Production Tools

The essential tools that I need for creating men are a computer, of course, and various apps to produce realistic illustrations featuring human characters. Over the course of several years, 2007 through 2016, I have used various apps for my work. I imagine an artist’s studio in my mind and then create male characters within that studio.

digital male art example

Those of you here today who are interested in knowing about my production strategies and tactics, keep reading on this page. You may fall into two distinct audiences:

The first audience is people who want to produce visual works like I do. If you are in this first audience, I am happy to interact with you online to share ideas, techniques, and files. Just email me:

The second audience is people who only want to learn how I produce visual works, but are not interested in doing production, themselves.

Skills and Talents

Merely acquiring a device and apps will not necessarily enable you to produce visual works that are any good. Just like getting a basketball won’t make you an athlete, or, getting a word processing app won’t make you a writer, the same holds true about using devices and apps for producing 3D illustrations.

You must be born with certain talents relative to all others so you may succeed at a professional level in any endeavor that requires sharp coordination between your brain, your eyes, and your hands. That is simply one of the rules of real life that cannot be altered merely by wishing something else were true.

Required Talents for Producing 3D Images

  • Aesthetic:  create visually appealing shapes, colors, lighting,
    and staging in a scene produced within an app
  • Narrative:  conceive of fictional characters who demonstrate behaviors
    and experiences that will be credible to audiences
  • Technical:  translate what’s in your mind through your fingers
    onto a computer screen using an app

It is possible to learn tactics and techniques through classroom or online or other training. You can also refine your skills if you can find and emulate best practices of people whose works you respect. You need to jump into it and keep trying to convey what’s in your mind onto the screen using apps. But, you genuinely must be someone who was born with aesthetic, narrative, and technical talents to enable you to create 3D illustrations if you expect to be taken seriously.


If you want to produce 3D illustrations, you must use a computerized device. Personally, from the very beginning of doing this kind of production, I have favored Apple devices. This preference of mine is due to the operating systems and the devices that Apple has sold over the years. I also am attracted to the simplicity and elegance of Apple devices and apps. It is also true that I have never met anyone who uses Apple devices who is unhappy about that choice!

While it is possible to work in visual production using hand-held devices, I recommend that if you are serious about producing 3D illustrations, you should accept the need for working using a sufficiently large monitor on which to display your works in progress. Creating works using only a four- or five- or eight-inch screen ultimately will constrain your output and without a sufficiently large monitor, you won’t be able to see the overall context or the level of detail in your visual creations.

If you are serious about producing visual works, my belief is that you also must develop and demonstrate a true flexibility using devices and apps. This is why I recommend that you should work diligently to become comfortable using devices and apps that are created for the Windows operating systems once you master the Apple operating system and devices. At this point in my life, I use Apple and Windows devices and apps interchangably without any adjustment issues in switching back and forth. This is a skill set that you, too, can learn if you apply yourself.

3D Illustrations

To produce illustrations that have the appearance of all three dimensions, you need to use specific apps. This kind of 3D refers to the simulation of three dimensions within a flat, two-dimensional illustration and NOT the kind of 3D experience where you put on plastic glasses to view a film on a screen.

When I started out producing 3D digital illustrations, I used software named Poser that was developed in 1995. Learn more about Poser.

Shown below are some of my earliest attempts to create illustrations of men. I have to admit that these look very primitive and awkward. At that time, I had not yet arrived at the level of skill that I have today.


2007_render_cowboy 2007_B_render


Eventually, I came to feel very restricted by the way Poser works, so I went in search of some other software that would better suit the way I work.

And, I’m pleased to report that I found it! Software from DAZ 3D — Digital Art Zone is what I use exclusively today. Watch this short (two-minute) video and you will see why I am excited about DAZ 3D software:

Take a look at the digital male art that I create today using DAZ 3D software:

digital male art example