Daz 3D has released a new free version of its 3D art and animation package, Daz Studio 3, as well as the debut of the enhanced, paid-for version, Daz Studio 3 Advanced.

Daz Studio 3 offers improved OpenGL preview display with new camera and light pointer tools, depth of field and support for version 8.5 of the 3Delight render engine.

This tool is designed to allow hobbyists to create unique digital art and animation using their choice of virtual people, animals, props, vehicles, accessories and environments. Users can select their subject and/or setting, arrange accessories, setup lighting and immediately begin to create artwork.

Daz Studio 3 Advanced adds a set of new professional-level tools including advanced render effects and shaders, Collada import/export, animation keyframe editing, figure mixing and support for 64-bit systems. Daz says that with these high-end tools, extended export capabilities and greater compatibility with Carrara, 3D enthusiasts can easily transition into serious 3D artists. It costs US$149.95 (around £93).

Both versions run under Mac OS X 10.4/5, and Windows XP/Vista.

Daz has also released the DAZ Studio Advanced Bundle, which couples DAZ Studio 3 Advanced with a suite of plug-ins including: Figure Setup Tools, 3D Bridge for Photoshop, FBX Exporter and Multi-Layered Image Editor. The Daz Studio Advanced Bundle is priced for purchase at $499.95 (£310).