As a blogger, you know how important an eye-catching image can be. When it comes to social media, they are even more essential.
Let’s face it, busy people won’t have time to read your post summary. Those same people will happily pin, like or retweet an image that catches their eye. I bet you’ve even been there yourself, skimming through a content stream, skipping text but unable to resist the pictures.
Some of my readers are photographers, and pretty amazing ones at that. They always have the perfect photo for every post. But a photoblog is a different kind of animal, where the image inspires the words.
What if you need it to be the other way around? What if you write about marketing, fitness, or some other field where you need specific concepts illustrated? You can’t just grab a pack of professional models, a wardrobe and prop room, and play around with ideas with them for a day. Right?
Actually, you can.
So Tell Me How…
3d models – by which I mean people, clothing, props and anything else you can imagine – have become pretty realistic. Even better, they can be easy to use if you start with ‘hobbyist’ software. At least, users of software that costs thousands of dollars will dismiss it as ‘hobbyist’, but it’s way more sophisticated than you’d think. If you wanted to go there.
The beauty of it is you don’t have to go there, you can keep it simple. And every bit as inexpensive as your budget dictates. If that’s free, no worries. You can do a lot with free.
You can create an image just like this one without spending a cent. Looks hard? It only takes a couple of clicks. You get not just the content but the whole scene all set up for you when you download DAZ Studio 4.6 for free.
This one too.
No knowledge needed, just an ability to point and click. (Only things I added were depth of field on both for a blurred background, and I twisted the surfer guy’s head a little. He looks grumpy but he didn’t actually mind a bit.)
Did I Mention the Dragon?
Oh, yeah, you get a dragon too. And a guy to slay it with. But don’t kill off your dragon just yet. It’s kind of fun, don’t you think?
Seriously, your own pet dragon! Don’t tell me that doesn’t inspire some ideas for blog posts…
Want to Get Creative?
If you’re a creative type, you’ll want to take it further. Well, the girl and guy (and dragon) are yours. Not only do they look gorgeous, but they stay wherever you put them, hold a pose for hours without a wobble, and will dress up in any outfit without complaint. OK, maybe not the dragon.
The background in the dancer image is a set (as opposed to an image on a backdrop) so you can pose people in different parts of it and move your camera all around it.
Get another female model from the same family and she can wear that outfit instead – in fact, if you have two women in the scene, they can both wear the outfit (or hair) at the same time, even though you only have one copy of it.
That’s just the beginning.
OK, so that’s all very nice for someone who writes about travel, but what if these carefree images just don’t fit with your blog post on house renovations, book clubs or how to win at social media?
Create a Custom Image
Let’s get back to our surfer dude. Hang on, you want him to have hair? Just use the girl’s hair then. Plonk it on his head and voila! Move him around a little, then make yourself a sign (it’s easy, and I’ll tell you how) and you have an eye-catching featured image for your blog post.
Don’t want the beach? Don’t use the beach, replace it with a different image of your choice or go with a plain background.
It might not be sophisticated, but it works. If you’ve got some imagination (‘course you do, you’re a blogger) then you can come up with a whole collection of unique images using free 3d content.
Sometimes a sign and a smiling model is all you need though. And I’ll show you just how to do that in part 2.
Right now, go download your copy of DAZ Studio 4.6 to get started. Oh, and if you’re as cautious as I am about what goes on your computer (and so you should be), it’s not a scam, there’s no adware, spyware or anything like that. You don’t have to enter payment details, the freebies are genuinely free. It’s simply a clever business model where you get starter content for nothing, and pay if you need extras.
But that’s optional. You can do everything you’ve seen here for free and quite a bit more. You can also add to your library with weekly freebies or annual giveaways or get some hugely discounted items in sales. There are third-party freebies to be found on other sites too. Just stick with genuine freebies such as those on ShareCG and avoid illegal downloads like the plague to keep your computer safe.
If you find you enjoy working with 3D and do get yourself some paid content (which can be priced as low as $1.99 for whole outfits, sets or vehicles), the sky’s the limit, as this video shows.