A little about Matt Fairclough who is the lead developer for Terragen.

- Terragen 4 -  the new Ray Traced preview. 

- Hints on some new terrain editing tools. 

- Additional photo realism for cloud scenes. 

- T4 will include lens flare effects. What type of lens flare effects will we see?

- About the simulation of an Ozone layer in T4.

- The fractal procedural erosion shader by BlinkFrog for T3 (in beta) and it’s free.

- Virtual Reality and Terragen “We're excited about VR and want to see more spherical renders from the community. Send us your renders using the Spherical Camera!” (to


Direct download: Session37.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 4:19pm EST

Podcast Introduction

This is session 36 of the 3D Art Direct podcast speaking to Paolo Ciccone, author of the Reality plugin for DAZ Studio and Poser, one of the most advanced Physics Based Rendering systems in the market, producing photorealistic results.

Podcast Prologue

Welcome to this session. I’m really pleased to talk to Paolo, who we’ve interviewed several times in the past and he’s always a joy to speak to. He’s done a lot of good work with his Reality plugin to make a real gem of a tool to help you the artist generate realism in your renders.

We’ve had Paolo as a keynote speaker at our last Poser Expo live webinar conference and we’ll no doubt see him again in some more of our events this year.

Check out It’s now early January 2016 and we’ve got two events coming up this month including a Poser clinic where you can submit a problem or challenge and we’ll try to resolve for you with Charles Taylor, probably the foremost expert on Poser and that’s on Saturday January 23rd at 20:00 GMT. And we have Chris Hecker a respected sci-fi artist taking us through the making of one of his best illustrations created with Vue and Photoshop – that’s on Saturday January 23rd also  at 8:00 pm. Join us if you can and you can get in touch on the contact page at



Paolo Ciccone is the author of Reality, a plugin for Poser and DAZ Studio that introduced Physically Based Rendering (PBR) around 2010, when PBR was not that familiar for Poser and DAZ Studio artists. PBR provides more photorealistic or natural looking renders than previous render techniques. Reality takes advantage of the LuxRender rendering engine.

So Reality gives a rendering solution that extends DAZ Studio and Poser and is described as providing the most advanced Physics-Based Rendering system in the market.

Gold Dream by Margotmaine using Reality 4

Direct download: Session36.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 5:53pm EST