It was inevitable, maybe, that I should jump lanes into a new creative stream. Lots of writers say it’s a great exercise, it’s refreshing, to try a new discipline or practice. Build new synaptic transfers, see the world in a new way.
In my community of Size writers and artists, there’s a panoply of creative expression. In the Size Riot writing contests alone, writers challenged themselves to attempt unfamiliar themes and writing styles. Look around at what visual artists are doing and you’ll likewise see a far-reaching spectrum of styles, preferences, and creative representation: MMD diehards, nuanced hand-drawn digital art, manga purists, hyperrealistic CGI…
Among the many scenarios in my Size Erotica fantasies, I’m excited by the image of a woman menacing a tiny person with her butt. A big, round butt that sways enticingly, then suddenly lunges as though she’s about to sit on him, and how he quails! Ah, but it was a feint. She’s simply messing with him and savoring each spike of panic he emits. That’s what I wanted to see.
I knew I couldn’t draw it. I talked to a couple artists, some who never got around to it and some who never got back to me. I contacted an Instagram model, a young woman in possession of what I consider to be an ass in the top fifth percentile, but she insisted she doesn’t do commissioned videos, or “customs.” Heartbroken but undeterred, I cast about among the CGI artists with which I was familiar. Now, a popular artist who offers commissions is almost always going to be booked up. There was one I favored, GuhzCoituz, who seemed to specialize in very realistic-looking women with delightfully abundant butts. His DeviantArt account said the best way to reach him was on Discord, a channel I harbor a personal prejudice against, but there I went to seek him out. Unfortunately, it appeared that he was incommunicado for a few months and no one on his channel was very helpful—seemed to know less than I did.
Now what? The programs these wizards were using to create generously proportioned women were surely eldritch and unknowable, their mysteries unavailable to the public.
Was that true? Mid-2021, BradenGTS showed up on Twitter saying something else. He’s an accomplished Daz artist, and it turned out he’s written tutorials on the finer points of the craft. His messages have been “anyone can do this” and “ask me anything, I’m here to help.”
So. Fine. I installed Daz Studio on my gaming computer because it had to have better graphics/processing than my writing laptop. It worked pretty much like I thought it would: you focus on a discrete part of the model’s body, and you twist, turn, bend, and scale it how you like, like a BJD with 380 points of articulation but much less fragile.
Daz Studio features an intimidating array of controls and tools, but they did their best to group them in a way that readily made sense, with just a little redundancy built in for convenience. By that I mean you can find the same effect in two or three locations because it’s related to those groupings: you’re not stuck searching for an effect because it only exists in one specific area. As for aesthetics, you can support independent artists in Daz’s online shop, or you can search around for free assets from a hundred different unaffiliated and unofficial websites, but caveat emptor. Really, shop around first and ask for opinions.
And speaking of talking to others: once I announced, and showed, that I was going to venture into designing in Daz, so many other artists spoke up with encouragement and offers of assistance! That’s the hallmark of a passionate community, when the members want to see newbies succeed and thrive. And so, fueled by the need to see my dreams made into reality, girded with the support of others, I threw myself headlong into the abyss of Daz Studio.
Personally I found Daz really easy to use, in a way. It worked like I imagined it had to work, but it also borrows heavily from other industries: rather than reinvent the wheel, it lifts the technical terms from theatrical stage lighting and advanced photography to give users the ability to stage and frame their images with a light frosting of dramatic effects. Right now I’ve just gotten a handle on depth-of-frame but the deeper mysteries of lighting yet elude me. And my gaming computer can’t process complicated scenes yet, so I just borrow backgrounds from free stock image sites like Unsplash and arrange my models to fit them.
To speak to that, a great compendium of resources have been amassed by thoughtful users. BradenGTS wrote up a guide to depth-of-field; Giantess Tina presented the #JustOneLight challenge, which contains great advice for this effect. GuhzCoituz designed a morphing slider for ample buttocks; Tina, again, created both Playgrounds (small-scale environments for giant adventures) and Massive (a convenient way to generate and control large crowds of tiny people). Each day, I come up with some new problem and there’s several people waiting to offer their hard-earned experience to resolve it. I couldn’t make hair fit on one of the models, and bikdingle provided two fixes with explanations. Any time I have a lighting issue, Starkadhr is right there to walk me through it (or build a solution).
There’s no reason for anyone to not try their hand at this, and there are worlds waiting to be created.
And soon, oh yes, a woman is going to menace a tiny man with her powerful butt, and it will look fairly realistic.