Daz Studio to UE4 (Tutorial) Part 1

Thank you very much, i like this. just learn :slight_smile:

Kia ora
@FrankieV If I export a Daz3D char, say Gwennili as an FBX and open her in MotionBuilder, drop a character onto one of her bones to characterize her, should that just work or does MotionBuilder not understand a Daz3D rig. When I do this I get a popup saying it could not be done because some node need to be defined and list a bunch of bones.

I found this but it seems weird he’s deleting so much

I was using this tutorial but seems daz has changed their skeleton naming structure

so back to lost lol, bit confused with Pelvis and abdomenlower being on the same level do they link to the same place?

A better tutorial.

It’s not uncommon for joints to share the same space depending on the purpose. The Hips for example can be used as a “special” transform to position the character and the Pelvis used to rotate the hips and the Characterization can automatically assign the transform to the Hips and the rotation to the Pelvis. In older game engines the function of the Hips was considered the root nod connecting the legs as separate from the abdomenlower but by adding the two to the Characterization list when set to use say an auto rig or a motion capture device the two are once again separated as the data is piloted down to the base rig.

Also need since Character Studio from 3ds Max also uses a separate Hips/Pelvis connection.

It’s a process that you really only need to do once as you can save the Characterization as a template and I have one for the Epic rig, one for the G3, and don’t need on for Mixamo as it already uses MB’s naming convention.

A way to think of it is that Characterization adds an exoskeleton to whatever base rig you have set up so all of your character assets and animations matches up with MotionBuilders rigging requirement.

Kia ora

Thank you your right, and he does have some nice tricks to save time, like the mirror tools lol. no prizes for guessing what I forgot to do after I waded through both side and got a char done for characterizing. I don’t know if you can copy a template from a done char, but I guess really it would be hove me to do it again for the practice, the more you do the better you get right.

Couple of questions if I may

Is it better to add the armour/clothing etc then animate and import if I wish to have armour and clothing change able like Skyrim for example

Is it maybe better to add the animations in engine or do that then import the char as a whole

I always wonder what is so good about Daz3d especially knowing it is well known as using recycled characters (not me said this). Also, with $400+, why not just buy Reallusion character creator for same price? Unless I am missing out something since it has been so long I last checked on these. The character skin textures can be changed into something much realistic afterall, I wonder? I remember the poly count is way too huge as well, decimating looks much uglier @@

Not to for get the $800 US for 3D xchange to get stuff in and out of any of their software and yes you still need to buy add-ons if you want anything special. I think the fact that Daz is free and has FBX export directly is what makes it so popular along with a few samll add-on that are not that costly to give you a rigged base model to work on and now with goze direct to zBrush and a little retargeting it just works in UE4 for hero chars it looking better

Well “Daz Studio” like all things is not the perfect solution but whats good is it’s a free download and although Iclone is a very good application for the purpose the per seat costs becomes very expensive once more than one person needs to have access as part of a development team.

As I mentioned trying to explain what can be done is like trying to explain what one can do using Blender but since the deal breaker problems have been solved in 4.15-4.16 DS is a good character creator that fits well as a preferred application in combination with Unreal 4 considering the upfront and hidden costs.

So which is better? Blender or Maya?

As for polyconts Daz3d products run the gambit from unreasonable to acceptable but as a product the Genesis framework comes in at an acceptable 34k tris which is less than the current Epic mannequin


Since DS was not originally designed as a character tool for video games it’s going to take some time before it’s use becomes excepted as just being something fun to play with.


You could read some of the user stories of how others use Blender…I mean Daz Studio in other areas of visual production besides a video game.

Last bullet point it’s good to have options that are fun and free to play with and since Unreal 4 is also being used to fill in vis requirements unreasonable is a line that is no longer a limitation so being able to bring digital people into UE4 as a process is a first and if continues to improve with requested features it will be interesting to see where things are a year from now.

Bottom line.

If you don’t see what would be useful to you then Daz Studio might not be the thing for you but since DS is one of my favorite toys I’ll be more than happy to tell my user stories of all the fun I’ve had. :smiley:

Well it really depends if you are looking at building a top down or bottom up design pathway. Our design begins with a strong framework by making use of the rigging of the G3 characters that allows for the use of cluster shapeing as well as morph targets so no mater what we need as to characters they can all sing and dance using the same framework.

Our character creators then can create clothing that fits the framing using the G3 form and Zbrush and then export the clothing as components to UE4 and combined all of the parts as a sum total. The ideal for us is to break down the workload so instead of focusing on a single character one can focus on say making a nice set of boots.


As a bonus you can add player customization as a side benefit by building characters in parts.

Well there are a lot of different options as to bottom up requirements but as mentioned more than once everything has to start with a sold framework of where things have to go and how they need to be wired in as a process. This is the part that takes time to figure out but based on our needs it does not matter in what order parts of the whole are created as all things fit the same framing.

Kia ora
@FrankieV not sure mate but is this maybe of any use to you Lux Render - General News 2021 I got a bad habit of flicking useless info about

i am a DAZ User since first release and like the product and the power of it. I can design a character what i want, i can animate it with lipsynch and keyframes and i can import them in unreal now.
The bad thing now is, fbx has only 80.000 polygons, but sometimes for film in ue you need more then that. So i tried the alembic fileexporter and it import in unreal 4.16 very well. The only strange thing is, a weired pattern occur, when the material has a texture on it rather then only color.

I left the ears with color only and you see no pattern, but the face has the texture material on it and has this noisy pattern. On the left side is the FBX import with normal and material with textures applied. They look great, but i want more definition in the wrinkles and so on - it is an old grandpa elf.

Does anyone know where this problem comes from? Is it a bug in alembic import?

Hopefully we can make this forum thread for the DAZ-studio users and share our exprience with all.

Nice greetings from germany


ps. you can find on youtube the work in progress of my 3D VR story: BigUglyDevilStudio - YouTube

Kia ora

Just a stab in the dark here as I really have no idea, but it’s not messing with the displacement and or normals is it

Hi Kiwi,

no i guess it is not, because it is not turned on and connected. ABC Files have the normals already applied, so maybe this is an error with the export, but why only when apply a texture to it and not when giving them a color without texture? When it´s on the figure it has to be seen with only color, also. Hm, so bad because i want to use it for better quality of the animation files. FBX is fine, but there are so less polygons compared to ABC… Millions against 70.000. I want best quality because it is not for game, it is for a 3D Film.


I actually wondered whether anyone has truly made a photo realistic skin texture for Daz3d human character into UE4 because on quick Google search and Youtube, none of them are realistic afterall. Except the ads image in Daz3d website and so far they rendered in iRay mostly. Would like to see the similar standard of Paragon realistic human skin texture/material for Daz3d model inside Unreal Engine only. A tutorial will be awesome.

I don’t have zBrush anyways, been using only Blender. I tried importing Daz3d Genesis 8 model into Blender, it is real messy and seems out of place. (Export as Autodesk FBX though, I selected 2014 Binary FBX)

Kia ora

At this point I think going by the readin I found there seems little point in moving to Gen 8 with so little out for it and the backward compatibility be not that great. I’m very new to Daz and could not get my Gwennili body morph and guild onto the Gen 8 freebie base figure boot all seem to trip at 90 degrees and sit weird, one of my hair crash’s the program, I just can’t see the point in Gen 8, the selling point of use of other Gen products was it main selling point and seems to be it’s weakest point. So why do I need to start over rebuying items to use with it if I’m only using Daz to create char, what she got that Gen 3 don’t? (dont forget it’s a public forum LOL)

Being able to even bring in a Daz3d character only begun in version 4.15-4.16 with all the important parts intact but as a starting point all the necessary components to make a character equal to a Paragon character are in place and is just a matter of time before someone figures it out.

Mesh is mesh but as the next logical progression as an option to the Epic mannequin the upfront costs are zero but represents an opportunity to “sell” working assets based on the Genesis 3 framework. Sure Daz3d uses Iray materials but it’s just another form of a PBR based material that fits all of the G3 based forms so some motivated by the $$ individual could make UE4 compatible set of realistic materials and sell them on the Epic market place.

For that matter Epic could produce free material samples using G3 as it is the same framework “everyone” has access to.

Animations is also another area worth expanding on that only takes a few hours to retarget that could even be sold on the Daz3d marketplace and make even more $$ of the same asset package. To add to the mix the G3 base can even be made to talk where the Epic mannequin cannot.

Overall though both the Epic and Daz3d marketplaces fit together arm in arm with TONS of free stuff available and since plugin development is available for both platforms someone could build an FBX bridge to convert the material to Unreal 4. (or Epic could just make UE4 compatible with Iray :wink: )

In the mean time this is an example of the G3f-m out of the box using just the color map for skin as a starting point. (hair as well)

Daz skin material

I don’t know about photo realistic but I’ve been happy with how the Daz textures look when used with Epic’s skin shader and their example skin material.


I don’t think it’s ever going to look quite as good as when rendered in something like iRay or VRay but then, those aren’t rendering in real-time.

Also, so much of the end results depends on other factors such as scene lighting and post processing, which the Epic demo uses quite extensively.

The above images are with a single movable sky light, a single movable directional light and no post processing except to disable auto-exposure.

I’ve no doubt that this could be significantly improved upon. For example, for the roughness texture I’m just using the inverse of the specular texture from Daz, which isn’t technically correct, but it’s been good enough for my purposes to date. I’m also just plugging the SSS texture from Daz straight in but it’s too strong and spread out for the UE skin shader. Those two textures should really be hand tweaked in an image editor to get better results but I’ve not gotten around to it yet. The only other thing I’ve changed is to flip the green channel when importing the normal textures from Daz.

Edit: P.S please ignore the eyes. I’m still struggling with the additional eye blend and occlusion geometry and materials.

Kia ora

Thought this was pretty good

And So is this

Had good results pulling Daz content through substance painter for tidy up and prep for UE4…

Kia ora

Just in case anybody needs it

seems we need go over the whole process again for Gen 8 tho I’m not sure it’s worth it given the backward compatibility is so broken

In case someone missed the link to the full series, here it is:

but with some URL mangling I found that there’s one more:

I also tried 5 and 6, but there’s nothing there :smiley:

This series includes almost everything you might need to create a complete game-ready character - model, assets, animations, LODs. I haven’t found any other that complete UE4 character creation tutorial series, even no commercial ones. Usually most of tutorials or paid courses are about separate topics and you have to figure out how to put it all together, shooting yourself in a foot multiple times because what works for one model does not work for another.

Really huge thanks to @Mrpdean for the efforts.

But I wish someone would update the series for the latest UE4 versions. Also it would be awesome to have two versions - one for those who would want to use as few 3rd party tools as possible and get something “quick&dirty” but fully working, and another one - advanced, to push Daz3D -> UE4 pipeline to the edge to achieve the best results possible.

Also, it would be awesome to have an option for using free software, such as Blender etc.
MotionBuilder and 3Ds Max is just not an option for a small startup indie team or a hobbyist.

I would even pay for such a complete Daz3d -> UE4 course. Indiegogo, Kickstarter, just UE Marketplace item - anything! Still, no-one has yet accepted the challenge :frowning: