A long, long time ago I created an infographic style guide as a Who’s Who of the DAZ 3D Genesis figures. It was first created some time after Daz made the switch from generation 4 (Victoria 4, Michael 4, etc.) to the unisex Genesis base. Genesis was the mesh on which all generation 5 figures were built.
Times change. Oh how they change! A few years on and we are another two generations further on, and seeing an ever-more rapid roll out of new figures. If I was confused as a new buyer and user of 3D human models from Daz, I can only imagine how befuddled any newcomers to this field feel these days.
To help you out, let’s get a few facts straight, starting with the most recent figures. I’m keeping it simple so this is a simple overview rather that a discussion of mesh or rigging changes.
This is the 7th generation, and the figures have a 7 after their names, e.g. Victoria 7. Only figures created/commissioned by the Daz team will have a 7 after their names. They are known as DAZ Originals.
Think of them as the base family of figures. Brokered vendors (known at Daz as PAs which is short for Published Artists) create additional characters which you can mix and match with the core DAZ Original figures.
One thing worth pointing out is that the with Genesis 3 line-up we’re seeing DAZ Original figures releasing at a more rapid pace than any generation before, and there are several new ones in the line-up. Just because a character has a 7 (e.g. Arabella 7), it doesn’t necessarily follow that there was an Arabella 6, 5 or any other number before.
The 6th generation of figures was known as Genesis 2. However, unlike Genesis, they did not have a unisex base. Genesis 2 and Genesis 3 figures both have separate male and female bases. These bases are available as part of the free Daz Studio download available on the Daz site (this is safe and completely legal, but does require registration).
The DAZ Original 6 series saw the introduction of several new figures such as Olympia 6, Teen Josie 6, Lee 6, and Gianni 6.
I think of this as Generation 5, occasionally called ‘original Genesis’. You’ll find the DAZ Original figures belonging to it have their names followed by a 5, e.g. Victoria 5, Michael 5.
Genesis was a small revolution as the figures were for the first — and possibly last — time built on a unisex base which could morph into female, male or child. This versatility came at a cost to female clothing creators in particular, as it was difficult to fully support a figure that was androgynous by default.
Compared to more recent generations, this was quite a small generation of figures which mostly recreated those from generation 4 such as Stephanie, David, Aiko and Hiro.
This was the most popular generation of Daz figures, and if that record has now been beaten this only happened fairly recently. These figures were created primarily for use in Poser and DAZ Studio, with Poser initially being the strongest sector of the market. It included the iconic Victoria 4 and Michael 4, and their less famous companions such as Stephanie 4, Freak 4, and Girl 4.
Many artists and vendors, especially Poser fans, continue to use and create content for Victoria and Michael 4. Daz 3D and Renderosity both have plenty of content available for these figures.
Generation 3 (and earlier)
You won’t hear much talk of generations 1, 2 or 3. To some extent they have been lost to the mists of time. The one exception is Aiko 3 who does still have a following. There is a limited amount of content still available to buy for these figures.
The only figures that are absolutely guaranteed to be re-imagined and launched for each generation are the iconic female and male pair Victoria and Michael. Anime figure Aiko is also eternally popular, and toon figure (The) Girl has appeared now in several generations.
I’m planning to redo the infographic or at the very least give you a summary of the more recent figure releases for Genesis 3 in another post. (No promises on the graphic, it will have to be huge!) I hope in the meantime this has made what can seem like a complicated mess a little clearer.